Day: February 11, 2009

Scenes from Eugene Mirman’s book party

If Eugene Mirman could pull off his own comedy festival, then what would he have in store for the release of his first book, The Will to Whatevs? We had to take the first B75 or F train we could get to the Bell House in Gowanus Brooklyn to find out last night for ourselves (why do I refer to myself in the first-person plural? not relevant). A sold-out crowd watched what turned out to be two hours of comedy and a full set by GnR tribute band Mr. Brownstone, and before you ask, why Mr. Brownstone, note that Eugene's brother joined them on guitar for "Knocking on Heaven's Door," with Eugene and David Cross taking over one of the microphones, and Todd Barry and Cross' girlfriend Amber Tamblyn joining them all onstage. Of course, it wasn't all rock and roll. After all of that, Sarah Vowell took over the turntable with a more leisurely mix of tunes. But first, Mirman welcomed the crowd with a multimedia presentation about his new book (related: read my interview with Mirman about The Will to Whatevs). John Hodgman took the stage and immediately apologized for being sick with the cold/flu bug that has circled New York City. Although that's not how Hodgman caught it, as he claimed instead: "I got sick hugging Al Gore last week at the TED conference." If that...

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Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts star in new Spike TV sitcom

We're knee-deep in pilot season, and the trades are packed full of announcements by the networks of deals made and scripts ordered, but we all need to remind ourselves that many of these shows will never make it to the airwaves. That's why Spike TV's announcement yesterday — yes, Spike TV is still a network — is more significant and worth sharing. They have given Upright Citizens Brigade co-founders Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts a 10-episode order for a sitcom called Players that will debut this summer. Walsh and Roberts like to end each Del Close Marathon with their so-fake-it's-actually-real TV cooking show, but for Spike TV, they're leaving the microwave behind (maybe) and entering the world of sports bars. From the press release: Walsh will play Bruce, who lives out his fantasy of owning a sports bar, betting on sports and dating the waitresses. Roberts will play his older, uptight brother Ken. Danielle Schneider and James Pumphery also will be part of the main cast. Jason Woliner, who directed Human Giant, directed the Players presentation and serves as a co-executive producer. Production starts this month in Los...

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