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October 20, 2014

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Review: 'Men of a Certain Age' - 'You Gonna Do That the Rest of Your Life'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 2nd 2010 3:02AM
men_of_a_certain_age_diner
(S01E08)
Things are rarely as we think they are in life and on this show. Each guy has an idea about the other, but it's never as simple as they think it is. So this week we learned that Joe's bookie is a sore loser and perhaps a catalyst. We also learned that everything doesn't always go Terry's way, no matter how often he seems to luck into things. And Owen's diabetes is conflicting with his appetite.

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Best TV of the '00s: Comedic Actor

by Nick Zaino, posted Jan 3rd 2010 11:01AM
neil_patrick_harris_cbsMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the funniest actors of the last ten years.

If you want to be a great comedic actor, you can never let on that you know you're being funny. Your character never knows what the joke is. That's why Rodney Dangerfield was a great, legendary stand-up comedian, and a fairly poor comic actor.

Everyone on this list excels at the comedic poker face. Steve Carell and Ricky Gervais, in their Office boss characters, don't know that most of the rest of the office is laughing at them. Or at least they don't understand why. Stephen Colbert, despite all of the attention The Colbert Report have received, may be the most underrated comic actor, because the character is so seamless, sometimes it's hard to tell it's a character. Shatner is a legend for playing campy with a poker face. And Neil Patrick Harris as a cad? A straight cad? Perfect.

Here are a few of our favorite comedic actors from the past decade, and may their characters never realize the joke's on them.

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Ask TV Squad: We need your questions!

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Sep 24th 2009 9:03AM
TVSquadEvery now and then as I watch a show, questions such as these pop up in my mind: Where have I seen that actor before? Hasn't she already appeared on the show before as another character? What is that song playing in the background? Where has (insert character name) gone? And on and on.

I also have questions about current shows even when I'm not watching them: How many episodes will we get this season? When will the season premiere? Will (insert actor's name here) be back on the show? Which famous person will guest star? And so on. That's not counting the questions I have about upcoming storylines! Thank god for spoilers!

Of course, questions about series from the past also pop up: Why did (insert show here) end? Can I get answers for the unanswered storylines since the series was canceled without having a proper goodbye? Whatever happened to (insert actor's name) who played on (insert show's title)? And so on.

If you have questions about TV series and actors and want answers now, "Ask TV Squad" has the solution for you! Read on to learn how.

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Will actors' contracts impact the number of new episodes we get this spring?

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Feb 13th 2008 10:42AM
HeroesNow that the strike is over, networks and the powers that be behind each shows are deciding how many episodes they can shoot in the coming two months or so to air by the end of May or early June. Their decision will be based on the storylines they can offer and wrap up in a small number of episodes as well as the production cost. Some series, like Heroes, that require more FX, flashy sets, more post-production time, may resume shooting in the coming weeks but those episodes will more than likely be for next season. But one thing most fans (I include myself in the lot) didn't consider in the equation to determine the number of new episodes will get are the actors' contracts.

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Happy birthday, Albert Brooks - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 22nd 2007 3:06PM

Albert BrooksAlbert Brooks turns 60 today.

Brooks is mostly known for his films (Defending Your Life, Modern Romance), but he was also a favorite guest of folks like Carson and Letterman back in the '80s. He never quite gained the notoriety of some of his contemporaries, but his reputation as a "comedian's comedian" and a little something called "actual talent" has kept him out of obscurity -- and deservedly so, because he's one of the smartest and funniest people working today, even if he is a few steps outside the limelight.

Younger folks know him best for his various guest roles on The Simpsons, one of which I've posted below along with an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (in two parts).

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Alan Alda writing another book

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 15th 2007 12:01PM

alan alda bookThat's what Starpulse is saying, and based on a search of Google News, it's the only site saying it. However, a quick scan of Random House's site revealed the book does in fact exist, and will be out on September 4. The book is titled Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself and will be Alda's second book after Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. His first book is one of very few non-fiction books I've read in my lifetime, and it's quite interesting. Even if we didn't know Alda as that guy from M*A*S*H, The West Wing and Scientific American Frontiers, the stories of his childhood --his mentally unstable mother, living above a burlesque house-- are more than engaging enough.

This new book will apparently feature highlights from various speeches Alda has given over the years, a kind of guide on how to enjoy life and get the most out of it. I would say Alda did enough heavy-handed proselytizing when he started writing M*A*S*H episodes, but apparently Alda even pokes fun at his early rhetoric in this book.

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Today's mild surprise: David Hyde Pierce is gay

by Adam Finley, posted May 31st 2007 12:02PM

david hyde pierceThe LBGT Web site AfterElton.com decided to delve a little deeper into a statement made by actor David Hyde Pierce in a recent AP interview about his return to Broadway in the musical Curtains.

The article mentions producer/writer Brian Hargrove (Wanda at Large, Titus) as Pierce's partner, but doesn't go into any detail beyond that. AfterElton decided to find out for sure (and they're a site about gay celebrities, so why wouldn't they?) and received confirmation, that yes, David Hyde Pierce is indeed a gay man.

The world responded: "He's gay? Huh. Are you going to finish that muffin?"

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Dick Cavett interviews Jerry Lewis - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 20th 2007 8:01AM

jerry lewisI'm too young to have watched the Dick Cavett Show, thought I did enjoy his cameo in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3.

Anyway, thanks to YouTube and other such sites folks like me can finally see clips from some of these old TV shows, and I must say I'm glad I came across the one below with Jerry Lewis.

Lewis talks about his critics, and it's impressive, to me anyway, that he's willing to listen to a critic who doesn't like him if the critic is competent and has a clear love of film. He even claims to have written to critics and thanked them for negative reviews. Now that we have the blogosphere it's hard for me to imagine such an exchange taking place. If anything, I'd imagine an actor would respond to a negative review by posting something nasty about the reviewer on their own blog. And then I would write about that exchange on this blog.

The video is after the jump. After the commercial break is a brief Q&A with the audience, which isn't especially interesting or revealing.

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In case you missed Rickles on the Daily Show - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 17th 2007 4:02PM

don ricklesAs Annie mentioned in her review, Don Rickles was on The Daily Show last night. I typically don't watch The Daily Show until the day after, because, at the old age of 30, I'm out like a light by 8:00 p.m., barely able to finish my bowl of oatmeal.

I usually skip over the interview segments of the show, but today I actual watched the segment with Rickles. I may be a fan of a lot of today's "alternative" comics (a term as meaningless as "alternative music"), but I also have a lot of respect and admiration for older comics such as Rickles. And it's genuine respect, not that fake respect you exude because they're old and society demands it from you. No, Rickles is a very funny and amicable gentleman, and even at the age of 81 the man is still as sharp as he ever was.

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Interviews with Conan O'Brien and Adam McKay - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 9th 2007 11:01AM

conan o'brienConan O'Brien, host of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Adam McKay, co-writer and director of Talladega Nights and Anchorman and father of the infamous Pearl, have at least one thing in common: they both worked on Saturday Night Live. The other thing they have in common is that they were each interviewed recently by two different publications.

O'Brien was interviewed by StarWars.com to coincide with the recent taping of his show in San Francisco (George Lucas was a guest on the program). This was my favorite exchange:

What was your favorite part of visiting Lucasfilm/ILM when you were here in San Francisco?

The part when Lucas took me into a glass elevator. It smashed through the roof and he told me the entire chocolate factory was mine. That poor man has lost his mind.

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Zach Galifianakis and the toughest crowd ever - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted May 5th 2007 10:05AM

old peopleVia Funny or Die, the site that brought you Adam McKay's cursing daughter, Pearl, comes this clip (below) of comedian Zach Galifianakis doing his stand-up act for a crowd that just won't cut him any slack. I guess Zach's brand of dry, irreverent humor just doesn't sit well with the colonists.

Strangely enough, while I found the juxtaposition of Zach on stage and the crowd of stoic men and women mildly amusing, I found myself laughing the loudest at his actual jokes. I guess that works too, unless Zach wanted me to laugh specifically at the fact he was bombing. I'd hate to think I'm appreciating his video in the wrong way.

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Crystal to receive Mark Twain prize

by Adam Finley, posted May 2nd 2007 3:01PM

billy crystalIt seems that Billy Crystal's life of rafting down the Mississippi, white-washing fences, fighting knights in Medieval times, piloting riverboats and getting lost in caves has finally garnered him the award he deserves: the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Seriously, though, Bill Crystal is receiving the Mark Twain Prize in a ceremony to be broadcast on PBS October 11. Other folks who have received the Mark Twain Prize include Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Simon and Steve Martin.

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Jon Benjamin creating Web series - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 21st 2007 8:02AM

Jon BenjaminIf you don't know who H. Jon Benjamin is, let me inform you: he's a writer and comedian most of us probably first saw when he played "Ben" on Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. He was also a writer on that show and would later show up on Home Movies (one of my top five favorite series of all time), and the recent short-lived animated series Freak Show for Comedy Central.

In an interview with Gothamist, Benjamin revealed he was working on a new Web series for Super Deluxe called "Thunderpoint." What the series is exactly remains to be seen, but if Benjamin is behind it, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it'll be damn funny.

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Ricky Gervais makes his American stand-up debut in New York in May

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 2nd 2007 3:21PM

ricky gervaisRicky Gervais is a funny man, but you guys already know that. If you want to see him perform his stand up live, he'll be at the High Line Festival in New York City in May, so get your tickets. It looks as if they range in price from $46.00 to $66.00, which really isn't too bad.

This year's festival is curated by David Bowie and also features bands including Deerhoof, Arcade Fire, Air, and others. So if you like funny British people and hip indie bands you'll want to find the nearest car, knock out the owner, and drive that stolen car straight to New York City. Just don't drive too far or you'll end up in the ocean. Or something.

If you can't make it to see Gervais perform, you can always watch the hilarious clip I placed below from Gervais' stage show in which he explains Creationism to his audience. It's both funny and enlightening.

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Law & Order actor considers running for president

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 13th 2007 9:27AM
fred thompsonActor and former republican U.S. Senator Fred Thompson is reportedly considering running for president in 2008. Thompson was a U.S. Senator for Tennessee from 1994-2003. He decided not to run for re-election when he was cast as District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order in 2002. He has also appeared in that same role on SVU and Criminal Intent, as well as short-lived shows, Conviction and Trial by Jury. Thompson definitely has that "I could kick your ass, punk"-thing about him.

Thompson has an unusual past that will make him an interesting candidate. Besides appearing in a big ol' pile of television shows and movies, he also has some serious experience in Washington, D.C. Before becoming an actor or a Senator, he was an attorney and was on the Watergate committee. If he does join the race for president, he'll be running against fellow republicans Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain for the nomination. And, in 2005, he returned to politics briefly when President Bush appointed him to be an advisor for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during his confirmation process.

Hell. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can do it...

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