OK. How about this: Want to watch Sarah Silverman make out with a unicorn in a music video? This is not a trick question. Even if the unicorn is a stuffed animal. And that stuffed animal is singing "Angel" by Aerosmith. I don't think any of that changes your answer.
Part of the new "Serenading Unicorn" series, which is an online promotion for the Facebook page of Wrigley's chewing gum, Juicy Fruit. Roll the clip!
Fun fact to ponder: Whom do you think got paid more from Wrigley to do this promotion: Sarah Silverman or Steven Tyler?
In the mid-1990s, Sam Seder starred, directed and co-wrote the mocumentary Who's The Caboose?, which had a group of New York film students follow comedian/actors Max (Seder) and Susan (Sarah Silverman) out to Los Angeles, where they both get caught up in the madness that is Hollywood's TV pilot season.
The cast is full of comedians you may know a bit better in 2011 than you did in 1997: Andy Dick plays Silverman's manager, while H. Jon Benjamin is an entertainment lawyer who becomes fond of Seder. Kathy Griffin looks like a completely different person, because she was back then. David Cross, Andy Kindler, Laura Kightlinger, Laura Silverman, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Marc Maron, Todd Barry, Slovin and Allen, Mark Cohen, the late Lauren Dombrowski all had roles in the film, which is only out on DVD today.
Here's a brand-new trailer for it, with new footage of Seder spliced with clips from the movie. Roll it.
It's funny. It's satirical. It's cutting. And yes, it's dated. You can tell it's the mid-1990s, because people smoked in restaurants, and nobody was ever looking at a cell phone, nevermind talking on one -- well, Benjamin's character does use a car phone in one scene. Oh, memories.
The film spawned a TV mini-series sequel in 2004 called Pilot Season, which reunited the cast, and added Isla Fisher. You can watch the episodes of Pilot Season online via My Damn Channel.
Seder, who himself acted in 10 different network TV sitcom pilots, told The Comic's Comic that he's not that involved in the sitcom game in 2011. His focus, if you follow The Sam Seder Show or The Majority Report, is squarely on politics these days -- although you can hear his voice in a few episodes of the new FOX animated series, Bob's Burgers.
I asked Seder how he feels Who's The Caboose? holds up when compared to the current TV climate, as Hollywood's studios are just now finishing up casting for the 2011 pilots. Seder's reply:
I haven’t watched the film in a while and haven’t engaged in Pilot Season in quite a while. With that said... I think the mechanics of the business, development season, pilot season have changed quite a bit -- the rise of cable which develops on a different schedule and the rise of reality shows has contributed to making pilot season more diffuse. The essence of the business and the people who populate it I imagine is the same. There’s the same delusion, the same fictions, the same mental problems which drive people to seek fame... I used to describe the exchanges in the film and the ones I experienced in L.A. as ones where two people’s lies and false projections meet somewhere in between them -- they tell each other lies which satisfy each other’s delusions and then they go on their way. I suspect that dynamic is the same. I’m also quite sure the notion of “who’s hot” in the industry remains the same. I actually think that the numbers game which agents and managers play as we depict in the movie has gotten worse for actors/comedians... I’d wager that if an agent repped 25 actors 15 years ago they rep 50 today -- same with managers.
Would you like to relive Who's The Caboose? on DVD? Buy it via Amazon.com or iTunes:
Logo, MTV Networks' GLBT channel, chipped in to extend The Sarah Silverman Program one season longer than Comedy Central would have had it, and in its newly-released development slate, there's a new project in the works involving Silverman, Tig Notaro and friends.
Actually, it's called Tig and Friends, and the potential series -- executive-produced by Silverman -- would have Notaro interview the cast of a different TV show, movie or band each week, plus more. Erin O'Malley, e.p. on Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as Silverman's Comedy Central series, would be the show-runner.
The other comedy on Logo's 2011 radar is called Queen of Harts, and comes from Peter Marc Jacobson, co-creator and producer of The Nanny. Jacobson's new project also involves a nanny. Except in this case, the nanny is man who's struggling as a hairdresser, so he disguises himself in drag as a woman (Mrs. Doubtfire meets Tootsie meets The Nanny?!?) to get a nanny job for the family of a 1980s rock star.
To kick off your holiday week, Sarah Silverman is here to tell you about one of her childhood memories of Thanksgiving, and even though it's animated, and even though her father, Donald Silverman, also narrates this story, it's still very Not Safe For Work. Nice to see families come together this time of year, though, am I right?
I don't know if you can ever have too many stars on a benefit show, but Comedy Central certainly tries every two years on behalf of autism research with its Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education, which airs again tonight.
Much of the event taped earlier this month in NYC, although when it airs this evening, host Jon Stewart and a slew of celebrities will appear live in LA to answer the phones when you call in to make a donation. Viewers also will be able to vote, via texting, on celebrity stunts during the live portion of the broadcast. Comedians appearing and manning the phone bank include Jason Alexander, Mike Birbiglia, Julie Bowen, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, Larry David, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Lauren Graham, Tom Hanks, John Hodgman, Rob Huebel, Penn Jillette, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Conan O’Brien, Jim Parsons, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Betty White, Larry Wilmore and Weird Al Yankovic.
As for the show itself, I saw it, so I can tell you what you may see, unless they decide to edit it out.
You may or may not see Tina Fey joke about wanting to say hi to her family, then realizing the show is airing on Thursday night, when 30 Rock is on, adding: "Who am I kidding, they're watching Shit My Dad Says on the DVR." Here she is with Stewart showing off her 2011 Tina Fey Swimsuit Calendar:
You may or may not see Ricky Gervais make the audience gasp with a DUI joke that also includes a rape! Here is joking about his history of charitable giving, including the time he was given the gift of a goat. An African goat. Roll it.
You may or may not see Tracy Morgan awkwardly work with Stewart through a sketch about how big his pockets were.
You may or may not see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell sing a novelty song that's only about 19 months too late, including the re-appearance of Tay Zonday. If you were around 19 months ago, that name might make more sense. But probably not.
You may or may not see Jim Gaffigan kill with his new material about McDonald's.
There's a new clip on Funny or Die this morning featuring Mark Cohen making a telephone call to a phone acting institute. Very meta. Funny stuff. Hey, did you notice who uploaded the clip? It's not Cohen. Nope. Sarah Silverman done did make this happen. Roll it.
Now why would Sarah Silverman be uploading clips of Mark Cohen? Perhaps it's because Cohen played "Max Silverman," Sarah's TV father on her Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program. Yes. That's true. That's a thing that did happen.
But as you can see in this 2008 video behind-the-scenes at Comedy Central, Silverman and her cohorts, from executive producers Rob Schrab and Dan Sterling, to co-stars Steve Agee and Sarah's sister, Laura Silverman, offer up testimonials for Cohen. Sarah herself even says she thinks she should be her manager. So contact her if you'd like to book Mark Cohen for your next project!
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!
As you may have heard/read, Comedy Central (LOGO or no LOGO) will not renew the Sarah Silverman Program for a fourth season. It hardly comes as surprise to anyone who was a fan of the show, as Silverman herself and her co-stars had gone to Twitter and other forums asking fans to demonstrate their love and support for the show as the third season wound to a close last month. Comedy Central's gay Viacom sister station, LOGO, needed to step in last year just to make the third season possible.
What happened with the show's time shift? Comedy Central never really explained why you guys got moved to midnights all of a sudden. Yeah, our ratings were bad. So were Demetri's. They really love our show, though. The execs I know over at Comedy Central, yeah, are really big fans of it...but it's been happening for a couple of years. People aren't watching TV the same way they used to. I know I'm not the first person to say that, but it hurts shows, even if they're watching it later. Or on your Xbox. If you're not watching it when it happens that hurts success, because that's when it matters. They don't know how to count the other stuff yet. Even South Park I think is down, yeah, because Colbert and Daily Show are the only things that still work for them.
Today, fellow co-star Steve Agee wrote: "thanks to everyone who ever watched and supported us, and especially the amazing crew and my fellow castmembers. The biggest thanks of all goes out to Sarah Silverman who has single-handedly given me a career. It was a fun ride!"
And this is how it ends...sort of. There was another scene after this climactic confrontation with Ed Asner as a Nazi at a dueling Holocaust memorial competition. Roll the clip:
Sarah Silverman already has acknowledged in interviews that she dealt with bedwetting into her teen years. Who hasn't been there before? Ahem. Anyhow. Silverman has written a memoir about that and more, and it's called, "The Bedwetter." It comes out April 20, and she'll be appearing in six cities at the end of the month to promote it.
Need more info? Sure thing. First watch her short video tease. Roll the clip!
OK. More info coming right up. Her book tour takes her to:Tuesday, April 20: 7 PM, BARNES & NOBLE/Union Square, 33 E 17th St., New York, NY
And if you'd like to pre-order the book online, you can do so right here:
Today seems like random day in my comedy mailbag. To wit:
And here's a video Angelo made for his project:
It's always amusing to see comedians get a chance to show us the inner workings of show business. How do you get a TV show on the air, anyhow? What's a pitch meeting like?
In this clip from The Sarah Silverman Program, Silverman herself depicts an executive. I believe the title is Commissioner of All Television, and her office is located in the Department of Censorship. Paul Scheer and Ben Schwartz, the Commissioner will see you now. Watch and learn, people. Watch and learn. Roll it!
Someone in our conference call with Sarah Silverman last week asked her if she had any sexual tension with Demetri Martin. I didn't have to worry about restraining my hyena laughs because my end of the line was on mute at that very moment. There's no such thing as a stupid question is something stupid people say right before they ask a very stupid question. Anyhow. Then I saw this ad over the weekend. Both Silverman and Martin like to break out into song, but I never imagined a world that would have them flying and spinning in the air, hand in hand. Until now. Roll the advertisement! New episodes air Thursday on Comedy Central.
Like I said, Sarah Silverman took part in a conference call this afternoon to talk about season three of The Sarah Silverman Program, which debuts Feb. 4 on Comedy Central -- and also on Logo, the gay and lesbian cable channel that helped fund production costs for the third season.
The first episode, "The Proof is in the Penis," has a more cinematic sweep and tone to it, even if it may set a new record for the number of times the word "penis" is said in 22 minutes -- including one scene in which Silverman screams "I swallowed my penis!" over and over. You'll also find out that Silverman's donning of a mustache at the Emmys might not have been a prank as much as it was a tease. But the look and feel of the third-season debut definitely feels like a movie, and with a sisterly duet thrown in, reminded me of Silverman's movie, Jesus is Magic. The second episode, "The Silverman and the Pillows," written by comedian Chelsea Peretti, also opens with a musical number, and might have some people mistakenly trying to draw a parallel to the Leno/Conan debacle at NBC. That'd be silly, although Silverman said she's on Team Conan.
"I think the first one, 'Proof is in the Penis,' feels really cinematic to me," Silverman told me today. "We haven't been on the air in 14 months." With such a long wait for new episodes, she wanted to return to the air with something big and "special" for the fans. "We weren't on the air in 2009 at all," she said. "You'd think we were The Sopranos or Lost with all of the gaps in production, and not a 21-and-a-half-minute show about fart jokes."
As for the added musical element, Silverman said there's no hard and fast rules about it this season. "It's very uneven," she said. "I think the second episode has three songs. It's just however it works with the story and however we were moved...Usually in the (writers) room, someone will get a snag in their brain. There's an episode where Steve writes a song that becomes famous called 'I'm Glad You Hurt Your Hand.' That just came from me, and Rob Schrab hurt his hand, and I just started singing, (singing) 'I'm glad you hurt your hand. I'm glad you hurt your hand.'"
Sarah Silverman held a conference call with the "media" this afternoon to help promote the third season of The Sarah Silverman Program, which debuts Feb. 4 on Comedy Central. Many questions asked of her, and a few even had to do with the TV show. One question for her that most certainly had nothing to do with it asked who was the cute guy Silverman was seen dining with earlier this week.
She revealed she has a new boyfriend, and his name is Alec Sulkin. Sulkin is a writer and producer on FOX's animated hit, Family Guy, and also has brought his voice to that show as well as spin-off The Cleveland Show. You can tell she digs him, not just because she told all of us about him on the conference call, but also because, well, just check out Sarah Silverman's list of Favorites on Twitter.
When someone else asked Silverman what she looks for in a guy, she said, among other things: "He's got to be funny." Obviously. Silverman added: "Also, we enjoy a lot of 'Modern Warfare'" and playing the video games. "What I'm saying is: I'm 10."
OK. This ends your salacious comedy "news" item. Now back to some actual news about comedy.
With all of the hoo-ha over whose hoo-ha late-night funnyman David Letterman has been dilly-dallying with, the news that Jimmy Kimmel has been dating his younger head writer, Molly McNearny, came at a great time for all parties involved, didn't it? People magazine claimed an exclusive on this late Saturday, saying that Kimmel and McNearny have dated for several months. That's odd. Why? Because Google tells me when I type in "Molly McNearny" that several months ago, Gawker Media's older guard of Defamer writers had posted this gossip along with a vigorously anonymous denial from within the show's ranks.
BTW, not for nothing, but for any of you aspiring comedy writers out there, here's how McNearny's career arc has gone with Kimmel: Joined the staff as an assistant to the executive producer in July 2003, began writing for the show in 2006, promoted to co-head writer in May 2008. I know staffs at other late-night TV shows have acknowledged publicly that many writers began there as interns or executive assistants. Whether you're a lady with ladyparts or a guy with guyparts, is there ever a chance for a funny writer to get a job writing funny on the TV, or is this antiquated start in the mailroom or making coffee/copies shtick still the way of the future? Just curious.
BTW BTW, is this really the best time for a new Sarah Silverman "viral" video? You be the judge. Here is Silverman's "Sell the Vatican" message, which she debuted Friday night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher:
They say one of the keys to comedy is timing. Well, how's this for timing? As all of the celebrity blogs were abuzz about reports of a reputed sex tape between one Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman being offered for sale -- the Los Angeles Times reported it, too, with a spokesperson's denial -- Kimmel actually was getting naked on TV and the Internet. Twice.
Here he was on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, stripped down in front of Ricky Gervais:
And in what can only be a coincidence (right, people?), Kimmel suggested Kevin Nealon promote the DVD of his stand-up special by putting out his very own sex tape, and then offering to help him out on that front. And back. Roll it!
Congrats, Jimmy Kimmel. You picked the perfect day to put yourself out there!
I noted that legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels had plenty to smile about last weekend during the Creative Arts Emmy awards ceremony, and during Sunday night, multiple Primetime Emmy winners showed Michaels love on the live TV.
Two of those winners, in fact, were brought back from last weekend's ceremony to deliver additional acceptance speeches. But when those people are Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake, I suppose that's a nod to TV viewers? Fey and Timberlake had won the guest actress and actor awards in a comedy series for their turns on last season's Saturday Night Live. Timberlake pulled the predictable parody of Kanye West (twas ok), whereas Fey trumped him with this thanks to Michaels: "I wouldn't be here tonight if it wasn't for Lorne Michaels. Justin still would be very famous and very rich. But I would not be here. So thank you, Lorne Michaels." Timberlake followed up, saying: "You guys at SNL are the best. Thank you for letting me come and make a fool of myself as much as I am willing to do. So thank you for this. This was a huge surprise." Fey later got in a dig at her network's decision to put Jay Leno in primetime; while accepting another trophy for 30 Rock as repeat winner of best comedy series, she said NBC was kind enough to keep 30 Rock on even though it costs more to produce than a talk show.
Alec Baldwin, in his repeat win for best actor for 30 Rock, made a joke about wanting to trade his Emmy to look like presenter Rob Lowe, then decidated his trophy "Lorne Michaels, who is the greatest boss you could ever have, and who has believed in me for all these years, and I love you, Lorne."
In the supporting categories for comedy acting, wins went to Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) and Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies). Cryer got ribbed about his win during the broadcast by host Neil Patrick Harris, who also was nominated in the category. NPH, for his part, did a bang-up job as host, as multiple others (Jon Stewart among them) stopped to point out in their acceptance speeches. Not everything worked (we're looking at you, best seat in the house recurring bit). The opening number was bright and punchy. Here's the official video of it!TwitPic here).
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: