The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now. "How do you please Lorne Michaels? Twenty-two ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members – and one who came close – share tales of the audition that can make or break a career." Also, extended interviews with Kristin Wiig, Will Ferrel, Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Shannon, on what it took to get hired for 'SNL.' Check out audition tapes from: Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey: 1 & 2, and Dan Aykroyd. [more inside]
The Lap of Luxury was a Big Brother-style reality tv show filmed for Spike TV in 2003. The format is familiar: 9 contestants living in a house together, all trying to win immunity, prevent themselves from being voted out and vying to win a $100,000 prize while facing down a smarmy host. Except... only one of them, a guy named Matt Kennedy Gould, was really a contestant. The rest were actors, playing stereotypical reality show roles. The series was scripted, heavily improvised and entirely created around Matt -- his very own Truman Show. Welcome to Joe Schmo. [more inside]
A record crowd of nearly 2 million people attend the 2011 Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. A brand new 300-400 seat comedy club opens in Washington, DC. Nine R-rated comedies released this summer. Bridesmaids becomes Judd Apatow's highest-grossing movie. The Hangover and The Hangover Part 2 now rank third and fourth, domestically, as the top-grossing R-rated movies of all-time. Marc Maron's WTF podcast repackaged for public radio distribution. Showtime orders another Green Room/WTF type show for 2011. The CW is shopping for sitcoms. Whitney Cummings signs development deals with CBS and NBC. Peak comedy or sign that we're laughing more than ever as we face end times?