June 29, 2012

I Love Lucy's Doris Singleton - aka Carolyn Appleby - Dies at 92

Regular readers of this blog know that in addition to our love of current TV shows, we have a minor obsession with the classic 1950's sitcom I Love Lucy (we even drove 7 hours to attend Lucy Fest in Lucy's hometown of Jamestown, NY for her 100th birthday celebration!).  Therefore, we were quite saddened to learn that Doris Singleton, the actress who played the recurring character of Carolyn Appleby on 10 episodes of the show, died yesterday at the age of 92.  Carolyn Appleby was probably TV's very first frenemy.  She and Lucy were friends, but Lucy secretly despised her and always tried to find ways to make her jealous.  Here's a classic clip which perfectly sums up Carolyn and Lucy's relationship:

June 26, 2012

SNL Web Series: More "Front Desk" plus Abby Elliott Series!

I know it's been a little while since out last post, but we've had a crazy couple of weeks.  But have no fear, we're back, and have lots to catch up on!

First, as we posted earlier this month, 30 Rock star and former SNL writer John Lutz has a new web series called The Front Desk.  At the time, only the first episode featuring Bill Hader was available, but now episodes 2 and 3 are up with guests Paula Pell (Pete's wife of 30 Rock and Ron's mother "Tammy 0" on Parks & Rec) and comedian J.B. Smoove (former SNL writer)!  Enjoy!

And if that wasn't enough SNL goodiness for you, SNL cast member Abby Elliott also has a new web series!  Here's the first 2 episodes of her new online show, The Assistant, featuring Abby in dual roles:

And here's some highlights from the show, including clips from upcoming episodes!

We'll try to do a better job of staying on top of these and post them as they're released!  Stay tuned for more...


Episode 3 of The Assistant was just released!

June 15, 2012

Best of Bashir on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Bashir as "Product Placement Preacher"

While Jimmy Fallon may be the star of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he of course has a huge staff of amazing writers writing all the funny things he says and does on the show.  And not only do Jimmy's writers write, but they also frequently act on the show in various bits and sketches.  Of all the Late Night writer/actors, our favorite would have to be Bashir Salahuddin.  As we've watched him over the years, we soon realized that he was one of the funniest and most talented writer/actors on the Late Night staff.  I was therefore quite saddened to learn that Bashir quietly left Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a few weeks ago to pursue his own projects.  Our only clue that he had left the show was a suspicious tweet that he sent out on May 25:

While no mention of Bashir's departure was made on Late Night, his name no longer appears in the writing credits, which seems to confirm that he has left the show.  The website that he has listed on twitter http://www.bashiranddiallo.com/ seems to indicate that he and fellow former Late Night writer Diallo Riddle (who appeared in sketches much less frequently) will soon be starting some project together.  While we're excited for him and wish him the best, we are of course sad to see him go.  So let's have a look back at some of our favorite Bashir moments from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

June 12, 2012

Jimmy Fallon's "Blow Your Pants Off" Album Now Available!

Well, the day is finally here!  Jimmy Fallon's new comedy album "Blow Your Pants Off" is finally out!  Naturally, I walked 20 blocks in the rain (without an umbrella) to the nearest Best Buy today to pick it up during my lunch break, and then rushed home after work to listen to it.  Really great album!  As we've previously posted, the album contains most of the big musical sketches from Late Night, as well as a few new songs.  Since we already posted all the videos of the the songs on the album from the show, we thought we'd just tell you a few things about the album that you probably don't know if you haven't picked it up yet.

June 11, 2012

Emmy Roundtable: Comedy Showrunners

Comedy Showrunners

Ever wonder what would happen if you took the showrunners of 6 of TV's biggest comedies, sat them around a table, and let them talk for an hour?  Well, you'd get something like this.  As we lead into the Emmy Award season (nominations will be announced July 19, with the awards ceremony taking place on September 23), The Hollywood Reporter sat down with the showrunners of The Office (Paul Lieberstein, who also plays Toby), Modern Family (Steve Levitan), How I Met Your Mother (Carter Bays), Up All Night (Emily Spivey), New Girl (Liz Meriwether), and The Big Bang Theory (Bill Prady) to discuss what it's like to put together these a successful TV comedies.  As big fans of most of these shows, it was really interesting to get to know the people in charge, and learn more about our favorite shows.  Check out the video below!  (Or if you don't have an hour to spare, you can read the transcript here.)

New SNL Web Series: The Front Desk

It's been 3 long weeks since Saturday Night Live had its season finale, and we're already ready starting to get SNL withdrawal.  HOW WILL WE POSSIBLY SURVIVE THE LONG SUMMER UNTIL SNL RETURNS???  Well, good news!  SNL has just released a new web series called The Front Desk starring our favorite 30 Rock star (and former SNL writer)...Lutz!  According to the show's website, "The Front Desk stars John Lutz (30 Rock) as the front desk clerk of a boutique hotel in New York City."  And not only that, the first episode stars SNL cast member Bill Hader as a set of triplets!  Check it out below!

Dying to know what else is coming up on The Front Desk?  Here's a little preview of the series, which (repeats part of Bill Hader's episode but then) features upcoming guest appearances from Fred Armisen, Paula Pell (SNL writer and Pete's wife on 30 Rock), and comedian JB Smoove (also former SNL writer)!

We'll be sure to post upcoming episodes when they're released online.  This should definitely hold us over until the fall!

June 10, 2012

Jimmy Fallon and Weird Al

Left: Jimmy Fallon opening for Weird Al in 2002.  Right: Weird Al as guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2009.

Ok, I know we've been posting a lot about Jimmy Fallon lately, but in our defense there's really not much else on TV right now, and he does have a big album coming out next week, so we're kind of in Jimmy Fallon mode.  And while watching his YouTube Presents concert last night, something dawned on us: It seems that Jimmy Fallon was heavily influenced by comedy singer "Weird Al" Yankovic.  Longtime followers of this blog know that not only are we big fans of Jimmy Fallon, but of Weird Al as well.  (Check out our previous Weird Al-related posts here.)  And while we knew that Jimmy was always a fan of Al's work, we never realized just how big an influence he really was to him...

June 9, 2012

Live YouTube Jimmy Fallon Concert!

Last night's live YouTube Presents concert of Jimmy Fallon is now available online!  Jimmy sat down for about half an hour to sing some some of the songs off his new album, including a new song entitled "New French Girlfriend".  It was interesting to see Jimmy in his usual studio but without his suit, Higgins, and The Roots.  It was fun to see Jimmy singing the song as himself, not in character as Tebowie or Bob Dylan, and he shared lots of fun stories behind the creations of the songs and about the album cover (just whose butt is that anyway???).  Check out the concert below!  Album comes out on Tuesday!

June 8, 2012

Jimmy Fallon sings "Call Me Maybe" with Carly Rae Jepsen & The Roots

If you're anything like me, you've had the Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe" stuck in your head all week.  And well, this probably won't help fix that at all.

Carly Rae Jepsen was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to sing her hit song, and it looks like she had a little fun with Jimmy and The Roots backstage.  They performed a group rendition of "Call Me Maybe", while playing instruments you'd typically find in an elementary school classroom.  (My favorite is
?uestlove on kazoo).  Check out the video below!

Tonight was also the night of Jimmy's YouTube concert to promote his new album Blow Your Pants Off.  The concert was a lot of fun, as Jimmy performed many of his hit songs from the album, including one of the new songs that hadn't been released yet.  He also answered Twitter questions and gave some background information on how the songs came to be.  He also revealed whose butt that is on the album cover!  The video isn't available online yet, but I'll post it when it's up.  And don't forget, the album comes out Tuesday! (Sadly, this version of "Call Me Maybe" isn't on it.  Maybe on the next album!)

June 6, 2012

Community Video Game is Now Real!

We've previously posted about the ingenious genre-parodying episodes that  the NBC comedy Community has done in the past.  Since that post, they've done even more, perfectly spoofing everything from Ken Burns war documentaries to Law & Order.  But one of our favorites would have to be the first episode of the 3-part season finale, which had The Greendale 7 enter the world of an old school 8-bit video game.  The premise of the episode is that it was Pierce's (Chevy Chase) father's dying wish that Pierce and his friends would play this video game that he had developed for him, after Pierce suggested he go into the video game industry back int he early 80's.  Whoever wins the game is legally entitled to his inheritance.  While the gang agrees that whoever wins will give the money to Pierce, they're in for a surprise when the executor of the will joins the game to try to beat The Greendale 7 and keep the money for himself.  While the premise is a little far-fetched (well not for Community!), it gave the show a great excuse to do an incredibly detailed parody of classic video games.  Check out a clip of the episode below, as the gang try to figure out how to maneuver around this new world.

Well, it was only a matter of time before some Community-obsessed computer programmer actually developed the game, and that's just what happened.  This incredibly accurate recreation allows you to play as any of the Greendale 7 (Jeff, Britta, Troy, Abed, Annie, Shirley, or Pierce) as well as a selection of additional characters from the show, such as Abed dressed as Batman, Brittasaurus Rex, Jeff as Seacrest Hulk, or Pierce as Pillow Man.  While the game isn't fully developed yet, with only 3 playable levels and no way to die, it's still really fun to play and enter the world as seen in Community.  Hopefully they'll update it soon with more levels and functionality.  You can download the game here!  Enjoy!

June 5, 2012

Shy Ronnie Surprise Appearance at Santigold Concert, Best of Lonely Island Live

Andy Samberg may have left Saturday Night Live, but that doesn't mean his characters are gone for good.  A few weeks ago (I think it was on May 14, a few days before his final SNL episode), Andy's Shy Ronnie character made a surprise appearance at a free Santigold concert in New York.  (Santigold was featured on the song "After Party" on The Lonely Island's second album Incredibad.)  Check out the clip below.  As usual, Ronnie is quite shy at first, but eventually (around the 3:30 mark) starts laying down the raps.

This isn't the first time Andy has made a surprise concert appearance to reprise one of his Digital Short characters.  See more after the jump!

June 3, 2012

Jimmy Fallon CD: Blow Your Pants Off

On Tuesday June 12, Jimmy Fallon will release a comedy album entitled "Blow Your Pants Off", featuring many of the hilarious musical performances from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as a few new, previously unreleased compositions.  The album also features guest appearances from many legendary musical performers dueting with Jimmy, including Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Eddie Veder, Dave Matthews, and even the great Stephen Colbert.  It looks like there will be 2 versions of the album - a standard edition with 12 songs and a deluxe edition with an additional 5 songs.  Here's the track listing for the deluxe version (which is obviously the one we're gonna pick up), including the videos of Late Night performance if there was one (and if it's currently available online).

UPDATE: It appears that the 2 versions of the album with the 12 track "standard" edition and 17 track "deluxe" edition are only for iTunes.  For the physical CD's, it looks like they will all have the first 15 tracks listed below.  I guess that would make the last 2 tracks "iTunes bonus tracks".  I have updated this below.

June 2, 2012

It's Official: Andy Samberg Leaving SNL, Best of SNL Digital Shorts!

Despite all the rumors over the last few months, and the final line of Lazy Sunday 2, it wasn't until yesterday that Andy Samberg officially announced that he is leaving Saturday Night Live.  While not entirely surprising, it is disappointing to see him leave the show.  His Digital Shorts really revolutionized SNL and helped the show evolve for the viral-video era.  We are assuming that as Andy leaves the show, he is taking his SNL Digital Shorts with him, as he (and the rest of the Lonely Island trio Jorma and Akiva) were really the driving force behind them.  Since most of Andy's memorable SNL appearances were in the Shorts, we decided rather than putting together a "Best of Andy Samberg" collection as we did with Kristen Wiig, to just do a "Best of SNL Digital Shorts" (all Digital Shorts, including those that don't prominently feature Andy).  And the end, we added some of our favorite non-Digital Short Andy sketches as well.  Let us know if you think we missed anything!  What's your favorite Digital Short?

Best of SNL Digital Shorts

It may not be the most memorable, but it was the very first Digital Short.

Lazy Sunday
Digital Short #2, arguably the world's first viral video sensation.

Laser Cats
The first in what would be become a 7-part annual tradition.  We only included the first one here, but all 7 are actually really fun.

Natalie Raps
Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, like you've never seen her before

D*** in a Box
The second huge viral video.  This one proved that Lazy Sunday wasn't a fluke.

The Shooting
The first big non-musical Digital Short.

Iran So Far
While many of the popular Digital Shorts include excessive amounts of profanity or sexual jokes, this one is just a really sweet, passionate love song.  To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Japanese Office
As a huge fan of The Office, I thought this was just brilliant.

Space Olympics
The Olympics. In space.

Ras Trent
Ba-da-ding-ding-ding-ding woooooooooah...

J*zz In My Pants
I'm very sensitive, some would say that's a plus.

Doogie Howser Theme

I'm on a Boat
This one really pushed the censors at NBC.

Like a Boss
This video aired after the song had already debuted on The Lonely Island's first album Incredibad.  Host Seth Rogen re-dubbed the lines originally done by Akiva on the album.

Mother Lover
Part 2 of the trilogy, 'cause every Mother's Day needs a Mother's Night.

Threw it on the Ground
My dad's not a phone, duh!

Reba (Two Worlds Collide)
I have no idea how Andy and the gang came up with this one, but this is just brilliant.

Shy Ronnie
Music's greatest duo.

The Curse

This one also aired after the song debuted on Incredibad.  The verse about the businessmen was cut from the video.

Great Day
It's gonna be a great day!

Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie and Clyde
Rihanna and Ronnie return, to hold up a bank.

I Just Had Sex
If I had to describe the feeling, it was the best!

The Creep
Not gonna lie, this one's kind of weird...

Zach Looks for a New Assistant
While most Digital Shorts were done in the Lonely Island's signature style, this one has Zach Galifianakis written all over it.

Jack Sparrow
Turns out Michael Bolton is a major cinephile...

3-Way (The Golden Rule)
The finale of the trilogy, in a him and a him and a her way.

A Brief Interview with Drake
Everything you ever wanted to know about Drake.

Gotye Backstage
Andy and Taran are big Gotye fans.

100th Digital Short
The epic 100th Short, featuring the return of most of the popular Digital Short characters and guest stars that you just watched above. Plus a random appearance from Justin Bieber.

Lazy Sunday 2
Bookmarking the Shorts (excluding Lettuce, which most people forget about), Parns returns for the final Digital Short #101 - Lazy Sunday 2.

While Andy is most known for the Digital Shorts, he did have some memorable non-Digital Short sketches as well.  Here's a few of our favorites:

Non-Digital Short Sketches

Blizzard Man
Our #1 favorite Andy sketch.  Wish some Blizzard Man was included on the Lonely Island albums.

Mort Mort - Accountant for the Stars
This twice-recurred character was really more of an excuse for other celebrity impressions, but was still a fun Andy character.

Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals
This was a very random Mark Wahlberg impression, but it caught on and became pretty popular.  I still find myself saying "Say 'hi' to your mother for me!" from time to time.

Mark Wahlberg Talks to Andy
Following Andy's impression, the real Mark Wahlberg made headlines by publicly criticized the sketch on various talk shows.  Turns out, it was just to setup his encounter with Andy "backstage".

Weekend Update
Andy also had some memorable Weekend Update appearances, such as his Mark Zuckerberg impression, his recurring "Get in the Cage" segment, and his impression of comic strip character Cathy.


Deep House Dish
Finally, one of our favorite early Samberg characters, T'Shane on Deep House Dish!  Interestingly, DJ Dynasty Handbag's original sidekick was Tiara, as played by Rachel Dratch.  But when Dratch left the show, Andy took over as the unforgettable T'Shane.  Here's a little compilation of a few Deep House Dish sketches, featuring Andy Samberg as T'Shane.  This video also features Lady Gaga and Madonna who were already feuding back then!  Ooh eey T'Shane!

Andy, you will be missed.  Let us know if we missed any of your favorite Andy sketches!

How could we forget Andy's great impression of everyone's "favorite" American Idol finalist Sanjaya!