Amber J. Lawson is bringing her comedy sensibilities to roost at her new gig heading up programming at AOL, launching a new nightly clip show tonight that culls together highlights from the popular podcasts of Kevin Smith, Adam Carolla and Kevin Pollak.
Lawson told The Hollywood Reporter: "The idea is to take these very popular podcasts with their very rabid audiences and find a platform-appropriate way to create a programming block. We want to tap into their audiences and create video content that is consumable in one- to five-minute chunks."
Smith will provide one segment per week, Carolla will provide nightly segments, while Pollak's weekly chat show will be cut up into four individual segments each week. The clip shows will appear on AOL's home page at 10 p.m. Eastern each weeknight.
The highlights packages all will be safe for work.
America is taking another game-show page from the Brits, and as has been the trend in this century, tapping a stand-up comedian to host it.
The show is Million Dollar Money Drop -- based on Million Pound Drop, which debuted in May in the UK -- and Kevin Pollak will host Endemol's American edition of the high-stakes quiz show when it premieres over four consecutive nights in December on FOX. It'll pre-empt FOX's regular primetime programming Dec. 20-23, with future airdates to be announced based on the initial week's success.
Its concept is simple enough. A team of two is literally handed $1 million at the top of the hour, then required to bet the cash on each of seven multiple-choice questions. A wrong answer triggers a trap door underneath the cash bet on top of it -- that's the drop.
This is Pollak's second go-around with FOX this year. He was all set to host a game show for kids called Our Little Genius, but the network abruptly cancelled it in January just days before its debut after allegations emerged that a producer had coached at least one of the child contestants beforehand.
Fresh off his win and nominations in the Streamy Awards, Kevin Pollak decided to take one of the lessons from the "how to get a nomination" video close to heart by directing, co-writing and co-creating a new online mockumentary series involving vampires, called Vamped Out. Because that's the rage these days. The kids cannot get enough of the vampires. Vamped Out debuted yesterday on Babelgum with the first of its six-part weekly series.
Pollak plays the filmmaker following real-life vampire (co-writer/creator Jason Antoon) who is such a struggling actor that he cannot even get booked a role as a vampire. Seana Kofoed plays the vampire's girlfriend, who conveniently works at a blood bank, and Samm Levine plays his manager who also lives in the vampire's pool house. Hints of Spinal Tap, but with more suspense. Suspense!
Here's the first episode. Roll it!
That headline seems so salacious, doesn't it? Why wouldn't the Streamy Awards let you see this video by The Fine Bros. revealing the secrets to earning a Streamy nomination? Oh, that's right. It's because the awards ceremony buckled under the strain of technology and froze the video before it ended. Well, if you want to watch the whole thing, here goes. Spoiler alert: Are you smarter than a celebrity? Roll it.
Featuring: Mark Gantt, Kevin Pollak, Sandeep Parikh & Tony Janning, Craig Frank, Jessica Lee Rose, Kristen Hager, Adam Chambers, Shane Dawson, iJustine, Tatyana Ali and the cast of "Dorm Life."
Kevin Pollak records his live Internet talk show late on Sunday afternoons (you can see past episodes of Kevin Pollak's Chat Show here), and this Sunday was supposed to be no different, as Henry Winkler sat down to chat with Pollak about all things funny. Even though Californians are used to earthquakes -- most of them live along a major fault line -- Sunday's 7.2 earthquake, which had an epicenter just south of the border into Baja California, shook, rattled and rolled for longer than they were used to. This could be some very boring live video, since nobody got hurt, and you can hardly see any evidence of a quake, but Winkler -- still best known to a generation as "The Fonz" from TV's Happy Days, had quips at the ready. Turns out if the 7.2 had been either stronger or closer to Los Angeles, we would have seen him lose his eternal cool. Roll it.
Jerry Seinfeld famously stopped telling the same jokes he had told for several years, and started from scratch, documenting his efforts in the stand-up documentary, Comedian. Across the pond, meanwhile, Eddie Izzard had a completely different experience, as a TV show accused him in 2000 of fraud for "recycling material" in his stand-up act. Clearly hurt by this, Izzard stopped performing.
When Izzard started up again in 2003, writing material for his "SEXIE" tour, his ex Sarah Townsend began documenting his return, and Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story, follows him on that tour and also reflects upon his life story, which is one of relentless determination and believe in his ability to be a comedian and an actor (related: Watch the trailer for Believe here). The "fraud" accusations are something Americans might not comprehend in terms of their stand-up comedians -- there are plenty of acts, from headliners on down, who have been doing the same routines for what seems like forever. And as Izzard points out in his documentary, "It's like going to a rock 'n' roll concert and saying, 'We've heard the Stones. We've heard these f*cking numbers before. You're on Watchdog. For fraud. The Stones. On Watchdog. For fraud. Because we've heard all this stuff before." So now, instead of working in new material and improvising within the previous set, gradually building an entirely new show, Izzard would workshop right from the start.
As for his life story, the amount of footage of Izzard that already exists is staggering. You may have heard he was a street performer at Edinburgh, but when you see the footage of him in the mid-1980s, riding a unicycle while handcuffed, or doing everything he can muster to get the attention of the passersby, or seeing his big break with a bit about wolves in 1991, or the uproar he endured by announcing he was a transvestite in 1993. You see just what a marathon journey Izzard has been on already. Apt, perhaps that he runs a bit in the film, and also just ran 43 marathons in 51 days around the United Kingdom for charity (see: Eddie Iz Running). I asked Izzard last night if he thought about the parallels between his marathon effort and his journey to become a success, and he, with his quick wit, knew that I didn't have "the right analogy" exactly. In running, for instance, the first six miles feel different from the following 20, he told me. I could have asked him more questions, but he's already answered quite a few, and talking more this weekend. Here is footage from his chat session with Kevin Pollak earlier this week (their chat begins about 15 minutes in):
He'll appear tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and also at the 10 p.m. screening tonight in NYC at the City Cinemas East Village. Screenings there continue through Oct. 22. On Saturday afternoon, Izzard will sit down for a chat with Paul Provenza at the Apple Store in Soho. And Sunday night, Izzard has a "secret" stand-up show that's already sold-out in NYC (otherwise I'd give you the details).
Don't worry, though. Izzard is about to embark on a new tour of world domination, which will include a January 2010 date at Madison Square Garden.
Related: His "SEXIE" tour, documented in Believe, culminated in his triumphant return to London and Wembley Arena. Footage from those shows, previously unavailable in North America, will come out Nov. 3 on a separate DVD, Live From Wembley.
In case you haven't been following the Internets, ABC News recently struck up a partnership with its Times Square neighbor, Carolines, for a weekly interview/performance segment called Carolines on GMA Now. Club owner Caroline Hirsch also takes part in the segments and often has her own questions for the comedians. It appears as part of the magically mysterious third hour of Good Morning America, which doesn't appear on the regular ABC television network, but rather on some digital cable systems, mobile phone networks and definitely online. ABC doesn't like to offer embedded video, so instead, we've got links to share.
The mix includes both headliners working the club that weekend (natural cross-promotion) as well as up-and-coming New York-based stand-ups. Sometimes there's a performance in the ABC studio with a small audience (that's a tough room!). Sometimes not. Last week's segment had a rather revealing interview with Mike DeStefano.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with ABC News' ‘Good Morning America NOW’ on this new program,” Hirsch said in the official press release earlier this spring. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our lively and entertaining programming on ABC News NOW -- across all of its platforms -- broadband, cable and mobile.”