Legendary comedian, actor, writer, and director Carl Reiner has died at age 98. Reiner is best known for performing with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on the 1950s TV variety program Your Show of Shows and later creating The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also directed George Burns in the classic "Oh God!" (1977), Steve Martin in "The Jerk" (1979) and acted in movies and TV shows like "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), "Parks and Recreation," and "House." From the New York Times:
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As part of a stellar supporting cast that also included Imogene Coca and Howard Morris, Mr. Reiner proved his versatility week after week on “Your Show of Shows,” which ran from 1950 to 1954 on NBC and established the template for sketch comedy on television. He played everything from a harried commuter to a frenzied rock ’n’ roller to an unctuous quiz-show host. But he is probably best remembered as an interviewer, solemnly posing questions to a mad professor, a spaced-out jazz musician or some other over-the-top character played by Mr. Caesar, and adding to the humor simply by being serious.
Mr. Reiner contributed behind the scenes as well. He took part in the frenzied writing sessions that shaped the show, bouncing jokes off the walls of the writers’ room with the likes of Mr. Brooks and Neil Simon.
“I became a writer because of that room,” he recalled. “I’d say something and somebody would yell: ‘What do you know? You’re not a writer.’ So I became a writer.”
Wow. Inspiring. Read the rest
Jerry Stiller, who most famously played Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, has died. He was 92. Along with his role as George Costanza's dad, he also appeared on screen in Zoolander, both Hairspray films, and The King of Queens. From Variety:
Though known as a comedian, Stiller was also a serious dramatic actor with a long history on Broadway.
Long before Stiller became known for his appearances on “Seinfeld” and “The King of Queens,” Stiller and Meara, were a top comedy act in the 1960s, appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” some 36 times. The pair were also members of the improv group the Compass Players, which later became Second City....
Stiller was born on June 8, 1927 in New York City. He graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in speech and drama, and he also studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village.
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I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad. pic.twitter.com/KyoNsJIBz5— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 11, 2020
In recent weeks, I've shared the joy of Seinfeld with my teenage son. To reciprocate, he's been turning me on to the myriad incarnations of vaporwave, vaporfunk, chillwave, and other desktop electronica microgenres of the last decade. Finally, today, he decided the time was right to reveal an unholy hauntological overlap of our interests: "Seinwave" (2015) by Abelard. Listen above. From Abelard:
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Seinwave is a rework of the iconic slap bass infused pop-click theme of the classic Seinfeld sitcom TV show. Created on a whim, Seinwave holds its own as a funky, danceable track, exploring new melodies, sounds and hooks, whilst retaining the faded sitcom hues and tones that we all remember.
Actor Brian Dennehy, best known for his role in the movies 'Tommy Boy' and 'First Blood', has died.
He was 81.
The Golden Globe and Tony award winner's career spanned 50 years on stage and screen.
Above, one of the great scenes with Dennehy and Chris Farley in 'Tommy Boy.'
BREAKING: Brian Dennehy, "Tommy Boy" and "First Blood" star, dies at 81 https://t.co/jB9HNqq78E
— Variety (@Variety) April 16, 2020
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) April 16, 2020
A few years ago, I talked to Brian Dennehy about some of his most memorable and beloved roles. He was a gentleman and a scholar. RIP. https://t.co/GayL0kQQBo
— Marah Eakin (@marahe) April 16, 2020
what woud Brian Dennehy do? pic.twitter.com/injnTuzTwF
— Dan Nathan (@RiskReversal) April 16, 2020
Brian Dennehy, a Tony-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor, lover of Chicago theater, and the nation’s leading interpreter of the tragedies of Eugene O’Neill, died Wednesday in New Haven, Connecticut. He was 81. https://t.co/5w4us17qCn
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 16, 2020
Brian Dennehy was such a terrific, talented actor. I only met him once. I asked him to sign a SILVERADO cowboy hat they gave us at the premiere. I only had a ballpoint pen and it didn't register on the hat's surface. He said, "Well, at least it's not a check." R.I.P., sir. pic.twitter.com/wDe52cvGJC
— Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) April 16, 2020
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Brian Dennehy was one of the greats. I was lucky to see him in Death of a Salesman on Broadway – such a wonderful performance.
"What We Do in the Shadows," Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's beautifully stupid vampire comedy, is out for more blood in season 2. The second season of the screwy, sharp-witted docu-satire premiers on FX on April 15, 10pm
Over the course of the season, the vampires will try to find their way in a world of human Super Bowl parties, internet trolls, an energy vampire who gets a promotion and becomes drunk on power and of course, all the ghosts, witches, necromancers, zombies and shadowy cloaked assassins who roam freely in the Tri-State area. Is Guillermo destined to be a vampire or a vampire hunter? Or maybe just a familiar for the rest of his life?
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An old Mitchell and Webb skit, contra Voltaire; if you know them, you already know which one it is: "I'm not saying do it. I'm just saying to run it through the computer to see if it would work." Read the rest
British comedy duo Mitchell and Webb created their "The Quiz" sketch format years ago, depicting a dilapidated and miserable TV game show broadcast in the wake of an apocalyptic "event" that means you really should stay indoors. Prophetic!
To promote the new season of her show, the British comedy Sex Education (now streaming on Netflix), Gillian Anderson does a nearly four minute ASMR video. In her character of Dr. Jean Milburn, Anderson purrs and whispers, scratches and tickles the mics, open, pours, and sips wine, and does a number of other classic "braingasm" audio tricks. For X-Files fans and nerdy boys n' girls who've crushed on Anderson for decades, it might all be too much.
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Jason Klamm from the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) writes, "In late 2018, I uncovered the true identity of comic Dick Davy. Since starting his archive, I've come across some real gems, but in August, one find took the cake. His niece, Sharon, mailed me two records that had been sitting in a box, and it turns out these are unreleased acetates of material no one has heard in almost sixty years. I had Firesign Theatre archivist Taylor Jessen transfer and do a quick clean-up of them. This episode discusses their contents and what their future might be." (MP3) Read the rest
The show's official description states he and his "kid pals" "tackle existential topics for all ages with catchy songs, comedy sketches and special guests in a nostalgic variety special."
On Conan's podcast, he further describes it, "We have a lot of songs about anxieties and fear. There's huge, kind of, Broadway-scale numbers. There's small cameos from beloved people. There's show-stopping cameos from people. And there's lots of little interviews along the way... I cannot explain it well, and I never could pitch it well. And I sometimes couldn't discuss with my collaborators exactly what I was picturing but it is now done... I am more happy with it then I have been with anything I've ever done."
*That* is saying a lot coming from Mr. Mulaney. Count me in!
John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch will premiere Christmas Eve.
Here's its trailer:
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele reveal the "deplorable conditions at Vincent Clortho Public School for Wizards."