Michael Ian Black
You loved Malina on 'The West Wing' and 'Sports Night.' You enjoyed him in guest roles on 'House,' 'Psych,' 'In Plain Sight' and dozens of other shows. And, if you're like me, he's made you crack up more than once with his irreverent Twitter feed. I generally don't follow many actors or celebrities, because their Twitter feeds are quite often vapid, self-serving or both, but Malina's Twitter is pretty damn hilarious.
But the main thing Ryan McGee and I asked Malina about is his funny new Web series, 'Backwash,' which you can find here. It's a 13-part series starring Malina, Michael Ian Black and Michael Panes as the least competent bank robbers ever. Each segment is introduced by a different celebrity -- Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Dule Hill, Allison Janney, Mary Lynn Rajskub, John Cho and Fred Willard are among the celebrity narrators. Four segments are up on Crackle now.
Obviously we asked Malina about who was a diva on set and how he bribed these people into appearing in 'Backwash.' And we also asked him what it was like working with Bradley Whitford's mustache on the Dec. 3 episode of 'The Good Guys.'
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of 'Ed,' which certainly has a plum spot on our list of great shows that were canceled too soon. The fine dramedy that revolved around a barrister/bowling alley proprietor and his quirky fellow Stuckeyville-ians premiered on NBC on Oct. 8, 2000. And though its four seasons whizzed by all too quickly, we can't say we hardly knew ye, 'Ed' ... in fact, we knew ye, and loved ye, quite well.
So it should probably serve as "no surprise" that Comedy Central has put the kibosh on it.
Showalter sent out the awful truth in Twitter form yesterday. Black also followed up Showalter's sad announcement with his own Tweet that contains a certain word that starts with "F" and ends with "K" and it isn't "fullback."
I was a fan and I looked forward to the second season, but now I'll just have to settle with the inevitable buck squeezing DVD release. You guys had me at "bunny stomping."
Unfortunately, he didn't it read it very closely: that network is NBC. Hope you like Ex-Lax in your cookies, Santa.
NBC just taped a pilot episode of a remake of the BBC's most famous and classic panel quiz show, Have I Got News For You. It's being hosted by comedian and Air America host Sam Sedar and features Greg Giraldo and Michael Ian Black as the regular team panelists. Buzzerblog doesn't seem to have much confidence in the show being good, but Giraldo and Black and the fact that a network is willing to take a chance on real satire and comedy panel humor makes me want to give it a chance.
Peak Season (October 19, 10 pm, MTV)
This new doc series premieres tonight, with an introduction to most of the major players in the snowy soap. Cameras follow a group of kids - in their early 20s, as is the case up in Whistler - who work the slopes and bars in Whistler as they get together and break up. It's like 'The Hills' on ice.
So here's your chance to weigh in. Did you like MMHI? Were you one of the fans who attended the "blarties" and "twarties" (blog parties and twitter parties)? Did you pick up The State on DVD and watch for nostalgia? What did you think of the sketch show within a show format?
The plan is for the audience input to be featured along with commentary from the Michaels themselves and from writers Jessi Klein and Kumail Nanjiani, The Real Jim Biederman, and writer's assistant Stephie Grob, on the show's blog, www.michaelandmichaelhaveissues.com. The Michaels will post their favorite stuff on ComedyCentral.com during the week. Tweets can be sent to @mshowalter or @michaelianblack.
Comedy Central has been showing episodes from the single season the show lasted in the run up to Michael and Michael Have Issues, and it has been a pleasant reminder of Stella's brief experiment with a half-hour TV comedy. It's hard to imagine keeping that premise going - Wain, Black, and Showalter free associating with different guest stars season after season. But it's been fun to watch it again.
It's very rare, however, for anyone to get their grubby little hands on a title powerful enough to reverse the polarity of the universe and restore order to chaos. I managed to score that very thing a week before anyone could and I didn't have to sell my soul, my first-born child or any of my bodily objects to get it.
Then I catch up with 'Entourage' star Rex Lee (Lloyd!) who admits that President Obama isn't the only friend of the show in high places ... an A-list celeb couple might even be stalking him. Plus, I give a little sneak peek of Comedy Central's new show, 'Michael & Michael Have Issues,' starring two of my favorite celebrity Tweeters, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.
To get your questions answered on The Show Girl, just email me at TheTVShowGirl@aol.com. And if you want more, follow me on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl and subscribe to The Show Girl video podcast on iTunes. Now watch, enjoy and come back next week for more. Until then, happy TV watching! -- By Maggie Furlong
And then you have the site dedicated to the show, www.michaelandmichaelhaveissues.com, which offers plenty of blog entries, including one from earlier this month titled "Photos of the Promos Shoot" that feature dancers holding up Michael and Michael heads on a stick (see photo).
Maybe this clip will help give a better clue. Poorly veiled tension has always been a part of the act with Stella (which also includes David Wain). But here we get to see Michael and Michael actually attack each other in a studio when Showalter takes issue with Black's impression of a butterfly fart. This is supposed to be from the series pilot, which premieres in July, but who knows? Maybe it's here to distract you from what they're really working on. (Oooohh! Conspiracy!)
The premise is somewhat similar to that of 30 Rock in which the two friends have a sketch-show-within-a-show. The comedy style of the duo has been somewhat hit-or-miss for me. I enjoyed Stella but didn't think that much of their stand-up comedy when I saw them perform live. Their scripted work (such as the movies Wet Hot American Summer and The Baxter) remains their strong suit so I have high hopes for this series.
I do wonder if the characters are going to have the same names as the actors. Showalter and Black seem to have no problem with blurring the lines between fantasy and reality for the sake of television. Hopefully this show will last longer than Stella's single season.
The premise is a show-within-a-show, with segments from the stars addressing issues that the Michaels have with "themselves, each other and the world at large."
I missed The State, but I did catch episodes of Stella (also starring David Wain), which was another attempt by the same comedians to create a show that blurred the line between reality and fantasy (such as having character with their actual names. You know, the old Jerry Seinfeld trick).
I liked Stella, but didn't think it would last more than a season (and it didn't) because the humor is very abstract and cerebral (sort of the anti-According To Jim). My gut instinct is the same for this show even though I want it to succeed. Is it better to have a good show that lasts one season or a mediocre-at-best show that lasts eight? I vote for the former.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- The first chapter of the Burn Notice novel The Fix, by Tod Goldberg, is up at the publisher's site.
- Michael Ian Black has a new book coming out, and a really funny blog.
- Nancy Grace makes an appearance in Hancock?!
- Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra plays the full-length version of the Late Show theme.
- Rush Limbaugh vs. Bill O'Reilly.
- TV Guide has a short Q&A with former CNN newsman Aaron Brown.
- What is (or was) The Oaks?
Comedian contestants include Kyle Cease, Chris Fairbanks, Jeff Garcia, Red Grant, Tiffany Haddish, Bert Kreischer, Mo Mandel, Donnell Rawlings, Amy Schumer, and Theo Von. The series will satirize shows like American Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, American Gladiators, Dancing with the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance.
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