Monthly Archives: January 2012

Original Writers and Entire Cast Return for ‘Arrested Development’ Netflix Revival

Cast members of the beloved Bluth family will officially reunite this year to begin production on new episodes of 'Arrested Development' slated to air via Netflix in 2013.

It’s a brand new day for the formerly defunct, yet hopeful, half-hour comedy television series known as Arrested Development. Though the show was cancelled after its third season completed airing in 2006, fans and cast members alike have been eagerly awaiting good news that the cult favorite television sitcom would once again see the light of day with new episodes. Fortunately for all those patient people, the time has come, and faithful followers can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that every single cast member AND original writer will return to renaissance Arrested D with 10 hilarious new episodes.

You don’t have to pinch yourself, it’s the truth. The new episodes will be streamed on Netflix in 2013, in advance of a full-length feature film release in theatres following the airing of the new season. Writer Dean Lorey recently posted on his blog that stars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, and Jessica Walter will all reprise their beloved roles as the dysfunctional Bluth family on Arrested Development, with production of the new episodes slated to begin this year. Lorey and original show creators Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallely are evidently already fast at work on new scripts. That’s about all there is to know at this point, but rest assured more details will develop as time goes by and production gets underway.

It’s been over a half decade, but thank goodness these folks have not given up on one of the greatest sitcoms to date. Below, Freaks and Geeks mastermind and past Arrested D episodes director Paul Feig chats with Comedy Bang! Bang! (while it was still Comedy Death-Ray) host Scott Aukerman about shooting episodes of the series, and how that unique production process is pivotal for modern TV comedies to capture off-the-cuff actor moments and unplanned/unscripted improvisations from all the great comedic performers. Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements soon, and in the meantime, be sure you’re watching plenty of syndicated classic Arrested Development episodes on IFC.

 

Odenkirk, Rudd, Samberg, Stiller, & More Funny Greats Sign ‘Tim and Eric’s B$M’ Anti-Piracy Pledge

Comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim have publicly promoted their upcoming feature film 'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie' with the help of many other notable musicians, comedians, and Hollywood stars.

Everything’s coming up Tim and Eric these days, it seems. With their new upcoming feature film Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie having been placed On Demand by Magnolia Films last week (for purchase via iTunes, Amazon, or home cable providers), comedy compatriots Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have reached out to fans and friends alike with the sincere request that no one attempt to pirate their latest project and first feature film. The comedy duo was seemingly up-in-arms with a YouTube clip exhibiting a pledge form they’d like viewers to sign. The pledge mandates that potential movie viewers swear an oath that there will be no attempts at bootlegging B$M via bit torrent download or other underhanded methods, and plenty of their close Hollywood & industry pals have backed the cause.

You can head over to Huffington Post for a full gallery of YouTube clips from the likes of Fred Armisen, Weird Al, Natasha Leggero, Michael Ian Black, Bob Odenkirk, David Wain, Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg, Todd Barry, Paul Scheer, Ben Stiller, and more. When I say “more,” you might be surprised that I was referring to Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, now defunct LCD Soundsystem brain James Murphy, or Yeah Yeah Yeah’s darling Karen O, to name a few. It goes without saying that Tim and Eric are in good company here. You can also check out Heidecker & Wareheim’s original YouTube pledge video below, as well as an image capture of the actual pledge itself, which is apparently not too fond of the upcoming Dr. Suess film adaptation of The Lorax, also in theatres nationwide on March 2nd.

New Feature Film Reunites ‘Monty Python’ Members Once More

'Monty Python's Flying Circus' members John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin will reportedly join forces again for a new movie this year.

For lovers of all things British comedy, the men pictured above need no introduction. An exciting announcement from Variety came this week with news of an upcoming Monty Python feature film that will potentially reunite most surviving Flying Circus members Terry Jones, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Palin. Actor Graham Chapman of the Flying Circus passed away in 1989. A producer of the project told TheWrap that Eric Idle may also join in on the project, and we should definitely hope so. To assert that a movie involving these comedy giants with the below premise could ever be tame is just plain silly:

The movie centers on a group of aliens who grant unlimited powers to a human being. Unable to handle his newfound abilities and apparently ignoring the sage advice of his talking dog, the earthling causes chaos.

The current title of the film is Absolutely Anything, and when director Terry Jones was asked by TheWrap about the basic premise or feel of the project, he nearly expressed disdain for any implications that the overall approach to a brand new film featuring members of the legendary comedy troupe could ever pay tribute or even seek to mirror classic Flying Circus projects along the lines of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian: “It’s not a Python film,” TheWrap reported of director Jones. “It’s a different thing.”

All the same, there’s something to be highly anticipated for a production with all these greats surrounding it, and in spite of what Jones told TheWrap his words with Variety were a bit contrasting: “It’s not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility.”

The sci-fi farce is slated to begin production in the United Kingdom this spring or summer, and apparently will involve use of CGI and live action. In this circumstance, that news is quite appealing. According to producers, Robin Williams is in talks to play a dog and a pompous Frenchman, which makes sense seeing as Williams worked with Terry Gilliam in The Fisher King. Head on over to Variety to hear more about the film, as well as additional new projects Terry Jones has in the works and some more great recent photos of the boys, including John Cleese with a monkey.

Don’t Forget! Brand New John Mulaney ‘Comedy Central Presents’ Airs Tonight

'Saturday Night Live' scribe and top-notch comedian John Mulaney is premiering his new special on 'Comedy Central Presents' tonight.

There’s a good excuse to stay at home with your Saturday night if you don’t already have some great comedy to see and/or a hot date. Comedy Central Presents specials are often such a reason, and this weekend viewers will have a tried and true killer to enjoy for a half-hour live onstage. Well, on television, but you get the idea. Tonight’s newest Comedy Central Presents features the Chicago-born Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney doing arguably what he does best: some of the more impressive, memorable, and hilarious stand-up comedy to come.

You may have had to see him appear on Saturday Night Live alongside ‘Weekend Update’ host Seth Meyers to know that he’s even involved with the show, but Mulaney has penned some of the most talked about skits and characters for SNL in recent seasons. For further proof, see Bill Hader’s Stefon. As more incentive to watch, you can take a look at his most recent TV five minutes on Conan O’Brien from Wednesday night below. His running Law & Order bit keeps getting better and better with age, and on Conan, he throws a healthy bit of Ice T into the mix. All that said, more motivation isn’t necessary on this one. John Mulaney is arguably one of the freshest, most enjoyable stand-ups out there today, and his latest taped 30-minutes & CD, New In Town, premieres at 10pm/9c tonight on Comedy Central.

SHRIM! ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’ Officially On Demand

'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie' premiered at Sundance this month and is slated for a wide theatrical release in March, but frantic fans can watch online already.

Just in time for the weekend, we’ve got some real juicy news for Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim followers. Arguably one of the more highly anticipated comedies of the year, Tim & Eric fans can breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t even have to wait until the March 2nd theatrical release date of Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. After the world premiere at Sundance earlier this month, the internet has been quite abuzz with eager anticipation for the first feature film from the beloved comedy duo. Just last night, Magnolia Pictures made the entire movie available on demand via the interwebs. Juicy is right.

The sure-to-be-epic film stars Heidecker and Wareheim, but that’s only the beginning. Based solely on the red band trailer (embedded below) Tim and Eric whet your comedic appetite by throwing some Will Ferrell, Robert Loggia, John C. Reilly, William Atherton, Jeff Goldblum, Will Forte, and Zach Galifianakis into the mix. Head over to Magsneaks and enjoy the entire film before it takes the silver screen, and you can also buy movie theatre tickets via that link. Bear in mind, based solely on the red band trailer for the film, you should probably wait until after you leave work or your parents go to bed to watch any of this.

‘Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival’ Wednesday Announcement Showcases Ansari, Buress, Meyers, Wright, and Dozens More to Perform in Austin this Spring

Aziz Ansari (top), Seth Meyers, Steven Wright, Hannibal Buress, Maria Bamford, The Amazing Jonathan & more were announced as just a few of over 60 comedians visiting Austin this April for the 'Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival'

It’s a brand new day for Austinites, and especially for comedy lovers in the progressive Texas capitol. With Wednesday’s press conference announcement in the Paramount Theatre lobby for the April 25th-28, 2012 Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Austin locals have buzzed with almost as much excitement as the internet regarding the brand new, four-night, twelve-venue Central Texas event. The fest officially kicks off in less than three months, and already more than two dozen comedians have been confirmed to perform in a as many as twelve venues over the course of four nights.

Flashpoint names that will undoubtedly draw teeming comedy fan masses yearning to laugh freely into Austin this Spring are notables like Parks & Recreation star Aziz Ansari, legendary and seldom-seen-live-these-days actor/comedian Steven Wright, and Saturday Night Live head writer and current ‘Weekend Update’ host Seth Meyers. Throw touring stand-up veterans such as fellow SNL writer Hannibal Buress into the mix, add a little laughter from dame ‘Comedian of Comedy’ Maria Bamford, and apply a liberal dose of Sean Patton chuckles to ensure you’ve got a new annual event that’s worth buying a festival badge to, and that’s before the remaining two-thirds of the event lineup is even released.

While you’re waiting to find out what else Moontower is announcing and giving away via their Facebook and Twitter pages in the coming weeks, give yourself a good laugh while whetting your comedy fest appetite with a few clips below from Aziz Ansari, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Sean Patton, and a classic late ’80′s set from Steven Wright. Keep checking in with the festival website, as well as the Moontower social media pages. Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival and the Paramount Theatre have guaranteed Austinites will enjoy 200 unique and hilarious performances from more than 60 comedians over the course of 4 unforgettable nights. Considering how comedians and their followers alike love to drink, there’s a good chance some of those nights will be forgotten in spite of how hard we all try to remember.

Come PARTY at the ‘Moontower’ — a ‘Comedy & Oddity Festival’ hits Austin, Texas

The 'Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest' boasts four nights of sure-to-be hilarious live shows throughout a dozen venues in Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas is a city famous for it’s warm weather, friendly folks, tasty food trailers and, perhaps most of all, it’s heavily saturated number of annual festivals. From Austin City Limits Music Festival to South by Southwest, Fusebox to FunFunFun, one might assert the city needs another yearly festival event like it needs more unemployed 20-somethings or a hole in the head. Am I right? Well, tough cookies, because there’s a new kid in town and its name is Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, making its initial launch in Austin April 25th-28th, 2012.

The new event showcases four nights of live stand-up, improv, sketch and musical comedy throughout the city, hosted by a dozen amazing venues. Before getting down to the bare essentials as to why Moontower producers at Austin’s Paramount Theatre felt the need for a new annual festival, take a look at the amazing first wave of confirmed comics in queue for April:

The Amazing Johnathan

Aziz Ansari

Aaron Aryanpur

Maria Bamford

Matt Bearden

Bob Biggerstaff

Hannibal Buress

The Divorce Show

Chase Durousseau

Rachel Feinstein

Erin Foley

Nikki Glaser

Erin Jackson

Jackie Kashian

Mike MacRae

Joe Mande

Seth Meyers

Sean Patton

John Ramsey

Brody Stevens

Chris Trew

Duncan Trussell

Paul Varghese

Baron Vaughn

Brendon Walsh

Brent Weinbach

Steven Wright

Quite the initial lineup, wouldn’t you say? Considering there are just a couple dozen confirmed acts at this point, and Moontower assures fans there will be over 60 comics performing in Austin this April, comedy nerds have a lot to look forward to these next few months. Other than single ticket purchase admission, which will be on sale February 23rd, you can get a head start February 1st with the purchase of a festival badge. Fans can purchase online, at the Paramount box office or by calling (512) 474-1221. There will be two available, a VIP and a Standard badge, both of which will get you into all venues and acts (the Standard badge excludes access to Paramount showcases). Perks include:

VIP Badge ($799)

  • 4-day festival pass
  • First access / first in line preferred seating to all venues, including the Paramount
  • 40 drink tickets
  • Access to VIP bar
  • Access to pre-show happy hours
  • Parking at One American Center
  • VIP gift bag
  • Special concierge access
  • Moontower Film Festival access

Standard Badge ($99)

  • 4-day festival pass
  • Pre-sale access to Paramount event tickets
  • Gift bag
  • Access to badge holder-only party
  • Moontower Film Festival Access

A $799 VIP badge might not sit well with comedy fans at first, but when you consider 40 drink tickets, VIP bar & party access, pre-show happy hours, and free downtown parking for all four nights, all those benefits would quickly rack up a large tab on their own.

All that not enough? Check out just a few of the dozen venues co-hosting with the Paramount:

Cap City Comedy Club

The Parish

ND @ 501 Studios

Velveeta Room

The Mohawk (Indoor & Outdoor)

The New Movement

That’s just the tip of the 12 excellent venues showcasing live comedy in Austin this April. An integral element of the Paramount’s new endeavor is their strong relationship with MishMash and the revered Cap City Comedy Club. Club owners Rich Miller, Colleen McGaar, & Margie Coyle have been in cahoots for decades and, in conjunction with the Paramount presenters, wholeheartedly believe Austin is a city well suited for an annual comedy event not unlike Montreal’s world-renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival.

The Moontower festival is sponsored by Funny or Die (the Stateside at the Paramount stage will be hosted by FOD all four nights, and will showcase a number of comedy film screenings during the day) The Onion, Cap City Comedy Club, Esquire Magazine, CultureMap Austin, Giant Noise, Hell Yes Fest, Patron Spirits Company, Proof Advertising, The InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Thomas Properties Group, Vintage IT Services, and presumably many more in the months to come.

When asked “Why Moontower?” the festival presenters at Austin’s Paramount Theatre had this to say:

“Because Austin is a little blue oasis in a very red state. Because we live in a college town that knows when to skip class. Because we have a guitar, but never got around to taking lessons. Because comics and their fans are people of night. Because we will cast a beacon of light on the genre of comedy. We’re an anomaly. And we can take a joke like no other city. But more importantly we know funny and we know festivals. We know how to throw a party the world wants to attend. We know how to ignite locals and how to be a destination. So get your ticket. Grab a seat. Silence your damn phone. And remember to tip your bartender.” – via Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival Press Release

A strong killer to close out this amazing news are just a few words from a gone-too-soon legendary comedian, and former Austin resident.

“It’s just a ride” — Bill Hicks

The man sums it all up quite accurately. Once again, badges for the festival are on sale February 1st and single tickets will be released February 23rd. Keep tabs on future lineup information, badge & ticket giveaways, as well as party and sponsorship info via the Moontower Facebook & Twitter. Also make sure to keep returning to the festival homepage as often as humanly friggin’ possible. Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival hopes you will join in all the fun for its wild maiden voyage. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

John Stewart & ‘The Daily Show’ Bash Newt Gingrich’s South Carolina Success

John Stewart trashes Newt Gingrich's South Carolina debate remarks towards CNN correspondent John King during last night's episode of 'The Daily Show'

If you missed The Daily Show on Monday, the segment below featuring a John Stewart opening monologue from last night’s episode is worth the watch. Fans of the show wouldn’t doubt that Stewart rants often. He undoubtedly does. Nonetheless, The Daily Show host was especially up in arms regarding Newt Gingrich’s appearance in South Carolina for a GOP debate last Thursday.

Republican Presidential hopeful Gingrich lashed out at CNN moderator John King when King opened the debate by asking Gingrich about his second wife’s accusations that he wanted an open marriage. Obviously a sensitive subject for Gingrich and his alleged history with infidelity and abandoning sick wives, he turned the question around on King, stating that asking a Presidential candidate such questions during a debate was, “as close to despicable as anything [he] can imagine.”

Commence an enraged John Stewart. As Huffington Post pointed out today, Stewart was nearing hysterics about Gingrich’s remarks to King, and even continued on regarding King’s decision to not call Gingrich out for turning the valid question around on him. “All [King] has to do is point out the hypocrisy of a family values crusader who presided over Congress at the time of the Republicans’ ‘Clinton penis scavenger hunt’ suddenly finding that kind of questioning of a Presidential candidate unseemly! Point out that [Gingrich] insists that gay people would sully the sanctity of marriage — whilst being a career marriage sully-er!” The Huffingon Post has more details; be sure to check it out along with the clips of Stewart’s opening and Gingrich’s argument with John King below.

 

Sundance 2012 Scare: ’30 Rock’ Star Tracy Morgan Hospitalized

'30 Rock' star Tracy Morgan was hospitalized in Park City, Utah after attending an awards gala during the Sundance Film Festival

A bit of unfortunate Sundance Film Festival news has surfaced from last night’s events in Park City, Utah, and it concerns arguably one of the more larger than life comedians currently working in television. According to The Hollywood Reporter, beloved Saturday Night Live alum and current 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan was at the Creative Coalition Spotlight Awards gala event Sunday evening in Park City during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Morgan was in attendance to receive a Spotlight Initiative Award and, following his acceptance speech, was escorted from the building, whereupon he collapsed and was subsequently rushed to the hospital.

He allegedly seemed a bit out of sorts, with loud outbursts and physical antics prior to the start of the gala, but none of those behaviors are atypical to most standard Tracy Morgan public appearances. A Morgan representative followed up with the press after he was hospitalized. “”From a combination of exhaustion and altitude, Tracy is seeking medical attention.”

Though his current condition is unknown, rest assured fans hope for Morgan’s steadfast recovery and safe return to New York for the rest of the currently airing and in production season of 30 Rock. Check out the full report from The Hollywood Reporter. Get well soon, Mr. Morgan.

‘Cat Soup’ — David Cross Spoofs E!’s ‘The Soup’

Comedian/Actor David Cross parodies E!'s 'The Soup' with 'Cat Soup'

David Cross fans and cat lovers alike can now rejoice that something has happened on the internet that combines the best of both wonderful worlds. This week, E! Online shared a video featuring actor/comedian Cross in a parody of the popular E! television network, Joel McHale-hosted show The Soup. You may have already guessed it: David Cross introduces the world to Cat Soup. It’s more than just a little crazy, and pretty darn delicious.

If you’re at work and simply just can’t wait to watch the clip embedded below, you might pop on your headphones, as Cross doesn’t hold back with a good chunk of adult language. The lamest thing about the two-minute clip is that, although The Soup actually seems to be supporting the spoof and E! Online promoted the Cross bit, it’s not even an actual show. Not yet, at least. Keep your fingers “Crossed” that David keeps up with more of what could potentially turn into a very popular and hysterical serial web show.