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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

11 items from 2016


Jimmy Fallon, ‘Tonight Show’ Writers Talk Skits, ‘Humanizing’ Politicians and Goofing Around with Guests

10 June 2016 4:39 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Jimmy Fallon and a clutch of “Tonight Show” writers offered a rare glimpse into how the top-rated late-night series is assembled each night during a panel session Thursday night hosted by the Writers Guild of America East.

Held on the “Tonight Show” set at 30 Rock, Fallon served as moderator for the hourlong gabfest with head writer A.D. Miles and staffers Gerard Bradford, Mike Dicenzo, Jon Rineman, Albertina Rizzo and Caroline Eppright.

At a time when political humor is pervasive across late-night, Fallon emphasized that his focus is purely on entertainment rather than grilling political guests or offering opinions on the day’s headlines.

“I’m not Diane Sawyer and I’m never going to be. That’s not the type of interviewer I am,” Fallon said. “Our show is entertainment” in contrast to the “political stuff” served up by HBO’s John Oliver, Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore and others. “We end up doing the same jokes it’s just that ours are more family-friendly than others,” he said.

Bradford said they make a point of being bipartisan in their targets. “We don’t take cheap shots at politicians. We hit Democrats and Republicans. Politicians come on and they know we’re going to make them look good,” Bradford said. “It humanizes them in a way that they don’t get to be humanized” while in campaign mode.

Fallon said the key to the show’s ability to get guests to engage in wacky skits and bits is that fact that they try to never be mean-spirited. “No one looks bad on our show,” he said. “People trust us.”

The group talked about the origins of one of its most offbeat bits, last year’s “Two James Taylors on a Seesaw.” Fallon and the famed singer-songwriter — dressed in garb from one of Taylor’s 1970s album covers — rode a seesaw while singing the Taylor-esque tune penned by Dicenzo. The concept originated with Fallon but Dicenzo took the ball and ran with it. Fallon told the scribe: “You should get a Grammy for the line ‘I will see what you just saw.’ ”

In a crack that would never have made it onto “Tonight Show,” Fallon quipped that Taylor told him that wearing a long-haired wig made him flashback to his reckless youth. “I have this sudden craving for heroin,” Taylor told Fallon.

Among other highlights from the panel:

 

The workload on a daily late-night show is intense. “We put out so much content,” Rizzo said. “We basically put together a one-hour, fully-formed play every day, 240 days a year.” There’s an “anonymity” to writing jokes for the monologue that writers don’t get when they work on the longer sketches and taped bits, Eppright observed. When a joke in the monologue bombs, “you can just sink into your seat and no one knows you wrote it but you and God,” she said. Fallon likened the experience of hitting the stage each night to a boxer warming up for a bout. “It’s a like going into the ring,” he said. As he steps out from behind the curtain, his adrenaline pumps and he tells himself ” ‘All right, let’s go.’ ” He showed the crowd the lucky brass shamrock built into the floor where he stands for the nightly monologue. Miles’ advice for aspiring comedy scribes? “Do improv or standup or write for a sketch group or an improv group,” he said. “Get yourself or your writing up on stage. I think it’s ground zero for a successful comedy career.” Bradford had another career tip for writers just starting out. “Try to become friends with a future late-night host in high school,” he said.

(Pictured: Jimmy FallonA.D. Miles, Jon Rineman, Caroline Epright, Mike Dicenzo, Gerard Bradford, and Albertina Rizzo)

»

- Cynthia Littleton

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Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later limited series followup coming to Netflix, watch the announcement trailer here

28 April 2016 8:05 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

We all know what happened on the last day of camp back in the summer of ‘81. Come to think of it, we also know what went down on the very first day at Camp Firewood. Many of us have been wondering what ever came of Beth, Coop, McKinley, Ben, Susie, Andy, Gail, Lindsay, Neil, Katie, Victor, J.J., Gary, Gene, Henry Newman and the rest of the crew. Well, wonder no more, as Netflix has just ordered up a new installment of the Wet Hot American Summer series entitled Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is the sequel to the prequel of the 2001 cult comedy film Wet Hot American Summer, written by Michael Showalter and David Wain and directed by the latter. The 2015 eight-episode series prequel Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp must have been a success with »

- William Fanelli

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Wet Hot American Summer Sequel Series Coming to Netflix—It's Reunion Time 10 Years Later

27 April 2016 7:22 AM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

It's eternal summer for Netflix. Wet Hot American Summer that is. The streaming service announced it will once again revisit Camp Firewood with a new batch of episodes from the minds of Michael Showalter and David Wain. This time, the action picks up 10 years after the movie and prequel series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. Wain will direct and write with Showalter. The cast of the original film, including them Elizabeth Banks, H. Jon Benjamin, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Nina Hellman, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Ad Miles, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, David Hyde Pierce, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Marisa Ryan and Molly Shannon, also »

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‘Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later’ Series Ordered by Netflix (Video)

27 April 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Time to report back to Camp Firewood, Netflix subscribers. The streaming giant announced Wednesday that it has ordered eight episodes of new original series “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.” The half-hour comedy makes good on a promise from the end of the original 2001 “Wet Hot American Summer” film, when the camp counselors vow to get back together a decade after summer camp ended. That scene included Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, A.D. Miles and Elizabeth Banks, among others. Also Read: 'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp's' David Wain Says Shooting New Series 'Was. »

- Tony Maglio

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[Tribeca Review] Don’t Think Twice

19 April 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

For his first feature Sleepwalk with Me, comedian-turned-director Mike Birbiglia adapted his semi-autobiographical one-man show, picking apart his anxieties and fears when it comes to the most personal aspects of his life. His follow-up, Don’t Think Twice, presents a perhaps even more insular world, that of the New York improv comedy scene and more specifically, the shifting dynamics of a single group.

Made up of founding member Miles (Birbiglia), Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), Allison (Kate Micucci), Lindsay (Tami Sagher), and Bill (Chris Gethard), the tight-knit troupe goes by the name of The Commune. Whether they succeed or fall flat on any given night, they don’t break any of their rules: always say “yes,” it’s all about the group, and don’t think. They may hold jobs as a delivery man, a hostess or a hummus sample provider, but they live and breathe for that small »

- Jordan Raup

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All That's Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell Reunite for Comedy: Working Together 'Is Like a Comfy Pair of Shoes'

25 March 2016 3:50 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Some things will never change. No matter how distant Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell's friendship seems to have drifted, the pair still remains closer than ever and has joined forces, once again, for Fandango - and Mitchell says, "it's awesome." "[Working together] is like a comfy pair of shoes because we did it not too long ago," Thompson tells People exclusively about working with his All That costar for the first time in eight months on the set of his latest project with Fandango for their spring/summer brand campaign starting in May, where he plays movie super fan Miles Mouvay, »

- Nicole Sands, @nicolesands901

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All That's Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell Reunite for Comedy: '[Working Together] Is like a Comfy Pair of Shoes'

25 March 2016 3:50 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Some things will never change. No matter how distant Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell's friendship seems to have drifted, the pair still remains closer than ever and has joined forces, once again, for Fandango - and Mitchell says, "it's awesome." "[Working together] is like a comfy pair of shoes because we did it not too long ago," Thompson tells People exclusively about working with his All That costar for the first time in eight months on the set of his latest project with Fandango for their spring/summer brand campaign starting in May, where he plays movie super fan Miles Mouvay, »

- Nicole Sands, @nicolesands901

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Don’t Think Twice Review [SXSW 2016]

16 March 2016 7:17 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Improvisational comedy is all about finding character, story, and humor in the heat of an unknown moment – but is that not life, too? As Del Close (a founding improv mind) once said, “Fall, and then figure out what to do on the way down.” That wisdom resonates through Mike Birbiglia’s sophomore effort, Don’t Think Twice, as he explores the perils of personal passion through middling “stagnation.” Life is passion, but passion is also pain, so, by association, doesn’t that mean life also equals pain? Birbiglia doesn’t shy away from the glamourless hardships of navigating New York City’s competitive artistry talent pool, which will be a wake up call that some people might not want to hear…but need.

The film follows an improv collective called The Commune, as they deal with the looming reality of their club’s closure. Over the course of a few weeks, »

- Matt Donato

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SXSW Film Review: ‘Don’t Think Twice’

13 March 2016 10:28 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

After scoring a sleeper success with 2012’s “Sleepwalk With Me,” which adapted his solo stage show about toiling on the standup circuit, writer-director Mike Birbiglia stretches out a bit — but not too much — with the accomplished seriocomedy “Don’t Think Twice.” Like its predecessor a pleasingly naturalistic insider’s view of life on the lower rungs of showbiz, this more ensemble-focused piece is also somewhat autobiographical, as it draws on Birbiglia’s background training and performing with improv groups. But here a fictive scenario develops in which one member of a longtime improv troupe suddenly wins the comedy lottery of a cast gig on a “Saturday Night Live”-type sketch show, throwing those colleagues left behind into turmoil. This realistic but not excessively downbeat portrait of fame striking a lucky few — and missing everyone else — should build on “Sleepwalk’s” fandom to decent niche returns in various formats.

After being together a decade, »

- Dennis Harvey

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Writers Guild Of America awards nominees revealed

6 January 2016 11:55 PM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

The 2016 Writers Guild of America awards winners have been announced. In the original screenplay category Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies will be going up against the likes of Sicario, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton and Trainwreck, while the adapted screenplay sees The Big Short compete against Carol, The Martian, Steve Jobs and Trumbo.

The awards also take in documentary material, and television productions. You can see the rest of the nominations below.

Screenplay Nominations

Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies, Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen; DreamWorks Pictures

Sicario, Written by Taylor Sheridan; Lionsgate

Spotlight, Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Films

Straight Outta Compton, Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff; Universal Pictures

Trainwreck, Written by Amy Schumer; Universal Pictures

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short, Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the »

- Paul Heath

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Nominations For The 68th Annual Writers Guild Of America Awards

6 January 2016 10:43 AM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

The Writers Guild of America has just announced the nominations for their annual awards for Best Screenplays (by writers who are guild signatories). That’s right, before you get nervous thinking that your favorite may have been left off the list, you must remember that the WGA is the group that is not all-inclusive and leaves out several of the top contenders each year due to them not being part of the guild or not following their very specific rules. For this reason, you won’t see Inside Out, The Hateful Eight, and Ex Machina in the Original Screenplay category or Room, Brooklyn, or Anomalisa in the Adapted screenplay category.

Taking a look at what’s left over for the nominations, we find many that were expected to make a showing, including Spotlight and Bridge of Spies for Original Screenplay, though they apparently had to sink to really low depths »

- Jeff Beck

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

11 items from 2016


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