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November 28, 2014

improv

NBC sets premiere date for improv series

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 26th 2007 8:22PM
dave foleyAs Julia mentioned last month, NBC is launching a comedy improv series with an impressive guest list (details below). Thank God You're Here is adapted from an Australian improv series that's part game show, part Whose Line is it Anyway? Contestants will have to choose doors where a comedy sketch is taking place. The guest will be welcomed with the line, "Thank God You're Here!" and they will have to improv their way into the scene. Judges/hosts will be Kids in the Hall's Dave Foley and In Living Color's David Alan Grier.

Guests scheduled to appear include Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, Bryan Cranston, Jason Alexander, Wayne Knight, Ana Gasteyer, Chelsea Handler, Joel McHale, George Takei, Tom Green, Nicole Sullivan, Tom Arnold, Fran Drescher, Shannon Elizabeth, Paul Rodriguez, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mo'Nique, and Alanis Morrisette.

I have always been a sucker for Whose Line is it Anyway?, so I'm going to give this one a chance for sure. Thank God You're Here premieres on two Mondays, April 9 and 16 at 8 pm, before moving to its permanent timeslot on Wednesday, April 18 at 8 pm.

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Saturday Night Live: Rainn Wilson/Arcade Fire - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 25th 2007 11:04AM
Rainn Wilson and Arcade Fire(S32E14) Rainn Wilson is probably best known from NBC's The Office, in which he plays the incredibly funny Dwight Schrute. As always, just because an actor does well in a sitcom doesn't necessarily mean it all translates on Saturday Night Live. Fortunately, Wilson delivered a great performance that was on par with the show's actual cast members. This was a pleasant surprise for me, so I really wish that the weeks' writing had done better justice to Wilson's talent.

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Original UCB members reunite for DVD

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 23rd 2007 4:43PM
UCB original membersThe four original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade - Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser and Matt Walsh - are reuniting to tape their signature ASSSSCAT improv show for a DVD release by Shout! Factory. Other early UCB-ers are expected to participate, including Chad Carter, Sean Conroy, Andrew Daly and Horatio Sanz. If you live outside of New York or Los Angeles, you may remember Comedy Central's televised version of UCB from their 1998 to 2000 run. Maybe this will jog your memory:

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See Reno: 911 Miami free today in Seattle, Phoenix and Boston

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 30th 2007 4:53PM

reno 911Reader Amy asked us if it was true that an early screening of Reno: 911 Miami was showing in Seattle. I immediately checked every site I could think of to find information, and came up empty. Thankfully, our sister site Cinematical did find some information, and yes, RENO: 911 MIAMI IS SCREENING FOR FREE TODAY in Seattle, Boston and Phoenix. Click here to see where exactly. According to Cinema Blend, all showings are at 7:00pm, and one deputy from the series will be at each event. I recommend you call the theater to make sure that time is correct, though.

Apologies for getting this news to y'all at the very last minute, but my typically awesome online detective work left me empty-handed this time. I have failed you, and to punish myself, I'm going to watch nothing but the Oxygen Network for the rest of the day.

Oh yeah, one last important thing: to get into these free showings you'll need to show up with a print out of your MySpace page. It's easy to sign up for one, so if you live in any of those cities, get crackin'. Then come back here and tell me how awesome it was.

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NBC orders Thank God You're Here

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 20th 2007 2:03PM
Dave Foley Thank God You're HereNBC has ordered six episodes of celebrity improv competition Thank God You're Here. The series, which was originally produced in Australia, is being described as Whose Line is it Anyway? meets Let's Make a Deal. Celebrity guests will choose one of several doors to open. Behind each door, a comedy sketch they know nothing about is being performed. Whether they stumble into an operating room, a motorcycle race or an undersea adventure, they'll be greeted by the line, "Thank God you're here!" From that point, the celeb is on his or her own. Their performances will be judged by Kids in the Hall alum Dave Foley and host David Alan Grier.

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NBC's president announces renewals for Office, Earl, SVU, and Heroes - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 17th 2007 1:20PM
NBC logoNBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly started his network's portion of the TCA press tour by announcing full-season renewals for four shows: My Name Is Earl, Heroes, Law & Order: SVU, and The Office. This means all four shows will be back for new seasons in the fall. Reilly called those shows, and a number of others, "tent posts" that he thinks will bring the network back to a much stronger position than it has been in recent years.

In other news, Reilly announced the pickup of a new improv pilot called Thank God You're Here, where improv comics will don a costume unknown to them, enter a scene, and attempt to improvise through it. It will be hosted by David Alan Grier, and the improv comic's skills will be "judged" by Dave Foley. Where does the name of the show come from? Well, when the comic enters with his costume on, the other comics in the scene will say, "Thank God You're Here!" Clever, ain't it?

More on the executive session later today.

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UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? coming to DVD

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 28th 2006 2:02PM

whose line is it anywayThe original UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? that also aired on Comedy Central way back in the day is coming to DVD, and Adam couldn't be happier. This version was much smarter and funnier than the bastardized American version with Drew Carey because it never undermined the intelligence of its audience: the performers would throw out historical references and lines from Shakespeare without so much as batting an eye, while the ABC version stayed within a mainstream template by basing games on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and other references of mass appeal.

That's not to say the US version was never funny, and it was helped tremendously by the fact that much of its main cast also appeared in the UK version (Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, etc). If I had to choose just one version to watch for the rest of my life, though, it would be this one.

A box set including seasons one and two will hit stores on February 27.

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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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Meet the Papdits

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 8th 2006 12:01PM
The PapditsNo doubt capitalizing on Borat fever, CBS' broadband channel Innertube is broadcasting the full-length pilot episode of The Papdits created by Da Ali G Show writer and producer Ant Hines. The show's Borat-type premise follows the misadventures of a family from Kashmir as they interact with Americans while looking for the perfect place to settle and make their fortune. Their journey begins in Arkansas.

The show, again like Borat, is a comedy/reality hybrid. You've got mockumentary, talking head shots like The Office, but also scenes in which the actors are improvising off of unwitting American dupes. The Papdits perpetuate that uncomfortable, cringe-inducing humor we've all come to know and love.

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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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Comedy Central picks up American Body Shop

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 5th 2006 9:03PM
comedy centralBack in the merry month of May I told you guys that Comedy Central had picked up the pilot for a new series called American Body Shop. Well, that has now expanded to ten episodes which are set to air in the summer of 2007. The mostly-improvised show is reported to be in the same vein as Reno 911!, focusing on a repair shop run by Sam, a man whose employees include a receptionist named Denise; Rob, a mechanic; a phony thug named Johnny; and a mysterious Peruvian by the name of Luis. Based on the press release, the show might have more in common with Reno 911! than just being improvised. The character descriptions and their quirks sound an awful lot like the deputies of Reno: one says inappropriate things, one is a kind of ringleader who is always ignored, one always makes racist comments, etc. Hopefully it only sounds similar on paper. I like the concept, I just want it to be unique.

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MTV orders sketch comedy from Nick Cannon

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 2nd 2006 4:22PM
nick cannonMTV is giving sketch comedy another whirl, this time with actor/rapper/comedian Nick Cannon at the helm. The new show is part of a production deal that MTV signed with Cannon just before the third season of his improv show, Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out, premiered in August on the network. The new sketch show is called Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz (I guess name recognition is a big deal for him). MTV has ordered eight half-hour episodes, to air in early 2007. Supporting cast members include Taran Killam (Nobody's Watching), Katt Williams, Leonard Robinson, Eliza Coupe, and Affion Crockett. The show includes the usual sketch ingredients of impersonations, parodies and comedic spins on topical issues.

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Dog Bites Man: Assignment: Daytime Talk Pilot

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 10th 2006 11:05AM

dog bites man(S01E09) In this episode, the KHBX news team are given a timeslot early Sunday mornings to do whatever they want, so they decide to create a daytime talk show for reporter Kevin Beekin. Before all of that, however, they shoot a segment outdoors with a roadside clean up crew. Since the garbage on the road isn't "reading" on the cameras very well, they actually take garbage out of their van and throw it on the side of the road, much to the consternation of the woman in charge of the clean up.

There first plan of action concerning the new talk show is to discuss some ideas with a PR person. They mention things like interviewing John McCain while Kevin is sitting on an elephant, and Alan gets the idea to actually pull pranks on animals, such as putting kittens inside of a dog house.

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Dog Bites Man: Assignment: Team Building

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 13th 2006 10:50AM

dog bites man(S01E05)

Alan: Knock knock.

Marty: Who's there?

Alan: Me.

Marty: Me, who?

Alan: "Me Who" was the village my uncle died in, in Vietnam.

(Marty laughs, Alan looks angry)

Marty: Well, you said it was a joke.

Alan: I forgot that it wasn't.

Perhaps it was because the cast and crew of Dog Bites Man ruffled some feathers recently with their particular brand of guerrilla improv, but last night's episode actually had a disclaimer at the beginning explaining that anyone in the episode who was not a part of the KHBX Newsteam were just regular folk who were unaware they were being taped as part of a comedy show.

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Reno 911!: Wiegel's Pregant (season premiere)

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 9th 2006 10:35PM

reno 911(S04E01) Here we are with the fourth season of the improvisational cop comedy Reno 911!, and if you've been watching the series up to this point you know that any cliff hangers from last season are going to be dealt with hastily so we can get to what the show is really about: police officers behaving life buffoons.

Nevertheless, let's revisit what happened at the end of season three: Trudy's boyfriend, a convicted serial killer, has been sentenced to death by lethal injection. At the last minute, however, the phone rings in the execution chamber. Could this be the call that will save his life? No, as it turns out it was just someone who called the wrong number. So he's dead, or so we assume. Also, Dangle and Garcia have become trapped inside their cruiser during a violent snow storm, but they find themselves rescued by the fire department at the start of this episode. Also, they're both naked inside the car, which they both claim was because they read something once about body heat, or something ... okay, no one knows why they were naked.

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