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!
The Internet reminded me that today is Pete Holmes' birthday. Happy birthday, Pete! You know what else the Internet, and specifically Google and iPhones, can tell us? Everything.
There is a beauty in having any information at your fingertips at any time, but there also was a beautiful thing about the old-fashioned process of learning. In this recent clip from Conan, Holmes spells it out for us. Roll it!
During yesterday's Super Bowl snarkathon, more than a few comedians I know expressed their displeasure through sarcasm or sincere dislike for the E*Trade talking baby ads. They're fully within their rights to do so, except that some of these people, I'm fairly certain, are fans of Pete Holmes. And Holmes is the voice of the E*Trade baby. Has been for a full year now. Do they not know that?
Here's the latest E*Trade ads that aired during the Super Bowl.
On a slightly related tip, comedian/actor TJ Miller also got to provide lead voiceover for a Super Bowl ad. His was for Cars.com. Let's talk a look and listen!
Lindsay Lohan got E*Trade to settle today in her lawsuit against them over a Super Bowl TV ad that featured one of the talking babies calling another baby that "milkaholic Lindsay." I didn't know that Lohan was recognizable enough to go by one name, but apparently the hassle of a lawsuit was enough for E*Trade to want the matter put to rest (see the court document as grabbed by TMZ).
In a statement to tabloid sites RadarOnline and TMZ, the company said: "E*TRADE has always maintained that the claims were without merit, which is why we moved to dismiss the case. With the case now withdrawn, we are pleased to have the matter behind us." Lindsay Lohan herself still has deeper trouble ahead of her, failing a drug test while on probation.
As you'll recall, I talked to E*Trade's talking baby -- comedian Pete Holmes -- about the ad after it aired during the Super Bowl, and that Holmes and comedian Glennis McMurray ad-libbed the Lindsay line at the heart of the matter. Today on Facebook, McMurray expressed her displeasure about the settlement:
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:
While you were wondering if Sarah Silverman and Demetri Martin would get renewed, Comedy Central announced today it had ordered seven additional episodes of its new animated series Ugly Americans. The cable network have the series a huge promotional push, and it has been rewarded with an average of two million viewers for its first month of episodes on Wednesday nights following South Park.
The series follows Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg) through a New York City populated by all sorts of creatures who need to be integrated into the melting pot of America. The main voice cast includes Kurt Metzger, Natasha Leggero, Randy Pearlstein, Michael-Leon Wooley, Larry Murphy, Devin Clark, Pete Holmes and Julie Klausner. Several cast members from SNL also have lent their voices to episodes in the debut season.
The second batch of episodes will air in October. Here's a timely clip with a timelier Larry King joke. Roll it.
Not mentioned during last night's introduction for Pete Holmes at Whiplash: That the stand-up has been recording his routines over multiple performances at the late-night UCB stand-up showcase for a future CD, and that, since it was after midnight, it was his birthday. Happy birthday, Pete Holmes!
To celebrate, someone should write a feature-film based on the E*Trade talking babies that you voice in their commercials? Check. Katie Dippold (writer on Parks and Recreation) is on the case, if this report is to be believed. Um, OK?
I've got a better idea. The half-hour Comedy Central Presents for Pete Holmes aired last month when I was called away from the Internet, so I couldn't post anything then -- though I was in the audience when he taped it back in November. And I realize I haven't shared much of his stand-up on the site yet. Let's fix that right now. Oh, also, Holmes has his own weekly show tonight, Punch Up Your Life, so if you're in NYC, go see that. Alrighty, roll the clips! Here's his recent opener:
On Facebook as Big Brother:
More after the jump...
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.
You know how we were all led into new rumors about who's the target of Carly Simon's old song, "You're So Vain." Well, that reminds me of today, when Lindsay Lohan's attorney announced she was filing a lawsuit against E*Trade, thinking that one of their new TV commercials is about her. Oh, Lindsay. She thinks she's a a one-name superstar. Which might be closer if she just went by Lohan. Or even LiLo. Here's the New York Post story that broke that news.
Glennis McMurray, who provided the voiceover (and is part of the ECNY-winning improv musical group I Eat Pandas!), had this to say on Twitter today in rebuttal: "For the record I named the E*Trade baby's mistress "Lindsay" because it was a fun name to say. Nothing to do with LiLo. We all coo?"
Here's the commercial in question, which has gotten considerably more attention today, with McMurray as the girlfriend and comedian Pete Holmes as the E*Trade baby. Roll the clip!
Earlier: Holmes talked to me at length about getting the E*Trade baby campaign and improvising his lines with McMurray, saying, in part: "I'd like to point out that Glennis (McMurray) came up with the punchline to the wolf-howl spot. That's all her." The defense rests.
The E*Trade talking baby was at it again with a new series of ads that debuted during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Did you know that the baby is now being voiced by stand-up comedian Pete Holmes? I did, and I talked to him earlier today about his nationwide TV ad campaign (fun fact: Holmes also appeared in a Super Bowl ad last year that he and his Front Page Film mates -- Matt McCarthy and Oren Brimer -- produced themselves for the Doritos contest). This is bigger.
Let's roll the first new E*Trade baby ad, called "Girlfriend."
"It was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience," Holmes told me. "I got to do the voice, of course, but I got to write the jokes, too. I had a hand in everything. That is to say, they let me have a hand in everything -- I even got a writing credit, which is great."
"It wasn't that much unlike stand-up. I would literally say something and look up from the mic, through the glass and see if anyone was laughing. If they weren't, I'd try something else. Lots of improv. Worked with lots of improvisers, not all of whom ended up in the final versions, but it was a who's-who of improv folk."
So they did the baby parts later to match whatever you ended up writing? "Yeah, totally, that's the last thing they do." I told him that I'd seen the "Girlfriend" video in a sneak peek on TV the other morning on Today, and that Kathie Lee Gifford first said she didn't care for the talking baby, but after watching the clip, said it was funny. Holmes added: "I would often look at the baby while I was recording, so I could sync up to his eye movements, and the howl was a face he made so I kind of built it around that. It was weird. I'm glad KLG came around. I'd like to point out that Glennis (McMurray) came up with the punchline to the wolf-howl spot. That's all her."
Ha! So how do you feel about being part of your second straight Super Bowl? "You know, I had this obscene fantasy of being in the Doritos spot and the E*Trade spot and just being like 'I own this game!" But Doritos didn't happen, which is fine. We're done with contests. Crunch was our last one. So it is pretty surreal to be in two Super Bowls in a row. Doritos was a big thrill because it was just something we shot for fun. But E*Trade is even bigger because there are multiple spots and people were aware of the campaign before I started doing the voice. It's fun to do. Something my parents are aware of just watching something they would have been watching any way.
I remember the first time one aired, and I said, wait, that's Pete Holmes' voice! "Oh really? That's a first. Seeing Matt getting recognized all over the place for Verizon made me glad I'm hidden in a baby."
Do you have any knowledge of how much Front Page Films has helped you and Matt in the ad game? "With E*Trade, not at all. They're all fans now, because in the downtime I'd always show them what we were up to. I was going to tell you some of the people who came in to be other babies with me, even though they didn't end up in the actual spots, their voices are in the blooper reel on YouTube and before movies (I think)."
Please do! "(Chris) Gethard came in a bunch and was great. Matt McCarthy and I had a ball (although we had the same problem we had with Sears which is on VO our voices sound too similar). Zach Woods. Glennis, of course. It was fun!" Related: See the outtakes from my earlier post on Pete Holmes getting the E*Trade gig.
Here is the other new E*Trade baby commercial, in which Pete's baby gets an upgrade on a flight to first class on his way back from a bachelor party? Roll it!
Last year, Pete Holmes and his comedy partners from Front Page Films got flown down to the Super Bowl in Tampa to find out if their self-made ad for Doritos would have a chance to win $1 million. They didn't win the big prize, but did get to see their ad during pre-game coverage (and several times more on TV subsequently). Here's a video they did for CollegeHumor later that will catch you up on their "lost" Doritos ad.
Well, for 2010, Holmes and Co. might not be in the running for the Doritos contest, but Holmes and the rest of us definitely will hear his voice during the Super Bowl -- and already are hearing him -- as the new voice of the E*Trade baby. Pete let us know the news a couple of weeks ago via his @peteholmez Twitter feed. Please note the spelling on that.
Here's one of the new ads featuring comedian Pete Holmes as the E*Trade baby, or in this case, babies:
There's another one I saw get a sneak peek this morning on Today in which Holmes' baby calls up his girlfriend and howls like a wolf. I think. And here is a series of outtakes that allegedly won't make it to TV -- it's already earned more than 500,000 views this week. You can see the rest on E*Trade's TV page.
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.
We're about to see a bunch of new live stand-up comedy on our basic cable TV sets thanks to Comedy Central. The fourth season of Live at Gotham debuts this weekend, and in the first week of November, 24 stand-ups get to tape their very own half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials to air in early 2010. In between those two things, the network has given the go-ahead to John Oliver to present his very own stand-up showcase. If John Oliver & Friends sounds like something as fun and magical as the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, well, then you can pretty well guess the lineup. It's going to be good.
There will be three tapings (Oct. 23-25) at NYU's Skirball Center, which will produce six half-hours of stand-up comedy, featuring Oliver and his friends. A few names appear multiple times, which is curious and suggests the format could spin a bit. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we!
SHOW 1 ~ Friday - Oct. 23 - 6:45 p.m., with Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac and Pete Holmes
SHOW 2 ~ Saturday - Oct. 24 - 7:45 p.m., with Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Greg Fitzsimmons, Nick Kroll and Eugene Mirman
SHOW 3 ~ Sunday - Oct. 25 - 5:45 p.m., with Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal, Wyatt Cenac, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eugene Mirman, Pete Holmes and Mary Lynn Rajskub
If you're going to be in NYC and are at least 18 years old, go to The Black List's John Oliver page and follow the instructions to request tickets.
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:
Are these the names you were looking for? The 2009 Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival presents the "New Faces" for the industry to discover, fawn over and scrutinize. It looks to be a very strong class, just from the faces and names I already have come to discover, fawn over and scrutinize right here on The Comic's Comic.
So here they are! The New Faces perform in two groups tonight, Wednesday and Thursday -- this year at the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire (much closer to the rest of the action than the far-out Kola Note). Send your wishes of well to the following comedians...photos and links after the jump!
Tonight, VH1 kicks off five nights of comedians and celebrities debating pop culture icons in a new series called The Great Debate. Actually, they just completed a live promotional kickoff event this afternoon in New York City's Herald Square, with Ivy League students taking on comedians Pete Holmes and Amy Schumer (and judged by Chuck Nice). The first hour premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern, with further episodes following nightly. Here's a sampling from the fifth hour, in which several panelists offer their opinions on Star Wars vs. Star Trek, Alf vs. E.T., real vs. fake boobs, Jurassic Park vs. Titanic, and in what seems, well, timely and yet also whoops, Madonna vs. Michael Jackson. Watch:
If it seems like it's VH1's attempt to put its own "I Love the 80s" spin on 2008's Comedy Central show, Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, well, then you had the same thought that I had. In fact, the show does come from the "I Love the" folks, so it's not that much of a stretch Even if we feel like we've seen it all before. And we have.
When I heard that Pete Holmes wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday by having his friends and fellow stand-up comedians roast him, my first thought was that he had lost his mind. And then I attended the roast last night at the UCB, and was quickly reminded that this is a rare opportunity for comedians to unleash not only their mocking jabs at one another, but also some heartfelt tender moments. But you didn't click here looking for heartfelt or tender, did you? As Holmes himself said during the show: "I want it to be meaner!"
Leo Allen, the regular host of Monday night's Whiplash, served as the roastmaster (pictured here by Mindy Tucker) -- and despite allegedly forgetting that the roast was happening, managed to find several zingers up his sleeves. The dais was a regular who's who of New York City's current crop of up-and-coming comedians, with John Mulaney, Anthony Jeselnik and Kumail Nanjiani represented. Also on board: TJ Miller, who flew in for the event, Jared Logan, David Angelo, Nate Fernald, Seth Herzog, a tardy Julian McCullough and Holmes' girlfriend, Jamie Lee. Here are a few of the many zingers I managed to jot down for posterity:
I wondered how many of the audience members knew what they were in for (there were a dozen or two other comics scattered in the seats, too), and I knew it'd be something when one young woman, when asked by Allen if she knew who Holmes was, shouted: "Security in the basement!" Yeah, that's a Greg Johnson bit. ROASTED!