To everyone who thought the latest Kids in the Hall miniseries would make its American debut on HBO...surprise!
IFC announced today (as relayed by friend of the blog, Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times) that it had picked up the U.S. TV rights to Death Comes to Town, the KITH 8-episode miniseries, which will air this August. Previously: See the trailer.
But that's not all! IFC also will be taking everyone's favorite fake Internet news parody, Onion News Network, and turning it into an actual fake half-hour TV news program.
This is in addition to the previously known news that IFC had acquired the U.S. rights to David Cross' upcoming series, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” I had showed you the pilot. But don't feel like it's a spoiler, because I've learned that it's being reshot due to a cast change (Cross is still starring, so chill). It'll air here in October.
Here's the most recent Onion News Network segment to hit the Internets, focusing on the "new" "book," "Wake Up! He's a Shapeshifter!" Roll it.
And here's another for good March Madness measure, since Kentucky hasn't busted your brackets. Yet.
Coming to Canada's CBC-TV on Jan. 12, 2010 (and America when????), it's the new eight-part miniseries from beloved comedy troupe Kids In The Hall, Death Comes to Town. A trailer went up recently on the CBC site, but here's something more to chew on, thanks to Funny or Die. Roll it!
Related: Get more behind-the-scenes footage and intel on the KITH Facebook fan page.
Everyone is hungry for laughs this year, and cue the rest of this metaphor, because the fifth annual edition of Sketchfest NYC certainly delivered with a healthy appetite (Zoinks!) of fun times, served up with a side of...you know what I'm trying to say, right? Food was on the brain and onstage in many of the highlights from this past weekend's celebration of sketch comedy in the Big Apple. Harvard Sailing Team reimagined the callback auditions for a Pizza Hut ad. Elephant Larry screened a "viral video" for Subway that never went viral, in a special edition of The Rejection Show. Kristen Schaal claimed that her comedy partner had gotten turned into a stuffed bird. Rue Brutalia handed out rolls of Rolos and compared fast-food sandwiches in a job interview. Pangea 3000 interrupted a sketch to eat ribs. The Apple Sisters modeled "ration fashion" featuring watermelon muffs, hats and shoes. The 3rd Floor served up pancakes to one lucky audience member. Kevin McDonald put on his one-man and one-guitarist show, "Hammy and the Kids" (ham not included). Let's review some of these things in further detail, shall we?
The Apple Sisters made a triumphant return to NYC, having all moved out within the past year to Los Angeles and showcasing a new 1943-era radio programme set aboard the USS Sketchfest Intrepid en route to Hawaii. Cora, Candy and Seedy were looking to get lei'd with the seamen, but first had to deal with a mutiny, a pirate, an emergency SOS call and more. Quite saucy and sassy, these broads! A fun moment when the captain declared: "You can't just ovulate all over the ship!" To which Candy replied: "Well, what am I supposed to do with this?" thrusting her hands to her pelvis. Funnier still, when the ladies modeled their "ration fashions," with actual juicy watermelons getting all over themselves and the theater floor. "Anybody hungry?" Cora asked afterward.
Also on Thursday: Kristen Schaal made her fourth Sketchfest NYC appearance, but first without comedy partner Kurt Braunohler (who was performing in Tennessee at Bonnaroo); Team Submarine took on "Who's On First" but with 69 jokes; Rue Brutalia played good-cop, bad-cop to investigate the ultimate riddle: Who farted? and also unveiled a sketch that somehow didn't work when they tried it in a Brooklyn hip-hop club; A Week of Kindness fashioned an awards show completely around Bee Movie; Murderfirst wanted to prove that being loud, fat and naked makes any sketch idea funnier (did it work?); Sam and Timmy from The Whitest Kids U Know tried to tell a story about when the kids got interviewed by High Times; and Olde English deconstructed the plot to Pixar's new hit movie, UP, to such a degree that you wonder how the film ever got made in the first place.
Sometimes April Fool's Day just brings good ol' fashioned funny news, and the folks from Sketchfest NYC have done just that, unveiling the first featured shows taking place from June 11-13, 2009. Kids in the Hall's Kevin McDonald will do double duty, performing his one-man show, "Kevin McDonald's Hammy & The Kids," as well as sitting down for a chat with Carl Arnheiter in "Inside Joke: An Evening of Lies." Also announced today: The cast and crew of MTV's The College Humor Show will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happened, as well as whether it will ever happen again. The Rejection Show and Olde English's Very Fresh, The Story Pirates present Found Magazine, and a kids show, Striking Viking Story Pirates, also are on the bill. Look for more announcements soon.
At the end of their rousing live performance last night, the Kids in the Hall told the crowd at Caesars Palace for The Comedy Festival that not only had they witnessed the Kids' "first show in about three months," but also their Vegas debut. "You got to see us shake the rust off," they quipped.
Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson certainly didn't seem rusty last night, though, hamming their way through more than an hour of new sketches they have shared with North American audiences over the past year. That includes the return of the Chicken Lady, Buddy Cole, and an encore with the head crusher that entertained despite technical difficulties with McKinney's video camera. After two decades, the Kids may have gotten older, but they're still full of energy and comedic chemistry. And as I learned after the show, they get as much of a kick -- if not more of one -- out of their live gigs as they did with their TV show during the 1990s. You can see that in their live act, too. They're not a sketch troupe attempting to duplicate or reenact their popular TV sketches. They're five guys actively writing new material that works live, and also willing to ad-lib, riff, giggle and make you feel as though you're part of something special. Which you are.
Anyone who doubted whether TBS could or would pull together a full slate of A-level comedy talent for its first edition of The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas without HBO as a partner, well doubt no more. Over the weekend, TBS unveiled its first look at the official schedule for Nov. 20-22 at Caesars Palace, which includes Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Dane Cook, Katt Williams, Jim Breuer, Kids in the Hall, Russell Peters, Jim Norton, a roast of Cheech and Chong, David Alan Grier, Jeff Dunham, Laffapalooza hosted by Tracy Morgan, Andrew Dice Clay, Mike Epps, John Oliver, and Caliente Comedy with Gabriel Iglesias, Pablo Francisco and Anjelah Johnson. The network also says it'll have 25 up-and-coming stand-up and sketch acts performing in a separate LOL Lounge. Full sked after the jump!
Three members of Kids in the Hall sat down for an interview this afternoon for the upcoming season of Unmasked on XM satellite radio. Well, they didn't stay seated, or in one place, for long. Scott Thompson, Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald made the live audience at Comix forget for a couple of hours that the Pope also was in New York City today, as the trio bounded around the stage, tangling in each other's microphone cords, throwing water on each other, and generally give XM host Ron Bennington little room to ask a question. Out of control. But in a funny way. "It's like having the f***ing (Three) Stooges on stage here!" As Thompson and McDonald mock-fought/rolled around on the floor, Foley quipped: "You're really going to want to check out the video podcast for this." And after Thompson accidentally spilled his water on his pants, he said: "I bet this will sound great on the radio!"
The guys took the train down from Boston, and for reasons not made entirely clear, Foley acknowledged he'd only gotten an hour of sleep. He gulped down three cups of coffee during the interview.
Bennington let the audience get involved with more questions than usual, and the guys got the audience more involved than they were expecting, with a few of them invited onstage for impromptu antics.
We did learn a few things. McDonald said the guys always have been a group, with none really more popular than the others. Lorne Michaels indeed gave them their big TV break, although he first hired only Mark McKinney and Bruce McCulloch to write for Saturday Night Live before deciding to give all the Kids their own show. McDonald suggested that the Kurt Vonnegut book, Slapstick, might explain the key to their success, implying that each of the Kids is an idiot as an individual, but together, they are geniuses. "So maybe that's us," he said. Though these guys improvised throughout the XM interview, their tour and previous sketches aren't scripted that way.
The Kids in the Hall play the Nokia Theatre in Times Square tonight and Saturday. They'll be on the road across North America through June. Buy tickets here!
Related: I got to see them debut much of this tour last summer in Montreal. Also, New York magazine asked Dave Foley some questions and printed his replies. And Jane Borden from Time Out NY chatted it up with the fellas.
Tickets go on sale at noon today for the two New York City dates at Town Hall for Flight of the Conchords, so I thought I'd look and see what other comedy tours are hot sellers.
Flight of the Conchords at Town Hall (NYC) May 6-7. Get tickets!
Lewis Black has a new Comedy Central tour "Let Them Eat Cake" beginning May 1. Get tickets!
Kids in the Hall already on tour, coming to NYC's Nokia Theatre at Times Square April 18-20. Get tickets!
Chris Rock's "No Apologies" tour hits Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater from April 30-May 4. Get tickets!
The guys from Kids in the Hall reunited onstage for three nights only this week at Just For Laughs in Montreal. Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson hadn't performed together for a live audience in about five years, and it showed a bit in their personas and in some of the new sketches (especially the opening sketch on the final show Friday, when the guys spent as much time dealing with technical difficulties and laughing at each other as they did on delivering their lines). They also brought back a couple of characters from the Kids in the Hall TV show, including Buddy Cole. But the guys still now how to deliver. McCulloch, particularly, remained a joy to watch as he bounced around and stole scenes through various characters. And the encore -- an extended audience-participation take on "I'm crushing your head!" -- was more than worth the 90-minute wait.
Maybe it's time to take a fresh look at the one and only feature film by The Kids in the Hall, Brain Candy. Critics were not especially kind to the movie upon its release in 1996. Eight years later, our country and our world are even more dependent on pills (pat yourselves on the backs, pharmaceutical corporations!). Just read today's collection of New York Times reports on Prozac, a new study documenting antidepressant use among children and how doctors vow to stop prescribing so many pills here (we'll see about that) and in Britain. Now that's what I call team coverage. If only reading this news didn't depress me so much. Oh, the irony!