Monthly Archives: October 2010
As we wind down before the Halloween weekend, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you that, two nights after Jon Hamm graces the Studio 8H, SNL will return with returning female alumni for the Women of SNL. The primetime special will include old sketches as well as new material with former cast members like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Nora Dunn and Cheri Oteri (while it’s clear there’s going to be retrospective interviews, we’re not sure if they will offer any original sketches). As we mentioned when this was announced a few weeks back, Fey, Poehler, Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch have appeared on the show frequently over the last couple seasons, so the special feels a little redundant, but we guess they deserve some specific recognition.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Around this time last year Fresh Air host Terry Gross interviewed directors Judd Apatow and Wes Anderson, asserting her place on the Judd Apatow Chart. Last week she welcome Jason Schwartzman, who appeared in both films the directors discussed with Gross last fall, those being Funny People and The Fantastic Mr. Fox respectively. Now that Gross has interviewed all three talents it’s clear now that she’s really angling to be included on our Apatow web. Well, Terry, you keep at it, and next time we do an update we’ll see what we can do. If you could somehow finagle an appearance in one of their movies that would certainly be a big boost to your chances.
In addition to discussing his roles in Apatow and Anderson’s films, Schwartzman also talks about Bored to Death, as well as what it was like growing up in the Coppola family, so if you have 45 minutes, it’s worth a listen.
And to stimulate your visual cortex, here’s a couple of our favorite Schwartzman moments:
Well, now there’s a book (not written by us). Bill Carter, who chronicled the first Tonight Show War in The Late Shift, is set to release The War for Late Night, an in-depth look at last winter’s late night talkie drama, what many of us referred to as the Jaypocalypse. With Conan, beard and all, set to premiere his new show on TBS in just a matter of days, the book should be a fascinating recount of how the late night landscape was perhaps forever changed, and how, in the end, the skirmish might have been the best thing that ever happened to Conan O’Brien.
Read an except from The War for Late Night on Vanity Fair
And since there will inevitably be a movie based on the book, let’s remember the last one:
(Fun Fact: did you know that the actor who played Jay Leno in The Late Shift, Daniel Roebuck, went on to play Dr. Leslie Artz on Lost? It’s true! I know, right?! Oh, and Letterman was played by John Michael Higgins, who is just generally awesome. Crazy!)
A little over a year ago I posted a piece comparing the David Bowie avatar from Lego: Rock Band to his look as Jareth in Labyrinth, noting the obvious discrepancies between the groin-regions. It went on to be one of our most read posts of all time, due in no small part to the frequent search term “Labyrinth David Bowie, ” a group of words that sees its most action during the Halloween season. So, with that in mind, let’s revisit that post one more time:
Lego: Rock Band David Bowie Clearly Not ‘Labyrinth’ David Bowie
The first images and video of the David Bowie avatar from the upcoming Lego: Rock Band game hit the web this week. Vulture posits that “Bowie’s penchant for androgyny makes him a perfect candidate for being immortalized in Lego form.” However, while Ziggy Stardust certainly is the standard for androgyny, the image of David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth has been burned into my brain, and I can’t help but feel that Lego Bowie is missing something.
(Hint: It’s not the gloves)
On a related note, great Halloween costume idea: Slutty Hoggle.
Just a reminder, Jon Hamm returns to host SNL for the third time in three years (and the second time hosting the Halloween show). At this rate he’ll catch Alec Baldwin in 12 years.Vodpod videos no longer available.
And since it’s also election season, here’s a relevant sketch from his first hosting stint:Vodpod videos no longer available.
We look forward to Monday morning when we will once again beg Hamm to focus exclusively on comedy.
Halloween often brings out the best in Dunder Mifflin (and the “best” usually means the worst in the characters), and this year’s entry, “Costume Contest,” joined that distinguished class of strong Office holiday themed episodes. We’ll say that it wasn’t quite as good as last week’s outing, “The Sting,” but we’re also grading “Costume Contest” on the far end of a true bell curve. The holiday episodes immediately have an advantage, especially Halloween eps with their possibilities for outrageous costumes, so we have to give them something of a reverse benefit of the doubt. But, with that in mind, Halloween 2010 continued a bit of a return to form for The Office.
Really, in what has become something of a hallmark of the season, this was an ensemble effort (other great examples from season six are the staff venturing out for Andy’s play and the sex ed discussion moderated by Andy). The series really began to hit in season two when it moved beyond the UK Office paradigm of “obnoxious boss – good-natured salesman – weirdo salesman – shy receptionist” and began to more successfully integrate the rest of the Dunder Mifflin team (you saw this immediately in the season two premiere “The Dundies“), but this episode, with the clever conceit of a costume contest (for a Scranton coupon book), was truly a showcase for the whole cast. This might have led to a somewhat unfocused episode, as Alan Sepinwall argued, but we think it worked, and we’ll take a fun episode with the whole cast as the A story instead of a weak, grating episode that clearly focuses on a weak, grating Michael Scott.
Well, not quite. But during a recent appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius radio show, Stern did ask Joel if he had read Michael Ian Black‘s essay “What I Would Be Thinking About If I Were Billy Joel Driving Towards A Holiday Party Where I Knew There Was Going To Be A Piano” (from his delightful anthology, My Custom Van, now available in paperback), so it’s almost as if they collaborated. Sure, Joel hadn’t read or even heard of the essay, but now he knows about it, and we’re sure if he did read it he’d agree with every word (we think he’d also particularly enjoy the essay “Why I Used a Day-Glo Magic Marker to Color My Dick Yellow”).
Beyond the brief discussion about Black’s essay and Joel’s actual experience of going to party and finding out he’s supposed to be the entertainment, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable interview that delves into Joel’s personal past, and also goes in depth about Joel’s new concert film/documentary Last Play at Shea.
So that makes it Billy Joel, Michael Ian Black, and the Mets all in one conversation! That’s like Christmas for a Long Island Jew Comedy Nerd! Mazel Tov!
Thanks to Kieran for the tip