Day: May 15, 2009

Before he was famous: David Letterman’s early TV interview (and stand-up footage)

Before David Letterman got his own late-night talk show on network TV, he was, like many of you, I suppose, a hungry young stand-up comedian and writer. Here is some footage of Letterman from back then, talking about the influence of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor on his generation of young comedians, struggling to find success, and having to work for free. Also includes footage of Letterman doing stand-up at The Comedy Store. The date is unspecified, but considering the interviewers bring up the lack of paid gigs, you'd have to think this is around the time the comics in Los Angeles began demanding better pay, right? If anyone knows the date, please holler. In the meantime,...

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Rounding up the early SNL finale coverage

Saturday Night Live puts a bow on its 34th season on May 16, and before it's a wrap, some folks in the mainstream media and the Internerds have given us some new profiles and stats to ponder. Vanity Fair chatted up newbie "featured player" Abby Elliott. Kristen Wiig talked to People about being named one of People's "Most Beautiful People," and there is video evidence of this.  USA Today profiled Andy Samberg, considering he's also hosting a special SNL showcase of digital videos and shorts that airs on Sunday, May 17. Buzzine talked to SNL writer John Mulaney (who has appeared briefly in two sketches and should, if all is right in the world, be seen much more often as a cast member), getting to him reveal more about his childhood obsession with ye olden times.  In case you missed it, this recent interview with Will Forte has some interesting nuggets of insight.  The paper in Syracuse, NY, talked with native girl and newbie Michaela Watkins. And then some more.  Want to know who has done what this season up until now? Mark Graham at New York mag's Vulture blog broke SNL's 34th season down, by the...

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Night at the Museum’s gate-crashing NBC promos

When is a movie plug that's pretending to hinder a promo really just a twisted take on a promo, and when do we realize that by posting it, we do exactly what they want? Are these important questions to even ask before showing you a series of videos in which Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill try to get onto the NBC lot to promote the Night at the Museum sequel, only to be flummoxed at the gate by the head of security, played by Andy Daly. With a cameo by Steve Carell. The conclusion, after the...

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Tonight Show comings (Conan) and goings (Leno)

We have news on both the outgoing and incoming versions of The Tonight Show. First, the new: TV Guide obtained a publicity photo from NBC showing Conan O'Brien's new set in California — which is twice the size of his digs up in 30 Rock in NYC, and also somewhat reminiscent of Leno's set, no? Perhaps more importantly, sidekick Andy Richter is back in action, giving us a backstage look at the new offices, whilst pretending to be Conan! The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien debuts June 1. Meanwhile, Jay Leno has two more weeks to go before vacating his late-night seat and getting ready for primetime in September. Leno's final guests on his version of The Tonight Show will be Conan O'Brien and James Taylor, plus a surprise or two, he told reporters on a conference call late yesterday. Here are some excerpts, courtesy of Eric Deggans at the St. Petersburg Times. On doing a nightly 10 p.m. comedy showcase: “The real key to this, is having a lot more comedy in the last half hour. Research shows people like the monologue, people like Headlines . . . we'll update those and freshen them up. The real trick is that second half hour. Although my job previous to this was to give a good lead-in to Conan, the job giving a good lead-in to the 11 p.m. news is...

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