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August 1, 2014

Stella

Hoping for a healthy dose of sketch comedy from Michael and Michael Have Issues

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 15th 2009 8:35PM
When Michael and Michael Have Issues premieres tonight at 10:30 PM on Comedy Central, it'll be a return to sketch comedy of sorts for Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. The pair started out with The State on MTV, as this week's boxed set release reminded us. Their most recent TV project, Stella, the show, with former State member David Wain, wasn't really sketch as much as it was an exercise in absurdist slapstick.

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.

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Two-thirds of the cast of Stella have new series

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 19th 2009 12:02PM
Michael Ian Black and Michael ShowalterMichael Showalter and Michael Ian Black (who made up the cast of Stella along with David Wain) are returning to Comedy Central with their new series Michael and Michael Have Issues.

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.

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Comedy Central giving Stella cast another pilot

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 14th 2008 12:15PM
StellaComedy Central is giving some alumni of Stella and The State another crack at a show. Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter will be the co-stars of the half-hour pilot Michael and Michael Have issues.

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.

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How I Met Your...bestseller? The Bro Code and more Mother news

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 23rd 2008 4:24PM
How I toastHow awesome is this? Barney's official list of how men should interact with each other in pursuit of conquest of the opposite sex,The Bro Code, is going to be published for real. Barney Stinson, the most awesome womanizer on How I Met Your Mother, has referred to this compendium on the show and now The Bro Code will be for sale in bookstores in late November, just in time for Christmas sales.

Neil Patrick Harris, the embodiment of Barney, is not writing the book. That'll be done by co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas with Matthew Kuhn, the staff writer who is responsible for Barney's blog. Barney, as fans of the show know, is nothing if not prolific and legen -- wait for it -- dary when it comes to knowing the rules, the rights and wrongs, in bagging the babes.

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Another clue in the search for HIMYM's Mother

by Allison Waldman, posted May 7th 2008 1:23PM
HIMYM
One of the things that I love about How I Met Your Mother -- there, I said it, I love the show -- is the mystery surrounding who "mother" is and whether we've already seen her on the show or is she still to be introduced. It's not just the Lost fans that are watching scene by scene, shot by shot, frame by frame to uncover clues. Take this very cool observation by a blogger at Seat42f.com.

If you look at the picture, the green boxes, you'll notice that the framed handwritten letter/poem/writing in the background of Stella's home (left), is the same as the framed letter/poem/writing behind the kids in the opening of the show. According to the blogger -- who has HD and studied the scenes closely, it's definitely the same artifact.

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Crank up the creativity, Stella fans

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 28th 2007 2:03PM
stellaDo you love Stella, the odd little comedy trio featuring David Wain, Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black? If so, you'll be interested to learn that the guys are looking for someone to design a logo for new Stella merchandise. It's time to get out your crayons and glitter and see what you can come up with. Just don't use anything from their Comedy Central series or any related promotional images, that's not allowed. You can submit as many times as you wish, as long as you get your entry in by February 16. The guys will vote on their favorite and announce the winner on February 23. More details can be found on Wain's MySpace blog and the Stella Merchandise MySpace page.

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Catching up with the boys of Stella

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 23rd 2007 12:30PM
stella comedy on swingsFormer Stella and State alum Michael Showalter and David Wain have been making entertainment news these past couple of weeks. Showalter debuted his online series The Michael Showalter Showalter on College Humor with Comedian of Comedy Zach Galifianakis as his guest. (If you live in LA, you can catch Zach free tonight at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater with VH1 talking head Doug Benson.)

David Wain debuted his latest directorial outing The Ten at Sundance. The feature, which sounds like Kieslowski's Decalogue gone zany, puts together ten shorts - each musing on one of the ten commandments. The screening has been getting positive reviews. Those of us without Park City press passes will hopefully be enjoying that film later this year. Keep your eye on The Ten's website for more info.

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Michael Ian Black now an editor at Cracked

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 1st 2006 10:40AM

Cracked magThe former Ed and Stella star is an editor-at-large at the new relaunced Cracked mag, which is going for the hearts and minds of twentysomething guys and not the kids. Mediabistro talked to Black about Stella, how he got the Cracked gig, and what the status is on a State movie (hint: it has something to do with iTunes).

They don't ask him about his appearances on Celebrity Poker Showdown though, which is too bad, since he's been one of the better players on the show. But I guess there's really not much you can ask about that. "So, you're a good poker player, eh?" or "Boy, such-and-such is really a moron, aren't they?"

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Last Comic Standing: The finalists move in

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 21st 2006 9:17AM
Last Comic Standing(S04E04) The twelve finalists move into the "house", which this year is the dry-docked luxury liner the Queen Mary, and the sniping begins. Actually, they didn't show all that much "house" stuff in this episode, which is probably a good idea. I mean, to be honest, I watch this show to see comedy, not to see people form alliances and yell at each other. But I guess this phase is necessary, else the competition phase would only be three weeks long.

The comedians are thrown together on the ship in combinations that maximize explosiveness and hilarity; big ol' Gabriel Iglesias and tiny Josh Blue are put on twin beds two inches apart. Explosive Roz and hormonal pregnant "broad" Stella are put in the same room. Stand back and let the wacky sparks fly.

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Stella stars present: American Schmidol

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 9th 2006 9:21AM
american schmidol stellaIf you're lucky enough to live in New York City and have an unusual sense of humor, you will totally dig this. Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain are judging a parody of American Idol, called American Schmidol. They're teaming up with Heeb Magazine and JDUB Records for a "giant-screen karaoke competition" at the Bowery Ballroom on Monday, March 13. I can't figure out which one will be the Simon character. Any of them could pull it off.

If you're like me and you don't live in NYC, but you're missing Stella and you're wondering when it'll be back (Hello? Comedy Central?)*, you can get your David Wain fix on his website. He has put up a scan of an article in Tokion Magazine called "Writing Comedy", which features Wain and David Cross. Or, you can download the audio version of the interview here.

*Thanks to commenter, Matt, who pointed out that Stella is not getting a second season on Comedy Central (despite its title as one of the best TV shows of 2005 by EW magazine). The official Stella website confirms it.

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Ed stars taking over network TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2006 7:53PM

The cast of EdAnyone who knows me knows how much of a huge Ed fan I was. I even wrote an essay about it that got me more mail than anything else I've ever written.

So, it's really great to not only see Tom Cavanagh coming back to series television (in the it-looks-a-lot-like-Ed-from-the-commercials show Love Monkey). But the good news doesn't stop there: Ed's best friend is back too. Josh Randall, who played Mike Burton on Ed, is the guy who's Courting Alex on the CBS sitcom. (Hey, both on CBS - maybe Cavanagh and Randall can have lunch in the CBS cafeteria). And let's not forget Ed's love Carol Vessey: Julie Bowen is a cast member over on ABC's Boston Legal (and has a recurring role on Lost). And Michael Ian Black's Stella over on Comedy Central.  

Now we just need Lesley Boone (Molly), Jana Marie Hupp (Nancy), Rachel Cronin (Shirley), and Justin Long (Warren) to get regular gigs on TV and fans will be all set. 

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