Posts tagged with “Comedy”

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.

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‘Glee’: It Could Have Been the Perfect Summer Show

It’s like Grease-meets-Fame-meets-Freaks and Geeks-meets-Square Pegs, with a dash of every other great teen/high school drama thrown in for good measure. And, it’s peppered with Journey songs. What is this delicious mix of pop culture goodness? It’s Glee, the new dramedy that’s getting a cushy premiere slot tonight: the post-American Idol hour (9PM ET on Fox, or whenever they decide to end the constantly-in-overtime AI).

First things first, Glee is wonderful. It’s sweet, funny, sincere (sometimes painfully so, as many a drama and choir geek will probably attest), and though I’m not a huge fan of musical theater that doesn’t feature some sort of performance by Nathan Lane, the song-and-dance numbers performed by McKinley High’s glee club are just plain fun.

The show, in case you’ve somehow missed all the hype during Idol, revolves around small-town teacher Will Schuester (Tony-nominated Matthew Morrison), a former glee club member during his own high school days, who volunteers to become advisor to the current glee clubbers in an effort to help them prove they’re not second-class citizens to the school’s jocks and celebrated cheerleaders (the “Cheer-ios,” whose advisor is the always delightful scene stealer Jane Lynch from Party Down, Talladega Nights and The 40-Year-Old Virgin).

Will, whose prickly home life has led to a bit of disconnect from his own once bright and hopeful outlook, has the super peppy, ambitious and talented Rachel (Spring Awakening star Lea Michele) to lead the way. And once he, well, blackmails (hey, this is a show from Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy – it’s sweet, but there’s still some of that trademark orneriness in there) secretly-talented singer and football star Finn (Kyle XY‘s Cory Monteith) into joining the singing squad, they may just have a shot at, well, if not greatness, something akin to not sucking, either.

Sounds like the perfect summer show, right? Something that not only we in the 18-49 demo can enjoy, but something that might actually get the ‘tween and teen set to peel their eyes away from the Internet and their Xboxes long enough to watch, right?

Yep, it was the perfect idea to premiere it post-Idol, at the end of the TV season, right before the summer TV schedule kicks off … and then put it away and not air it again for several months, when it will live in the Wednesday at 9PM timeslot on Fox’s fall schedule.

Bottom line: Don’t miss tonight’s premiere. And then don’t forget how much you liked it when it finally airs again in a few months.

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Talkin’ With … ‘Wilfred’ Star Jason Gann About Season 2

Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]

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