The 26-year-old comedian's profile has risen quickly over the last couple of years. From being an up-and-coming stand-up star playing the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, the last three years have seen him do two seasons of MTV's 'Human Giant,' a half-season as lazy intern Ed on the eighth season of 'Scrubs,' a big role as awful stand-up comic Randy in Judd Apatow's 'Funny People,' a one-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central, and a season and a half as Tom Haverford on 'Parks and Recreation.'
I caught up with Ansari at NBC's all-star press party last month and asked him about how his character, who plays the scheming right-hand man of the earnest Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), has developed since the show started, and what's next for a guy who's done a lot in such a short period of time.
Here's a program that every self-proclaimed comedy fan should know. From 1998 to 2000, the Upright Citizens Brigade television series ran for three seasons on Comedy Central, developing a solid cult following. The four stars, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Amy Poehler wrote and starred in the series, playing just about all the characters and giving us gems like Ass Pennies, Spaghetti Jesus and little Girl Scout Cassie.
While I can't answer the second part of this question (it will remain one of the great mysteries of the late night universe), I can offer a little more information on SNL's resident new guy and rising star, Bobby Moynihan. Despite appearing as a featured player in only twenty episodes so far, Moynihan is fast becoming one of my favorite cast members on the show, right up there with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig.
Fellow Moynihan fans, prepare to love him even more!
The Upright Citizens Brigade's Matt Walsh and fellow founding member Trotter, er, Ian Roberts have landed their first starring roles in a show he created for Spike.
It's called Players, names after a sports bar his character runs with his brother as part of his eternal life fantasy to hit on hot waitresses and spend his days yelling at an HD television. Think of it as Cheers, but with more penis jokes and a Carla that doesn't make your eyes bleed.
But eventually, the show evolved into a 60-minute scream fest of recurring characters spouting catchphrases over and over and celebrity satire that taught lessons about the proliferation of pop culture and ignorance. Important lessons, such as "Boy is Anna Nicole Smith dumb and fat!" and "Hey, is that Paris Hilton a whore or what?" Every episode felt like a hand was reaching out of the TV and rubbing a cheese grater across my face. Now 14 years after its inception, Fox has finally decided to pull the plug on Mad TV and let it die a slow horrible death instead of taking it out Old Yeller-style, the way God intended.
Thomas Lennon, the star and co-creator of Comedy Central's Reno 911!, got to together with Mahalo's Lon Harris to talk about basic cable, the how it's not gay to love Sting in Dune, Christopher Walken's answering machine, and Falcon Crest. He also dishes about the finale of Reno 911! (currently in its fifth season), the Upright Citizens Brigade, and Balls of Fury. Oh, and he might mention something about The State reunion.
Fans of Thomas Lennon and all things Reno 911! will enjoy this interview. Lennon is genius! The video is after the jump.
With the strike still in full effect, new episodes of The Colbert Report won't be coming to Comedy Central anytime soon. So Colbert and the cast are moving the production to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City for one show tonight. Just as 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live did before him, Colbert is bringing his "No-Spin Zone" to a sold out crowd.
Advance reservations are sold out, but there will be a standby line. No word on if there will be any guests, nor if Colbert will be performing "classic" bits or new material, though if he follows directly in the footprints of Rock and SNL, there won't be any new written material. But Colbert is a gifted comedian, so surely he can't be penalized by the Guild for ad-libbing some stuff. "Tonight on The Colbert Report, we investigate what the hell happened to my cameras, and where all these people came from."
We've also got another giveaway running that ends next week for the Angel Complete Series Collector's Set.
Also, don't forget to enter the second tier of the Cancellation Trifecta game before midnight!
Several more incredible giveaways next week. Trust me, I'm jealous we have to give them away. Plus, a special one on Halloween only. Good luck!
Some other details:
- To enter, leave a confirmed comment below stating your favorite Upright Citizens Brigade sketch.
- The comment must be left before October 26, 2007 at 5:00PM Eastern Time.
- You may enter only once.
- Five winners will be selected in a random drawing.
- Five winners will receive a copy of Upright Citizens Brigade season one DVDs (valued at $29.98) and season two DVDs (valued at $26.99).
Well, it only took them twenty-seven years (or however long its been), but the second season of The Upright Citizens Brigade is finally coming to DVD later this year (or so we assume, there's no official announcement yet). That's great news, but what's even cooler is that this Saturday, March 31, you can actually be in the audience for a live audio commentary recording for the episodes "Spaghetti Jesus" and "Supercool." All the information you need can be found here. The recording takes place at 8 p.m. at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles. Be there fifteen minutes early, or you'll be denied, sucka.
That leaves us with the third and finally season to look forward to. Hopefully it will be getting the digital versatile treatment sooner than later.
Thanks to reader bd, who sent us the tip after I found about the DVD but before I got off my lazy rump to write about it. I consider his e-mail the poke with a sharp stick I needed.
[via TV Shows on DVD]
Now that 30 Rock has become a mild success for Saturday Night Live veterans Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan it seems that other former SNL alums are making an attempt at primetime popularity. Case in point . . . It's being reported that 8-year SNL veteran Horatio Sanz has joined the cast of the comedy Business Class.
In this pilot for NBC Sanz will star with Boston Legal's Mark Valley (who does nothing on that show but complain). The single-camera comedy will feature Sanz and Valley as two rival soda salesmen who live their lives on the road. Hey, I'm laughing already!
This would be Sanz's first foray into primetime television since leaving SNL last year. Maybe it's me, but it seems that Horatio was underutilized during his years at SNL, which is surprising because he had a pretty decent track record before coming on-board the sketch comedy show. I mean, he was one of the early founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade. I would think that would amount to a little more screen time. If I'm way off base here let me know.
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