Life is depressing. Wake up. Maybe eat some breakfast. Take a shower. Go to work. Eat dinner. Go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Fortunately for us slobs, the glory of television has afforded us numerous opportunities over the years to break up the monotony, kick back, relax, and most importantly, laugh.
Clichéd as it sounds, it really is the best medicine, because even though you overslept your alarm, your boss was a jerk, and you stepped in gum while waiting for the subway, going home and seeing Peter Griffin fart, Michael Scott talk like a fool, and Barney Stinson hit on some broad always makes it all better.
So take a load off, kick off your shoes, and undo your belt to allow for maximum belly jiggling while chortling -- here are TV Squad's picks for the best comedies of the past decade.
1. The death of Bernie Mac. He was going to star in a new sitcom on FOX, and now he's gone, at the much too young age of 50.
2. The Olympics. Did you know that many of these athletes have gone through very trying times to get to the Games? It's true! (All week on NBC, with coverage on MSNBC, CNBC, and USA as well.)
3. The new star of CSI. Producers are currently negotiating with Laurence Fishburne, but I'm really holding out hope for Andy Dick.
4. The season finale of The Mole. Is it Craig, Nicole, or Mark? More importantly, will we get another season of this show? And if we do, will ABC actually promote it? (Tonight at 10pm on ABC.)
5. The Bob Saget Roast. Expect lots of jokes about the Olsen Twins. (Sunday at 10pm on Comedy Central.)
6. ABC's Wanna Bet? Just kidding! This is actually what TV Squad readers won't be talking about this week.
One day in 2001, I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking about the new fall shows. We discussed shows that we thought weren't going to make it as well as shows we really enjoyed. Towards the end of the meal we started to discuss The Tick and how we were both excited to see the live version that was premiering later in the season. I remember turning to my friend and saying, "Isn't there another show premiering on FOX later in the season?" We couldn't think of which show it was and so went back to discussing The Tick.
The show we were trying to think of was The Bernie Mac Show and five years after The Tick had come and gone Bernie's show had become one of the funniest family sitcoms on television.
Rumors regarding the severity of Mac's illness swirled around the internet last weekend when a family member reportedly said that his condition was "very, very critical." However, Mac's publicist came out on Thursday and said that her client's condition was "stable."
In addition to his TV work, Mac was probably best known for co-starring with George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean's 11 and its subsequent sequels. The Bernie Mac show ran for five seasons on Fox before it ended in 2006. I always enjoyed his Cliff Huxtable-as-a-movie-star take on The Bernie Mac Show as well as the different comedic sensibility he brought to the table in the Ocean's movies. Mac had a lot of comedy left in him, and I'm sorry to see him go.
Bernie Mac has signed a deal with FOX to star in a new sitcom.
Starting Under will be about a divorced, opinionated guy who not only finds himself living with his son but also working for him. The show has been giving a large episode order - seven episodes, which I guess is large nowadays - and the deal was finalized just before all this strike stuff happened.
I've said before on this blog that I'm not a big fan of reality programming in general, but finally someone has come up with a concept that I can relate to. The new reality pilot from producers Bernie Mac and Ben Silverman is called Welcome to the Family and focuses on couples of different races, religions and cultural backgrounds who get engaged and have to tell their respective families for the first time.
The reason this concept speaks to me is that I actually marry and divorce a person from a different background every week. But this isn't about me, so let's move on.
Does this really surprise anyone? Sanford and Son, Redd Foxx's sitcom from the 1970s, might be made into a feature film with Bernie Mac taking on the role of Fred Sanford popularized by the late Foxx. The film has been kicking around the studios for a few years now, and is currently at Sony. Nick Cannon is also slated to play Lamont Sanford, Fred's son.
I'm not a big fan of TV to movie adaptations, but I do recognize that sometimes they can work. The movie Charlie's Angels, which I found rather insipid, was at least based on three crime-fighting chicks, a concept that lends itself to a full-length movie. I'm just not sure how Sanford and Son could be stretched beyond half an hour, taking into consideration the show was essentially built around Foxx and his comedy. The show could have taken place in a bicycle repair shop and I don't think it would have made much difference. Unless some filmmaker out there has something truly amazing in mind for this flick, it seems better to just let it go.
Cedric is, of course, known for his comedy specials and Barbershop films, but did you know that Larry Wilmore is an on-air contributor to The Daily Show and consulting producer to The Office? Personally, I hadn't connected those dots before now. Combining these talents could add up to funny, but the failsafe stand-up material - airport anxiety - could go either way -- a welcome pressure valve letting off America's collective steam or groan-worthy security gags that just aren't funny the 100th time around.
Clearly, George Clooney and Brad Pitt are more important than the writers over at Without A Trace.
Defamer reports that the air conditioning for the writer's offices at the CBS show has been turned off, because they are filming Ocean's 13 right next door and they don't want the sound of the air conditioners to ruin the sound recording of the movie sequel. Says someone on the scene:
"As a result, the staff is sweltering in heat equivalent to the surface of the sun (this is the Valley, after all) and it doesn't seem as though the injustice will end any time soon. The writers are calling on all of their brethren in the television realm to rise up in solidarity, pelting those responsible with (possibly killer) tomatoes until this grave situation is resolved."
Ha. I like it when they reference killer tomatoes.
Chicago native Bernie Mac will be appearing in ads for the Illinois State Lottery. His paycheck for the two and a half days of work it took to create the ads? $500,000. If that amount seems a bit excessive to you, you're not alone. Some state officials feel it's way too much and that the money could be better spent elsewhere. Lottery officials disagree, however, citing Mac's appearance in lottery ads in 2004 for which he was paid $420,000. The increase in sales allowed the lottery to donate $30 million to a school fund.
Of course, it should be noted that Mac does support some charitable causes. I'm not sure how much if any of his own earnings he donates, however.
- ABC has the Dancing With The Stars results at 8pm, followed by new eps of In Justice and 20/20.
- CBS has new eps of Ghost Whisperer, Close To Home, and Numb3rs.
- NBC repeats Jamie Foxx: Unpredictable at 8, followed by a new Dateline and a repeat Law and Order.
- FOX has two eps of Bernie Mac (a new ep at 8 and then a repeat), followed by a new ep of Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.
- The WB has new eps of What I Like About You, Living With Fran, Reba, and Twins.
- UPN has a new Smackdown! at 8.
- You've heard how terrible From Justin To Kelly is, now see for yourself, on ABC Family at 8.
- The Sci-Fi Channel is all new, with eps of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica.
- More 8pm movies: TNT has The Patriot, AMC has The River Wild, and Bravo has The Silence of the Lambs.
- At 9, Comedy Central has a new ep of Premium Blend.
- There's a new Danny Phantom at 9 on Nickelodeon, and CMT has a new ep of Cowboy U.
- Also at 9, STARZ has the Dawn of the Dead remake.
- At 9:30, ESPN2 has the woman's final of the Australian Open.
- At 10, Cartoon Network has a new The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
- IFC has repeat eps of Hopeless Pictures, Greg the Bunny, and Dinner For Five, starting at 10.
- Also at 10: Showtime has a new Masters of Horror.
- At 11, Sundance has a new Festival Dailies.
- At 8pm, ABC has the Dancing With The Stars results show, followed by a new In Justice and a new 20/20.
- CBS has repeats of Ghost Whisperer, Close To Home, and Numb3rs.
- NBC has a repeat Most Outrageous Moments at 8, a new one at 8:30, then new eps of Dateline and The Book of Daniel.
- FOX has a new Bernie Mac at 8, followed by a repeat ep and then a new Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.
- UPN has a new WWE Friday Night Smackdown! (gotta remember that exclamation point) at 8, while the WB has a repeat What I Like About You, a new Living With Fran, a new Reba, and a new Twins.
- ABC Family has Ghost, with Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, and Whoopi Goldberg. It's on at 8 too.
- Can't get enough American Idol? A&E has a Biography of Simon Cowell at 8, followed by the Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies.
- HGTV has a new Get Color at 8, followed by a new Design Remix and a new Double Take.
- The Sci-Fi Channel has a new Stargate SG-1, a repeat Stargate Atlantis, and then a new Battlestar Galactica.
- Also at 8: Emeril cooks "New Yorker's Favorites" on Food Network.
- At 9, Discovery has a new ep of Egypt Untold.
- 9pm movies: TBS has Erin Brockovich, while Bravo has Chicago and HBO2 has The Day After Tomorrow.
- At 10, ESPN2 has coverage of The Australian Open, and the Travel Channel has a new Weird Travels.
- Also at 10: a new Monk on USA.
- IFC has a repeat Hopeless Pictures at 10, followed by repeats of Greg The Bunny and Dinner For Five.
- At 10:30, Noggin has a new South of Nowhere.
- I didn't know that USA was showing repeats of House. There's one tonight at 11.
- If you still haven't had enough of the Golden Globes, you can watch E!'s Fashion Police roundup of the best and worst dressed at midnight.
- At 1am, Comedy Central has Kevin Smith's Clerks.
- FOX is all new tonight, with Bernie Mac at 8pm, Malcolm at 8:30, and then Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.
- ABC has the results show for Dancing With The Stars, followed by new eps of In Justice and 20/20.
- CBS has new eps of Ghost Whisperer at 8, Close To Home at 9, and Numb3rs at 10.
- NBC has a new ep of one of my guilty pleasures at 8, Most Outrageous Moments, followed by a repeat ep, and then new eps of Dateline and The Book of Daniel.
- The WB has a repeat of What I Like About You at 8, followed by new eps of Living With Fran, Reba, and Twins, while UPN has a new ep of WWE Friday Night Smackdown at 8.
- Remember the "Ross and Rachel take a break" eps of Friends? Two of them are on TBS at 8, followed by Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner.
- AMC has Thunderball at 8, which is a good Bond flick but not the best.
- Also at 8: HGTV has a new episode of Get Color, followed by new eps of Design Remix, Double Take, and Freestyle.
- HBO has Denzel Washington in Man On Fire. It's on at 8 too.
- At 9, Nickelodeon has a new episode of Danny Phantom.
- Bill Maher visits Larry King on CNN at 9.
- Also at 9, MTV2 has new eps of Wildboyz and Team Sanchez.
- Sundance has the movie Slam. It's on at 9 too.
- USA has a new episode of Monk at 10.
- Also at 10: the Travel Channel has a new ep of Weird Travels titled "Creepy Creatures."
- Last night I stayed up late to watch the 1984 comedy Top Secret! Which reminds me that TCM has Elvis in Jailhouse Rock tonight at 10.
- At 10:30, there's a repeat ep of Dinner For Five, with Bruce Campbell, Rob Zombie, and Roger Corman. Hey, is this show still in production?
- At 11, A&E has a new episode of Random 1.
- More Bond flicks: A&E has Tomorrow Never Dies at midnight, and AMC has For Your Eyes Only at 1:15.
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