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July 30, 2015

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Wayans and Dick weigh in on the N-word

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 7th 2006 2:32PM
Damon WayansA couple of more TV celeb-related incidents post-Michael Richards rant have been making the news. First up, Andy Dick. You know him from News Radio, Less than Perfect and his MTV series The Assistant. He jumped on the stage at the Improv during Ian Bragg's set and, in an attempt at "too soon" humor, brandished the n-bomb. He's been apologizing ever since.

A legitimately funny and meaningful use of the "n-word," however, came from Damon Wayans' of Showtime's The Underground. Wayans took the stage at the now famous Laugh Factory last night with a stack of twenties. Since Richards' rant, the club owner has banned the word - levying a $20 per usage fee and three month ban on any comedian who uses the word. Wayans proceeded to drop the n-word sixteen times saying, "I'll be damned if the white man uses that word last." That's $320 price tag for a little freedom of speech, if you're counting.

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Update: Syndicated NewsRadio includes an extra penis

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 13th 2006 3:40PM

NewsRadioActually, make that two.

Several months ago, I pointed out that the DVD version of the NewsRadio episode "The Injury" (the one where Matthew hurts his hand) is the edited version. In the subplot where Bill is doing on-air commentaries about broadcasters using the word "penis," Dave confronts Bill, and besides Dave saying the phrase "per penis" (referring to how much money Bill be have to pay as a fine), Bill calls Dave a penis under his breath. Both of these mentions of the word penis are not in the version on the DVD.

But I was watching the episode on TBS today (stations are starting to air NewsRadio again, including TBS and Nick at Nite) and it aired unedited! All the penises were intact (so to speak). I'm now wondering why the version shown on television has all mentions of a naughty word but the DVD version is edited? I understand that the episode wasn't shown until the third season (even though it was filmed in the second season) because of all of the penis mentions, but why is the original version intact on TV but censored on the DVD?

And I'm still wondering why the swears on the NewsRadio DVD commentaries are bleeped out. Seems odd to me.

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Second City signs on with NBC Universal

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 10th 2006 1:27PM
second cityNBC Universal Television gets to go mining for comedy gold over at the famous Second City Improv Theatre. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio and the theatre have signed a two-year deal that allows NBC access to Second City shows, talent, and comedy library. NBC intends to use the information to develop comedy content for new television programs. "We look at it as a great resource of talent and ideas that we can share back and forth," said NBC Universal TV president Angela Bromstad.

Good move on NBC's part. Second City alumni include Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Andy Dick, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, Fred Willard, Bonnie Hunt, Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert... and the list goes on and on. These people know what funny is.

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NewsRadio: Sweeps Week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 22nd 2006 10:32PM

Janeane Garofalo(S01E07) Along with Mary Tyler Moore and Amy Sedaris, I've always had a crush on Janeane Garofalo. I remember being happy when this episode came on, since I had loved her standup and her work on The Ben Stiller Show (with Andy Dick). She plays Nancy, Dave's ex-girlfriend who seems nice on the outside but is really kind of a nut. She comes to New York City to be with Dave, who never quite told her that they were officially broken up.

Meanwhile, Jimmy meets a business and technology "visionary" named Tom at a conference and arranges for him to be interviewed by Bill, but that doesn't turn out quite as Jimmy or Dave had hoped...

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NewsRadio: The Crisis

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 1st 2006 10:24PM

Stephen Root(S01E04) For some reason, I think this might have been the first episode of NewsRadio that I ever watched. That seems right to me, and I think I've seen it more times than any other NewsRadio episode, except maybe the episode where Matthew tries to get Dave to let him do a story about Dilbert.

This is the episode where we really see Dave getting in over his head as news director and his employees trying to take advantage of him. During a subway crisis, Dave wants the whole team to snap into action and cover the incident, but everyone is too obsessed with the new desk that Dave got Matthew.

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DVD review: NewsRadio, season 4

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 28th 2006 12:30PM
Khandi AlexanderSeason three of NewsRadio is the best season of the show. Having said that, season four has quite a number of gems too. You can see that this was the season that they started to tinker with the show: they brought in new cast members, they switched around the jobs of a few characters, they fired Matthew, introduced more of story arcs over several episodes, and they started to have more surreal moments. Not all of it works (I, for one, was a fan of the Dave/Lisa romance, and breaking them up and then having them switch jobs put the show out of whack in a way), but this set is a lot of fun.

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NewsRadio: Smoking

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 24th 2006 6:56PM
Phil Hartman(S01E03) Another funny episode, as a new no smoking ordinance in the office causes problems for Bill, who smokes like a chimney. And, because any problem for Bill ultimately becomes a problem for Dave, Dave has to give up drinking coffee, to help Bill with his addiction.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Joe are nervous around each other because they saw each other at the movie theater. Lisa thinks it's because Joe knows about her and Dave, but it's actually something else...

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NewsRadio: Inappropriate

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2006 7:47PM
Foley and Tierney(S01E02) The second episode (after the pilot) of NewsRadio was actually the third episode filmed, and it introduces the Dave/Lisa relationship storyline. Paul Simms mentions in the commentary that NBC wanted Dave and Lisa to not get together so quickly, because they wanted a long dance a la Sam and Diane on Cheers. Actually, I think putting them together right away was a brilliant move, because it's different than what every other show does, it gives a nice base for all the episodes to start from, and it gives a great running subplot for the first half of the season. I also think that Dave telling Beth about the affair is a great move. It gives a secret for them to keep for the first half while also showing that Dave trusts Beth. A nice touch to get some closeness between the characters.

While Dave and Lisa argue about how their relationship shoud progress, Bill annoys Catherine by throwing her a birthday party and Matthew screws up Joey Buttafuoco's name on the air.

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NewsRadio: Pilot

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 10th 2006 7:59PM
NewsRadio(S01E01) I overheard someone the other day say that they had never seen an episode of NewsRadio. And this wasn't someone who didn't watch much television, it was a big TV fan that had somehow missed this show. He asked what it was like and the answer was "as smart as Arrested Development, but with a more basic sitcom format," and I thought that was a good description.

This first episode focuses on Dave Nelson, a young news industry professional from the Midwest, who comes to NYC to be the new news director of WNYX. When he gets there, he finds out that not only are the other employees an "interesting" bunch, but he also has to fire Ed Harlow, the current news director.

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Even big TV stars have gotten fired

by Bob Sassone, posted May 31st 2006 1:25PM
David CrossI feel sorry for people who have never been fired. I think it's something everyone has to experience, and I think that if you haven't been fired from at least one job in your life, there's a certain aspect of your personality that never developed, and you're going to be disappointed later in life in some way. (OK, I'll stop the psychoanalyzing now.)

The new book Fired! by Annabelle Gurwitch, contains a series of essays from famous (and not-so-famous people) who have gotten fired. It's divided into five different sections: The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope To Be Fired, The Firing You Didn't See Coming, The Time You Deserved To Be Fired, The Time Getting Fired Leads To Something Better, and The Time You Had To Fire Yourself. It's a funny book, but also one that happens to be helpful and more than a little insightful.

Felicity Huffman recounts the day she was fired from the Ed Asner sitcom Thunder Alley; David Cross talks about the day he was fired from a law firm (after he was fired he said to his boss, "wait, I haven't had time to shit on your desk!"); New Yorker writer Andy Borowitz discloses that he was fired from writing for The Facts Of Life because he didn't "get" Tootie; and Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig recounts the horrifying story of how he was fired once from a gig as Ronald McDonald. Other essays in the book include those from Bill Maher, Brian Unger (fired from Extra for wearing sweaters and having a big nose), Anne Meara, Tate Donovan, Judd Apatow, Jeff Garlin, Tim Allen, D.L. Hughley, Robert Reich, and Andy Dick. A very entertaining read.

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The 100 Unsexiest Men

by Bob Sassone, posted May 11th 2006 4:12PM
Dr. PhilNo, no, no, no, no, no! This isn't my list, it's another list from Ryan Stewart (along with Bill Jensen this time) at The Boston Phoenix.

Among the 100: Gilbert Gottfried, Roger Ebert, Randy Johnson, Dr. Phil, Alan Colmes, Michael Jackson, Jerry Seinfeld, Carrot Top, Edward James Olmos, Andy Dick, and Larry David.

Oh, and for good measure, they also throw in ... Brad Pitt.

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Celebrity Poker Showdown returns May 31

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2006 1:11PM
I'm not sure I'm thrilled by this news. Don't get me wrong, I love Celebrity Poker Showdown, but I really liked Phil Gordon. He isn't coming back. Instead, he'll be replaced by poker great Phil Hellmuth, who win join host Dave Foley. Could be interesting though.

The guest lineup looks good for the New Orleans-based eighth season on Bravo (eighth? Oh, yeah, they have more than one a year), so it should be fun:

Game 1: Jorge Garcia, Michael Ian Black, Andrea Martin, Greg Behrendt, and Kim Coles.
Game 2: Jason Alexander, Kevin Sorbo, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Bamber, and Susie Essman.
Game 3: Fred Savage, Jennifer Tilly, Doug E. Doug, Brett Butler, and online tournament winner Ida Siconolfi
Game 4: Jenna Fischer, Mario Cantone, Rocco Dispirito, Jordan Peele, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Game 5: Andy Dick, Macy Gray, Christopher Meloni, Joy Behar, and Robin Tunney.

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Celebs sign on to next installment of Poker Showdown

by Anna Johns, posted May 2nd 2006 10:04AM
celebrity poker
showdown logoThis year, Bravo is holding Celebrity Poker Showdown in New Orleans and all the actors will play for Hurricane Katrina-related charities. Much to the frustration of poker fans, Phil Helmuth is taking the place of Phil Gordon.

Here's a list of notable actors (the full list is here):
  • May 31: Jorge Garcia (Lost), Michael Ian Black (Stella), Andrea Martin (SCTV);
  • June 7: Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle), Jason Alexander, Susie Essman, Kevin Sorbo;
  • June 14: Fred Savage, Jennifer Tilly, Brett Butler, Doug E. Doug;
  • June 21: Jenna Fischer (The Office), Rocco Dispirito, Mario Cantone;
  • June 28: Christopher Meloni; Joy Behar, Andy Dick, Macy Gray

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Andy Dick walks into a bar....

by Adam Finley, posted May 1st 2006 1:02PM
andy dickPolysexual comedian Andy Dick has, in his own manic way, become the Andy Kaufman of the new century. It's not always evident where his act ends and reality begins, and he's been known to drive his fellow actors insane by never making it exactly clear where that line is. I mention this because the gay blog Queerty has some gossip about the insane funnyman, and I'm not quite sure if it was a result of Andy just having some fun, or actually, well, living up to his last name. Apparently, Andy stopped by a gay bar while in New Orleans shooting an episode of Celebrity Poker Showdown (well, after shooting the episode, they didn't film it in a gay bar). Anyway, according to rumor, Andy ordered a drink and then walked away, claiming he didn't have to pay for it because he was a celebrity. After a heated exchange, Dick paid for his drinks, and then groped a female patron. I'd like to think it was just Andy being Andy, trying to get a rise out of the bartender while intending to pay for the drinks all along. Not paying for your drinks, especially in a city trying to get back on its feet after the Katrina disaster, seems like, in more ways than one, a dick move.

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More on the Newsradio season four DVDs

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 15th 2006 6:18PM
NewsradioSony has issued an official press release regarding the season four DVD set of Newsradio, which will be released on June 20. The bonus features on the set will include:

  • Gag reel
  • Commentaries on several episodes
  • The "One Man's Newsradio" short film.
Season four contained some great episodes: "Jumper," with Jon Lovitz as a suicidal man threatening to jump off the ledge outside Dave's office (Lovitz is funnier here and an earlier ep than he was as a later regular); "The Public Domain," where Bill buys a piano and sings political songs (funny as hell); "Super Karate Monkey Death Car," about Jimmy's autobiography; "French Diplomacy," where we learn Matthew used to be a dentist; and "Catherine Moves On," Khandi Alexander's last episode (though she did make a return appearance in the first episode of season five, after the death of Phil Hartman). Season four also includes a multi-episode appearance by Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls, playing Andrea, brought in by Jimmy to get the office in shape.

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