The Daily Best
Unfortunately, Jimmy had a meeting to attend, so all he could say before politely kicking me off the phone was "It's a long story." But it's understandable that he might not have time to go over his sartorial choices. His late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, has just been picked up for a fifth season, and his first prime-time special, Jimmy Kimmel Live's All-Star Salute to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, will air on ABC on September 13 at 10 PM. In addition, he has just been named host of a new ABC game show called Set for Life. Oh, and he's also planning his football-watching activities for this coming Sunday (as you'll see, it's quite involved).
I spoke to the 38-year-old host on Tuesday about his football parties, his flirtatious relationship with Ben Stein, and other topics, all of which you can find after the jump.
The man was so busy, that I only had about twenty minutes to talk to him. But we were able to cover a lot of territory when we spoke, from his Emmy nod, to why he thought Arrested didn't make it, to the prospect of an AD movie. And, of course, he was very funny, even rolling with my lame jokes when I dared utter them.
The interview was conducted by phone on July 24.
If you've watched any cartoon on TV in the last fifteen years, chances are you've heard Billy West's voice. West is one of the premier voice actors working today, and during those fifteen years, he's used his versatile voice to create new characters -- and resuurect old ones -- all over the television and movie landscape. From Shaggy to Bugs Bunny to Woody Woodpecker to the Cherios Honey Bee to the Red M&M, the 54-year old West has put his imprint on all of them. But most people know him from two classic cartoon series: On Ren & Stmpy, he did the voices of both main characters (he picked up Ren after creator John Kricfalusi was fired after the first season), and on Futurama he did the voices of Philip Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan, among others.
In this wide-ranging interview, conducted by phone on May 31, Billy and I talked about his history with John K., the way he went about creating some of his Futurama characters, his early-'90s role on "The Howard Stern Show", and the influx of celebrity voices in current cartoon movies (let's just say he's against it). We also went over all the Futurama Season One episodes in the 90-minute (!) interview, which you will see in my Retro Squad coverage of the show. He was even nice enough to do a Futurama / R&S -themed intro for our APB podcast, which we used to open podcast #13 last week. Needless to say, Billy West is a mensch.
Apparently, his itinerary has been a bit crowded lately. And for that, Takei -- best known for playing Mr. Sulu on the classic series Star Trek -- can thank the combination of his public coming out late last year and his addition to Howard Stern's Sirius satellite show as its announcer. In fact, the 69-year-old actor's voice was the first one that people heard when Howard first debuted in January. He spent the entire first week there telling graphic stories about his first sexual encounters, cutting goofy IDs, and trading wise-ass remarks with sidekick Artie Lange. He also got pranked not once, not twice, but three times by the crew: once with a David Letterman impersonator and twice with an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator. As always, though, he was a good sport, giving the audience his trademark halting laugh whenever he got scammed.
Since the Governator vetoed the state's same-sex marriage bill, Takei has spoken out passionately for gay rights. He is currently on a speaking tour for the Human Rights Campaign he has dubbed an "Equality Trek". So between that, his appearances at Trek conventions, and his negotiations to return to the Stern show, it's a wonder he has time to talk to any reporters at all.
In our conversation (after the jump), George and I talked about the speaking tour, Howard, his guest turn on Will & Grace, and his appearance as Sulu on a web-only Star Trek series. Oh, and I couldn't leave without asking him about Bill Shatner at least once.
Because Takei needs to be heard as much as he needs to be read (I mean... that laugh!), I've made the audio version of the interview available for download. It's available here.
That's what happened last week, when both Christopher Gorham and Paula Marshall wrote comments on a post I wrote about their show, Out of Practice, getting shelved, along with fellow Monday at 9:30 exile Courting Alex. So, I reached out to both of them to respond and vent. Both answered, and Chris was the first that was willing to talk. We spoke by phone this past Friday.
In Out of Practice, the 31-year-old actor plays Benjamin Barnes, youngest son of a family of doctors. Ben's the only one who didn't finish medical school, instead becoming a marriage therapist. The ironic thing is, he's probably the sanest person in the Barnes family.
The show boasts a top-notch cast, which -- besides Marshall and Gorham -- also includes Henry Winkler, Stockard Channing, Ty Burrell, and Jennifer Tilly. It's executive producers are Chrisopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan, who were long-time producers on the classic sitcom Fraiser.
In this interview (after the jump), Chris discusses his frustrations with how his show is being treated, gushes on the writers and his castmates, and responds to people who say he and Marshall are "show killers".
[Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage]
It's been a winning formula; since it's debut in December as a special one-week strip of shows, Deal's ratings have steadily increased. It started a Monday and Friday run in February, which has been scoring well. NBC has even aired a third weekly episode from time to time; the episode that aired two Wednesdays ago ended up being the twelfth-most watched show of the week. So obviously Howie's doing something right.
Howie called me on Monday, March 27, from Los Angeles. Even though it was 11:30 AM at the time he called (2:30 my time), he was dead tired. Still, we had an entertaining conversation where I found out about fainting contestants, how Howie was pitched the Deal job over pastrami, and how he deals with the show's mean old banker.
As I said in my February "In the Limelight" profile of her, the 26-year-old has accomplished quite a bit so far: besides being a writer and actor on The Office, Mindy also teamed with her friend Brenda Withers to write the play Matt & Ben, which won awards at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. She's also appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm and in the mega-hit movie The 40 Year Old Virgin.
In The Office, Mindy plays Kelly, a Dunder-Mifflin drone who lately has been given a few interesting plotlines -- she has a crush on indifferent office temp Ryan. Kelly also has her very own annoying characteristic -- she can't shut up.
Needless to say, I was very interested in finding out how Mindy was able to go from Dartmouth to the writer's room of a hit network show in less than five years. So the Thursday before last, I managed to find her on the set of the show as she was wrapping up filming for the day. She called me back on a land line (maybe from the set itself... the phones there do work) and we talked about a number of topics, including how she's going to spend her April:
[Photo: Chris Haston/NBC]
The event took place at the Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills. Gabe Kaplan took the stage, made a few jokes about the new Welcome Back, Kotter movie and showed off the In2TV concept. He was a good sport and even brought out a paper airplane to put on his head, joking that it didn't stick as well as it used to (aw, Gabe, you're thin on top but we still love you.) He introduced George Lopez who gave a heartfelt tribute to Freddie Prinze, showing clips of the comic's career and snippets of episodes from Chico and the Man. Somehow, in George's speech, he managed to reference the fact that he has one kidney and his wife gave it to him (is there anyone who hasn't heard this story yet?) He announced the In2TV Influencer Award and handed the strangely shaped trophy to Freddie Prinze Jr. Freddie made a brief speech, then Jose Feliciano was brought to the stage to play the Chico and the Man theme (with just a bit of "Light My Fire" thrown in). The crowd was full of old favorites from the TV days of long ago. After the jump, a few familiar faces.
For two guys who have never written for TV before, Fred Goss and Nick Holly are off to a fast start. Their new ABC comedy, Sons & Daughters, which airs Tuesdays at 9 ET, has been universally praised by critics (including me), and the first two episodes gave the network better ratings than it's had in that timeslot.
Goss, who also stars on the show as Cameron Walker, mostly had acting and editing credits before this project, most notably on the Bravo comedy Significant Others. Holly, believe it or not, was a literary agent who partnered with Goss to create this and other pilots. As they pitched their ideas around, demand for their services increased; an ABC executive actually pitched them the idea for this show, for instance.
There's a good reason for that, though: the show's improvisational style and realistic extended family dynamic have hit a nerve with everyone... including Arrested Development fans, of which Goss seems to be very aware. The AD issue and others came up last Friday as the two spoke to me by phone from their office in Los Angeles.
By now I'm sure you've heard of AOL Television's new venture into the world of online delivery of television shows, In2TV. Though In2TV officially opens to the public this Wednesday, I was recently lucky enough to get a preview of its interface and offerings. So, what can you expect to see this Wednesday and beyond? Read on to find out.
ABC offers some of its shows on iTunes, but a new venture set to launch in May called My ABC will allow fans to download free (but ad-supported) episodes of Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy. This sounds like a pretty cool idea, and it would be even cooler if I actually watched those shows. The "selling" point, however, will be in how ABC incorporates ads into these downloaded shows. DVR has spoiled some of us, but television watchers are used to seeing commercials. People who are online, however, don't take as kindly to intrusive advertising. It's a necessary evil, but ABC would be wise to consider the medium they'll be utilizing.
1. "Aeyyy!" OK, so technically this isn't a "word," but you can't deny the popularity of the trademark call of coolness from the one and only Fonz of Happy Days.
Caught up? Good. Here we go. The episode begins with Aaron crying with a rash and fever in the middle of the night, and Claire waking Locke to go get Jack. Danielle shows up saying, "You don't remember, do you?" and Kate shows up yelling for Danielle to go away. She asks Claire what happened and Claire says that Danielle said "there's something wrong with my baby." Cue Lost intro graphics.
More after the jump...
- The Avengers - Emma Peel Collector's Edition
- Beast Machines: Transformers - The Complete Series
- The Beverly Hillbillies - Ultimate Collection Volume 2
- Bleak House - Bleak House
- C.O.P.S. - Volume 1
- Charmed - The Complete 4th Season
- Combat! - Best Of Hanley; Best Of Saunders
- The Drew Carey Show - Television Favorites
- Ellen - The Complete Season 3
- House Party - Kids Say the Darndest Things: Vol. 2
- The Lawless Years - Season 1
- Monty Python's Flying Circus - Graham Chapman's Personal Best; John Cleese's Personal Best; Terry Gilliam's Personal Best; Terry Jones' Personal Best
- NewsRadio - Season 3
- Night Court - Television Favorites
- The Real Ghostbusters - Vol 1: Creatures Of The Night; Vol 2: Spooky Spirits; Vol 3: Slimefighters
- Rosemary & Thyme - Season 2
- Rumpole of the Bailey - Megaset
- Weird U.S. - Vol 1: Strange But True / Road To Weirdsville; Vol 2: Weird Worship / Weirdly Departed; Vol 3: Rebels And Traitors / Crimes And Punishment
- Welcome Back, Kotter - Television Favorites
I have five examples of American Idol contestants who wouldn't go away:
5. Constantine Maroulis. Yeah, I said it. Constantine thought he was sexy and talented. Not an attractive characteristic on a man who only has mediocre looks and talent. Constantine regularly sang out of tune and falsely advertised himself as a rocker. He was in Rent, for crying out loud! A musical! The dude was a poser and I wanted to slap that pout right off his face. I think we all know who the true rocker was last season. (P.S. More proof he's a poser: his new album is Adult Contemporary. Watch out, Clay!)
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