Jesse is a nice guy, but he's not that smart and he has the absolute worst luck of almost anyone on television. So now that he's getting into this semi-serious relationship with the landlord/neighbor, I'm just waiting for something horrible to happen to him or her or both. It's inevitable. Nobody suffers like Jesse suffers. Well, except for tonight. There was a whole lot of suffering going on from everybody. I'm sure Skinny Pete was suffering too, wherever he wound up. As for Bob Odenkirk up there, well he barely appeared, but I like his character so much on the show I'm featuring him anyway!
(S02E08) I'm starting to wonder if Walter and Jesse have turned into the Abbott and Costello of Albuquerque or the New Mexican Laurel and Hardy or maybe some other bumbling duo that have been attempting to do something so far beyond their ken that the fact that they made it this far is a bloody miracle. This show illustrated yet again how the unexpected situations continue to pile up around Team Heisenberg and by the skin of their teeth; they come out the other side.
Breaking Bad's creator Vince Gilligan should be winning more awards. He's just nabbed a Peabody, but there are Emmys in his future. Breaking Bad is that good. This level of writing, the complicated storytelling is amazing.
If there is one thing I learned during the Comedy Central TV Funhouse panel on Thursday night, it's this: they are not good with computers. For most of the evening panelist Robert Smigel and moderator Bob Odenkirk spent their time fiddling around with the Mac laptop provided to them so they could show clips from the TV Funhouse DVD that was released on Tuesday. After they got that squared away they spent several more minutes setting up an iChat so Funhouse host Doug Dale could join in the conversation. They even needed to ask a member of the audience for their Mac Powerbook in order to set the session up. Obviously, you don't want these guys on your technical support team.
Despite the technical difficulties, the TV Funhouse panel was the highlight of my Thursday at Comic-Con.
When you make a living online and a big part of your job is to spend the entire day surfing around a hundred web sites, you begin to think that you've seen everything there is to see on the web. At least the good stuff. But sometimes you come across a site that makes you smile and say to yourself, "this is great!"
That's what I thought when I found the Sound of Young America podcast.
Oh, and we also got to learn about the chain/circle/pyramid of screaming. I wish I knew about that when I used to be a corporate wage slave. It would have made my life a lot easier.
Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal, based on his stand up comedy, includes Blanchard (7th Heaven) as his significant other, an aspiring doctor and the sensible one of the couple. Phil Hendrie, best known as a popular radio talker but was also on The Unit in a supporting role, has been cast as Mike's abrasive doctor. But perhaps the best news for this CBS project is adding Bob O to the company as Mike's big brother. In everything I've ever seen him do, Odenkirk is a riot. He's a two-time Emmy winner for his comedy writing.
The folks behind some of my favorite series of the past decade talking about the TV comedy business? Yes, please.
Golden Fiddle has a transcript of a panel discussion with David Cross (Arrested Development, co-creator of Mr. Show), Bob Odenkirk (the other co-creator of Mr. Show), Chuck Tatham (writer, Arrested Development), and Wonder Showzen creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee.
Okay, so last month I told you Bob Odenkirk was creating a series for the comedy Website Super Deluxe called "Derek and Simon: The Show." I probably don't have to remind you since I assume you write down everything I tell you on this blog and carry it around in a briefcase everywhere you go, just in case someone asks you about it.
At any rate, I've placed an edited version of the first short, "Baby Talk," below. If you want to hear actual swearing, you can watch the unedited version here.
Quite honestly, I was underwhelmed by it. I was hoping for something more from the man who helped bring us Mr. Show, Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. I could see the punchline coming from a mile away, which is never a good sign. Perhaps subsequent episodes will be better.
The Web series will run for a total of twelve episodes.
Tom Goes to the Mayor began as a couple short short films on creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's Web site, and even then it was obvious that not everyone was going to be into it. If anything, the fact that so many people either absolutely loved the series or just found it confusing and unfunny is a testament to its success: one doesn't make a show like Tom Goes to the Mayor with the intention of pleasing everyone. You either grok it, or you don't.
Here's a little round-up of what some of your favorite comedic actors have been up to:
First of all, Bob Odenkirk and a few others have provided their comedy expertise to a new book from McSweeneys titled Comedy by the Numbers. The book breaks comedy down to its bare elements (see pic on the right) so that anyone can become a funny person. Despite the book's obvious tongue-in-cheek approach, I find it somewhat appropriate since I've often considered McSweeneys approach to humor to be a little too cold and clinical sometimes.
I had heard rumblings here and there about a pilot for a sketch series from Mr. Show co-creator Bob Odenkirk called Next!, but the series was never picked up for a full season. According to Wikipedia, the show was created in 2002, and as you can tell from the clips below, it featured Odenkirk and some of his Mr. Show co-stars, including Jerry Minor (Lucky Louie) and Jay Johnston (The Sarah Silverman Program and Moral Orel).
The clips definitely have a Mr. Show-like vibe, especially the ad for a car dealership featuring Johnston as the inept brother of the owner (Odenkirk), and Minor singing a ballad to the American flag and its booty ("it's only Panama, baby").
Anyway, here's a small sample of what might have been (or what once was and then wasn't):
(S01E01) I have no plans to review this new series from Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker every week as I did their last series for Adult Swim, Tom Goes to the Mayor, mostly because this new series is so random and eclectic it'd be almost impossible to write a coherent review every week.
I became a fan of Tim and Eric a couple years before Tom Goes to the Mayor was developed for Adult Swim, having stumbled upon the various shorts on their Web site. What immediately struck me was not just that these men were funny, but that their humor was constructed within an entirely different paradigm. I imagine it's somewhat how American audiences first responded to Monty Python, which at the time must have been so different from what people were used to that many were simply turned off by it. I'm not making a direct comparison between Monty Python and Awesome Show, but I am saying there's a difference between comedy that works because it's been done before countless times, and comedy that really dares to be different.
That was quite an impressive lineup of comics on Comedy Central last night, eh? The Night of Too Many Stars was a benefit for autism charities that attracted the likes of Jon Stewart (who hosted), Steve Carell, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Jerry Seinfeld, Borat, Will Ferrell, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, and many others.
CCInsider (that's the Comedy Central site for video and other content) has some great clips of the event, including Cross and Odenkirk's banter about American Idol-type shows, Triumph singing about people like Star Jones and Kathie Lee Gifford, Ricky Gervais' routine about not doing enough for charity, and Jimmy Fallon impersonating Bee Gee Barry Gibb during the auction part of the show.
OK, so I'm not really sure what's up with Fallon's Gibb impersonation. Does Gibb really dance and do karate moves like that?
[via Best Week Ever]
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