Step Brothers Bloopers
The shouty American comic actor Will Ferrell turns a very impressive 41 today, and he’s doing pretty well for himself by all accounts. He’s made everyone laugh with a hilarious Neil Diamond impression, he was brilliant in Anchorman and Old School. But the real jewel in his crown is Step Brothers – Interestment’s favourite film of 2008, an underrated gem. Hence, we thought it best to get him a gift, so we all made hats from bits of randomly coloured tissue paper and skipped around town singing ideas to one another, until it boiled down to a toss up between a mug of water mixed with fruit juice, or a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Step Brothers. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Will Ferrell!
The Joe Piscopo Show, 1985
It’s another one of those weird fantasy dinner party days again, as it’s birthday time for Debbie Harry, Liv Tyler, Dan Ackroyd, Pamela Anderson, Lady Diana, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and Carl Lewis. What an evening that would be. Harry on vocals, Anderson and Tyler dancing, Diana on canapes, Ackroyd mixing cocktails for a very emotional Van Nistelrooy. Lewis, now 48, talking about himself incessantly. Yeah, on second thoughts… Anyway, we decided we’d get Carl Lewis the gift this year, so we sat in a padding pool discussing present options until it boiled down to a toss up between a framed picture of Jambo from Hollyoaks or a funny clip of Eddie Murphy playing Carl Lewis. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Speedster!
One could be the next Friends
When it first began, Friends was a straight-faced drama serial about a male actor (Joey) on a slow descent into male prostitution, crack cocaine use, and eventually death. It was to be narrated by his widow hooker girlfriend (Monica), with recurring cast members including a dark-eyed drug dealer known only as Phoebs, and a cigar munching heavy called Roz (pronounced Ross). But then, in an intriguing twist of fate, Matthew Perry was cast as a paranoid pipe smoking street urchin with HIV, and the course of the show was changed forever thanks to his totally accidental comedy timing, which seemed to go down well with the live studio audience. The writers assembled on the floor, and seconds later Friends was transformed into a comedy show about six neighbours all passively-aggressively attempting to have sex with one another. A legend was born. Great times, great great times.
Since Friends, we have been forever on the lookout for the next great TV show, so it was with total and complete joy that we heard from friend of the site and comedy expert, Peter, who thought he’d drop by to point out some new shows on the horizon that we should be looking out for. He had these recommendations…
1. Parks and Recreation
This is a new comedy from two of the Emmy winning writers of the US version of The Office. It stars the great, yet quite tiny, Amy Poehler who recently quit SNL. Here, she is playing the role of a small town official called Leslie Knope. It’s got the same mockumentary style as The Office, and a really good cast as well. The first season was only six episodes, but the word on the street is that they’ve been renewed for a second season.
2. Eastbound and Down
A comedy starring Danny McBride (a Judd Apatow favourite), Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are behind the show, and it totally rocks. It’s about a professional baseball player who becomes a teacher at his old school, with hilarious results etc. It’s good stuff. It’s been renewed for another season.
3. Better off Ted
I’ve heard lots of good things about Better Off Ted, but I haven’t seen it yet. It’s an office-based comedy, and the creator is one of the guys behind (the now cancelled) My Name Is Earl. Oh, and Portia de Rossi is in it…
4. Boldly Going Nowhere
Everyone should be totally looking forward to Boldly Going Nowhere – the new comedy from the guys behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (above). There’s no air date as yet, but there is a leaked script for the pilot floating about the internet…
5. The Unusuals
On the drama front, there’s a new show called The Unusuals, but it has already been cancelled. Still, apparently it’s worth a shot – it had a pretty good cast and was billed as a police detective comedy/drama, which is always a winning combo. Just look at Police Squad.
6. Breaking Bad
You must see the second season of Breaking Bad. The first season was absolutely brilliant and won Bryan Cranston (Malcolm‘s dad in Malcolm in The Middle) an Emmy. A struggling high school teacher decides to produce and deal crack to support his family – what’s not to like!
7. Children’s Hospital
Frustratingly, it’s damn near impossible to find Rob Corddry’s Children’s Hospital comedy anywhere online. It was a webseries shown on the WB networks site… but only to those who live in America. Still, it’s worth looking out for if you can find it. Above is a little interview about the show.
PLUS, friend of the site, Mikey, insists that we should all be watching this:
8. In Treatment
If you’ve been waiting for a drama about psychotherapy, then here it is, and it’s absolutely great. Each episode centres on a therapy session, and there are something like forty episodes in the first series alone. Lots to catch up on, then.
Bill Murray Live from Second City
Mr T, at 57 today, is still the toughest man on the planet. He could beat absolutely anyone up, including Osama Bin Laden, Lennox Lewis, Vin Diesel, Roy Keane, Russell Crowe, Grant Mitchell, Phil Mitchell, Peggy Mitchell, The Terminator, Stuart Pearce, Conan The Barbarian, Conan The Destroyer, Saddam Hussain, Rocky I, Rocky II, Sawyer from Lost, Sigourney Weaver, Mel Gibson, Barry Grant, George W Bush, Bruce Lee, Mike Tyson, and Wayne Rooney. In fact, the only person he might have a problem with is Don Logan. Hence, we thought we should buy the big bruiser a gift, so we sat in a big circle, either holding hands, or gripping thighs, and talked long, deep and hard. It boiled down to a toss up between a small silver chain that he could wear around his neck, or a clip of a rather young Bill Murray doing stand up. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Mr T!
The cold hand of death grabbed them, damn it!
Annoyingly, death appears to be pretty much unavoidable, and this year people were dropping like flies. Hence, we decided to peruse through the endless lists of deceased, and found quite a few that we really weren’t ready to say goodbye to, making selecting just four corpses pretty tricky. Everyone’s favourite homosexual cowboy, Heath Ledger, didn’t make the list, and neither did everyone’s favourite heterosexual cowboy, Paul Newman. It wasn’t a good year for cowboys. Even prankster Jeremy Beadle couldn’t find a spot for himself – Beadle is not about, you might say. So, you can imagine that the four we did select are quite something, and you’d be absolutely right. Pour out a bit of liquor for the following:
1. George Carlin
Excellent stand up comic, and the friendly old guy in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, his heart packed in around June time. He’d had a pretty good life by all accounts – two good strong marriages, comedy so edgy that he was once arrested for being too rude, plus he was the first person ever to host Saturday Night Live. Below is an excellent clip from his legendary 1978 routine Seven Dirty Words.