It’s become a billion-dollar fundraising fixture on British TV, but now NBC says it will collaborate with Comic Relief U.K. and Funny Or Die to bring Richard Curtis‘ Red Nose Day charity special to the United States. Curtis will serve as an executive producer for the NBC telecast, which will feature sketch comedy, standup, music and more from a variety of celebrities. Online humor site Funny or Die will create original content for the three-hour live show, which is set for next May and will be performed in front of a live audience.
“I am incredibly proud that NBCUniversal is broadcasting Red Nose Day,” Paul Telegdy, NBC’s President, Alternative and Late Night Programing, said in a release. “Once in a while in our jobs, we get to do things that can change lives and entertain at the same time.”
Other executive producers will be Hamish Hamilton and Ian Stewart of Done + Dusted Productions, which will produce. Hamilton will also direct. Red Nose Day in the U.K. has been going for a quarter century now, and has become one of the highest-rated Friday night shows on the BBC while raising more than $1 billion in donations. The NBC event will raise money for what the network called “established” charities working in both the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. Those charities and the show’s performers will be announced later.
Just days after President Obama’s “interview” with Zach Galifianakis plugging the Affordable Care Act on the Funny or Die web series Between Two Ferns, some celebrity moms jumped in to help get people signed up, giving Obama’s on-air detractors another day’s worth of Administration’s Too-Hollywood-Cozy Obamacare Strategy talking points. Watch here:
UPDATE, 9:30 AM: White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett tells CBS This Morning that Healthcare.gov’s traffic has increased 40% since the launch of the Funny or Die video featuring President Obama and Zach Galifianakis early yesterday morning. In an interview broadcast this morning, Jarrett told CBS morning show co-hosts Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King that the video campaign has been “overwhelmingly successful.” ”Zach and the guys at Funny or Die, they have huge followings. Every young person I know watches their videos on YouTube,” Jarrett said, adding, when asked, “No, it wasn’t hard to get [Obama] to participate.”
PREVIOUS, TUESDAY AM: A little more than a month after Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly landed his contentious pre-Super Bowl sit-down with President Obama, Zach Galifianakis scored an interview with the president on his Funny or Die show Between Two Ferns. In the interview, which was taped a couple weeks ago, the two men discussed why a third term would be as bad an idea as that third Hangover movie, Obama’s birth certificate, Obamacare, and the rash growing on Galifianakis’ arm. “That’s disgusting — how long have you had that? That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” Obama said. Watch here:
EXCLUSIVE: This is the dream of every public access show: New York’s cult weekly program The Chris Gethard Show will be making the leap from the local Manhattan Neighborhood Network to Comedy Central. The cable network has ordered a pilot for TCGS, a live, interactive call-in show with roots at the UCB Theater NY, which blends talk, variety and game elements. It will be produced by Funny Or Die, looking to repeat the success it’s had with another Comedy Central talk show, new late-night entry @midnight, which was just picked up for 40 weeks. Brillstein Entertainment Partners is co-producing, with Gethard and Zach Galifianakis exec producing alongside Funny Or Die’s Will Ferrell, Owen Burke, Adam McKay and Mike Farah as well as Brillstein’s Brian Stern. TCGS, whose episodes often are based on original bits, has featured such guests as Galifianakis, Sean Combs, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, John Mulaney, Bobby Moynihan and Andrew WK. The show also is known for championing the Brooklyn music scene and New York’s fringe artists and oddballs.
Related: Comedy Central’s Digital Development Studio Unveils Slate
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Funny or Die is expanding its TV slate with a new untitled sports docu-series that features strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis and a rotating cast of pro athletes. Each of the eight hour-long episodes will feature Barwis working with a different athlete at his Barwis Methods Training Center in Detroit, MI. The pilot, which Funny or Die has already shot, features the NFL’s Tyrann Mathieu (AKA “The Honey Badger”) who has had a breakout rookie year with the Arizona Cardinals. Production begins in January on the other seven episodes. Barwis has served over 10 years as head strength and conditioning coach at West Virginia University and the University of Michigan. He has owned Barwis Methods Training Center for two years.
The series was created by brothers Mike and Chris Farah who also executive produce along with Rebecca Mayer. Anna Wenger and Joe Farrell are co-executive producers. The series is slated to air on Discovery Channel in 2014. Other shows on Funny or Die’s TV slate include @midnight and Brody Stevens: Enjoy It on Comedy Central, Funny Or Die’s Billy On The Street on Fuse, Spoils Of Babylon on IFC, and We Are Miracles, the upcoming Sarah Silverman special for HBO.
EXCLUSIVE: Funny Or Die‘s Billy On The Street, created by comedian Billy Eichner, will be returning for a new season on Fuse. The show blends comedy into a game show format setting host Eichner loose on the streets of NYC to quiz strangers on music and pop culture knowledge for money and prizes, with a celebrity guest joining Eichner in each episode. Eichner, a client of WME and 3 Arts, garnered a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Shot Host for the show earlier this year. The program’s third season will debut on Fuse in early 2014 in 10 new half-hour episodes. Billy On The Street is a Fuse original and is exec produced by Eicher, Anna Wenger, and Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah.
Things have been quiet on the Dave Chappelle front since the comedian walked away from his Comedy Central sketch show in 2005 and starred in Michel Gondry’s 2006 docu Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, save for scattered stand-up appearances over the years. Now he’s set to co-headline the 13-city comedy tour Funny Or Die Presents The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival from August 23 to September 22, alongside Flight of the Conchords. Al Madrigal, Brody Steven, Chris D’Elia, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress, Jim Jefferies, John Mulaney, and Kristen Schaal are also scheduled to perform on the Live Nation tour. Check out Funny Or Die‘s video announcement and tour stops:
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EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central is expanding its late-night block with a new show hosted by comedian/producer Chris Hardwick and co-produced by Funny Or Die. The untitled show, which will launch in the fall, will air four nights a week at midnight, following The Colbert Report, giving the network a 11 PM-12:30 AM block anchored by The Daily Show. Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will serve as executive producers/showrunners on the Chris Hardwick show, returning to Comedy Central, where they co-created and starred on the cult series Reno 911! The show, Comedy Central’s first midnight strip, will be formatted as a comedic panel show that will have a heavy social-media presence integrated throughout. It is produced by Comedy Central and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die, with Brillstein Entertainment Partners expected to executive produce along with Serious Business (Alex Blagg, Jason Nadler, Jon Zimelis) and Nerdist Industries, Hardwick and Peter Levin’s production company for multi-platform genre and pop culture content. In addition to the 11:30 PM broadcast late-night talk shows, Comedy Central’s Chris Hardwick program will face another new midnight cable strip — TBS’ series toplined by comedian Pete Holmes, which also is slated to launch in the fall and air four nights a week.
The Chris Hardwick show expands Hardwick’s relationship with Comedy Central, where … Read More »
This has been a sore topic for Hollywood talent agents and their American-born clients this pilot season as U.S. broadcast networks bet heavily on Australian actors. Young Aussie thesps have been booking pilot lead after pilot lead, primarily on the drama side. The trend wasn’t lost on one American actor, Brian Guest, who decides to go all Crocodile Dundee in order to secure a pilot gig after losing out to Australian rivals in previous auditions. Here is the Funny Or Die video:
The actor’s WB dud The Incredible Burt Wonderstone landed with a thud earlier this month. Maybe a return to his In Living Color sketch comedy heyday is in order. Watch Jim Carrey skewer anti-gun control advocates and tackle multiple characters, including late NRA head Charlton Heston, in Funny Or Die‘s Cold Dead Hand With Jim Carrey. He next stars in Universal’s August sequel Kick-Ass 2.
Cold Dead Hand with Jim Carrey from Jim Carrey
Zach Galifianakis sits down with Academy-nominated actresses and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams. Publicists may never let that happen again. UPDATE: My attempt at sarcasm failed miserably. Just like this video’s attempt at humor:
Moviegoers will soon be able to see comedy clips from Funny Or Die, music videos from VEVO, and food preparation techniques from celebrity chefs in First Look — the pre-movie programming that National CineMedia provides to theaters — the company said today. It will be up to advertisers to decide what content they want to include or create and selections can vary by region, film, and genre. First Look runs for about 20 minutes before the trailers. Here’s the announcement that National CineMedia made today from its first advertiser upfront presentation in New York: Read More »
Yahoo announced today that it is launching a Yahoo Comedy Channel in February 2012 and has inked a deal with comedian Bill Maher to kick it off with a free, live stand-up performance. The content will include short-form videos and both licensed and original programming from the likes of Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Elecuts, and Yahoo! Studios, among others. The web giant recently launched a women’s slate that it said saw almost 10 million streams in its first month. Here’s a look a the content being prepared for the comedy launch; more programming will be added going forward, Yahoo said:
– CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley – On February 23, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. PT Bill Maher will host a live comedy show exclusively broadcasted online on Yahoo!. This will be Maher’s first live online broadcast ever. For the last nineteen years, Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and for the last nine years on HBO’s “Real Time, Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him twenty-seven Emmy nominations.
– Funny Or Die Presents “First Dates with Toby Harris” (Funny or Die) – starring Seth Morris, a series that takes us on a journey of ill-fated first dates with the lovable (sometimes deplorable) and always single Toby Harris. Set with Los Angeles as a back drop, each episode centers around a different woman and issue that will leave the audience bickering amongst themselves who was right and who was wrong, and how they would have handled it better! Love him or hate him, a date with Toby is a date you will always remember.
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The tagline: “It’s like Drive … but more delicious.” This trailer parody is directed by Matthew Michaud who’s repped by Martin Spencer of CAA. It stars and was written by Alex Blagg, who runs the Internet content company Serious Business with former UTA agents Jason Nadler and Jon Zimelis.
EXCLUSIVE: Music TV network Fuse has finalized a deal for a series order to half-hour series Funny or Die’s Billy On The Street, starring comedian Billy Eichner. On the series, set to premiere December 22 at 11 PM, Eichner hits the streets of New York City to test pedestrians on their knowledge of pop culture in a fast-paced and comedic trivia-style game show. Funny Or Die’s president of production Mike Farah, Eichner and Krysia Plonka are executive producers. The project stems from Eichner’s viral “man on the street” videos (sample below), which he initially created for his live shows with the Upright Citizens Brigade. Funny Or Die originally made a video with Eichner last year to post on the site, but then the brass felt the video was a great concept for a TV show and pitched it out last spring. Pilot orders from six cable networks — including VH1, BBC America, Comedy Central, Bravo, and E! — followed, with Fuse landing the show after coming in with a straight-to-series order. Funny Or Die’s Billy On The Street marks Funny Or Die’s third series order, joining Funny Or Die Presents on HBO and Jon Benjamin Has A Van on Comedy Central. Read More »
This Funny Or Die video from writer-director Josh Greenbaum explains why non-liberal America hates Hollywood. Featuring Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Jack Black, and Kevin Spacey. Wait for the scene with Bill:
EXCLUSIVE: Adam McKay, known for being the director of comedies like Anchorman and The Other Guys and the founder with Will Ferrell of the humor website Funny Or Die, has made a deal to produce a new feature documentary from Jason Pollock about the dropout epidemic in American public schools. The docu from Pollock — who directed the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival documentary The Youngest Candidate, produced by David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants — will be shot throughout the current school year and is slated to be released in time for fall 2012. “I want to help put the education system front and center in this upcoming presidential election,” McKay said. “We hope this film will do just that.” The movie is expected to have a social media component, and Pollock is organizing a screening tour to colleges in the lead-up to election day. It will focus on the dropout rate in U.S. public schools — in major cities, it has climbed above 50%, and a report out this year pegged California’s rate at 18.2%.
McKay isn’t a total stranger to social causes. Among his credits is a writing stint on activist filmmaker Michael Moore’s TV series The Awful Truth. More recently, the former Saturday Night Live head writer just wrapped production on Season 3 of the HBO series Eastbound and Down through his and Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions shingle.