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Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Winning Beyonce/Super Bowl Tweets, Assorted ‘Star Wars’ Stuff, And Afternoon Links

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The Internet’s 10 Best Tributes To Bill Murray’s ‘Groundhog Day’ |UPROXX|

Tumblr Hero Has Been Leaking Pages From The ‘Entourage’ Movie Script |Warming Glow|

Rampage Jackson Is Acting Like Rampage Jackson With The Ladies Again |With Leather|

Gas Up the Van: Spring Breakers has a restricted trailer |Film Drunk|

“Bi-Racial” Is The Best Pop-Locking Ode To Mixed-Race Women You’ll Hear Today |Smoking Section|

Go Sports Team! |Kissing Suzy Kolber|

8 brilliant true stories about Bill Murray |Fark|

The Sexiest (Or Creepiest?) Beverage Commercial Ever |Gorilla Mask|

Whale Vomit Could Pay off Your Mortgage |Technabob|

Top 5 Suspects In The Rick Ross Drive-By |Urban Daily|

10 of the Best Boobs Gifs You’ll See Today |College Humor|

Five of the Most Magical “True” Multiplayer Games |Unreality|

Presidential Monster Action Figures. The End. |HuffPost Comedy|

11 Common Words You’re Probably Mispronouncing |Mental Floss|

A Porn Star Is Training to Be the First Porn Star in Space |Brobible|

Get Bent: 47 Of Hollywood’s Loveliest Leading Ladies in Drag |Pajiba|

14 Ways To Guarantee A Life Of Loneliness According To “Seinfeld” |Buzzfeed|

Billy Joel & Vanderbilt Student Michael Pollack – New York State of Mind |High Definite|

VIDEO BELOW: “Some video of me and Scott Aukerman working with the London Symphony Orchestra, as director J.J. Abrams looks on.” — Paul F. Tompkins (The audio is from Comedy Bang Bang Best of 2012 part two.)

Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Giggity.

 

[Pictures via Reddit and Mike Mitchell.]


Filed under: GammaSquad Tagged: ART, BEYONCE, COMEDY BANG BANG, LINKS, NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, SCOTT AUKERMAN, Star Wars, SUPER BOWL, Twitter, VANDALISM

Alison Brie Imitates Popular Internet Memes

What Would Zack Morris Do In 2013?

Watch Mark-Paul Gosselaar Wear A Fake Mustache, Rip On Justin Bieber And Play ‘Zack Morris In 2013′

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zackmorris

Let me begin by disclosing my biases here: I am an unabashed lover of fake mustaches. I have seen every episode of Saved by the Bell multiple times and have written thousands and thousands of words about it. I started watching Franklin & Bash semi-ironically and it has somehow ended up becoming a part of my soul. I enjoy the comedy of Paul F. Tompkins, particularly his appearances on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast. And I would very much like to drink Manhattans with Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

So I am, shall we say, not impartial in regards to these videos from Paul F. Tompkins’ web series “Speakeasy,” which feature the comedian sitting down with the man behind Zack Morris and Peter Bash to knock a few back and discuss his career.

The second video I posted below is getting the most play so far, because it features Gosselaar playing a few rounds of Zack Morris In 2013 and that is some pretty damn strong Internet bait, but the more straightforward interview in the first clip is really interesting, too. For example, did you know that Gosselaar attended a regular high school 30 miles outside of Los Angeles for a solid chunk of Saved by the Bell’s run? How weird must that have been for the other students? Like, you’re just sitting at your lunch table poking at your Salisbury steak with your spork and all of a sudden Zack Morris himself asks if he can join you? I would have thrown up.

But I think my favorite part of the clip is when Gosselaar discusses the differences between being a teen star today and when he was on the cover of every third edition of Tiger Beat. He makes some solid points about how technology has changed the way we consume this sliver of pop culture, and, in the process, he sort of defends Justin Bieber. He also repeatedly calls him “annoying,” so it’s not the strongest defense you’ll ever hear, but still, it’s interesting to get a perspective on that situation from someone who lived through it and came out the other end a healthy, seemingly well-adjusted adult. A healthy, seemingly well-adjusted adult who owns at least one fake mustache. Let’s not forget that part.

(via Gawker)


Filed under: TV Tagged: MARK-PAUL GOSSELAAR, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, SAVED BY THE BELL, ZACK MORRIS

Watch Dan Harmon Talk All Things Dan Harmon Over Cocktails On ‘Speakeasy’

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Community showrunner Dan Harmon is the latest guest on Paul F. Tompkins’s excellent web series, Speakeasy. Their half-hour discussion covers everything from Harmon’s roots to his early days with Channel 101 to getting fired from The Sarah Silverman Program after co-creating it to, well, Community. Obviously. Lots of Community talk, some of which you already know if you’ve been following The Great Community Saga over the past few years, but some of which you probably don’t. Or, at least, some of which you didn’t have this perspective on. Highlights include:

  • He says lots of creative-types love television and get what it’s about and supposed to be because they spent their childhoods sitting in front of one soaking it all in, while many of the string-pulling suits spent their childhoods “grooming horses, not watching TV.”
  • He liked working with a network more than Comedy Central because the network was too busy to nitpick every joke.
  • He really likes making holiday episodes.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

It’s a good interview. Check it out if you have 30 minutes.


Filed under: TV Tagged: Community, DAN HARMON, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, SPEAKEASY

2776: How Three Comedians Got A Bunch Of Famous People To Make A Comedy Album in Their Garage

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2776album

2776


Three longtime friends and comedic writers got together to make a concept album featuring aliens, a zombie apocalypse, time travel, and Alex Trebek. Joel and Stephen Levinson along with Rob Kutner call it “2776”, the year the album takes place. The premise of 2776 entails Will Forte (acting as the future president of America), trying to convince an evil alien (played by Martha Plimpton) not to destroy Earth. Why? Because America, that’s why. The rest of the album involves time travel through the past, present, and future. Spanning several centuries as well as several genres, the 28-track album is a jam-packed hilarious journey into a universe where eventually Canada saves the day.

The album features an incredible roster of talent, including Paul F. Tompkins, Andrew WK, Reggie Watts, Aimee Mann, KD Lang, Will Forte, Martha Plimpton, and many more. All these names signed on, and from there the Levinson brothers and Kutner had to struggle to make an epic album with almost no budget. The album is a labor of love, and all the proceeds go to charity. I met the three ambitious philanthropists at a bar, where we drank and talked about the project.

Filmdrunk: Explain to me what this whole thing is, all of “2776”. How did the idea come about, and what is the concept?

Rob: A couple years ago it was the 40th anniversary of “Free To Be…You and Me”. Joel, Stephen, and I have been working together for many years doing all kinds of stuff. Joel is an awesome songwriter and I thought what if someone did just sort of an homage to “Free to Be…You and Me”, and what if we did it for charity so celebrities can make time for it and it could all go to a good cause. So we planned that all about three weeks, right before the birth of my second child which I don’t recommend.

Joel: We started brainstorming and were just like “what is an idea where we could put in every stupid joke we have?” That’s what 2776 is. A thousand years of American history: the past, the present, the future.

Rob: We could geek out about Thomas Jefferson, and zombie robots.

Filmdrunk: So is there a clear story-line?

Stephen: There is a story-line that comes along in a couple of places throughout it. It’s the year 2776 and Will Forte is the president of the US, and he’s an idiot. Martha Plimpton is an alien about to destroy the earth but Forte says “No, no you can’t destroy the earth. The earth contains America!” So he and his body guard, Aubrey Plaza, take the alien on a time traveling journey throughout all the past and future of America. They pick up George Washington (Paul F. Tompkins) along the way and he’s no help at all.

Rob: In the end, spoiler alert, America doesn’t convince the alien to save Earth. But then the Canadians step in. We got all these Canadians like Kids in the Hall, Samantha Bee, and Will Arnett.

Joel: KD Lang, Alex Trebek…

Rob: To sing this “We Are the World” type of song to brag about Canada’s minuscule accomplishments like inventing the multiplex and discovering insulin.

Filmdrunk: Is this stuff you already knew in your head?

Rob: We did some research

Stephen: We asked Canadians what they’re actually proud of.

Filmdrunk: What about the recording process? How difficult was it to get all these celebrities on board?

Stephen: Every song was a different story. Andrew WK and Aimee Mann came to Joel’s garage.

Joel: It’s not even a garage studio

Stephen: It’s a laptop in a garage.

Filmdrunk: That’s where you primarily recorded?

Joel: That’s where I did all of the music.

Rob: So those were the first few people to sign on and we recorded there, but once we got more people we started taking more swings. We started asking recording studios to donate time, and we found studios in LA, NY, and one in Toronto who all gave us free time.

Joel: Alex Trebek agreed to do his bit on a song, and we weren’t going to ask him to schlep to a studio. So we went to his house with a microphone and stood in his living room.

Stephen: I was driving our dad’s 10 year old Buick to Alex Trebek’s house. I’m sure they thought they were about to get robbed.

Filmdrunk: How long did each song take to get finished?

Joel: Some of them were as fast as 6 months. It took between 6 months and 18 months.

Rob: But all simultaneously.

Filmdrunk: How long did the whole project take?

Rob: 18 months total

27761

2776


Filmdrunk: Did anyone surprise you with their singing talent?

Rob: Paul F. Tompkins is a great singer.

Joel: But we kind of knew that. Will Forte, I didn’t know he could sing. When he agreed it meant he wasn’t afraid of songs, but when we got in there I was like, “damn he’s hitting a good note right now”.

Rob: Conversely there were a lot of funny musicians. Like Neko Case.

Stephen: She is on a song about feminism in sci-fi. We had it written by two women. We didn’t want to write it because we’re not women. We gave it to these great writers, but when Neko and Kelly [Hogan] got it, they changed lyrics to how they saw it.

Filmdrunk: What was harder to write about? The past, present, or future?

Stephen: We all have different strengths, I fell asleep in history class.

Joel: I think the past was the hardest because so many people have talked about the past. It was hard to come up with our own new perspective on the past.

Stephen: Rob is really good at writing that stuff. He’s a smart guy, he knows history. I’m a big sci-fi nerd so that was better for me.

Rob: Stephen has crazy ideas that only exist in sci-fi.

Filmdrunk: It seems like there is a bunch of different genres happening here.

Joel: That was Rob’s push.

Filmdrunk: Any favorites?

Rob: Sophie’s Choice man…to Joel’s credit, he is a very versatile songwriter. Because of that I was like, let’s push many styles. So, we got like what 12 styles?

Joel: Oh come on, there’s got to be more than that.

Rob: Well, there’s big band. There’s hip hop, rap, jazz, broadway.

Joel: Mambo…

Stephen: Folk.

Joel: Plenty of blues.

Rob: You get the idea.

Stephen: One thing we really wanted to do was like, if we’re getting a blues guitarist we’re getting the best blues guitarist we can get. We have a guitar solo as a joke and we got Eric Jonson, who is this amazing guitarist, to play us the best guitar solo ever on a comedy album.

Filmdrunk: Why was concept album the route you wanted to go?

Joel: Stephen objected to it from day one, but Rob and I wanted to make a Broadway musical.

Rob: We settled on making an album that can also be a show.

Joel: We thought it would also be easier to do this than write a Broadway musical. Turns out we were absolutely wrong.

Stephen: I think we wanted something to unify all this crazy, diverse music.

Joel: But you grew up as a fan of concept albums.

Stephen: I guess.

Filmdrunk: So it’s also an homage?

Stephen: Yeah it’s definitely an homage to a lot of things that we like.

Filmdrunk: Last but not least, talk to me about the charity this is all going to.

Joel: Yes, it’s OneKid OneWorld. It’s for kids. We wanted to do something that would benefit kids. So the goal was really finding a charity with a sense of humor. OneKid OneWorld was started by a comedic writer and they do annual shows with comedians. We wanted to have creative freedom on the album and them still be proud to be connected to it.

Rob: Also, they have a small focus. They have contacts in Kenya and El Salvador. They go and they send groups over and they build schools. They pay teachers and buy textbooks.

Joel: It’s more targeted. The money goes there, and nowhere else.

Rob: Exactly. We like that. It’s not one of those huge sprawling ones where you don’t know what they do.

Filmdrunk: Sounds great. I am definitely going to buy this album for myself.

Joel, Rob, and Stephen: Yay!


Filed under: Film Drunk, Media Tagged: 2776, aimee mann, ANDREW W.K., comedy, interviews, JOEL LEVINSON, MARTHA PLIMPTON, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, REGGIE WATTS, ROB KUTNER, Stephen Levinson, WILL FORTE

Paul F Tompkins Had RJ Mitte Do A Blindfolded Cereal Tasting In ‘Breaking Breakfast’

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Paul F. Tompkins sat down with RJ Mitte for Man Made, and being that his character of Walt Jr. was such a big fan of breakfast, he thought he’d do a blindfolded taste-test to see if Mitte is anywhere near as astute in the art of breakfast as his alter ego. Spoiler alert: He’s definitely not. Not even a little bit. What kind of person can’t even properly identify Fruit Loops? It’s a goddamn shame.


Filed under: TV, Upcoming, Web Culture Tagged: breakfast, BREAKING BAD, CEREAL, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, RJ MITTE

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About ‘BoJack Horseman,’ Netflix’s First Crack At Animated Comedy

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BoJack Horseman in bed

YouTube


On Friday, Netflix continues its expansion into every corner of the entertainment and television universe with the original animated series BoJack Horseman. While it sounds like a terrible WWE gimmick created for a guy who looks like he could play Arn Anderson’s son, BoJack is actually an adult-themed comedy – described by the online streaming giant as “Witty, Irreverent, Deadpan, Cynical” – that presumably aspires to be mentioned in the same breaths as South Park and Archer, while appearing to have the same offensive and fearless edginess of a cult favorite like Duckman, an under-appreciated series like Ugly Americans, or even a completely forgotten gem like the short-lived God, The Devil, And Bob.

Then again, there’s also the possibility that this new series simply intends to be the first of its kind, and according to its synopsis, it’s going to scratch a lot of people who love watching celebrities crash and burn in all the right places.

Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the ’90s … 20 years later. Set in an L.A. where humans and anthropomorphic animal-people coexist, “BoJack Horseman” is about one man (well, horse-man) who peaked too early and must figure out what to do next.

BoJack Horseman egg

YouTube


More specifically, actor and bipedal talking horse BoJack Horseman was the star of the show Horsin’ Around, but like a lot of our favorite TV stars from the 80s and 90s, things went south once the ratings died. Now, BoJack is trying to reinvent himself in a time when people are more obsessed with fame and F-list celebrities than they’ve ever been, and one of the first steps is a tell-all biography. Created and written by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who previously wrote an episode of the cancelled NBC series Save Me and The Exquisite Corpse Project, the series stars five beloved actors that should at least convince most of us to give BoJack Horseman a whirl come Friday.

BoJack Horseman characters

Netflix


1) Will Arnett – The voice of BoJack Horseman himself, the down but not out star of Horsin’ Around. Of this troubled animated character, Arnett told USA Today:

How does Arnett describe BoJack? “I try not to — lest I should freak people out. I see people’s eyes widening when I say, ‘It’s about a guy who’s a horse who used to be a ’90s sitcom star,’ ” he says. “Honestly, it’s just a study of these characters and BoJack happens to be a very extreme narcissist who is having a tough time re-entering the world.”

2) Alison Brie – Diane, the human woman tasked with ghost-writing BoJack’s book.

3) Aaron Paul – Todd, BoJack’s best bro. Paul is also handling the role of another character that sounds absolutely delightful.

“On BoJack’s side, it’s more of a frustrating love-hate relationship,” says Paul, who also plays a rooster in a jogging suit that runs around the neighborhood at dawn yelling for everyone to wake up. “At the beginning, he’s just annoyed by Todd and doesn’t feel like he even wants Todd around. Throughout the season, BoJack realizes that he does, deep down, care for Todd quite a bit.” (Via USA Today)

4) Amy Sedaris – Princess Carolyn, a cat and BoJack’s agent.

5) Paul F. Tompkins – Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane’s boyfriend and a TV star. Oh, and he’s a dog.

As we learn from this teaser trailer for BoJack Horseman, nothing is off limits in this anthropomorphic version of Los Angeles. Seriously, nothing.

In addition to the core cast’s star power, we can expect to hear some other favorite celebrity voices in each episode, as Patton Oswalt, Stanley Tucci, Melissa Leo, Wendie Malick and Keith Olbermann are all on board for the disgusting fun. But words are nothing but letters shoved together, so let’s see something more than just a teaser trailer.

Television critics are already weighing in on Netflix’s latest original work, and the quotes you’re about to read aren’t exactly going to inspire you to set a reminder. In fact, if I had to sum them all up with one BoJack Horseman GIF, I’d say that this one does the trick:

BoJack Horseman

YouTube


Part of the series’ problem right out the starting gate is that Arnett’s boorish, self-absorbed former sitcom star feels like little more than an equine version of a character he’s played a dozen times, most effectively in “Arrested Development.” – Brian Lowry, Variety

BoJack hits funny bones hardest when it loads up on background gags–for example, the fact every character has a terrible ringtone provides surprisingly rich humor as the six episodes advance. – Kyle Anderson, Entertainment Weekly (via Metacritic)

All of the setups are promising, and there’s nothing really wrong with the idea of repurposing the has-been-sitcom-star template by making the lead character a horse. What’s wrong is that it’s not well written. You get the sense that Bob-Waksberg figured just taking a well-worn premise and populating it with animated animals is somehow funny enough to sustain us for 12 episodes. – David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

Arnett plays a washed-up ‘90s TV star — a man with a horse’s head — in this bizarre, Seth MacFarlane-like show that seems to have stemmed from a trippy night on ‘shrooms. In the words of Nancy Reagan, just say no. – Lori Racki, Chicago Sun-Times

In defense of a show that I have not watched and am excited for based on the cast and premise alone, judging any series on its first season has become a futile exercise. Think back to the first seasons of the two greatest animated series ever created – The Simpsons and South Park – and they’re both trash in comparison to the show’s best years and episodes. Not all animated series can be as explosive and awesome as Archer from Day One, but even that show didn’t have universal praise in the beginning.

Meanwhile, Netflix users, apparently oblivious to the definition of “review” having to do with actually watching something, are already weighing in with their own ratings, and it seems to be a mix of positive…

BoJack Reviews

Netflix


… downright paranoid and just plain pissy.

BoJack Reviews 2

Netflix


Again, BoJack Horseman debuts on Friday, August 22 and, like all Netflix original series, will be available in its entirety. It’s certainly not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but when your trailer starts out with Air Bud International Airport, you’ve earned a three-episode grace period from this guy.

Air Bud International Airport

YouTube



Filed under: TV Tagged: AARON PAUL, ALISON BRIE, AMY SEDARIS, ANIMATED SHOWS, bojack horseman, NETFLIX, netflix original series, NETFLIX REVIEWS, PATTON OSWALT, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, WILL ARNETT

Watch Bob Saget Awkwardly Narrate ‘America’s Filthiest Home Videos’

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As he did previously with RJ Mitte, Paul F. Tompkins had Bob Saget on his web series for some Speakeasy: Internet Games, this time playing “America’s Filthiest Home Videos.” Of course we all know that Bob Saget is a filthy f*cking human being despite all those years mugging it up on Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, so naturally he manages to incorporate bestiality and cannibalism jokes into a cat playing Jenga and a near cliff diving accident.

It’s, uh, a little uncomfortable. I wonder what Stephanie Tanner would think about this.

how-rude

Photobucket



Filed under: TV, Upcoming, Web Culture Tagged: AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS, BOB SAGET, PAUL F. TOMPKINS

Here’s John Mulaney On The Time Justin Bieber’s Posse Pointed And Laughed At Him Backstage At ‘SNL’

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Not to be outdone by his Saturday Night Live colleague Bill Hader, whose stories about how terrible Justin Bieber is are gospel around these parts, John Mulaney — you may have seen him before — used his last few minutes on “Speakeasy” with Paul F. Tompkins to go into detail about the time Justin Bieber prank scared him backstage at SNL, and then proceeded to point and laugh at him until Bieber and his posse were fully amused.

Bonus points for the Canada intro. Here’s to Mulaney’s show just being him telling “sad prince” stories.


Filed under: Music, TV, Upcoming, Web Culture Tagged: JOHN MULANEY, Justin Bieber, MULANEY, PAUL F. TOMPKINS, saturday night live, SNL

Nobody Panic But The ‘Mr. Show’ Gang Are All Together And Promising Something Vague On Twitter

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mrshow

Twitter


It’s New Year’s Eve afternoon, and there’s not much going on. Nope, not much going on in the news at all. So basically, what better time to sneakily DROP A FREAKING BOMBSHELL ON TWITTER ABOUT THE POSSIBLE RETURN OF MR. SHOW IN 2015?????????

*runs around screaming*

If you’re counting, yes, those are six original cast members of Mr. Show in the same room together: Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Paul F. Tompkins, Jay Johnston, Brian Posehn, and Eric Hoffman — in addition to two other guys we’re trying to identify. Is the guy in the sunglasses Scott Aukerman? And who is the tall guy in the back? [UPDATE: Yes that is Aukerman in the sunglasses and the tall guy is Bob Odenkirk’s brother — thank you friendly UPROXX commenters and my friend Jon Rosenberg.]

I MEAN SH*T. What am I doing sitting here not drinking the champagne I was planning to bring to a New Year’s party tonight when there is something that clearly needs celebrating RIGHT NOW THIS VERY INSTANT. If you’ll excuse me, going to get champagne drunk now. Happy New Year!

Watch Summer Glau Imitate Animal Memes On The Latest Episode Of ‘Speakeasy’

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The entire premise of the “Speakeasy” web series is for Paul F. Tompkins to share beverages of the alcoholic variety with other famous people. But that’s a bit tough for Summer Glau — she’s eight months pregnant. So instead of downing vodka cranberries, hold the cranberries, they discuss all things Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and dancing over Shirley Temples. Oddly, despite Glau being such a nerd icon, Tompkins never brought up the Star Wars ball droid, though he did ask her to imitate popular animal memes.

Jim O’Heir Of ‘Parks And Recreation’ Gives A Delightful Interview About Bloody Puppets And Chris Pratt

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Parks And Rec‘s whipping boy, possible sleeper agent, and friend of UPROXX Jim O’Heir (Jerry!) sat dawn with Paul F. Tompkins for an excellent episode of Speakeasy. He talks about the stage show he was doing in Chicago that first brought him to Los Angeles: “There was blood and puppets and this big vagina that at the end just — as they do — killed everybody.”

If that isn’t intriguing enough to interest you in the video (What more do you want?!), he also talks about how happy he was to lose Star Search under questionable circumstances, playing “the anti-Jerry” in the upcoming The Middleman, and how Chris Pratt just “kills kills kills” as the only one who can always make Nick Offerman lose it during a scene (but we already knew that).



Watch Key And Peele Try To Defend Horrible Things To Paul F. Tompkins And Victimized Puppets

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As a Serious Journalist on Fusion’s No You Shut Up!, Paul F. Tompkins wants to hear every possible side of the story no matter how unsavory or questionable. But in order to help an unpopular opinion go down a little more smoothly, he’s enlisted two very funny people, Key and Peele. Here, they are forced to take sides on a few important issues that may or may not cost them their stellar reputations, at least among the puppet community.

Source: TVGuide

A ‘Mr. Show’ All-Star Team Has Joined David Cross And Bob Odenkirk’s Netflix Series

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mr-show

HBO


David Cross and Bob Odenkirk have recruited their best “pallies” to join them on their new Netflix series, With Bob and David, which will premiere once Odenkirk finds that old birdcage he’s been looking for. Unsurprisingly, most have a connection to Mr. Show, and one guy looks a lot like Garry Marshall. I bet David’s already asking him questions about Me and the Chimp.

Deadline reports that Paul F. Tompkins, Jay Johnston, Brian Posehn, John Ennis, Mark Rivers, and Dino Stamatopoulos have been added to the cast, as has Comedy Bang! Bang!‘s David Ferguson. The most notable names missing from that list are Tom Kenny and Jill Talley, as well as Scott Aukerman. Maybe they’re saving his material for the b-b-b-bonus DVD?

(Via Deadline)

Paul F. Tompkins Tries To Teach Us How To Be Adults

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paul f tompkins crying and driving 1

Comedy Central

Comedian, host, podcaster, and dapper gentleman Paul F. Tompkins is a veritable jack of all comedic trades. After getting his start in comedy at Philadelphia’s Comedy Works in 1986, the native East Coaster moved to Los Angeles in 1994 and gained national attention via Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ Mr. Show. Since then, Tompkins has hosted VH1’s Best Week Ever series, played minor roles in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam McKay, and became a podcasting deity.

If that sounds like a lot of work, well… it is. However, juggling these projects and more isn’t too much for Tompkins, whose new stand-up special on Comedy Central, Crying and Driving, premieres this Saturday, October 10 at 11 p.m. EST. So, while mere mortals might think that putting out a new comedy hour, preparing for a fourth season of No, You Shut Up! on Fusion, and joining Odenkirk and Cross for Netflix’s upcoming Mr. Show revival is a bit much, Tompkins disagrees. All you have to do, he says, is learn how “to be a grownup.”

 

 

Like your podcasts, you tend to do more longform work. There aren’t many short, punchy jokes in Crying and Driving.

It’s just a natural evolution of style. When I started out, there was definitely more shortform stuff, but then I really started to enjoy the storytelling aspect of it. Trusting that the audience would follow me on a little journey. It’s so much more rewarding to connect with an audience in that way. A real way. To share my emotional life with people in a way that they could relate to, not in a way that would make people uncomfortable. We all do dumb things and we all have tearful moments. That sort of thing.


But then you warn your audience before you discuss going to therapy after the crying story.

Less anyone become afraid that this is now going to be an oversharing situation. I’m just going to be sharing the exact right amount.

The crying story is funny, but it’s also really powerful. Was it ever a popular topic of post-show conversation on the tour?

No one has ever cited that story to me specifically. It’s a different kind of thing. A couple of specials ago, I talked about my mother dying. A lot of people would come up to me after the show and share their experiences with me. That really connected with a lot of people, but I don’t know that that many people have had the experience of bursting into tears in a public alley. It’s certainly a thing that people appreciated in the moment.

Maybe it’s just me, then.

[laughs]

Between podcasts like Spontaneanation, Fusion’s renewal of No, You Shut Up! for a fourth season, and countless other projects, you’re a very busy man. Just… how?

The thing is, in this line of work, your job is made up of many little jobs. Sometimes it’s one big job and you can concentrate on that, but then a lot of times all these other things come up that are just impossible to say no to. I started out in stand-up, and that’s always been and always will be a part of my life — even though I get a main job like No, You Shut Up! that takes up the most of my time and I’m a part of that everyday. You just kind of make time for things. What happens over the course of years is you get better at narrowing things down. Sometimes you have to make tough choices, and that’s difficult. You have to be a grownup sometimes.

I admire your ability to say no.

It’s important! Because it’s not all about, “I don’t want to do that. I’m going to say no.” Sometimes it’s about things that you do want to do, but you have to look at reality and say, “I’m just not going to be able to do that.” You still have to live your life. I’m a married man, and I love my life with my wife, but I have to make time to have that life. So that we can do… not just collapse in front of the TV at the end of the night, but we can take a vacation or go out to dinner or get together with our friends. That stuff is really important. You can’t just work all the time.


Especially when your profession uses everyday life experiences as its raw material.

Absolutely. In order to talk about life experiences, you have to have those life experiences.

You’ve crafted Crying and Driving into a finely-tuned hour for Comedy Central. Is there anything you wanted to put in, but couldn’t?

The full set is a little bit over an hour. I’ll be able to release that for sale in a couple months. In my deal with Comedy Central, there’s a little bit of a waiting period before I’m allowed to sell it. So that will have another 15 to 20 minutes of material. More about my life at home with my wife and us moving in together. There’s more stuff about learning to drive and the trauma of that. A lot of fun stuff that unfortunately couldn’t fit in there, but I feel like the broadcast version is still very representative of the journey of the set.

No, You Shut Up! premieres in February, but the press release said there would be two “special reports” in November.

We’re going to hype the new season and introduce some new segments and talent to the show. Just letting everyone know what they’re in store for next year.

The new season is going to focus on the 2016 election cycle. Are there any particular candidates you look forward to discussing, or is everyone fair game?

It’s too early to tell. Even though Donald Trump is all anyone is talking about now, by the time we’re on the air full-time in February, he might be gone. I’m very interested to see what takes shape between now and then, and I’m looking forward to it no matter what. Whether Trump’s in or out, there will be plenty to talk about.

Crying and Driving premieres Saturday, October 10 at 11 p.m. EST on Comedy Central. Here’s a preview:

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It’s Business As Usual On ‘W/ Bob And David’ In This Brand New Sketch From Netflix

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The return of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross to sketch comedy will be upon us soon thanks to the fine folks at Netflix. W/ Bob And David premieres on November 13th, filling the post-Mr. Show void. Too many times we’ve been forced to look back and create ways to keep the show alive in our memories, but now we have teasers and trailers to prove that this is real. This sketch is merely the icing on the cake.

In it we get the silliness, we get Bob Odenkirk yelling and we get the entire gang from the HBO series back together. It’s magical, even if everybody is older. In the sketch, poor Paul F. Tompkins is attempting to make some resolutions with his friends and decides to drop meat from his diet. This singles him out as an assh*le, clearly, especially when you consider all of the very attainable resolutions the rest of the group puts forth.

He also gets to stuff his face with some pizza, so all is well by the end. It’s just nice to see these guys back together in this fashion.

(Via Netflix)

Paul F. Tompkins Wrote A Stunning Tribute To Garry Marshall

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Garry Marshall is a filmmaker most people have probably enjoyed without even realizing it. His role in pop culture, be it through television or cinema, has been tremendously influential. He created prominent works in almost every decade, many of which are sort of cultural touchstones of their time. Whether it was through his work on Happy Days or its various spinoffs or his films like Pretty Woman or The Princess Diaries, almost everyone has experienced Marshall’s work at some point and loved it. Marshall passed away yesterday at the age of 81, and his passing has hit many in the entertainment industry in a very personal way. Acclaimed comedian and podcaster Paul F. Tompkins is a particularly big fan of Marshall’s work and penned a stunningly poignant tribute to the filmmaker for Vulture.

In the open letter, he talks about how the Happy Days franchise served as his introduction to comedy as a child and the wonder with which it filled him. More importantly, he writes about the fact that he overcame his social anxieties as a child by doing imitations of characters from the shows, and how that was what taught him how to be social with his classmates.

He also shares some humorous anecdotes about imitating Garry Marshall for various comedy events and finally meeting his idol at a table reading for the acclaimed animated series Bojack Horseman. The entire letter is worth reading, but perhaps the most important part is its ending, in which Tompkins makes an apt observation about Marshall’s work: it is entirely devoid of pretension. So often we laud work that appears to be meticulously crafted, that bares the soul of its creator on the screen or page, that has a message. And we often do this at the expense of work produced for a mainstream audience, chalking it up as hollow, as not worthy of appreciation. Tompkins observes that this is immensely disrespectful to the people who create works that are meant for mainstream audiences, that they work just as hard at their craft and deserve respect for it. Because at the end of the day, if the work they’ve done has made someone happier, it’s important.

(Via Vulture)

Ed Helms Knew He was Going to Get ‘The Daily Show’

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“Speakeasy” is one of the great interview series on YouTube. Paul F. Tompkins has interviewed everyone from Lizzy Caplan to Haley Joel Osment, and his newest episode featuring Ed Helms is very engrossing. It helps that the look of the show is so fabulous. It's like an HBO drama about funny celebrities being candid. It just works.

Listen as Helms opens up about his confidence going into his “Daily Show” audition, his time on “The Office,” and the incredibly taxing world of voiceover work. 

Watch: Sarah Silverman Takes a Marijuana Mastery Test

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Sarah Silverman is not just a great comedian and interviewee; she's also apparently a living Wikipedia entry on marijuana comprehension.

The Emmy winner sat down with Paul F. Tompkins for his excellent show “Speakeasy” and took a test to prove whether she can spot phony marijuana varieties. This girl's got skills.