Day: April 12, 2011

Pilot Season 2011: NBC’s “Family Practice” tapes tonight before a live studio audience

Hopeful thoughts go out to Eddie Pepitone, Fahim Anwar and the rest of the cast of NBC's sitcom pilot, Family Practice, which tapes tonight before a live studio audience in Studio City, Calif. The potential sitcom stars Andrew J. West as a doctor who leaves his job to return home and join the family business of doctors, which includes his parents (played by Jean Smart and Jere Burns) and grandfather (Christopher...

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Blame Florida: Carrot Top and Larry the Cable Guy started at the same open mic (with Billy Gardell)

In case you missed it, Billy Gardell — star of the new CBS sitcom Mike & Molly — appeared last week on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Toward the end of Gardell's panel chat, Ferguson mentioned that he'd be visiting Las Vegas soon and would check out Carrot Top's long-running show there. Which prompted Gardell to say this about knowing Carrot Top: "When we did open mic night together, and this was back in Florida. We had a big open mic night there. It was me, him, Darrell Hammond, Larry the Cable Guy before he was Larry the Cable Guy (Ferguson: He was just Larry then), yeah Larry. Yeah, and but, but, Carrot Top would come in and he'd set his stuff up on the stage, and we would steal a couple of things out of the trunk. But we wouldn't tell him. And then we'd watch him go, 'Ha ha, ha ha.' But he's a good...

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Eddie Murphy + James Brown persona + 1989 = failed TV pilot?

If you Google, "What's Alan Watching?" you'll likely end up at TV critic Alan Sepinwall's column on HitFix. But in 1989, What's Alan Watching? was a TV sitcom pilot Paramount had produced for CBS that didn't make get a green light. Nothing weird about that, right? Most pilots don't get ordered to series. But this show's pilot featured Eddie Murphy doing his James Brown impersonation. It starred Corin Nemic (who went on to star in Parker Lewis Can't Lose the following year) as a teenager who blends his real life with what's on his TV, Fran Drescher as his mother (a few years before The Nanny), and parts in the pilot for Shelly Berman, George Carlin, the Smothers Brothers, Ellen Cleghorne, and as the end credits show, bit parts for Pauly Shore and Brent Spiner. CBS aired it once, and that single airing earned TCA (Television Critics Award) honors. Go figure. Here's a clip from the final segments, featuring Eddie Murphy as James Brown in 1989. Roll it!   Thanks,...

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Humorous nominees in the 2011 Webby Awards

I used to want to win a Webby Award. Until I realized years ago that you had to pay several hundreds of dollars just to be considered for one. Yes. Really. It's that democratic. You only have to be fabulously wealthy and successful already to pay for the privilege of a Webby Award nomination. And now, this year, we see that the Webby Awards have a people's choice vote via AOL. You know. AOL. The company you associate with Internet greatness. Or the company you associate with having $315 million to give to Arianna Huffington for creating a site that relies on free writing. Is there a Webby Award for that? Not this year. Alrighty then! Here are the 2011 Webby Awards nominations in categories that seem/look/feel funny: In the official Humor category, it's a race among CollegeHumor, Comedy Central, Funny or Die, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Onion. In the official Weird category, it's down to Awkward Family Photos, Most Awesomest Thing Ever, Rather Good, The Daily What, and What the Fuck Should I Make For Dinner? There's an entirely separate page for Interactive Advertising! Great job, Webbys. In Online Film & Video, which is its own thing, for something, Funny or Die is competing against itself in Best Individual Performance, as both its "Presidential Reunion" and Ralph Macchio videos got nominated, alongside Cheri Oteri's "Liza...

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