Day: July 22, 2008

NBC’s 2009 late-night TV shuffle

NBC officially unveiled the timeline it plans for shuffling Jimmy Fallon into late-late night and Conan O’Brien into Jay Leno’s Tonight Show slot, which left Leno playing a cartoon version of a TV critic in disguise (pictured!) at the TV Critics Association tour yesterday. That timeline?Jimmy Fallon begins not on TV, but online with nightly mini episodes this fall.Conan O’Brien will leave his Late Night slot in spring 2009, for Fallon to take over in March or April 2009.Jay Leno’s final Tonight Show will be Friday, May 29, 2009.Conan O’Brien’s first Tonight Show will be the following Monday, June 1, 2009.(Trade coverage via Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, plus the New York Times take here) Lorne Michaels, who shepherded Fallon on Saturday Night Live and will serve as his executive producer, wants to ease Fallon into the game slowly. Perhaps he thinks letting Fallon experiment online on a nightly basis not only will let him get his hosting feet under him, but also tamper any early criticism of his TV debut. The media and fans alike bashed Conan in his early years, but he grew into the role and then some, becoming NBC’s favorite late-night guy. The network already began construction on Conan’s new West Coast set, and it’s still unclear how many of his writing crew will move west with him. Which means it’s still unclear what kind...

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Posthumous George Carlin CD due July 29

George Carlin‘s final HBO performance, It’s Bad For Ya, will be released as a CD on July 29 on Eardrum Records, the label started by Carlin in 1986. Carlin recorded this show for HBO in March, and he died June 22 at the age of 71, months before he was set to accept the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The Kennedy Center will now celebrate him posthumously, and this CD also will serve as a tribute to the stand-up legend. Previously: My review and interview with Carlin about what would become his final stand-up...

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Review: Russell Brand’s NYC debut

Russell Brand‘s show proved the toughest ticket in Montreal last week, but would Americans (and our ex-pats) react with similar enthusiasm to his New York City debut? Brand’s first two shows, Sunday-Monday at the 600-seat Blender Theater at Gramercy, served as a promising introduction for the comedian who already is considered the hottest talent in the U.K. As Brand acknowledged openly, he’s a star on that side of the pond, while here, Americans just barely have gotten to know him through his breakthrough film role in this year’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Brand wisely constructed his set as an introduction to these new fans. But first, some "playful banter," as the comedian is wont to walkabout into the audience for his crowd work — Monday’s banter was perhaps a bit more abbreviated as fans who had returned from Sunday’s show tried to hijack the discussion, although Brand, upon returning to stage center, had a bit of fun with a blind woman in the front row, telling her, "I wish I could help, but despite my appearances, I’m not Christ." Slithering, crouching and twirling about onstage, his sprawling updo of hair flowing and bouncing behind him, Brand dresses and acts the part of a rock star, not just with the wardrobe and the charisma, but also in his great gift for lyrical storytelling. How many other comedians can weave in words...

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