A year after they released the pilot for Kid Farm, Jamie Lee, Pete Holmes and the Front Page Films gang are back with a full Atom.com webseries about the family that just keeps on reproducing. No, not the Duggars of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting. It's Bill and Jean Engvall. No. Not that Bill Engvall.
Just watch the first two episodes and you'll get the drift. The action begins as the Engvalls get ready to welcome their 18th child to the family. Holmes, as Bill Engvall, is in full "fun Dad" mode, and then some! Katina Corrao plays his busy wife, Jean.
And Episode 3 also is available, so let's watch that, and then find out how this all came about, via Kid Farm co-creator Jamie Lee!
This video is just for fun. Matt McCarthy plays a substitute teacher who has to deal with a classroom of high-school students in which jeggings is only the least of his worries.
It's safe for work, but only thanks to pixels and CollegeHumor. Roll it!
Oh, hi, Jermaine Fowler.
Hey, Internet. Here's something fun to look at. It's outtakes from a film that will never happen called Masterminds, but that's not important right now, because really, it's the new short from Front Page Films, with Oren Brimer directing John Hodgman, Matt McCarthy and "Huge Pacino" (the last-minute replacement for Al Pacino, played by Pete Holmes), as they do their own version of good-cop, bad-cop on Hodgman.
Where did they ever find a basement like that to film this? Oh, wait. Everybody knows. Also: Wait for it, and there's a nice moment where Hodgman zings "Huge" and Holmes at the same time. Roll the clip!
If you're not a regular watcher of the TLC cable channel, then you probably have a healthy and sensible life and think it stands for...oh, the heck with this intro. Even if you don't watch the TLC program, 19 Kids & Counting -- the only series on the TV that has to change its title every season because its cast keeps making babies -- seriously, Duggar family, you can stop now. Or maybe you can just tune into the Internet and see how Front Page Films shows all of the things you don't see on TLC about the Duggars. Or, well, let's call them Bill and Jean Engvall, as played by Pete Holmes and Katina Corrao, with help from J.P. (Matt McCarthy), cousin Jamie (Jamie Lee), eldest son Bill Jr., or B.J. (Nate Fernald) and his girlfriend (Heidi Niedermeyer). It's "Kid Farm!"
Fun facts: Holmes and Lee, who co-created and co-wrote "Kid Farm!", were once a couple themselves. Also: Lee is on this season of NBC's Last Comic Standing. And Holmes, who just left NYC for L.A. to be a writer on NBC's Outsourced, is appearing as a father with a baby strapped to him in a currently running Lowe's TV ad for Father's Day, which is Sunday. Fun facts! OK, roll the trailer:
Oh, that was Michelle Buteau as the grocery store cashier who cannot believe what mama Jean is doing, and says so in very NSFW terms. See more of her and everyone else in these deleted scenes and outtakes:
The first time I encountered Matt McCarthy (pictured here by Anya Garrett), he was wildly ranting out of a giant book in a tiny room in Mo Pitkin's for a show he ran called "Max." I never learned if he named the show after a person named Max, but I did figure out that this McCarthy (no relation) took his comedy to the max, so to speak. And now you most certainly recognize him either as the "cable guy" from the Verizon TV ad campaign, or from his Front Page Film shorts with Pete Holmes and Oren Brimer. He also hosts AMC's "Action Pack" with fellow comedian Nick Stevens. You'll soon see him in a role in the new Will Ferrell film, The Other Guys.
Matt McCarthy released a new CD this month, Come Clean. His greeting track, a series of character introductions, is one of those bits that's structured in the way that just when you want to stop laughing and think enough, he gets you laughing again, or harder, for four minutes straight. He's also a redhead who won't date a redhead or celebrate St. Patrick's Day, is prone to screaming and sweating, and will do that and more to entertain you. He even dedicated a preview track just for iTunes, and closes by answering 25 questions to know someone better. Here he is answering just a few more for your reading pleasure.
Name: Matt McCarthy
Arrival date: August 31, 1997 (Goodbye England's Rose).
Arrived from: Rumford, RI.
When and where did you start performing comedy? My father's retirement party, I did an impromptu set on my old man. Then I started doing open mics at NY Comedy Club and wanted to kill myself.
What was your best credit before moving here? Captain of my high school swim team.
Why did you pick NYC over LA or anywhere else? There is no choice when New York City is involved.
How long did it take to get your first paid gig in NYC after moving here? I don't know, I still don't get paid.
How is this scene better/same/worse than the scene you moved from? I started in NYC. There are shows in Providence I guess, but I've never done them.
Do you already have an "only in New York City" moment yet? I was here for 9/11, but that could've happened anywhere like DC or Pennsylvania.
What tip would you give to any comedian who moves here? Perform every night you can, go to as many shows as possible.
Where do you see yourself five years from now? On a hoverboard saving my kid.
If you'd like to see Matt McCarthy live, he'll be starting up a new monthly show at Comix, The Matt McCarthy Stand Up Comedy Comedy Show, debuting May 27. Here's a video promo for his CD, Come Clean, an earlier look at track #15 "abortion" from his Live at Gotham appearance, and CD purchasing info:
Which NYC comedian would you like to see me style and profile next for Meet Me In New York? Send your nominations to: thecomicscomic AT gmail DOT com
It's really quite something to see the success of all three primary members of Front Page Films -- filmmaker Oren Brimer recently started working as a segment producer on The Daily Show, Pete Holmes debuted his first half-hour Comedy Central Presents special last month, and Matt McCarthy has a stand-up comedy CD on the way this spring.
In their latest series, "Cashier," McCarthy plays the straight man (opposite of how you usually see him in the many Verizon TV commercials) to Holmes as the cashier. If you saw their previous series of shorts, "Hotel" on Atom.com, then you know what you're in for, which is a series of slightly NSFW funnies. But first, McCarthy has to learn how to use the conveyor belt properly. Roll it!
Next, Holmes schools McCarthy on the perennial "paper or plastic" debate.
I know it seems as though I point out every new venture that Front Page Films does, but the truth is, I don't write about all of their videos, and their "Hotel" series of shorts isn't exactly new -- they screened these for a live audience months ago at the UCB Theatre in NYC. It was part of an Atom.com live show, as I recall, and it's just now gone live on Atom.com. The 11 "Hotel" episodes feature Matt McCarthy as a hotel guest and Pete Holmes as the bellboy who won't go away. Start with "Room Service" (note: contains NSFW language and subject matter) and head anywhere from there. Coincidentally, Holmes is taping his first half-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central Presents tonight in NYC; McCarthy, meanwhile, was a finalist for New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest and appears regularly on your TV in the Verizon ad campaign (his ads may even pop up while you're watching his Atom.com series -- magic!). OK. Enough with the exposition. Roll the clips! Front Page Films presents "Hotel," on Atom.com.
Advancing from last night's first semifinal of the 2009 New York's Funniest Stand-Up contest, please congratulate (in alphabetical order): Myq Kaplan, Gerald Kelly, Joe List, Matt McCarthy and Rory Scovel. They move on to the contest finals on Nov. 3 at Carolines, part of the New York Comedy Festival.
Eliminated in the semis: Josh Accardo, Vince August, Gina Brillon, Joey Gay, Jason Good, Eric Reynolds, Erik Rivera, Yamaneika Saunders, Dan Soder, Josh Spier and Reese Waters.
Remember when you saw New York City comedians Matt McCarthy, Pete Holmes, Oren Brimer (aka Front Page Films) and friends (Glennis McMurray, Jay Bois) produced a Doritos spot that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show? If you didn't remember, here's a recap or two. Well, they're back with more behind-the-scenes action and extra footage that they aired, as they solve the riddle for you of how to make and submit a winning ad. Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn.
Previously: Can Front Page Films crash the Super Bowl?
We've got ourselves a big Monday here, which means it's time to catch up on what's been happening in comedy and see if we missed anything. First up, what funny things from comedians have I posted recently over on The Laugh Track?
But that's not all. There was also some comedy in the news. Such as, for instance, this, that and the other thing:
Most comedy clubs take pride in having a stand-up decide to record his or her latest CD/DVD special at their establishments. Besides being listed in the liner notes, the club also can use this as a bragging point to attract both audiences and comedy acts alike.
But what if a comedy club decided to get into the business of recording and producing stand-up albums? That's exactly what Comix in New York City began doing earlier this year with its Live on Tape series. Usually recorded in pairs, the club will play host to recordings tonight for up-and-coming comics Myq Kaplan and Giulia Rozzi.
They already have recorded live sessions with Ophira Eisenberg, Vanessa Hollingshead, Craig Baldo, Sean Patton, Darryl Lenox and Matt McCarthy. Though none of the previous six sets are out yet, they will be soon, and will be released on Apple's iTunes and other applicable digital marketplaces.
I saw the Lenox and McCarthy tapings last month. The audience seemed divided equally among those who came specifically for one or the other comedian, and despite the two bringing completely different vibes and comedic approaches to the stage, they both killed it.
Brian Baldinger, Comix's current booker and director of talent development, said the club takes advantage of its own high-quality equipment to record the 45-to-60-minute sets, and then sends out the recordings to BSeen Media down in Suwanee, Georgia, where they then edit and master the production, and divides it into individual tracks that can be monetized, as it were. "We collaborate with the artists on artwork," Baldinger said. And when the comedian approves the final tracks, "BSeen markets the work on iTunes and all of the similar sites that are out there, and then there is profit-sharing for all three parties."
BSeen already has a track record, so to speak, of working with comedians such as Tom Papa, Tom Shillue, Mitch Fatel and Phil Mazo on recording, producing and marketing their own stand-up CDs. "They have a history of selling tracks for people who are known and unknown," Baldinger said, "so we're giving it a whirl. We're still in the post process on the first pair of albums that we did in the series, so we don't know what the results are yet."
It's no cost at all for the comedian, outside of getting an audience to show up for the live taping -- unless he or she wishes to make physical copies of the CDs and/or DVDs to sell on the road.
How do you decide who gets to tape with Comix? "It's comics whose material I love, who I think deserve a shot, and who have the time, have the 45 minutes and who fit with our brand," Baldinger said. "We haven't figured out all of the branding stuff yet. But I want to be proud of them for being on our, for lack of a better word, label. Even if they don't have a national name, they have enough that we can get that night going."
Are you getting bombarded with taping requests from comedians yet? "I think we're still flying a little under the radar right now. I think we'll have to get the finished product, where people are buying it in the marketplace, before people figure out what's going on." Baldinger is fine with being under the radar for now. "Less politics in it that way."
For anyone wondering how Oren Brimer, Pete Holmes and Matt McCarthy did in that Doritos contest...their ad (which also features Glennis McMurray and Jay Bois) aired on the TV everywhere people watch the NBC television network at 4:17 p.m. Eastern during the Super Bowl pre-game show. It may air again or not. And if it gets voted the most popular of tonight's Super Bowl ad in the USA Today Ad Meter, then they will win $1 million. They already won $25,000. Congrats!
Update from Holmes via Facebook status update:
Pete - our commercial just aired on NBC but we haven't won officially - two spots will air during the game and THAT'S what we're hoping for!! But WOO-HOO!
Post-game update from Holmes:
Thanks to CC Insider for posting this earlier today, but why no IDs to share the love with all of the comedians pictured here with fake funny names? I can safely identify six of the stand-up comedians done up in cartoons for the upcoming new issue of MAD magazine. How many can you name? If you need some hints, look at the tags on this post.
Front Page Films, aka filmmaker Oren Brimer and comedians Matt McCarthy and Pete Holmes, have cracked the final five for Doritos open call contest for a Super Bowl commercial. Their ad, "New Flavor Pitch," also features Glennis McMurray and Jay Bois. The crew recently made the finals of a similar user-generated contest for Klondike but fell short to a serial jingle contest winner. This time, they may be helped by the fact that TV viewers already have gotten used to seeing McCarthy in several paid TV ads, most notably Verizon and McDonald's. But enough about that. Here is their video entry. Vote for them from now until Jan. 25!
Plenty of good new material we can laugh with and learn about Pete Holmes today. There's a new interview up on Buzzine, and here is an excerpt that illustrates just how unique his performances can be since he tends to acknowledge the uniqueness of each performance:
That’s actually something TJ (Miller) and I have specifically talked about because I’ll call him feeling guilty and I’ll say, “I did all this stuff, but I didn’t record it or write it down, but I let it all out.” He’ll remind me of something I think is quite true, which is that some jokes are just for that crowd. Some jokes are just for that night. And there’s something kind of beautiful, almost like Tibetan Monk sand sculptures, like, do it once, throw it away, let that be a gift for people that came out for a live performance. And I’m not talking about making fun of somebody’s shirt. I’m talking about the whole experience can really be its own type of event, and ideally it is. At the end, I’ve stopped beating myself up by thinking, “Oh, I should remember that thing that I said when I called that guy blah blah blah,” or said this about a sound I heard. That’s not really the point, necessarily. Every show should be made unique, and the degree to which it’s made unique is often the degree to which it’s enjoyable for me and the degree to which it’s memorable for the crowd. Even tonight, after the show, people were saying to me, “My favorite part was this, when you said this to me, or when you called this group this,” or whatever. And that happens every time. No one, tomorrow even, will remember any of my jokes, no matter how memorable they might seem at the time or how well they do. They will remember that I said some off-the-cuff thing that brought them into the show and kind of made the whole thing our experience, instead of my experience being given to them. The more it’s “our” show, the better.
And here is brand-new video from Holmes and his team at Front Page Films, featuring Joselyn Hughes and Matt McCarthy. It's a "wine date." Enjoy!
Oh, and they also have a video in the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" contest.
What would you do for a Klondike bar? It's a longtime popular radio/TV commercial jingle turned contest, in which you can make a video showing what you'd do and win $100,000 for it. Here's the entry by Front Page Films, otherwise known as filmmaker Oren Brimer, Matt McCarthy and Pete Holmes, this time starring as both Ray Romano and Al Pacino. Oh, and a part for Anya Garrett, too! Video after the jump...
A year ago, Matt McCarthy was debuting industry-wise as a New Face in Montreal. These days, you can catch McCarthy literally tearing into a box of cereal in a nationwide TV commercial for breakfast at McDonald's. As a McCarthy myself, I made sure to corner this comedian downstairs at Gotham Comedy Club this spring in the minutes before he headed upstairs to perform for Comedy Central's Live at Gotham. Here is that little snippet, which also features cameos from cohorts TJ Miller and Vince Averill:
After his set, us McCarthys talked about how in his opening bit, Comedy Central wanted him to change a line from "choke her to death" to "murder her to death," which actually, is much funnier. His set had some solid energy and good stage presence (check out his facial expressions!), which in turn translated into healthy laughs. After the jump, an unaired portion of Matt McCarthy's Gotham set...
You know Variety just named TJ Miller as one of its 10 comics to watch in 2008, and then I referenced a joke Miller has about ketchup bottles? Well, you are in luck, my fine readers, because Miller is featured on tonight's edition of Live at Gotham on Comedy Central. And here is the bit I'm talking about. Do you agree with me or with Miller? I won't be upset if you take his side. After all, "I live in a fanciful world where logic doesn't exist!" Also, this is a great time to remind you that I was at this very TV taping this spring and have exclusive behind-the-scenes video and info from this episode's comedians, including Matt McCarthy, Joe List, Na'im Lynn, Vince Averill and Lucas Molandes. More videos forthcoming later tonight. The show itself airs at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.
Sorry for not spotting this video sooner (via Gothamist, Dead-Frog), but let's take a look at this, shall we? This movie trailer spoof promotes the Purim Party this coming Saturday, March 22, that'll help open the Tribeca branch of the 92nd Street Y, 92YTribeca at 200 Hudson St. Anya Garrett, normally seen behind the scenes as a comedy fan and photographer, takes the lead role in Jewno, but there's a small part from Matt McCarthy and the casting coup of them all, with JK Simmons playing the more Jewish version of his paternal role in Juno!
Info straight from the Purim Party page, where you can buy tickets, too: "The Shushan Channel is back for its sixth year. Created by Daily Show writer Rob Kutner and now in collaboration with writers from The Simpsons, Dennis Miller Live and more, The Shushan Channel is a comedic retelling of the story of Esther, as seen through the lens of current TV hits like Lost, American Idol and Ugly Betty. This year don't miss House-man, MD, DeadVood, Grogger of Love, To Catch a Jewhater and Imperial Gladiators, scripted by professional comedy writers and performed by hilarious comedians and actors, including The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi. All this, plus a video monologue rant "The 5 Things I Hate About Purim" by everyone's favorite "pissed-off optimist"—Lewis Black!"