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October 8, 2015

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Funny people talk about the comedy biz

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 3rd 2007 12:04PM

vernon chatman and john leeThe 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.

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A third season of Wonder Showzen is unlikely

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 18th 2006 11:01AM

Wonder ShowzenIt is indeed a sad day, fellow fans of Wonder Showzen. In an interview with Radar, show creators Vernon Chatman and John Lee have said that MTV2 has still given no official word on whether their subversive, blood-soaked, drug-addled tribute to children's shows will return for a third season. Currently, Lee says the answer is about "ninety percent 'no'" as to whether or not the show will return.

As is the case with most shows that includes kids dressed up as a dead Pope, dozens of scenes segmented on the screen and played simultaneously, a dog pulling a baby from a pregnant woman's womb while she's being killed in an electric chair and puppets dry humping the Bible, Wonder Showzen had a devoted fanbase but never got the ratings that would make a network want to keep it around. It's not much consolation, but the second season does come out on DVD today, so you can always pop it into the ol' DVD player and remember the good times. Also, the brains at Adult Swim have expressed their love for Wonder Showzen, so maybe there's still a small glimmer of hope for the show after all. Keep the faith, brothers and sisters.

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Wonder Showzen guys should do horror

by Adam Finley, posted May 16th 2006 5:04PM

wonder showzenI'm a big fan of Wonder Showzen, not only because I find it subversive and hilarious, but also because the show can make a person downright uncomfortable at times with some of its graphic scenes. I recall an animated segment in a recent episode in which a dog pulls a bloody fetus out of a woman while she's being killed in the electric chair. That's just one example of many in which the show tries to simultaneously tickle both your funnybone and your gag reflex. This has led me to the conclusion that John Lee and Vernon Chatman, the creators of Wonder Showzen, should make a horror film. I think the surreal, visceral approach they sometimes use could result in a horror flick that's truly unique. I imagine something along the lines of Dario Argento's films, horrific but oddly fascinating at the same time. I doubt they have any intention of doing so, but they could, that's what I'm saying.

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Funny short from Wonder Showzen creators

by Adam Finley, posted May 9th 2006 4:15PM

gumdropVernon Chatman and John Lee, the creators of the cult hit Wonder Showzen, have created a funny animated short for Comedy Central's Motherload site called "Golden Age" (or "Marching Gumdrop: The Sweet and the Sour"). The short chronicles the rise and fall of Marching Gumdrop, part of a group of anthropomorphic refreshments who promoted the snack bar at the local theater. Finding himself broke and out of work, Marching Gumdrop changes his name to "Jerome" and tries to make it in Hollywood as a gossip columnist and occasional guest star. Also, he almost dies from trying to eat himself. To check it out, go to the Motherload site and click on "Web Shows." It's much tamer than their work on Wonder Showzen, but still darn funny.

Update: The short is actually done by the animation studio who does animated shorts for Wonder Showzen, not the creators. Thanks to bill for the clarification.

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Wonder Showzen guys talk to The Onion

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 20th 2006 3:09PM
wonder showzenThere are plenty of shows that "push the envelope" so to speak. So many, in fact, that simply being subversive and politically incorrect isn't enough to even raise an eyebrow anymore. Then there's Wonder Showzen, a show that not only pushes the envelope, but pretty much tears it to shreds. The show, which is basically what Sesame Street would be if it was created by an insane uncle, manages to be equal parts hysterical and disconcerting. If you've ever read an interview with creators John Lee and Vernon Chatman, you know it's impossible to for them to give a straight answer about anything, but by the end of this interview with The Onion's Josh Modell, they manage to let down their guard and give a few insights into the show. It's also interesting to learn the kind of arbitrary approach MTV has when it comes to what it will air and not air. Apparently a kid dressed as Hitler and interviewing people on the street is okay, but shooting a crucifix with a shotgun isn't.

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