12 items from 2014
"I'm a reviewer, but I don't review food, books or movies," says Forest MacNeil. "I review life itself!" MacNeil is the creation of comedian Andy Daly and the main character of Comedy Central's latest show Review (which premiered last night at 10 p.m. Est), an everyman who gives star ratings to first-person experiences involving eating pancakes, racism and anything else his TV audience throws at him. Stealing, for example, only gets two stars; cocaine gets "a million stars!"
The 50 funniest people right now
In this clip, MacNeil decides to review addiction, »
Comedy mastermind David Koechner takes a dark and troubling turn in the new thriller Cheap Thrills, which is available on VOD now before its release in theaters this March. The twisted tale follows Craig (Pat Healy), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry). These two are quickly roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton). The couple engages Craig and his buddy in a series of innocent dares in exchange for money over the course of the evening, with each challenge upping the ante in both reward and boundaries. It seems like easy and much needed money, but the couple's sick sense of humor pushes just »
Harold Ramis influenced a generation of comedians by writing, directing and acting in films such as “Ghostbusters,” “Caddyshack” and “Groundhog Day.” So when news broke Monday of Ramis’ death, the comedy world took to Twitter, often a forum for jokes, to eulogize and commemorate. “Was honored to have gotten to work with Harold Ramis, the Buddha of Comedy. Brilliant, humble, radiant. We’ve lost an icon. #GroundhogDay,” tweeted Rainn Wilson, whom Ramis directed on “The Office.” “MadTV” star Ike Barinholtz described him as “one of my biggest influences” while film critic Richard Roeper wrote he was a “wonderful filmmaker and a true. »
- Lucas Shaw
Aja Naomi King has been cast in ABC/ABC Studios’ drama pilot, How To Get Away With Murder, written by Peter Nowalk and produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot. King, repped by Gersh and Tge, will play one of the law students, the ambitious and confident Michaela Pratt. She also will be recurring on ABC/ABC Studios’ The Black Box. MADtv alumna Arden Myrin has been cast in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Bad Judge. The project, from writer Chad Kultgen and producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Anne Heche, centers on Rebecca (Kate Walsh), a hard-living, sexually unapologetic woman who plays with the law, and whose life on the edge is constantly in balance as she also happens to be a judge in the criminal court system. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
News and notes from up and down the channel guide:
- "The Crazy Ones" has booked a "Mork and Mindy" reunion. Pam Dawber will reunite with Robin Williams 32 years after the series finale of their sitcom when she guest-stars on "The Crazy Ones" later this season as a free-spirited author who goes on a date with Williams' Simon Roberts. Williams says the reunion is "a dream come true" and Dawber adds that "it'll be a great week" because she hears the "Crazy Ones" set is "a very happy one."
- USA has picked up a legal comedy, "Benched," starring Eliza Coupe ("Happy Endings") and Jay Harrington ("Better Off Ted"). The show will follow Nina (Coupe), a corporate attorney, who suffers a public breakdown and ends up working as a public defender. Phil (Harrington) is her scruffy, gambling colleague. "Benched" will be executive-produced by Michaela Watkins, Damon Jones, John Enbom, Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay. »
Matt Oberg, Stephnie Weir and Megan Ferguson have joined the cast of FX‘s The Comedians, the hot cable comedy project with Billy Crystal attached to star, co-write and produce. Oberg (30 Rock) plays Mitch, the head writer of the sketch show who’s eager even when he’s being bulldozed by Billy. Weir (Big Day, MADtv) will play Kristen, the anxiety-ridden producer of Billy and Josh’s sketch show, who frequently finds herself caught in the middle of their arguments. Ferguson (Mad Men, Almost Human) takes on the role of Esme, a no-nonsense Pa who is mostly over it all, including Billy. Oberg is repped by CAA, Vincent Nastri at Bleeker Street Entertainment, and attorney Mitch Smelkinson; Weir by UTA, Meghan Schumacher Management,and attorney David Fox; Ferguson by CAA and Principato-Young. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
FX's Billy Crystal comedy pilot The Comedians is filling up its ranks. The comedy co-staring Book of Mormon Tony nominee Josh Gad has enlisted Matt Oberg (30 Rock), Stephnie Weir (MadTV) and Megan Ferguson (Mad Men) to its ranks, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The single-camera entry from Fox Television Studios revolves around a superstar veteran comedian (Crystal) who is reluctantly paired with a younger, edgier comedian (Gad) for a late-night comedy sketch show. Gad's young and hip comic resents -- and rails against -- the pairing. Story: Billy Crystal to Star in FX Comedy Pilot From Larry Charles
- Lesley Goldberg
The books, written by Dav Pilkey, follow two best friends – Harold Hutchins and George Beard – who manage to hypnotize their headmaster and turn him into their comic book hero Captain Underpants. Extremely popular with children, Pilkey’s books have been published in 19 countries, with many of the 8 titles landing at the top of Best Seller lists.
It’s been announced that Thomas Middleditch (The Kings Of Summer) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along) are to lend their voices to Harold and George, with Ed Helms (The Hangover) playing the role of their principal and Captain Underpants himself. Nick Kroll (Parks And Recreation) and Jordan Peele (MADtv) have also signed up for the project, playing evil Professor Poopypants (great name!) and class nerd Melvin Sneedly, respectively.
Personally, I didn’t read the books when I was a kid, »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Can an animated series focusing on a gay white rapper make us laugh without offending us at the same time?
If you’ve seen the FX animated comedy Chozen (which premiered last week), the answer is not clearly yes or no since, as we previewed last month, the series will surely offend some people with it’s tone and sense of humor, but it is also rife with genuine laughs that don’t demonalize being gay.
The series begins with a quick prison montage, the titular character (voiced by Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan) serving ten years in prison for a crime for which he was wrongly accused. Chozen’s experiences in prison (and shower rape is a part of that montage) shape how he views the world and interacts with other people. When he’s finally released he has »
- Jim Halterman
Remember when you didn’t have to protest to see a black woman comedian on television? Watching Erika Alexander as Maxine on Living Single, Kim Wayans on In Living Color, and Debra Wilson on Mad TV may seem like luxuries now. As we know, for the last six years, there’s been an absence of women of color comedians, specifically black women on Saturday Night Live; a void so apparent that even actress Kerry Washington spoofed the disparity when she hosted the show in November. Switching between Oprah and Michelle Obama impersonations in the same sketch, she openly addressed the absence, which was bolstered by widespread criticism of the show and its creator, Lorne Michaels.Announced this »
- Nijla Mumin
On November 8, New York-based comedian Kerry Coddett (pictured, left) fired shots at Saturday Night Live with an editorial published on the Atlantic’s website. In it, she blasted the notion that the show’s cast hadn’t featured a black woman in years because — as longtime repertory player Kenan Thompson said in a widely-circulated interview last fall — “in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.” Coddett contended instead that SNL’s diversity problems were endemic and ingrained. “Perhaps it’s not that black women aren’t ‘ready’ for SNL; it’s that SNL isn’t ready for a black woman, »
- Hillary Busis
Keegan-Michael Key is going to be the Heck family’s savior.
At least, he’s going to try when the comedian guest stars on an upcoming episode of The Middle.
EW has learned exclusively that star — best known as being one half of comedy duo Key and Peele, alongside Jordan Peele — will play Reverend Deveaux, a charismatic preacher visiting the Hecks’ church through a minister exchange program. In the episode, Deveaux, the former spiritual adviser to the Cleveland Browns, will offer his counseling services to the Heck family, as he “knows a group in crisis when he sees one,” according to a casting description. »
- Sandra Gonzalez
12 items from 2014
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