13 items from 2016
"How would you wipe my ass?" is not a question asked at every job interview, but it is in the Netflix adaptation of Jonathan Evison's enthusiastically praised 2012 novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caring.
The Boston Globe critic, in fact, raved that the book reminded him of "Little Miss Sunshine meets Rain Man." The New York Times insisted the work was "infused with a sad rage that makes good comedy great," and the La Weekly added that here was "a literary version of a good grunge song."
Rob Burnett, who served as the executive producer of Late Night with David Letterman for two decades, wrote and directed this celluloid reworking of the tome, apparently a project dear to his heart. The result is a highly engaging yet rather familiar road movie. Two self-involved souls with rather enormous personal problems jump into a van to visit the biggest manmade hole in America, »
- Brandon Judell
Editor’s Note: There are so many different paths to becoming a movie director, but a career in late night isn’t one of the more common ones. Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the upcoming Netflix release “The Fundamentals of Caring.” We asked the writer/director what lessons he took from “The Late Show” and how did it prepare him for being a filmmaker. What we got was the following essay, which is a great insight into the mindset it takes to direct a feature film.
During one of the Q&A sessions after “The Fundamentals of Caring” screened at Sundance, someone asked me what influence my work in television has had on me as a filmmaker. »
- Chris O'Falt
Before launching his late-night legacy in the 1980s, David Letterman had a few forays into the acting world, appearing in an episode of Mork & Mindy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and a few other programs in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. As it turns out, though, the actor/comedian actually auditioned for a role that may have changed his career. The iconic 1980 comedy Airplane!. Through the magic of the internet, the video of his screen test for the Ted Striker role has surfaced, which is well worth watching.
The video surfaced on YouTube last week, and is actually taken from a 1982 episode of Late Night with David Letterman, the first year of this landmark NBC program, where the host welcomed Airplane! writer-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker as guests. During the episode, the filmmakers showed the audience David Letterman's 1979 screen test for Ted Striker, a »
There are two types of people in the world. Those who believe that Airplane! is one of the greatest comedies ever made, and people who are wrong. The film has left an indelible mark on movie history since it was released in 1980. It.s been seen so often, by so many, that most of us could nearly recite the film from memory. However, now, for the first time, you.re about to see the entire movie in an entirely new way. Imagine if David Letterman had played the lead. Ok, now stop imagining it, and just see it. The recently unearthed clip is from a 1982 episode of NBC.s Late Night with David Letterman in which the three writer/directors of Airplane!, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker were guests. As part of the interview, the three show the clip of David Letterman.s 1979 screen test to play the »
The AMC Networks outlet unveiled that project and seven other development prospects at its luncheon upfront presentation in New York on Thursday. The cabler is also investing more in digital series, some of which will get an on-air showcase in latenight under the “Comedy Crib” brand.
“Todd Barth” revolves around a conservative insurance adjuster who decides to change his life and become a self-help guru. Cranston created the series with Weber and Clay Graham. Graham is writing and exec producing with Cranston, Weber and James Degus of Cranston’s Moonshot Entertainment banner.
“This Land is Ours” follows a group of anarchist squatters who take over an abandoned row house in Harlem. The project was created by Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan (HBO’s “Getting On”) and hails from Merman, »
- Cynthia Littleton
"Roy, what can you tell us about these new developments?"
"I can tell you I don't give a shit."
From his first appearance on-screen in September 2015, new Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. came across like a seasoned smartass who had been doing the job for years. Clad in a gray suit and sporting a cockeyed, little smirk, the 37-year-old stand-up comic argued the potential colonization of Mars meant nothing to a black man in America. ("Brother can't catch a cab, you think he can catch a spaceship?") When Tds' »
A lot of water, legal and otherwise, has passed under the bridge since Paul Reubens last donned the signature crisply tailored gray suit and red bow tie of his indisputably great comic creation, Pee-wee Herman, for a feature-length comedy. His previous Pee-wee feature, Big Top Pee-wee, debuted during the summer of 1988, 28 years ago, and that picture was hardly anyone’s idea of a worthy follow-up to the delirious and hilarious Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)-- it certainly wasn’t one I held too dear. When I saw Pwba the night it opened, I was actually admonished by fellow audience members and even the management of a Medford, Oregon movie theater for my hysterics. But though I approached the Big Top three years later with much eagerness, I left it feeling that Pee-wee had somehow ended up getting twisted into a formula that traded that gray suit in for something more akin to a straitjacket. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Rodney Rothman is a spectacularly funny guy, and yet I'd wager that many of the audiences who have laughed their faces off at a joke he wrote have never heard his name. That will most likely change after the opening of what Universal is calling Untitled Zach Galifianakis/Bill Hader/Seth Rogen R-Rated Comedy, which Rothman is directing from his own original script. I've known Rothman for a while now. We first met on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and right after that, I tracked down his book, Early Bird: A Memoir Of Premature Retirement. He was a writer for Late Night With David Letterman when he was 21 years old, and at 24, he was promoted to head writer. That's the job he left before writing Early Bird, but he didn't stay unemployed for long. He wrote some episodes of Undeclared and Committed. He tried to get an Early Bird TV show off the ground. »
- Drew McWeeny
While we’ve long preferred to focus our energies on “film” in a defined category — that which is created with the medium in mind, tends to follow its typical production models, and, at the very least, premieres in a theatrical setting — recent auteurist pushes towards the small screen have made our decision more and more difficult to uphold. If you love Steven Soderbergh, how do you not write about nearly twenty hours of work he’s directed, shot, and edited? Shall the three-or-so hours of material Woody Allen is producing Amazon next year go unnoted? And then there’s David Lynch’s epic-length return to Twin Peaks, a project so anticipated around these here parts that we believe it could break the self-imposed walls for an extended period of time.
- Nick Newman
34 years ago today, a new talk show favorite was born when Late Night with David Letterman debuted. Letterman hosted Late Night on NBC until 1993, when the network chose Jay Leno over Letterman to take Johnny Carson’s place as host of The Tonight Show. Letterman then moved to CBS and launched Late Show with David Letterman. On both Late Night’s first show in 1982 and Late Show’s first episode in 1993, Bill Murray was the first guest. He was a frequent guest on both, with 44 appearances between the two shows. In the final episode of Late Show with David Letterman last May, Murray presented item No. 1 on the show’s star-studded final Top 10 list. Other notable February 1 happenings in pop culture history: • 1896: Giacomo Puccini opera La bohème had its world premiere in Turin, Italy. 100 years later, the massive popularity-bound musical Rent premiered in New York — Jonathan Larson based Rent »
- Emily Rome
Abe Vigoda, the “Godfather” and “Barney Miller” star who died today at age 94, was dogged by reports of his death as far back as the early 1980s — so much so that the whole thing became a running gag across late-night television and elsewhere, with Vigoda often in on the joke. In a 1980s appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman,” Vigoda showed up to prove that a recent news story about his untimely demise was untrue. (See video above.) Later on, he regularly popped by “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” to poke fun at his own still-alive persona. In the. »
- Joshua Rich
The streaming service has confirmed its acquisition of worldwide streaming rights on the road movie ahead of its Park City world premiere on January 29.
Us theatrical rights remain on the table. CAA and UTA jointly represent the film.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Jerry Seinfeld is 61. From the stage at the Beacon Theater, where the comic began his yearlong residency last night, he told the crowd that this decade was his favorite decade of life so far. The reason: He doesn't have to explain himself anymore. "When someone calls me up to do something, I just say, 'No,'" he said. He also mentioned that in his 70s, he'll refuse to answer entirely.
Of course, the co-creator of Seinfeld can do exactly as he likes, and what he likes is stand-up. With one »
13 items from 2016
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