However you may have felt about the first season of Funny or Die Presents on HBO, well, get ready to remember and relive those feelings later this month, because the second season is a lot more of the same. And then some.
Getting an early look at the first three episodes of season two (debuting Jan. 14, Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, respectively), I can assure you that the one major problem from season one has been dispensed with -- there does not appear to be any idea that has been cut up and diluted into serial episodes. The recurring ideas all can stand on their own. Not that they all should, mind you.
For instance, starting off the season with Deepak Chopra as Rob Huebel's guest in the first installment of his series, "Do You Want To See A Dead Body?", isn't exactly an inspired decision. Remember how much you laughed along with Chopra in The Love Guru? Exactly. Huebel fares better later in the season when he gets Ben Stiller to tag along. And here Huebel is with former NFL player Warren Sapp.
The second-season premiere hits the mark much better with Ben Schwartz's "Terrible Decisions," as well as the sublime and ridiculously NSFW turns by Seth Morris and June Diane Raphael as Lt. Ducca and Det. Phuk in "United States Police Department" (who appear again in the second episode). The recurring "Re-enactments of Actual Conversations from the Ladies Rooms of Hollywood" featuring Andrea Savage are predictably insufferable, while the voice-over action figure sketch, "Brick Novax's Diary," is, well, what is it?
But that's what you get with Funny or Die Presents. Just as in its first season, each episode includes something that'll make you laugh out loud, something that makes you want to flip the channel, and something else that makes you wonder what in the world is happening.
Episode two (aka Episode #14) pairs Brett Gelman with a parrot in the over-the-top Funny or Die Movie of the Week: "Paco Dances," and ends with Mitch Magee getting his old video series, "Welcome To My Study," on the TV with the first of four new installments.
Tim & Eric fans will delight in knowing the duo makes a cameo in their own short directing Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as wild animals in episode three (aka Episode #15) with "John and Will's Animal Choices."
David and Jennie return, too, with more of their "amazing adventures." And Adam West proves he never was Leslie Nielsen as he gets a short recurring bit reciting classic pick-up lines to the camera.
Oh, and get ready to welcome back Ed Halligan to your TV as the channel's fictional VP of marketing and sales is back as the host, appearing in between the multiple previews and introductory pieces for each episode. But if you were expecting something else, then you were expecting too much. As they have Halligan say at the end of this season's debut: "Well, from Funny or Die, that's all we have tonight. I think you got your money's worth. On the off chance, though, that you think you didn't, well, there's not much you can do about it. That boat sailed a long time ago. And I own that boat. I got it with the money you just wasted."
The second season finale from Adult Swim's Childrens' Hospital is finally online for your viewing pleasure. They said it was "live," but if you paid close attention, you would have seen that even though it wasn't a traditional live TV show, the episode did spend its final nine of 11 minutes in a single-camera live shot. So that's something to behold.
Also, all of the surprises that come with playing with the convention of live TV, and that one guy who shows up. It's all great. I endorse it, and look forward to the next season of Childrens' Hospital.
If you want to see The Sultan's Finger LIVE, click here. These are the individual clips:
It keeps going...
A Zoolander sequel has been in the works and/or rumored for the past few years, but this isn't going to be that. Rather, Stiller will voice the male model again in an animated Web series. By going to short films, it's a return to the origin of the character, created as a spoof for VH1's Fashion Awards in 1996 and 1997.
Stiller told The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff that doing shorts allows them to get the project back in the public eye quicker and easier than fighting over big budgets with the studio for months. Stiller hoped to have the film's other cast members (Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, among them) also provide voices for the toon. “You don’t want to have the guy who did the Hanna-Barbera cartoons come and do the voices,” Stiller said. “No offense to the Hanna-Barbera cartoons – I’m a huge Scooby-Doo fan.”
In a second deal with Paramount Digital, Stiller also will be heading up a separate live-action Web series called “Billy Glimmer,” in which he stars as a Las Vegas impersonator. Human Giant's writer/director Jason Woliner will direct those shorts, with fellow Human Giant vet Rob Huebel co-starring.
The Internet is making all sorts of new ways to connect with our favorite celebrities and comedians, and Yowie is helping make that possible tonight with Rob Huebel.
All you have to do is be near your appropriate electronic computer gizmo at 9 p.m. Eastern (change time to your time zone as needed), click onto the appropriate Yowie.com chat room, and there he be! And if you RSVP for the event, then there you be to ask him questions.
But if you're going to ask Huebel questions, it'd behoove you to look first at this archived Yowie chat Huebel conducted from Comic-Con 2010 in August, as well as this video he also provided in July answering medical questions for My Damn Channel, seeing as how he is the star of Childrens' Hospital on Adult Swim, which I presume you all are watching and collecting on your DVRs as keepsakes until the DVD comes out.
We're just a few days away from the start of the 12th annual Del Close Marathon -- that's DCM12 for short (and for Twitter hashtag purposes) -- and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has released the footage from the show that's always a DCM showstopper: That late-late-night Saturday all-star showcase parody of "Match Game '76," where in recent years, the only things you can count on are Paul Scheer doing his own version of the late Gene Rayburn, contestant Jack McBrayer playing himself and seemingly more frightened every year because he doesn't know how or what the dozens of UCB players (in celebrity characters) will do to taunt him. It's at 2 a.m. Sunday this weekend.
Last year, for DCM11, the cast of characters were played by the likes of Rob Huebel, Brett Gelman, Nick Kroll, Doug Benson, Horatio Sanz, Anthony Atamanuik, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Chris Gethard, Rob Lathan, Jon Daly, Katie Dippold, Seth Morris, Sean Conroy, Owen Burke, James Adomian and yes, that is Sarah Silverman in disguise as Carl Weathers. Oh, and people also did the show completely disguised as Flipper and Dr. Zaius.
Let's just say it's Not Safe For Work, because it most definitely is. See you this weekend. Roll it!
My Damn Channel got Rob Huebel to get into character as Dr. Owen Maestro from the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital, and answer real questions from real children. It gets a little too real. And by that, I mean it's probably NSFW. But you should watch this, and also watch Childrens Hospital on Adult Swim. Thank you. Roll it.
I'm very excited about the new HBO series collaborating with Funny or Die, who in turn is unleashing lots of great comedians to do their things on cable TV. Here are four new teaser trailers for sketches from the series Funny or Die Presents, which debuts at midnight Friday, Feb. 19.
The first features the latest installment of "Drunk History," which won an award at the Sundance Film Festival and cast Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle to re-enact the drunken ramblings of Jen Kirkman. She really does look drunk, you guys! Roll it.
And the second clip shows us a reunion of sorts, as Zach Galifianakis joins Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim in a bit called "Just 3 Boyz." Looks like someone really could use a horse massage?
But wait. There's more!
Here's a clip from the short film, "Designated Driver: Office Prank," that includes Rob Riggle, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel.
And there's a fourth clip. This is called "Hold Up," starring Ed Helms, Thomas Lennon, Malin Akerman, Rachael Harris, Huebel again, and Creed from The Office acting like Creed from The Office. "C'mon. It's open season on jive turkey." Perfect? From what I gathered from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, this one is his handiwork, and also includes Jerry Minor, Brandon Johnson, Ian Roberts, Rich Fulcher and Kate Walsh. Roll it and see:
Such a beautiful day here in New York City. Snow fell overnight. Everything looks pretty. Maybe you'd like to pay us a visit? If you do, you'll need tips. The 92YTribeca assembled a bunch of comedians to offer their best advice already, and now they've done it again.
Remember to carry your walkie-talkies when you visit the Eiffel Tower on 34th Street.
Featuring: Paul Scheer, Eliza Skinner, Todd Barry, Fred Armisen, Julie Klausner, Jenny Slate & Gabe Liedman, Rob Huebel, Janeane Garofalo. Thanks, 92YTribeca!
The story of the day was the Heene family in Colorado that launched a weather balloon, with 6-year-old Falcon possibly inside (but definitely not by the time the balloon landed about 90 miles later). They posed in front of a contraption and appeared on ABC's Wife Swap, with the TV program saying they were building a "flying saucer to send into the eye of the storm," and that the episode was "destined to become a classic!" The kid's name was Falcon? And Falcon and his brothers were in a music video?! Called "Pussified"?!?! Well. Yeah. Um. Clearly a wild, odd story, no matter how it turns out. Comedians were showing all sorts of emotions and takes on the saga as it was unfolding. Shock. Awe. Snark. Cynicism. Disbelief.
Amid all of this, Aziz Ansari reminded us all that Human Giant taped a sketch for their MTV series that nailed it. Sort of. Witness the balloon cops of "Hot Air Balloon Patrol." Too soon? Prescient? Both? You tell me. Roll it:
Sarah Silverman was the special "surprise" guest late Saturday night for Seth & Ed's Puppet Talk Show at the UCB's Del Close Marathon. Silverman had been hanging around with Rob Huebel and the gang from Respecto Montalban on Friday night (although she remained offstage then), as well as backstage at the UCB's theater, so if there was anyone to be a special guest, it had to be her. (Photo thanks to Rachel Sklar, who when she's not keeping the media in check at Mediaite, and before that, HuffPo, is also a great comedy fan. Follow her on Twitter! @rachelsklar)
As you can see in this clip, Silverman had some early mic issues, so Helms and Morris joked with her about that, as well as Steven Tyler's recent stage accident, Aerosmith tours, a potential sitcom co-starring Silverman and a puppet, the early New York City apartments for Silverman (she and her roommate had a run in with an ex-con) and Helms (who heard rats everywhere around him in Alphabet City), and naturally, a few jokes that skirt the lines of good taste. Burn victims, am I right? It was all in good fun, though:
While you were sleeping, partying or doing whatever it is that you did last night (you know what you did), the guys from Human Giant, plus Scott Agee and Comedy Death-Ray's Scott Aukerman, went to a midnight screening of the Crank sequel, sat in the back row and did a liveTweet of it on their Twitter feeds, combined for posterity via Twitflix hashtag. See the Twitflix Crank discussion here if you're OK with spoiler alerts. Weirdly, the gang at Ain't It Cool News got miffed about the whole thing, as Aziz Ansari recounts in this post. I agree with Ansari's position on this one, because while it might not be cool to text and Twitter about during any performance, there are some things so silly that warrant special treatment. This also reminds me how far our tech-sharing skills have come in just the few years since Snakes on a Plane (see: my minute-by-minute blog rundown of Snakes on a Plane). So, to recap, you should not text, Tweet, surreptitiously photograph or record a movie or a live comedy performance, unless you have the permission of the performers or if the entire thing is so silly that everyone agrees it should be documented for posterity.
Rob Corddry's master online opus, Childrens' Hospital, debuted Monday on The WB's site, and within the first 30 seconds of the first of 10 episodes, you realize this is nowhere near safe for viewing at work. You'll also quickly see that it's ridiculous. And you'll want to watch all 10 episodes in a row. Lake Bell provides the narration. Look for Nick Kroll as a patient in episode four, a "very special" episode six directed by Cutter Spindell (aka Corddry). The hospital staff includes Rob's younger brother, Nate Corddry, Rob Huebel, Erinn Hayes, Ken Marino, Ed Helms, Megan Mullally, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Morris and more. David Wain is listed as an executive producer. This is much sillier than Wainy Days, though, so you really should be watching this already and asking when we can see more! Behold, the healing power of laughter...