Tuesday at 8 PM on NBC, you'll hear his voice in Merry Madagascar, playing Marty the zebra for the third time, along with returning regulars Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith. He's confident it's not the last time he'll voice Marty, either, with Madagascar 3 in the works.
So why does a guy who can do anything he wants spend time in front of a microphone pretending to be a cartoon animal?
"Money," he says jokingly, speaking on a conference call on Wednesday. "No, no they're good. You realize as you get longer in this business, the only thing that keeps you working is doing good stuff. You know, I mean the box office is great, too, but if people don't like what you do the moment the box office isn't fair, they don't want to work with you anymore."
- Tina Fey
- Robert Downey, Jr.
- Will Ferrell
- Whoopi Goldberg
- Jay Leno
- Ben Stiller
- Sean Combs
- Kristin Chenoweth
- Jerry Seinfeld
His new project is The Station, a CIA-based FOX comedy produced by Ben Stiller. It's about a group of covert operatives in South America who are there to install a new dictator. Sounds weird. I don't care. John Goodman's in it.
Goodman is one of those actors who has natural comic timing, but also possesses a dramatic capability absent from many of his comedic brethren, thus allowing him to put depth into his roles. Plus, he's one of those actors who makes everything better and more anticipated just by being tied to it. Who doesn't love John Goodman?
It's a comedy about a CIA operative working with his crew to install a new dictator in a South American country.
I don't mean to sound so negative, but this concept doesn't exactly scream "network hit." I'm not saying it won't be funny. It better be. Zoolander himself, Ben Stiller, is directing the pilot. But this doesn't sound like the kind of thing that will make it on Fox, the network known for pulling the plug too early on some of its best and most original series. It might get a chance to grow on a cable network like FX or AMC. Maybe. But not on Fox.
Anyway, I had predicted that the Oscars would stink. Well, I was wrong, or half-wrong. Separate from whether you agreed with the winners -- I did by and large -- or you didn't, what about the broadcast? I think if you had seen all the nominees (or at least the Best Picture noms), you probably had a rooting interest and were amused by most of the show. However, the other half was pretty bad. After the jump, what worked versus what did not.
The list of qualities that made Arrested Development such a great show is quite long, but somewhere near the top, right after the cast, is the list of recurring characters who were so hilarious. Here my ten favorite acquaintances of the Bluth family.
1. Barry Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler)
It is a credit to the brilliance of Arrested Development that an actor like Henry Winkler, who will forever be identified with the role of Fonzie, can be identified with a character who could not be more different. The hilarity that comes from Barry's sexual deviancy and complete legal ineptitude is reason enough to watch.
It seems like we're experiencing a renaissance of decent sketch comedy programming or maybe we're just reaching an Upright Citizens Brigade alumni saturation point in popular media. (Seriously, move over Second City, and SNL, your days are numbered.) It could be the internet's doing - between the amateurs on YouTube, Super Deluxe and VBS, there's no shortage of comedy gold out there in accessible, bite-sized nuggets. Rather than try to pin down how and why our airwaves are awash in sketch-length comedy goodness, I'd like to draw your attention to MTV's most recent offering - Human Giant.
Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.
No matter how much TV I watch, I can't seem to get over the first rule of television programming; if it doesn't get the numbers, it doesn't get renewed. I have watched many a beloved show get yanked from the schedule due to low ratings, even though critics and fans alike all raved about it.
Here are some examples of shows that were too good for the small screen.
The potential for greatness was here, sadly Fox didn't promote the show and nobody watched. I was lucky enough to watch the entire season on and finally get answers to some really nagging questions.I also got see favorites like Mark Valley & Dana Delaney really chew the scenery.
The Bob Newhart Show (the variety show on NBC)
This show won a Peabody award, but was clearly ahead of its time. It's pretty hard to find these days, but Tv icons like Ken Berry and Joe Flynn were regulars and the comedy was superb.
That bit is a good example of what was wrong with this installment. Aside from the fact that it was a reference to a show that you have to be 40 years old, or a tv nutter, to get, it just wasn't funny. And no matter how long the song went on, it was never going to be funny. I found myself in much the same situation while watching tonight. I was just sitting and watching, waiting for it to get funny.
So when I was sent a preview copy of the first season of the pair's follow-up effort, Extras (out Tuesday), I was intrigued but wary: after such a successful debut, the sophomore effort more often than not disappoints. Also, all the reviews of the show I had read during its BBC and HBO runs (I have neither channel) were of the mixed-to-positive variety. So... is it worth buying, renting, or neither? I'll let you know after the jump.
"More is Hell": Bush has been getting snippy. Jeez. That's no way to behave if you want to send more men to Iraq. And the president suddenly doesn't seem so quick to answer that we're winning in Iraq, anymore. And what's up with Tony Snow's sudden interest in grammar? Gerunds... Hm.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- You'll always remember where you were when you heard the news: Miss USA may be dethroned.
- The downside of being A-list: Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller were both denied guest roles on 24.
- Just like Dustin Diamond will always be Screech to me, Lucy Lawless will always be Xena. But she's trying to turn her new love of singing into a career in music.
The video's embedded after the jump below, or you can download the file directly (Quicktime required). You can also subscribe to this vodcast via our feed.
Called The Department of Acceptable Media, the program is based on a live event that Jack Black, along with Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, have hosted in Hollywood since 2003. At the live event, five-minute "pilots" by aspiring filmmakers are screened and the audience votes on their favorites. The televised program will work in the same way - viewers will vote online at www.acceptable.tv - for their favorite shorts. The winning "pilots" will get to produce a second episode. The losers will be canceled.
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