Archives for Comedy

Channel Surfing – May 29

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– What if Hurley, John Locke and Ben from Lost, Dwight Schrute and Craig Ferguson were Simpsons characters? It would be awesome, that’s what.

– VH1 is planning a Hills-ish reality series revolving around the rich and not-so-rich folk who frequent Aspen.

– Bravo reps are suggesting next week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey will shed further light on the alleged criminal past of scene-stealer Danielle Staub.

– The next issue of Rolling Stone will reportedly feature a cover in which American Idol runner-up (sigh) Adam Lambert announces he’s gay. Inside, there will be stories where Miley Cyrus admits she can’t really sing so well and John Mayer confesses he’s in love … with himself.

Kris Allen, future governor of Arkansas? Crazier things have happened.

A Shot at Love star Tila Tequila is reportedly preggers. What are the chances this isn’t going to unfold on reality TV?

– Could Chuck return earlier than March 2010?

– And the next cast of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew will include a former Real World-er, Dennis Rodman, Heidi Fleiss and One Day at a Time star Mackenzie Phillips.

‘Man’ vs. Wild Will Ferrell

He may be a comedy A-lister, but on Tuesday’s episode of Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild (10PM ET), Land of the Lost star Will Ferrell feasts on a dinner of reindeer eyeballs and his own urine.

Host Bear Grylls and Ferrell parachute off a helicopter and into the Swedish hinterland, where they’ll rappel down a hundred-foot frozen waterfall, get crafty by fashioning their own snow shoes out of twigs and, yes, drink their own urine.

CBS may want to keep Ferrell in mind if they ever get that all-star version of Survivor off the ground …

Talkin’ With … Paul F. Tompkins, ‘Best Week Ever’ Host

You may know Paul F. Tompkins from Mr. Show, Tenacious D or The Sarah Silverman Program, or for guest appearances on series like Frasier, Weeds and Pushing Daisies, or for the stand-up career that has included Comedy Central specials, pop culture commentary on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and debating pop culture evils like Oprah and PETA on Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil.

But Best Week Ever fans – and as a recent BWE Tweetup in NYC proved, there are lots of us – have come to know and love the Philly funny guy as the host of our favorite pop culture wrap-up series. Tompkins, a regular talking head on the series, brought his comedic sensibilities, his endearing charm and, of course, his spiffy suits to the forefront in October 2008, when VH1 named him as host of the revamped BWE, now officially titled Best Week Ever with Paul F. Tompkins (Fridays, 11PM ET, VH1).

On the afternoon of a new Best Week Ever episode recently, I had the chance to chat with Paul about everything from the show’s new format, how he and the BWE team go about making us laugh every week and his favorite BWE guests to what TV shows he watches for fun, his dream job and his refreshing take on his career and, yes, what the “F.” stands for.

PS – Fans who follow Tompkins on Twitter will be privvy to inside scoop on the show, like recent Tweets from Paul about tonight’s BWE guests, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert.

Hey, Paul! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this today.
Oh, thank you for wanting to talk to me.

So, let me start with the format change. I loved the old show and I love the new format, but how did the change come about?
Oh, well thank you. That’s very nice to hear. I think it came about because the show had been going on for about four, fur-and-a-half years, and I think the feeling was, ‘Hey, we need to change it up a little bit.’ You know, it had been the same thing for awhile, and a lot of other shows on our very network had been kind of copying the talking heads style. So there was plenty of that out there, and I think there was an idea to mix it up a little bit and make it a much more written show, as opposed to the way it was, with comics riffing and stuff like that. It’s a lot harder to control the content (with the old format), but if everybody is there at the same time, I’m here with the writers, we write the show together throughout the week … It’s just a lot easier to produce the show and focus it and have a consistent point of view.

The new format is obviously driven a lot by your personality, too. Was it scary to be that front and center? It would seem to be a lot of pressure …
Yeah it is, because I hope people like me. It’s a lot of me, and, you know, there are people, I’m sure, who thought that a little of me goes a long way, and some who feel the other way, that they would like to see more of me. So it’s a tough thing to consider the people that have been viewers of the show already, and then people who have never seen the show before, maybe had no interest in the show before. How do we get new people, how am I presented to new people … it can be an intimidating thing.

…Read more

Channel Surfing – May 28

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

American Idol producers say there was no funny business with those AT&T text-messaging services that gave Kris Allen fans the chance to throw extra votes his way. You buying it? Well, then, read this story, in which one fan says the AT&T set-up helped her cast more than 10,000 votes for Allen. Whuuut?!

John Lithgow as a serial killer on the new season of Dexter? Brilliant.

– Another surprising bit of casting: Freddie Prinze Jr. will play Davis Cole, the new CTU Field Ops head who wants to be just like Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) on season eight of 24. Not a name that would have popped into my head to play mini-Jack, but 24‘s castings have always been flawless, so I’ll trust that this one will be no exception.

– Clearly, I’m not the only one who finds Wipeout charming. And you have to love any show that puts John “Skunk Boy” Henson back on the tube every week.

– With the Gosselins‘ problems still major tabloid fodder, USA Today has a rundown of some other famous reality TV families, and the one thing that’s true about all of them: Being on TV only seemed to make their problems worse.

– Cindy Brady’s (Susan Olsen) writing a book about the bizarre bit of TV history that was The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.

– Now that the networks’ fall skeds are set, they’ve begun recasting some of their pilots. Sorry to see 24‘s Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth) out of a job.

– More 24 news: Jack Bauer and Captain Kirk will be presenting an award at Sunday’s live MTV Movie Awards.

– And, this Real Housewives business may quickly spiral out of control. Reportedly also on the list of upcoming spin-offs: Real Housewives of Chicago. Not that there’s anything wrong with that … just that there’s not gonna be much non-Housewives room left on the Bravo schedule soon if they roll out all these rumored spin-offs.

Channel Surfing – May 27

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Did AT&T help Kris Allen win American Idol? Allegedly so.

– Everyone loves a good case of schadenfreude, but it makes you wonder just how insufferable Jon and Kate Gosselin are that no one seems to be coming to their defense these days, don’t it? BTW, nearly 10 million viewers watched the season five premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8 … again, schadenfreude. I wonder how far that number will drop for next week’s new episode, especially since the premiere made it pretty clear that the Gosselins can barely stand to sit next to each other on a couch.

– As the New York Daily News points out, the Gosselins are hardly the only exploiting their children for reality TV dollars.

Jessica Simpson just isn’t going to go away, and TV may be helping that.

– Whoa … Is Susan Boyle really a potty mouth?

– If you doubt The Big O’s influence, tune in Thursday night for CNBC’s The Oprah Effect (9PM ET), a special that delves into how just a mention on her show can mean the difference between a business thriving and filing for bankruptcy.

– Hoo-ah! Al Pacino‘s headed to the tube, playing suicide doc Jack Kevorkian in an upcoming HBO movie.

24, which begins production on season eight today (yay!), has added another pair of new cast members, including Kissing Jessica Stein star (and girlfriend of Mad Men star Jon Hamm) Jennifer Westfeldt.

– And, there’s plenty of serious TV business to talk about today, but for some comic relief, and just plain old fun summer TV watchin’, you can’t beat tonight’s return of Wipeout (ABC, 8PM ET) and The Big Red Balls.

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