Mere weeks after saying goodbye to both of its new sports-themed comedy series, Comedy Central has ordered series pickups for two sketch-comedy ideas: One starring Nick Kroll and all of his characters, The Nick Show Kroll; and the other, an untitled project reuniting MADtv alums Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key.
Interestingly enough, the press release from Comedy Central seems to indicate that Kent Alterman ordered both pilots to series without even seeing them. In fact, his quote says just that!
"I haven't seen either pilot yet, but I think so highly of the talent involved, I can't imagine the shows won't be great," said Alterman.
Nick Kroll proudly announced his show to friends, fans and followers on Twitter...
Sure. You may have a Bill Cosby impersonation up your sleeves. Plenty of people do. Tosh.0 even explored this phenomenon in its first season in 2009 with a video mash-up of white girls with Cosby impersonations. But how many people have mashed up a Cosby with a Bukowski? Exactly. Exactly!
Here's Jon Daly reciting NSFW poetry in a Cosby sweater. Roll the clip!
On my recent sojourn to Hollywood, comedian Jon Daly told me he had produced something close to awesome with Fabio that would be appearing on Funny or Die.
Today is the day we get that much closer to awesome. While the people who don't know any better just think Fabio is Daly's imaginary friend, we're let in on the real reality in this new video. More, please! Buddy movie? Roll it.
The Ed Hardy Boyz have gotten called on a new mystery mission, thanks to a hot Filipino babe with big naturals who had her tramp stamp stolen. Sounds like a case for Bobby Bottleservice (Nick Kroll) and Peter Papparazzo (Jon Daly) to solve, right? Only this time, for reasons that can only be explained by the fact that they're in Hollywood now, they've got the backing of Ed Hardy's actual designer, Christian Audigier, as well as cameos from Fred Durst, Tom Sizemore and Pat O'Brien. I mean, really. Seriously? It's one thing to have a sense of humor. But these guys know what's going on, right? I mean, really. Seriously? This reminds me of the time Sarah Palin went on SNL and had her entire life mocked in front of her and danced along to the insane rap stylings, and was still the leading Republican candidate for president a year later. Oh. Right. I guess that's why these d-bags are more than happy to be in on the joke. What is happening? I feel like David after Dentist right now, because life makes no sense any longer.
If there were one pop culture thing that pretty much all comedians could agree upon making a mockery of in 2009, it was the "Ed Hardy" T-shirt, and more specifically, the people who wore said shirts, hats and other fashion accessories. Nick Kroll and Jon Daly were two such comedians who took it to the next level late last year with their own Funny or Die video spoof as The Ed Hardy Boyz.
But. Would you believe. The "designer" responsible for creating the Ed Hardy line and making millions off of it, Christian Audigier, not only loved The Ed Hardy Boyz but also met personally with Kroll and Daly? It's true. I've seen pictures. And today we all can see this new trailer for their latest spoof of the Hardy Boys mysteries. Looks bigger, brasher, and certainly with plenty more Ed Hardy. Looks like Audigier believes that getting the joke matters, and also that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Roll the trailer?
I don't know if "Ed Hardy" shirts have become the go-to joke in comedy clubs across the land just yet, but it's certainly become an accepted target for mockery in New York City and Los Angeles. Nick Kroll and Jon Daly have taken this product punchline and tagged it up supremely in this sketch called "The Ed Hardy Boyz," where one of Kroll's characters, Bobby Bottleservice, joins up with Daly's Peter Paparazzo to solve crimes. In this instance, crimes mean things like someone stealing a "sick belt buckle." Of course the suspect was wearing an "Affliction" T-shirt. Of course. Also featuring Alison Becker and Brody Stevens. Roll it!
When you see Jon Daly get into character as smooth jazz artist "Barry R," it's quite a bizarre treat in a comedy club. What happens when he busts loose on the beach and makes a commercial for his new box set? Well, that's where Funny or Die comes in. So far, it seems as though viewers aren't sure what to make of Barry R. and "his story dreams." Warning: NSFW language and content. That's smooth jazz for you!
For some reason, this season of American Idol has been the first in many years that's failing to hold my attention. Don't get me wrong, I still know enough to know that Megan changed her last name and looked purty the other night, and that there's a teen finalist who looks like someone I know, and that the TV doesn't know what to do with the blind guy, that there's a guy who's so fierce he's like Constantine and Clay made a supergay baby, there's seriously someone named "Lil," there's a widow who everyone already thinks has won and that Anoop, Anoop, Anoop is on fire. But even with a new judge that I like (Team Kara) and perhaps despite that new judge's opening sequence, it all seems a little tired. Are they trying too hard this year? How would I know? What I do know, however, is that the folks over at Funny or Die have constructed a far more entertaining parallel universe called American Contestant. And in episode three, Matt Braunger tells Jon Daly he's ready for his audition, and yet, somehow, judges Bob Odenkirk, Natasha Leggero and company are not having it. And I want more of this. Thank you.
The credits say Eric Appel directs, with appearances also by Brandon Johnson, Angela Trimbur, John Bowie. Background: Tiffany Haddish auditioned in episode one.
Derrick comedy has a laugh-out-loud hilarious, dark comedy movie on their hands, and if all things go well, soon enough, there will be a distribution deal for Mystery Team. How do I know this? I managed to get in on one of the intimate free screenings in New York City earlier this week, and talked to four-fifths of the team behind Mystery Team afterward (Dan Eckman, Meggie McFadden, DC Pierson and Dominic Dierkes -- Donald Glover was over in Long Island City being executive story editor on 30 Rock). Roll the clip!
As mentioned in the clip, Mystery Team debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival to mostly positive reviews and buzz. Director/co-writer/editor Eckman said he managed to cut more than six minutes from the version Sundance audiences saw, getting the running time down to a leaner 98 minutes. "Watching it with an audience six times at Sundance really opened the whole thing up," Eckman told me.
If you haven't heard the buzz yet, let me fill you in. Donald Glover, DC Pierson and Dominic Dierkes play three high-schoolers who are still living off of their childhood "fame" as boy detectives who solved neighborhood mysteries a la Encyclopedia Brown. Glover's Jason is as animated as a Looney Tunes character with a propensity for disguises that rely on fake mustaches. Pierson's Duncan has memorized trivial trivia and thinks that makes him a boy genius when it just makes him a nerd. Dierkes' Charlie is a dumb jock without being a jock. They're 17, but still living as if they were 7. "No case too hard, no case too tough," reads the hand-painted sign outside Jason's house. And their mysteries are as tough as figuring out who stuck their fingers in an old lady's pie. Until a girl rings Jason's bell and asks him to solve the murder of her parents. The boys take the case and quickly find themselves in over their heads, literally and figuratively. Will they grow up and/or solve the case? Aubrey Plaza (NBC's Parks & Recreation) plays the other orphaned sister. Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) shows up every so often as a grocery store cashier who still idolizes the Mystery Team. And there are plenty of other great comedian cameos and supporting roles with an emphasis on the UCB: Tom Shillue, Matt Walsh, Kay Cannon, Neil Casey, Jon Daly, Will Hines, Ellie Kemper, Anthony King, John Lutz, Ben Schwartz, Kevin Brown and Robbie Sublett among them.
Recent reasons to check out Funny or Die include...
Jon Daly wakes up as Rip Van Winkle to learn the truth about his son, Rob. Language is NSFW.
The guy who makes floating head movie posters (starring Brian Huskey)
The Michael Phelps Minute (I give Rob Lathan seven gold medals out of eight gold medals for this one!)
So you're saying I could have had a different domain name?
Only now unwinding from my second tour through the Upright Citizen Brigade's Del Close Marathon, which ended Sunday night (though starting the tour after an all-nighter to Washington, D.C., and back probably contributed to the fatigue on my end), and wished, as I did last summer, that I had gotten to see more of the 150+ improv and variety shows that happened during DCM10. At least two video cameras captured some of the highlights, which I expect to see online one of these days at UCBComedy.
The Marathon is crazy for improvisers and comedy fans alike, with shows running almost continuously (save for a couple of breaks to clean the theaters) at the UCB home in Chelsea and three nearby theaters from Friday afternoon to Sunday night. Comedians come from all over the country to participate, and even then, to fill all of those hours, the Marathon's programmers schedule some completely off-the-wall shows. I cannot speak for the daytime shows from last weekend, but during the primetime and late-night hours, the atmosphere -- hot, sweaty and reeking of alcoholic sweat -- really favors the louder, crazier uptempo shows over the improv groups that actually try best to honor Del Close and his Harold long-form. It's not a fault of the performers. But after you've seen "Gary Busey" prove he's the smartest expert in the universe, it's hard to pay close attention to all that's going on in the Scramble. And the Marathon peaks at 2:30 a.m. Sunday during the half-hour lunacy that is Match Game 76, and when Horatio Sanz as Heath Ledger's Joker launches a smoke bomb, well, even a troupe hoping to parody Close has no chance. I spent my entire DCM10 at the UCB (sorry, big-time shows at the FIT, but maybe we'll meet again in 2009), and the best shows I saw over the weekend were strong in concept, structure and execution.
James Adomian as "Gary Busey" during The Smartest Panel of Experts in the Universe Ever.
Photo by Keith Huang
Adult Swim debuts the oddest, yet most delightful new piece of television history tonight as Gemberling becomes Fat Guy Stuck In Internet. First impression? Like a 21st century multimedia version of the camp classic movie of Flash Gordon. In another word: Awesome. Lots of UCB talent represented. The premiere episode, Threshold, airs twice after midnight. But it's already available for your viewing pleasure here. Enjoy!
Oh, here's an introduction, pre-stuck...
And you thought Rififi was done when Invite Them Up left the building? No. Instead, Brett Gelman has taken over Wednesdays and assumed the title of President of Comedy. His "inauguration" took place last night. In a cockroach outfit.
Let me try to explain.
Perhaps Gelman himself said it best in his opening remarks. "This is not just a celebration of me. It's a celebration of all of us celebrating me as the new president of comedy," he said. "This is a show people are going to be lying about -- saying they were at it."
As First Lady, Jackie Clarke. In dog ears. Putting down Gelman at every opportunity.
The first show included Anthony Jeselnik. A very strong joke writer, except for that one joke about jail rape, which is far too cheap and easy. Jon Daly appeared as Shirtless White Bill Cosby, with a voice that wavered between spot-on Cosby (circa 1982) and British. Here is a short clip.
I have a theory that Gelman and Daly have a standing bet to see who can be the most ridiculous figure in the comedy world, and that they're both winning, which makes me hope and pray that their Comedy Central pilot, "The Scariest Thing on Television," gets picked up for a full season. The network announced it yesterday as part of its development slate. Gelman said last night that they just finished work on the pilot yesterday, coincidentally, and are hopeful about its prospects. In it, Paul F. Tompkins stars as anthology series host Julius Darkshaft, taking us "through his vault of hilarious morality tales and gorefests."
But back to last night's show.
Larry Murphy made a guest appearance as working-class man Gene Shirley. Andrea Rosen was funny and more than slightly raunchy (ask her about her eye). MC Chris rapped! About Boba Fett! There was a final three-way scene so perverse that even Clarke had to describe it as: "This is just like a Troma film." And, lest I forget, Bobby Tisdale came onstage to pass the torch of Wednesday nights, and with it, perform the comedy presidential inauguration.
Wait. You wanted to know how it ended? I guess you really did have to be there.
What happens when you look over your handwritten notes a year later? Let's find out as we jog our memories on the 2007 Del Close Marathon, held over the last weekend in July...
Satellites: Oh, this was a fun way to start my Del Close Marathon in 2007, as Ed Helms, Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis got themselves all excited about going to another Dave Matthews Band concert. They got nostalgic (Riggle claimed this would be his 217th DMB concert experience), interacted with fans (as in, audience members) and Sudeikis proved his chops playing multiple parts in this half-hour improvised set, including a drug dealer in Detroit and a driver to a show in Miami.
Bro'in Out: With Leo Allen and Seth Morris co-hosting, and guests played by Matt Walsh, Ed Helms, and Matt Besser, among others, with Besser playing the role of MySpace's founder, Tom. "A lot of people don't want to be friends based on first impressions of their voice," said Besser as Tom, who continued to hold the MySpace Tom pose throughout the show. "I have a deformed spine that doesn't allow me to face forward."
Chuckle Sandwich: This Chicago-based quartet opened with a song, and showed why T.J. Miller would soon go on to bigger things. Micah Sherman also showed a bunch of energy at this midnight show.
The Smartest Panel of Experts in the Universe Ever: My notes on this are messy, and as I recall, this show was messy, too, and Horatio Sanz was in it. I wrote immediately after this that the UCB theater really cleared out afterward, which made things tough on the show that followed, the low-energy Bastards Inc. Directors Commentary LIVE came next and took on "Dirty Dancing," with players taking on roles as cast and crew from this 1980s movie, and the show completely lost control about halfway through as the players went to greater lengths to one-up each other in their risque comments.
I returned on Saturday afternoon in time to see I Eat Pandas earn a standing ovation at 5:30 p.m. My $20 wristband got me into most shows, but it'd take another $10 to get me a guaranteed seat over at the FIT for the Daily Show/Colbert Report Improv Jam (only about 20 people from the stand-by line got in) as Riggle, John Oliver, Ed Helms and several Colbert writers, including Laura Krafft, took audience suggestions. The first one? Iraq?! "I should probably jump into this one," Riggle said. "Because you're a Marine," another player said. "Everything about Iraq is hilarious," offered Helms. "That guy (pointing to the audience member) should be forced to do 10 minutes on Iraq right now." But they ran with the suggestion and got many laughs. They also played off of a military group that attended a Chicago improv show, and imagined a group of St. Olaf and Carleton College students facing off at the town's only bar.
Arrived back at the UCB to see the end of Ian Roberts' Lazy Man show, followed by the iO Chicago team of Washington Generals, who seemed to be led, at least on this night, by a guy I'd seen earlier in Chuckle Sandwich. According to Jim came next, and no, not about the ABC-TV sitcom with Jim Belushi, but rather Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, and Matt Walsh played Gary Sheffield, and I had to write how one woman in the audience remarked, "It's so ridiculous." Yes, and in improv, ridiculous is usually a good thing. They stopped the show seven minutes early for a Q&A with the audience which just got weirder. Pass the Mic was billed as improvised stand-up, and it seemed more like improvised monologues. As Leo Allen noted at one point, "For anyone onstage, your constant writing is horrible." The show turned out to be a bit of a misnomer, as each player told true and funny stories from his or her childhood, building off of the previous player's story. No one even used the actual audience suggestion of hurdles, by the way. BirdDog, from Chicago, seemed more style than substance, although they also seemed to adhere more to the style of Del Close in doing so, which made it apt. And they did make good use of the mic for a talent show. C,C,+C Improv Factory drew consistently big laughs with quick quips. Cracked Out (Jon Daly and Brett Gelman) got the place more than standing room only and laughing. "There's no booing in improv hip-hop!" Derrick smartly recognized the funny nature of quick flashbacks. Match Game 76 had so many "celebs" onstage, including Paul Scheer as the late Gene Rayburn, Jack McBrayer, Ed Helms (as Mark Spitz), and so many others, that it was hard for anyone to follow -- just sit back and watch the madness unfold. If you're going to follow Match Game, getting the audience's attention with Mexican wrestling masks and attitude might just have done the trick for Senor Bueno. Pajama Jammy Jam spun off from Houseparty with one of the guys from Derrick playing Play from Kid and Play. Oh, Hello, led by John Mulaney, played up the shtick of Upper West Siders trying improv. Drunken Sonic Assault, hosted by Walsh and Besser, hit two out of three targets in their name. A weird Thanksgiving dinner played out next onstage, with Jackie Clarke, Riggle, Rob Huebel, Viking brothers, ghosts and a guy with his balls out named Balls Larry. The program tells me this show was called 2 Gays and a Lez with a Baseball Cap. My Left Fuck You was four guys with laptops using voice software. At 4:15 a.m. on a Sunday. Scheer re-emerged as Darth Vader for Star Wars Bounty Hunter Prov. Things got too weird for words in the next two early morning shows, Nicolas Cage Match and Dane Cookin It Up, with several comedians impersonating the two actors. It's no wonder my notes ended here.