Day: January 10, 2013

The Simpsons, Seth MacFarlane earn first Academy Award nominations

Seth MacFarlane isn’t just hosting this year’s Academy Awards; he’s also a first-time nominee! MacFarlane earned an Oscar nomination this morning in the Best Original Song for writing the lyrics to “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from his live-action talking teddy bear buddy movie, Ted. That category historically has been kinder to comedy films because the songs are judged separately (see: multiple nominee Randy Newman; the South Park movie). This year, MacFarlane’s song (with music by Walter Murphy) is up against selections from Skyfall (by Adele), Chasing Ice, Life of Pi, and Les Miserables. The Simpsons also earned an...

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Looking for the Big Laugh with Professor Ritch Shydner: “Married With Children”

Married with Children By Ritch Shydner In the fall of 1986 I auditioned for a sitcom pilot, Married with Children. The role was for a series regular, “Luke Ventura” — the single, womanizing co-worker of the show’s lead. Starring in movies and television wasn’t a youthful fantasy for me. That ambition was planted when I became a stand-up comedian in 1977 and learned that acting in movies and TV were steps on the stairway to comic stardom. TV and movie roles filled seats and boosted the pay. Roles on hit sitcoms sometimes transformed club comics into theater draws. At...

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Larry Miller returns to podcasting, nine months after life-threatening fall, brain injury

Good news for friends, loved ones and fans of comedian/actor Larry Miller. Miller returned to the podcast booth yesterday. The 59-year-old had fallen backward while holding open a door on April 4, 21012, and hit his head, sending Miller into a coma and life support. “He was hovering between life and death,” Miller’s spokesman, Michael Hansen, told People magazine. “It’s a miracle he woke up. … He’s lucky to be alive.” On Wednesday’s episode of This Week With Larry Miller, Miller welcomed fans back to the podcast, saying: “Hi, folks. Welcome back to This Week With Larry Miller. I am...

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Funny or Die to launch movie division

Funny or Die continues to expand and evolve past its original mission — when was the last time you remember voting on a user-submitted video to “die” or stay online because it was “funny”? — as the company announced plans to launch a movie division. Wait. Don’t Chris Henchy, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell already have a production company in Gary Sanchez Productions? Yes, but this is different. The Funny or Die movie studio division is a partnership with that trio, plus CAA and Scott Steindorff’s Scott Pictures, with plans to put out a handful of low-budget feature films...

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Comedy Headlines for 1/10/13

What’s happening in the comedy world now… Early ratings for Jimmy Kimmel’s first night of Jimmy Kimmel Live in the 11:35 p.m. start time placed him ahead of both Letterman and Leno? Yes and no. Kimmel pulled in 3.097 million viewers Tuesday night compared to 2.882 million for Letterman and 3.274 million for Leno. They ranked in the same order for ages 18-49, too. Early ratings for Cougar Town‘s debut on TBS, on the other hand, saw it attract only 2.2 million viewers on Tuesday, 1.3 million ages 18-49. That’s less than the audiences who turned out to watch...

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