Day: October 18, 2009

How would TV’s “Mad Men” pitch TV’s Monty Python?

In the parallel TV universe, the Mad Men at Sterling Cooper are in 1963 and owned by Brits. Would they be called upon in 1969, when Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on the BBC? Or in the early 1970s when Python first appeared on American TV? I asked Rich Sommer, who plays the head of Sterling Cooper's TV department, Harry Crane, and had some previous training with the UCB. Sommer was one of a couple of Mad Men (I also met Michael Gladis there) at the red-carpet screening of Monty Python's new six-part documentary, which debuts tonight on IFC (at 9 p.m., an hour earlier than Mad Men on AMC, so everything's good!). So here that is. Enjoy! Roll it: Set your TVs! IFC is airing Python movies and TV episodes every night this week after installments of Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers...

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SNL #35.4 with Gerard Butler, Shakira

Who's ready for a two-week vacation? Raise your hands, everybody! Some critics expect the SNL staff to have all of their funny material ready to go after a vacation because they've rested up, but that's not how it works in real life. You get back from vacation and the first day you're loaded up with junk, emails, phone calls and just getting your bearings, and before you know it, you're behind the rest of the week, playing catch up. Whereas the week heading into a vacation, you're looking forward to it and sometimes you do things you wouldn't normally do, just because, well, vacation is coming! The Rock Obama. Whomever had the bright idea to bring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson back for a cameo to enliven SNL's Barack Obama sketches, thank you. Fred Armisen is immensely talented and funny, but his Obama sketches have mostly fallen flat (generating news is not the same as generating actual laughs). And when you have someone who, like Obama, actually is half-black and spent part of his childhood in Hawaii, along with ability to make Obama campy (thank his background from pro rassling for that). Nasim Pedrad played the president's assistant. Bill Hader, Will Forte and Jenny Slate played his Senate foils, while Jason Sudeikis as VP Joe Biden arrived just in time to save Slate's Olympia Snowe from The Rock's Hulk tantrum....

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