paul f. tompkins
The new Ted Leo and the Pharmacists music video for the song 'Bottled in Cork' (below) features comedians John Hodgman ('The Daily Show') and Paul F. Tompkins ('Mr. Show,' 'Best Week Ever') in roles as a theater critic and a Broadway mogul respectively.
The video, directed by WFMU radio favorite Tom Scharpling, parodies the band Green Day for its decision to use its 2004 album 'American Idiot' as the basis for a Broadway musical of the same name. Green Day faced criticism for the decision from punk purists and Ted Leo's video definitely cuts deep.
Yes, 'Best Week Ever,' the showcase for unknown comedians and friends of Mo Rocca, has officially gotten the axe according to their own website, BestWeekEver.tv. "Sadly, the show that we've all come to know and love, 'Best Week Ever,' has been canceled," the statement read. "The folks that worked on the show were some of the smartest, funniest, kindest people you could find. It was a real creative collaboration from start to finish, and in between hard work and late hours you could find real friendships and dedication. It goes without saying that each and every person who helped make 'Best Week Ever' the success it became will move on to even bigger and brighter opportunities."
Before Tompkins took over last fall, the show was more of a typical VH1 clip show with the narrator running the clips interspersed with commentary from various comedians, including Tompkins. In reading online reactions about the format change, I realized that I actually missed some of the variety we had in commentators on the show. I'm certainly not seeing some of those comedians anywhere else (I am intentionally not seeing Frangelina on I'm a Celebrity...).
However, the network has decided that the multiple talking-head format needs a change, so they've named Paul F. Tompkins as the show's sole host. Tompkins (aka "That comedian in the suits"), of course, was one of the best of those talking heads, and his surreal takes on pop culture's funnier bits were always among each episode's highlights. So it's not like the producers are going "outside the family" in order to find a host.
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.
The novelty of attending a pilot taping wears off pretty quickly. If you've ever attended the taping of any television show, you know that there is a copious amount of waiting involved. Sitting and waiting and freezing. Picking out which audience members were bussed in versus which ones actually know what show they're attending can only occupy you for so long.
Sometimes a celebrity will (supposedly) leave his or her comments on a web site, but you're never quite sure if it's really them or just someone impersonating them. But comedian David Cross is online a lot and when he leaves a comment you know it's him. Case in point, this comment left after a SFist review of a recent gig in San Francisco.
You can read the review, but to summarize: the reviewer loved Cross' stuff on Mr. Show and Arrested Development, but she couldn't take his jokes about Mormons (and on Martin Luther King Day too!). Cross doesn't just leave a snide comment or a quick, expletive-filled putdown, he actually goes on at length about the review, how the show was really perceived by the audience (and he has it on tape to prove it), and tries to explain the comedy he was trying to do at the show. Now, it's never good to "explain" your comedy, but what else is someone supposed to do when they are basically called a bigot?
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