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


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



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’


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


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


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



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


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.


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


Subscribe to UPROXX

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


Comedy Central/Getty Image

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’


“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


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.

How the sad but silly ‘BoJack Horseman’ became one of TV’s very best shows



It's difficult to describe Netflix's “BoJack Horseman” – and, more importantly, the show's genius – without sounding high at best, insane at worst. It's a surreal cartoon series set in a universe where humans mingle with (and frequently date and marry) anthropomorphized animals like the title character, voiced by Will Arnett, who's still living off the fame and fortune from his stint as a '90s family sitcom star. It's an absurd Hollywood satire, but also a deep character study of a profoundly depressed (horse)man, and it may be one of the saddest shows in all of television.

And also one of the very best.

Like many of this era's most striking series, “BoJack” is so fundamentally different from anything that's come before it that its brilliance took a while to become fully clear. The opening episodes of its first season (season 2 debuts Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific) had their amusing moments, particularly in the deployment of the animal characters – say, the harried Penguin Publishing editor of BoJack's memoir being an actual penguin, voice by Patton Oswalt – but felt largely like a familiar blend of Seth MacFarlane and Adult Swim takes on showbiz.

But the initial references to BoJack's depression at the state of his life and career weren't throwaways, or attempts to ground the show's odd sense of humor: they were the whole point of the story. “BoJack Horseman” is a comedy, but it's also an unblinking, incredibly empathetic portrait of middle-aged melancholy – not just for BoJack, but for all the people in his circle, no matter how ridiculous they may seem at first.

The new season, for instance, works wonders with BoJack's rival, the gregarious dog Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), who late in season 1 married BoJack's ghostwriter and crush Diane (Alison Brie). Underneath all his boundless yellow Lab enthusiasm, Mr. Peanutbutter is revealed to have his own fears and neuroses about his life, career, and marriage. Similarly, the show takes seriously the overwhelming loneliness of BoJack's ex Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) even as she's dating Vincent Adultman (Brie again), whom only BoJack seems to recognize is three little kids standing on each other's shoulders inside a trench coat. This season's fourth episode presents a quartet of time-fractured stories about the harsh realities of love – for a few minutes, it's practically a Vincent Adultman spotlight – while not letting go of the show's usual strange comic touches.

“BoJack” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg has clearly thought through the rules of this strange world, including the ways in which the hybrid characters so often let their animal natures take over. When Diane tries to assure Mr. Peanutbutter that she loves him, she tells him he's a good dog, and then repeats “yes you are” three times in a cutesie-poo voice to make sure the message filters through. The season's fifth episode, meanwhile, addresses the tricky question of where  poultry and pork come from in a world where all the animals wear clothes and drive cars. (Like “Hannibal,” it may make you pause a moment the next time you're served meat. Also, it breathes new life into the “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke.) And there continue to be amusing references to animalized celebrities from our world, like Goose Van Sant(*) and Maggot Gyllenhaal, along with smart pieces of guest casting, like Alan Arkin as J.D. Salinger or a “SportsCenter” reunion between Craig Kilborn and Keith Olbermann (who has a recurring role as a whale of a TV news anchor).

(*) Princess Carolyn, upon learning that Goose may be backing out of a project with Emily VanCamp: “Are you saying the Van Sant camp wants to recant on VanCamp?”

Bob-Waksberg never loses sight of his central character, whose unhappiness runs much deeper, and older, than his status as a Hollywood has-been. Season 2 finds him theoretically at the top of his game: starring in a biopic about his beloved Secretariat, famous and celebrated for the memoir Diane wrote, and even dating Wanda (Lisa Kudrow, warm and slyly funny), an owl who emerged from a 30-year coma to run a broadcast network. (It says something about the show's view of the TV business that Wanda is so good at her job despite having missed three decades of pop culture.) But none of these things, nor a brief reunion with the grown-but-damaged co-stars from his sitcom “Horsing Around,” seem to do anything to pull his spirits out of the dark pit where they usually reside. The second season premiere brings back Wendie Malick as BoJack's cruelly candid mother, who even when she's trying to apologize to her son can't help but hurt him.

“You were born broken,” she tells him, her voice tinged with regret. “You're BoJack Horseman. There's no cure for that.”

These are crushing words for the main character of any show to hear, let alone on an animated comedy about a washed-up horse/man. But where the show's sadness and silliness shouldn't work together, instead they make each other stronger. The sadness hits harder because it's coming right from a cartoon horse's mouth, while the preposterous nature of the comedy – particularly anything involving Aaron Paul as BoJack's dim but sweet housemate Todd – feels even more welcome as a relief from the crippling despair of so many of the characters.

Even Todd's not immune from the heartache that grips so many of his friends. In one episode, he confesses to Diane, “Sometimes, I feel like my whole life is just a series of loosely related, wacky misadventures.”

“BoJack Horseman” is funny enough that it could get away with being exactly what Todd describes. But it wants to be so much more than that, and succeeds.

No show this ludicrous has any business being this poignant, and vice versa. The show's earworm of a closing theme has BoJack wondering if he's “more horse than a man” or “more man than a horse.” He's both those things, just as “BoJack Horseman” is somehow one of TV's funniest comedies and most affecting dramas all in one weird, addictive little package.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com

‘Battlefield Earth’ is no longer the funniest thing to result from Scientology


826 Project

Living in LA is enormous fun. Or at least, the potential for enormous fun is always there, provided you actually pay attention and go to things and get out of the house and actually take advantage of the various amazing opportunities that are around.

The UCB Theater is a place I should spend more time. No two ways about it. There are all sorts of things that happen there that I would love to see. Some of those, I hear later or see later, and thank god they make the effort to record so much of it, because I just listened to two of the funniest hours I've heard this year, and it is well worth your time to seek it out.

Here's something from the official website of “The Dead Authors Podcast”:

826 National is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of its network of eight writing and tutoring centers. 826 centers offer a variety of inventive programs that provide under-resourced students, ages 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. We also aim to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Last year our tutoring centers – located in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC – served over 29,000 students.

The podcast is both incredibly smart and funny, and a chance to direct attention to that organization's work. Paul F. Tompkins hosts the podcast as H.G. Wells, and each episode, he has on another dead author to have a conversation about their career and their lives. He's had great guests on, and inspired combinations of author and actor, like Ron Funches showing up as Iceberg Slim or Lennon Parham as Flannery O'Connor or Kristen Schaal as Tennessee Williams. Matt Gourley and Andy Daly have both been repeat performers, and if you know about Gourley's love of James Bond, it is particularly apt that he played Ian Fleming.

But the two-parter that I played this weekend while driving around LA may be the show's finest effort so far. Andy Daly plays L. Ron Hubbard, and he did his homework. It is an impeccably researched performance, and yet it is never anything less than screamingly funny. He is committed to the bullshit in the exact same way the real Hubbard was committed to the bullshit, and it's glorious.

I don't want to quote it or offer up bits out of context. It's not that kind of comedy. Instead, it's very smart stuff, and I love the way Tompkins is aware of the weirdness of the concept of one dead author interviewing another dead author with both of them fully aware of not only their own demise, but everything that's happened in culture since then. They both play it perfectly, though, and it wasn't supposed to be a two-parter. It's just that they reached the end of the first segment and it was clear that Daly wasn't even slightly out of steam yet.

Podcasting is still a fairly young media, all things considered, but I'm prepared to say that Daly, Tompkins, and Gourley are sort of winning it so far. Every single episode of “Superego” is packed with more jokes than can be digested on one listen, and “The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project” is so wildly dense that I've replayed the episodes three or four times so far. They work together over and over, disappearing into these glorious comedy sonicscapes they've created. These are are performers who are liberated by the freedom of what podcasting can be, and they are experimenting with abandon in a way that is just delightful.

Start with this L. Ron Hubbard interview (here's part one and here's part two) if you're unfamiliar with their work. You can find both parts of it on iTunes as well as at this website, and if that does not positively ruin you, then we may have very different ideas about what is funny.

Review: The ‘Mr. Show’ gang reunites for Netflix’s ‘W/ Bob & David’



Even before the days of Peak TV in America, it was impossible for everyone to watch everything on television. We all have pop culture gaps. One of mine is “Mr. Show with Bob and David,” the HBO sketch comedy show, created by and starring Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, that aired from 1995-98, and that employed Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Scott Aukerman and more as actors and/or writers.

I was in college when “Mr. Show” debuted, then didn't have an HBO subscription for the next couple of years, and by the time I started hearing comedy nerd friends singing its praises, it was virtually over, and though the series had an afterlife on DVD(*), other shows kept getting in the way. I've seen, and laughed heartily at, a handful of sketches over the years on YouTube, but that's it.

(*) Like many of HBO's original series pre-“Oz” and “Sopranos,” the channel doesn't own streaming or On Demand rights to “Mr. Show.”

All of which is my long-winded way of explaining why I can't compare “W/ Bob & David,” a new four-part Netflix series (it debuts Friday) reuniting Odenkirk, Cross, and many of their former collaborators, to the original “Mr. Show.” Does it stack up to the work these guys were doing 20 years ago? Is it, as Odenkirk has suggested, different enough to warrant the title change? I have no idea.

What I can tell you, based on the two episodes Netflix made available to critics, is that “W/ Bob & David” is terrific sketch comedy: absurd, inventive, surprising, and just damn funny.

A lot of “Mr. Show” alums (including Tompkins, Rajskub, Aukerman, Jill Talley, Jay Johnston, Brian Posehn, and John Ennis) turn up, along with guest stars like Keegan-Michael Key, Paget Brewster, and Jeffrey Tambor. It's a blend of live sketchwork and more elaborate filmed pieces. Sometimes, the individual sketches stand alone, while concepts bleed across entire episodes, like a running gag in the debut about Tompkins as a man who's been told he'll die if he doesn't stop eating meat. There's a lot of of pop culture satire, but rarely do those rest on a single joke. At one point, Cross plays a director being interviewed by Brewster's talk show host about “Better Roots,” a “Roots” remake where the masters are always nice to the slaves – now redubbed “helpers.” The premise is durable enough that the sketch doesn't need anything more, but on top of that, it layers confusion between Cross and Brewster over where each “Better Roots” clip (all of which feature a “The End” title card) fits into the context of the movie.

And even when a sketch sticks to one idea, it exhausts every iteration of it, like a riff on “The Most Dangerous Game” where Odenkirk plays an accountant who keeps finding new ways to convince Cross' big-game hunter to make their competition more even, or a filmed piece that takes the tired “She's right behind me, isn't she?” trope to ridiculous extremes.

Most of those involved have day jobs (Odenkirk on “Better Call Saul,” for instance), and it's a testament to their love of the original collaboration that they all came back for this, as well as a sign of the new flexibility in the business that they'd be able to reunite for these four Netflix episodes, then go back to other gigs.

Early in the premiere, Cross and Odenkirk emerge from a time machine that they entered right after finishing the last episode of “Mr. Show,” but something's gone awry that's caused them to age in real time, despite the trip. It's a comment on the difficulty of recapturing the magic of an old series years later – which fans of another series featuring Cross and Tambor that had a belated Netflix sequel unfortunately know too well –  but one that, like so much of “W/ Bob & David,” isn't satisfied with being the only joke in the scene.

The new series is a great advertisement for me to finally catch up on the old one, but it's damn funny in its own right.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com

John Mulaney Talks ‘SNL’ and Sitcoms with Paul F. Tompkins


Paul F. Tompkins' show “Speakeasy” is a great interview show that's featured folks like Marc Maron, Busy Philipps, Lizzy Caplan, and Bob Saget. You know, celebrities who can actually speak well. It's nice.

This week Tompkins invited on John Mulaney, the “SNL” writer and new “Mulaney” star who apparently wanted to be Desi Arnaz growing up. I owned a copy of Vivian Vance's biography by the age of 16 so I can't protest this. 

“Mulaney” premieres October 5 on Fox.

(Via SplitSider)

Flashdance Cat, Disapproving Cat, and Paul F. Tompkins


She’s a maniac, a maniac on the floor

Lost And Found: 50 Of The Internet’s Greatest Missing Posters [Uproxx]

This Week In Review: Let Us Take You On A Warm And Fuzzy Internet Journey [Uproxx]

50 Examples Of Very Interesting, Unusual Athlete Fan Art [WithLeather]

On Princeton University, “Hip-Hop 2.0” & Dr. Cornel West [TSS]

Ten Seriously Disturbing Pieces of TV Fan Fiction [WarmingGlow]

Awesome Picture: Hunter Thompson, John Cusack, Johnny Depp & a Blow-Up Doll [Filmdrunk]

Crazy Movie Posters From Africa [Filmdrunk]

A Guide To Recognizing Your Mascots [WithLeather]

Charlie Sheen is suing for $100,000,000 [WWTDD]

When A Bunny Loves A Bunny [EgoTV]

10 Truly Twisted Movie Couples [Gunaxin]

36 Hitchcock Deaths In Unison [Buzzfeed]

Call of Duty: Black Ops Top Selling Game In History [G4TV]

Please Support The Digitour 2011 YouTube All-Stars [Digitour]

Ultimate SXSW Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Film Venues [Moviefone]

VIDEO BELOW: This clip of Paul F. Tompkins introducing Jimmy Pardo (taped by Micheal J. Fox possibly?) is from last year but I somehow missed it. [via theduty]

[Pictures via catasters and fyeahdementia]

Paul F. Tompkins developing ‘Evil Genius’ for Comedy Central


Comedy Central

Funnyman Paul F. Tompkins is developing a scripted comedy series entitled “Evil Genius” for Comedy Central, according to Deadline.com. Tompkins will star and co-write the series with “Monk” veteran Tom Scharpling.

Tompkins will play Professor Tiberius Lynch, an arch-criminal who conquers the world, and then has to deal with all the mundane bureaucratic tasks that come with that responsibility.

The comedian served as host for VH1’s popular “Best Week Ever” and has had several comedy specials air on HBO and Comedy Central.

Check out this recent stand-up clip:

The 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' TV Show Sneak Peek Blew Our Minds (With Lasers)


IFC released the first footage from their upcoming “Comedy Bang! Bang!” TV show based on the podcast of the same name. The show premiers in June and is hosted by Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns, Mr. Show). It includes a mix of interviews and sketches with improvised elements and plenty of surreal humor. We’re looking forward to the possibility of more Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler rap battles.

Each of the ten episodes features sit-downs with some of the biggest names in comedy, taking them beyond Aukerman’s couch and engaging them with the off-beat world of the series. With the help of bandleader and one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan), Comedy Bang! Bang! reinvents the celebrity interview with unfiltered and improvisational lines of questioning, punctuated by banter and beats. Also packed with sketches, character cameos, filmic shorts and games, Comedy Bang! Bang! turns the traditional talk show on its head, delivering thirty minutes of absurd fun. [IFC]

The clip below includes guest appearances by Adam Scott, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Samberg, Patton Oswalt, and Bob Odenkirk. All they were missing was Andy Daly jumping out of a window as various characters.


“I am the best!” — Dr. Reginald Watts

[Sources: Danger Guerrero, IFC, Earwolf, Micusficus]

Weekend Preview: The Premiere of ‘Veep’


Veep/Girls (HBO, Sunday) – “Veep,” the new political comedy created by Armando Iannucci and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is getting great reviews. I’m definitely looking forward to it. Also, I am pleased to announce that the prestigious Danger Guerrero’s Least Favorite Internet Person of the Week Award has been given to Angry Dude Who Hates Everything About Hipster Culture but Watched “Girls” Anyway for Some Reason and then Declared That It Sucked Because the Characters Were Unlikable Hipsters and Used the C-Word a Bunch While Doing It. Riveting analysis, dingus.

Mad Men/Game of Thrones (AMC/HBO, Sunday) – Great shows. Watch them. We’ll talk on Monday.

FOX 25th Anniversary Special (FOX, Sunday) – From TV Guide: “A retrospective marking FOX’s quarter century on the air.” You know what that means, right? FAUSTINO!

The Making of Planet Earth (BBC, Sunday) – A two-hour behind-the-scenes look at the making of the “Planet Earth” series? I hope all you potters and weedheads save a little of today’s stash for Sunday night and find a giant HD TV to park yourself in front of for this one.

The Ricky Gervais Show (HBO, Friday) – Season premiere. Karl Pilkington says funny stuff and then Ricky Gervais’ laugh makes blood gush from your ears and spill all over your clothes. I recommend wearing a smock.

Magic City (Starz, Friday) – This show had a really cool trailer, and the first episode was pretty good, but then I completely forgot about it last week. And I’m the one who writes the listings. That is not exactly a ringing recommendation for the show, or me as an employee.

The Good Wife/NYC 22 (CBS, Sunday) – I had no interest in “NYC 22” until I saw Alan Sepinwall call it “an incredibly generic, cliché-ridden series about rookie beat cops in the NYPD that too often feels like its main inspiration was other cop shows.” Now I’m in. If one of the cops is a loose cannon who refuses to work his beat by the book no matter how many times the chief takes his badge and gun, I will pre-order the DVDs on Blu-Ray.

Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour/Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions (Comedy Central, Saturday) – Two of my favorite comedians have back-to-back specials airing Saturday night. I am unreasonably excited about this. (NOTE: This is the network premiere of Oswalt’s special, which aired on Showtime last year. Tompkins’ special is brand new. Clip after the jump.)

Zach Galifianakis Should Be Interviewed By Paul F. Tompkins More Often


It’s time to snuggle with one of the best Zach Galifianakis interviews since his Between Two Ferns days: Galifianakis recently spoke with Paul F. Tompkins for the Speakeasy web series from Made Man. He was there to promote The Campaign, but things veered far off the typical press junket canned answers, to hilarious results. There’s something magical about two stand-up comics who are old friends just winging it in front of some cameras.

In the two-part interview, Galifianakis and Tompkins delve into such topics as being Shrek on Broadway, Shakespeare in the dark, encouraging a friend to do absurdly offensive jokes as his first stand-up set, albino polar bears, dealing with fame, recent open mic disasters, and platonic sleepovers. By the end of it, they get decidedly jaunty . . .

And yet, Galifianakis still hasn’t accomplished the third step in his life’s plan:

Oh well, there’s always Hangover 3.



[Sources: Paul F. Tompkins, Pleated-Jeans, Andrea Streeter, The High Definite]

Paul F. Tompkins Live-Tweeted The Skymall Catalog From A Plane Because Comedy


Around midnight last night, comedian Paul F. Tompkins tweeted that he was on a plane with wi-fi, so he’d be live-tweeting the Skymall catalog. As a Paul F. Tompkins fan who has a love-hate relationship with the Skymall catalog, this made for a great evening. Especially when read while listening to his recent cover of Adele’s Skyfall at a Largo show.

Here’s just a quick summary of the pictures and tweets:

“Hey, Mister Tompkins, would this life-changing Skymall product be a savvy acquisition?”

We’ve placed our favorite pictures and comments from Paul F. Tompkins’ live tweeted Skymall catalog below. Each comment under the pictures is from Paul F. Tompkins, with a few editorial comments added when necessary.

“FINALLY! The solution to unbroken wrists and ’rounded nose’!” [via]

“Loved ‘The Aviator’? Let everyone know with this stick-on Howard Hughes Tramp Stamp!” [via]

“Being chased? Run into the Country Music Hall of Fame bathroom & slip on this Garth Brooks disguise!” [via]

“FINALLY, a futuristic accordion you can rip apart with your bare hands & mash into the ground!” [via]

“Into Steampunk? Hate dogs? Wooden Dog Prisons! Wooden Dog Prisons! WOODEN DOG PRISONS!!!!” [via]

“Fool yourself that you’re fooling others and drink an entire bottle of wine in ‘peace!’ Happy blackouting!” [via]

“Why travel all the way to Costa Rica to watch your children break their necks, when you can do it at home?” [via]

“Just inflate the screen, press play & start talking! SO LONG UNWANTED FRIENDSHIPS AND MARRIAGES!” [via]

“What if your child DIDN’T grow up to be a meth-dealing sociopath? Don’t take that chance.” [via]

Ed. – If owning a Sons of Anarchy playset is wrong, right ain’t sh-t.

“The logs roll onto you & your skin ‘pulsates’* with delight! * #skymall *In this context, ‘pulsate’ = ‘burn.'” [via]

“Why should praying mantises have all the exoskeletons around here? Put this on, you bug freak!” [via]

“Pit the kids against each other w/a fake future-chess-looking game with no rules & find out who’s the keeper!” [via]

“This beautiful gemstones on this ring have been specially cut to make you look almost like Jennifer Aniston.” [via]

“Let your child experience the guilt and regret of Robert Oppenheimer with our ‘House-Burner-Downer’!” [via]

“Old-school Catholic? Hate dogs? Banish them to Home Limbo for Dogs! Home Limbo for Dogs! HOME LIMBO FOR DOGS!” [via]

“No sense of humor? Love explaining things? Hate being understood? Here’s a shirt for you! You make me sad!” [via]

Ed. – Fake Bret needs one of these.

“Clinically proven! Put this money belt on your head and be transformed into Debbie Gibson!” [via]

“Soon our consciousnesses will all live online, overseen by Kate Hudson. Maybe buy her a mug of something!” [via]


Ed.- Nope, this item is going to be in the Skymall catalog for-ev-er.

Final Track: 7 Must-Hear Songs Of The Week


It’s impossible to cover each bit of new music that comes out during the week, so every Friday, we’ll be doing an end of the week music roundup. It’s called Final Track, and we’ll count off a few songs released during the week that are worth giving a listen to. (Banner via)

Today, we’ve got selections from Free Energy, Fuzz, Paul F. Tompkins, and more.

“Skyfall” by Paul F. Tompkins

The Cake Boss himself one-ups Adele with an extra dramatic rendition of the title track from the latest James Bond movie, while wearing an outfit straight out of a 1940s barbershop. But why is the crowd laughing??? It’s actually all kinds of great and played totally straight, as it should.

“Shut the F*ck Up” by Angel Haze

Yup, still mad.

Driver’s Ed by Joe Cool

For more on the spacey mixtape, check out the Smoking Section.

“This Time I Got A Reason” by Fuzz

It’s apparently Ty Segall’s mission in life to form 20 bands and release 45 albums in 2012 and 2013, which is fine with us, if it all sounds like “This Time I Got a Reason” (it will), the first piece of new music from his latest fittingly named group, Fuzz.

“Go Slow” by Haim

Sister trio Haim are the prestigious winner of the Sound of 2013, according to the BBC, tasked to lead the “Music Revolution.” (Previous Sound winners include Michael Kiwanuka, Keane, 50 Cent, and Ellie Goulding.) The vulnerable “Go Slow” has been out for a few months now, but it’s worth a listen, if only because you’ll likely be hearing a lot about the group this year, especially since they’re opening for Mumford & Sons on their arena tour.

“Honey” by Torres

A slow, soft burn…right up the moment where the 22-year-old explodes into a wall of feedback. Suddenly, January 22, when Torres’ self-titled debut comes out, is a date worth circling.

“Girls Want Rock” by Free Energy

Energy drinks: the band.

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


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.]

Alison Brie Imitates Popular Internet Memes


The Mad Men and Community star imitates Grumpy Cat, Overly Attached Girlfriend, and other memes for Paul F. Tompkins.

12 comedians known for wearing outrageous outfits


Fashion and comedy: it goes together like peanut butter and whatever else you happen to have leftover in the fridge. Whether a component of an onstage persona or just a touch of personal flair, there is a long tradition of comedians performing in wild and sometimes eye-searing costumes. Here are 12 comics from stand-up history who have brought grand sartorialism to the stage.

What Would Zack Morris Do In 2013?


How would Zack Morris deal with modern day problems involving Facebook, Cross-Fit, iPhone apps, and gluten-free pizza? Mark-Paul Gosselaar himself delves deep into his character for Paul F. Tompkins to come up with solutions.

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



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)

Jonathan Banks Reads Obscene Fairy Tales (As Mike From ‘Breaking Bad’)


Jonathan Banks reads fairy tales as his notoriously gruff Breaking Bad character, Mike Ehrmantraut. (NSFW language.)

Watch Jonathan Banks Read Obscene Fairy Tales In Character As Mike From ‘Breaking Bad’



Three things:

1) The first video posted below features Jonathan Banks on Paul F. Tompkins’ “Speakeasy” web series reading cuss-filled versions of classic children’s fairy tales — like Robin Hood, Chicken Little, and Little Red Riding Hood — in character as Mike Ehrmantraut, his terrifying hitman/fixer character from Breaking Bad. It is exactly as terrific as you are currently imagining it is.

2) The second video posted below is the full interview, which includes Banks discussing his early work on Beverly Hills Cop, slapping Aaron Paul around a little, almost breaking Ed O’Neill’s hip on the set of Modern Family, and some of his biggest moments on Breaking Bad, namely his memorable speech in “Half Measures.” He also cracks some dry, menacing jokes and chastises Tompkins for drinking too slow, because everything is kind of perfect sometimes. Highly recommended viewing.

3) Between this and the Mark-Paul Gosselaar interview from last week, “Speakeasy” is quickly becoming my favorite web series.

Amy Poehler Magically Freestyle Rapped About Butter And Paula Deen On Comedy Bang! Bang!


Being awesome BFFs with Tina Fey at the Emmys? Check. Impersonating her son’s lisp out on national television? Check. Hosting an Emmys loser party with Jon Hamm for charity? Check.

But it seems like there’s one missing piece to the puzzle for Amy Poehler to properly promote Parks and Recreation Season 6. You guessed it: Spitting hot freestyle fire about butter on the “Comedy Bang! Bang!” podcast.

She goes on after friend of the program Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins as Alan Thick. So roughly the 4:40 mark if you want to skip ahead to Amy. I suggest sticking around for head CBB writer Neil Campbell afterwards though.

Wonderfully NSFW audio ahead.

Earwolf via Vulture

Kaitlin Olson Talks Smart Vs. Mean Comedy, And The Eventual End Of ‘It’s Always Sunny’



Kaitlin Olson is the latest guest on Paul F. Tompkins’s web series, Speakeasy. Over the course of the 20-minute clip, the It’s Always Sunny star touches on the following topics:

  • Coming up through the ranks of the L.A. sketch comedy group, The Groundlings.
  • The difference between working on a show like It’s Always Sunny that uses “mean” comedy as a way to make a point or deliver a message, and working on shows like Punk’d that used “mean” comedy to humiliate people.
  • Her husband, It’s Always Sunny creator and star Rob McIEhenney, who she describes as her hero for seeing his vision for the show through, and not letting the pressure get to him.
  • Raising a child who could turn out to be Dexter, and why that’s not so bad.
  • The eventual end of the show’s run, which she is mostly tight-lipped about, but I am mentioning anyway for very important PAGEVIEW$$$ reasons.

The whole thing is a good watch, but it did make me realize something: I’ve apparently seen enough It’s Always Sunny that I’m now incapable of watching an interview with Kaitlin Olson without expecting the rest of the gang to come charging in and ruin it for her somehow.

Key And Peele Tried To Break The World Record For Most Impressions In 60 Seconds


Nick Roy holds the world record for most impressions in 60 seconds. That’s according to Guinness, the experts when it comes to the largest snake egg eaten AND speedy mimicries. But then Key and Peele came along on Paul F. Tompkins’s Made Man video series, attempting to trample Roy like Gandi does bad guys in Gandhi II.

In their minute, they do their best Kanye West, Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gandhi. (See, that wasn’t just an excuse to reference UHF, not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Do they succeed? Find out.

ANSWER: no, they most definitely do not. Yet they’re still winners for that Seal impression.

Lizzy Caplan Showed Off Her Finest Nicolas Cage Rage Face To Paul F. Tompkins


lizzy rage nic cage

I don’t want anyone to accuse me of burying the lede here, so let’s get right to it: Lizzy Caplan pronounces it “GIF,” none of that “JIF” crap, therefore, it’s GIF, because it’s always been GIF, no matter what the guy who came up with term says. Anyway, Lizzy dropped by Paul F. Tompkins’s web series Made Man to show off her rage face skills, including Nicolas Cage’s “You Don’t Say?” It’s weird that Tompkins would film this: I can’t fathom why he’d think Nicolas Cage + memes + Lizzy Caplan would do well on the Internet. He knows even less than that GIF jerk.

lizzy caplan rage face

lizzy rage 5

lizzy rage 4

lizzy rage 3

lizzy rage

Lizzy Caplan imitates some memes for Paul F. Tompkins’ web show


That breeze you just felt? That was an effect of the entire Internet swooning in unison while they watched this video of Lizzy Caplan making meme faces. Which now deserves to be a meme in and of itself.

Here they all are; go nuts!

UPROXX 20: Paul F. Tompkins Will Blow Off Everything To Stay Home And Watch ‘Pitch Perfect’


Paul F. Tompkins is an actor, comedian and writer probably best known for his work on Mr. Show and on VH1’s Best Week Ever. Currently, Paul is the host of Made Man’s Speakeasy with Paul F. Tomkins (if you’ve never checked it out I highly recommend the episodes with Lizzy Kaplan and Key & Peele), in addition to hosting a podcast, the Pod F. Tompkast, and No, YOU Shut Up for Fusion. You can also catch him on the road — a list of upcoming live performance dates can be found here.

Paul was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule recently to answer a few questions from us.

1. You walk into a bar. What do your order from the bartender?

Something with dry ice, so the other patrons will wonder if I’m from the future. The drink doesn’t have to be blue, but it couldn’t hurt.

2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter?

David Rees.

3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR/TiVO?

The Ken Burns documentary about The Dust Bowl. Just waiting for that day when I’m super-psyched to watch hours and hours of impoverished people caked in grime!

4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?

It depends—am I being executed? If I’m lethally injected, I don’t want to eat anything that gives me weird dreams as I drift off forever into nothingness. Maybe peach melba? I don’t know. What crime did I commit? This is bumming me out.

5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?

Twitter.com. Facebook.com. Is email a website?

6. What’s the most frequently played song on your iPod?

“Tiny Masonic Trowel”

7. The first face that comes to mind when you think “punchable”?

Probably, off the top of my head, Punchable Pete, The Padded-Faced Patsy of Punchfacer’s Peak.

8. What’s your favorite meme?

I love that dog answering the phone. Hall of Fame in my heart.

9. Dogs or cats?

For president? Come on. The slope ain’t that slippery!

10. Best concert of your life was…?

“Tiny Masonic Trowel”

11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?

Anything by Stephen King! They are usually very thick and great from hollowing a gun shape out of the pages. My friends get arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences a lot! I HAVE SUCH CRAZY FRIENDS, THEY SHOULD DO A SHOW ABOUT US!!

12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

One time this guy carried me the entire length of a beach (I had forgotten my flip-flops and the sand was pretty hot). He never, ever let me forget it, though.

13. South Park or Family Guy?

Oh, absolutely!

14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?

Solve the Black Dahlia case. I feel like fresh eyes might make all the difference.

15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?

Seriously, I am powerless over that made-for-HBO movie The Late Shift about the Leno-Letterman war. I also think Pitch Perfect may have become one, because I stumbled across the other day and watched it to completion. I had stuff to do and everything.

16. Android or iPhone?

Which one has an irregular spelling? Too easy. Next puzzle, please!

17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I always say “that restaurant on the moon,” but people accuse me of faking my answer, so now I just say “Chipotle.”

18. The last movie you saw in a theater?

Inside Llewyn Davis. Isn’t that a crazy coincidence? The movie was INSIDE Llewyn Davis, and I saw it INSIDE a theatre? Did you just get goosebumps? You owe ten dollars to R.L. Stine! I DON’T MAKE THE RULES!

19. Who was your first celebrity crush?

I don’t know that any celebrities have had crushes on me. I also don’t know if I understand how to use that term?

20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?

Maybe a shepherd’s pie or something. Was I supposed to say something weird? He’s still a human being with feelings, right? I like to think I’m a gracious host. Okay fine. Balloon casserole.

(Previously: Neal Brennan. Photo via Paul’s Facebook page.)

Gillian Jacobs Definitely Didn't Britta Her Appearance On Paul F. Tompkins's 'Speakeasy'


Gillian Jacobs from Community is the latest guest on Paul F. Tompkins’s highly enjoyable web series, “Speakeasy.” The more podcast-savvy among you will note that the two have a little history, as they’ve appeared together multiple times on Comedy Bang Bang — Jacobs as herself, Tompkins in character as Garry “Please, Call Me Garry” Marshall — to discuss their troubled, fictional marriage. Those have been wonderful. So is this.

Over the course of the video’s 15 minutes, Jacobs discusses everything from growing up in Pittsburgh to getting put on probation at Juilliard to not getting any of the Die Hard references in the first paintball episode of Community. Why didn’t she get any of the Die Hard references, you ask? BECAUSE SHE HADN’T SEEN DIE HARD AT THE TIME. How is that even possible? Who hasn’t seen Die Hard? Shouldn’t it be part of the curriculum at Juilliard? What the hell are they even doing over there if it’s not? I’m livid right now.

Good video, though.

Haley Joel Osment Names Dead People with Paul F. Tompkins


Made Man

I applaud Paul F. Tompkins for interviewing Haley Joel Osment and not just shaking his head and asking, “Man, 'A.I.' What was that about?” That'd have been my approach. On Tompkins' webseries “Speakeasy,” the comedian grills the youngish Oscar nominee — Osment's still only 25 — about whether certain celebrities are alive or dead. You'd think “The Sixth Sense” star would know, right? Well. Not when it comes to Wilt Chamberlain, y'all. 

Haley Joel Osment Played An Exciting Round Of 'I Hear About Dead People' With Paul F. Tompkins



Haley Joel Osment is the latest guest on Paul F. Tompkins’s web series, “Speakeasy,” and seeing as he’s still best known for seeing dead people in The Sixth Sense, Tompkins challenged him to a round of a celebrity dead-or-alive game called “I Hear About Dead People.” I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot harder than you think. Like, it is literally my job to stay up on pop culture, and I totally whiffed on a few of them. Go ahead. Play along. See how you do, smart guy.

My only complaint: They missed a great opportunity to toss in a “Dr. Malcolm Crowe” at some point. I like to imagine there’s still one person out there who doesn’t know the ending of The Sixth Sense, and that would have been a really hilarious way to spoil it for them.

The Trailer For Comedy Central’s ‘Jason Nash Is Married’ Is A Who’s Who Of Who We Love

Jason Nash main

Comedy Central

To a lot of people, Jason Nash is what the hip kids on the Internet refer to as a “Vine celebrity,” because he has a lot of followers on Vine, you see. But now he’ll be known as the star of Comedy Central’s first digital feature film, Jason Nash is Married, which is based on his web series of the same name. In the new film, which will be available online on June 24, Nash is having problems with that time-honored pain in the ass called “growing up,” as he and his wife, played by the always wonderful Busy Philipps, encounter their share of problems in trying to find happiness. That apparently leads to a threeway in a hot tub, so you have my interest, Comedy Central.

Jason Nash

Comedy Central

More enticing than anything, though, is the list of cameos that are being made by some of our favorite actors/comedians, including H. Jon Benjamin, Rob Corddry, Andy Daly, David Koechner, TJ Miller, Patton Oswalt, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Andy Richter, Paul Scheer, Nick Swardson, Paul F. Tompkins, Matt Walsh and Casey Wilson. Even if it ends up being a miss, it’s still impressively ambitious.

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


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.

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



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



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!

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


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.

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

BoJack Horseman in bed


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


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


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


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


… downright paranoid and just plain pissy.

BoJack Reviews 2


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


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


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.



Mel Brooks Doesn’t Think ‘Blazing Saddles’ Could Be Made Today Thanks To Our ‘Stupidly Politically Correct Society’


Warner Brothers

In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, comedy legend Mel Brooks claimed that political correctness was killing comedy. While Brooks made it clear that he’s not against empathy in comedy, he’s worried that comedy is becoming less authentic in our “stupidly politically correct society.”

“It’s OK not to hurt feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. It’s the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”

Brooks continued, saying that Blazing Saddles, one of his most famous and beloved works, could not be made today due to its racial satire and the risks that it took.

“Without that, the movie would not have had nearly the significance, the force, the dynamism, and the stakes that were contained in it.”

To be fair, Brooks was clear that there was one line that he thought should never be crossed: the Holocaust is never funny.

“I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis. In no way is that at all usable or correct for comedy. It’s just in truly bad taste. Everything else is ok.”

Now, there’s a lot to break down in Brooks’ statements, but the idea comedy is dying due to “PC culture” just isn’t true. Instead, fans are getting a more diverse pack of voices to choose from. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins (Mr. Peanutbutter if you’re nasty) thoughtfully disagreed with Brooks on Twitter, explaining that critiquing comedy isn’t a bad thing and that the best comedy always punches up.

There is absolutely no doubt that Brooks is a comedy visionary who has left behind a legacy to be proud of, but it might be time for some new voices to come to the forefront. Diversity isn’t the death of comedy. It is merely another way to enrich it.

(H/T The AV Club)

Paul F. Tompkins Explains Why Ted Cruz’s Dumb Tweet About Patton Oswalt Proves The Senator ‘Does Not Know How Comedy Works’


Everyone who’s seen his The Simpsons impressions knows Ted Cruz isn’t funny. But lots of people aren’t funny. Like me, for instance, or anyone who thinks it would be amusing to go as Joe Exotic this Halloween. But the Texas senator is a special kind of unfunny — he’s profoundly unfunny, as comedian Paul F. Tompkins explained on Twitter.

In response to an article about Patton Oswalt canceling tour dates because certain states (ahem Utah AHEM Florida) refuse to take COVID seriously, Cruz tweeted, “Both of his fans were disappointed.” Cruz has 4.5 million followers on Twitter; Oswalt has 4.7 million. But beyond that, the senator’s joke (“joke”?) doesn’t make a lick of sense.

“It’s not just that Ted Cruz isn’t funny, it’s that his premises are faulty. Anyone can be unfunny but to start with a premise that is not based on reality is the sign of someone who truly does not know how comedy works,” Tompkins tweeted. “All the people who liked the tweet and think this is a good burn suffer from this same condition. They don’t know what is actually funny, they just like things to sound like something they themselves would have said.” The BoJack Horseman star added, “To say nothing of the fact that Ted Cruz is, of course, vaccinated.”

I fully expect Cruz to respond to PFT with a “you’re right… NOT” joke.

You know who knows how comedy works? Patton Oswalt! (Ted needs to stop picking fights with comedians.) “Okay Ted, here we go… Not as disappointed as Texas was when you cut your Cancun vacation short and came home,” he responded to Cruz, along with, “Ted, you Tweeted this at 1am. Put the phone down and return to liquid form for a few hours” and “I’m so flattered you took time from your porn scrolling for this, Ted.”

That’s how you do it.