Day: February 7, 2010

Exclusive interview! E*Trade baby talks about voicing, writing his 2010 Super Bowl ads (VIDEO)

The E*Trade talking baby was at it again with a new series of ads that debuted during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Did you know that the baby is now being voiced by stand-up comedian Pete Holmes? I did, and I talked to him earlier today about his nationwide TV ad campaign (fun fact: Holmes also appeared in a Super Bowl ad last year that he and his Front Page Film mates — Matt McCarthy and Oren Brimer — produced themselves for the Doritos contest). This is bigger. Let's roll the first new E*Trade baby ad, called "Girlfriend." "It was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience," Holmes told me. "I got to do the voice, of course, but I got to write the jokes, too. I had a hand in everything. That is to say, they let me have a hand in everything – I even got a writing credit, which is great." Very nice! "It wasn't that much unlike stand-up. I would literally say something and look up from the mic, through the glass and see if anyone was laughing. If they weren't, I'd try something else. Lots of improv. Worked with lots of improvisers, not all of whom ended up in the final versions, but it was a who's-who of improv folk." So they did the baby parts later to match whatever you ended up writing? "Yeah, totally, that's the last thing...

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Leno promoted Letterman’s show in a Super Bowl ad with Oprah?! Yes, he did. Watch it again!

In the second quarter of the Super Bowl, CBS broadcast an ad for its late-night chat show, Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman and Oprah had appeared together in a Super Bowl spot before, but this time, Jay Leno crashed the party. In his denim shirt. And allowed Letterman to impersonate him. In an ad for Letterman's show. Yes, that really did happen. Leno really must love knowing that NBC cannot fire him without paying him a gabillion dollars, because why else would he agree to this ad for his competition. Wow. Just wow. Watch it again right now! UPDATED: The New York Times' Bill Carter, who is embedded in the late-night camps because he is writing a follow-up book to The Late Shift (how convenient), has Letterman's executive producer Rob Burnett dish with full details of how CBS asked Letterman to top his 2007 Super Bowl spot with Oprah, and how Leno got NBC's permission to fly to NYC on Tuesday (when the network pre-empted his show) and sneak in with Oprah during Letterman's live taping. Sounds like a win-win for both Leno and...

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SNL #35.14 with Ashton Kutcher, Them Crooked Vultures

If Ashton Kutcher hosts SNL one more time, then the "Five-Timers Club" will need to be abolished and replaced with the "Ten-Timers Club," because, really?!? Who let the dogs out and made Lorne Michaels chase them down the street, thereby letting Kutcher inside 30 Rock on four separate occasions to host? Twas a night of oddities, and some of the oddest involved Kutcher in a bad way, and some of the best odd moments didn't involve Kutcher at all. Ready for my recap? The cold open went with FOX News scare tactics as a premise, and I don't know how many times I have to remind you that when SNL goes political, it's usually more about getting their message across than landing any jokes. Oh. I guess I did have to remind you one more time, then. Kristen Wiig played Greta Van Susteren in Greta's post-Botox era, Bobby Moynihan played Karl Rove for laughs (watch out for the cracks in his forehead, though!), and which audience member thought it'd be a good idea to inject additional politics by clapping at the mention of "Don't ask, don't tell"? Will Forte as Col. Oliver North and Bill Hader as Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs were there, as was Abby Elliott as "Attractive Blond Lady," who was funny because it's true about FOX News, with their cast of hot ladies who are...

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Is this also Super Birthday Sunday?

Haven't done the math on this, but when I saw that Chris Rock, Eddie Izzard and Emo Philips all celebrate Feb. 7 as their birthday — though not the same year (Rock turns 45, Izzard 48 and Philips 54 today) — I wondered what day has witnessed the birth of more famously funny people.* You know what, though? Right now I don't feel like doing the math on this. Just wishing these guys a happy birthday will do! *If you feel like running through the calendar and seeing how many funny comedians were born on each of the 365 1/4 days of the year and getting back to me, that'd be cool,...

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February 2010
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