PREVIOUS: THURSDAY, AM: President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ web series Between Two Ferns is now three layers of TV deep. Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report last night did a report on Fox News Channel’s disapproval of the president’s appearance on the Funny or Die series to promote the Affordable Care Act. “I am not the only one who was angry,” Colbert said of FNC’s unhappiness. “I am just the best at it.”
Up next — Reliable Sources‘ Sunday deconstruction of The Colbert Report’s segment on FNC’s anxiety over Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns? Watch after the jump: Read More »
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:
When Louis C.K., creator/star of FX‘s acclaimed comedy series Louie, signed an overall deal with FX Productions last month, one of his main goals was to guide other creators as they get their projects off the ground. “I can’t wait to see who he brings through our door,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said at the time. Well, he brought another A-list comedian, Zach Galifianakis. FX has ordered a comedy pilot created by and starring Galifianakis and co-written by Louis C.K. There is no concept yet for the project, the first to come out of Louis C.K. and his company’s Pig Newton’s overall pact at FX Productions. Galifianakis will executive produce alongside Louis C.K., Blair Breard, Dave Becky, Andrea Pett-Joseph and Marc Gurvitz. This marks the 12th (!) greenlighted comedy pilot for FX Productions as the company is ramping up comedy production to supply both FX and sibling FXX. Galifianakis is with CAA and Brillstein; C.K. is with 3 Arts Entertainment; Breard is repped by UTA.
Vision Films has acquired U.S. and Canada rights to Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor, a docu following a group of wounded Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as they develop their own stand up comedy routines with the help of pros Zach Galifianakis, Bob Saget, B.J. Novak, and Lewis Black. John Wager directed the film and also produced with Rey Reo, with Steven Beer executive producing. Comedy Warriors is a project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. It is also supported by the Wounded Warrior Project, dedicated to honoring and empowering injured service men and women. Vision Films also has worldwide sales rights on the film.
Film Movement has taken U.S. and Canada rights to Diane Kurys’s For A Woman (Pour Une Femme), a semi-biographical film about a woman who, after her mother’s death, discovers an old photo that uncovers a family secret about her own identity and her mother’s great love. French thesps Benoit Magimel, Mélanie Thierry, Nicolas Duvauchelle, and Sylvie Testud star in the pic which opened in France. Film Movement will release the pic in Q2 2014 in theaters and on VOD and DVD. Film Movement’s Adley Gartenstein and Rebeca Conget negotiated the deal with EUROPACORP’s Cécile Fouché. Read More »
Saturday Night Live with host Zach Galifianakis and musical guest Of Monsters and Men last night averaged a 4.4/11 in metered-market households and a 2.5/12 among adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters. That was down 4% in households and 11% in 18-49 from SNL‘s last original hosted by Vince Vaughn. Earlier last night on NBC, Smash (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers) hit a four-week high in 18-49 and delivered its biggest audience to date on Saturday.
Zach Galifianakis opened his third SNL hosting stint with his signature awkward jokes ‘n’ piano shtick. Diminishing returns for the Hangover 3 star, who was joined for a lame Jen Aniston bit by costars Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms?
Comedy Central has ordered 12 episodes of Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!, a documentary-style series starring comedian Brody Stevens and executive produced by his close friend, Hangover star Zach Galifianakis. The project originated at HBO as part of a first-look deal Galifianakis had at the pay cable network. Ordered as a low-budget presentation by HBO, Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! became a six-episode 15-minute online series for HBO Digital. The Comedy Central order includes those six episodes, which will be expanded to half-hours, along with six brand new half-hour episodes, with the series slated to premiere this summer. Described as Comedy Central’s first ever dramatic comedy series, Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! follows the emotional roller coaster life of stand-up comic Stevens as he pulls his life back together after suffering a mental breakdown that is witnessed by his fans and the world via Twitter. He makes the rounds in LA, with pal Galifianakis and others in tow, including Sarah Silverman, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, trying to reconnect and reconcile with the close friends he let down. The series combines a mix of live stand-up footage, documentary footage and animation. Stevens, Galifianakis, Mike Gibbons, Generate’s Dave Rath and Funny Or Die executive produce the series, directed by Dean Fleisher-Camp. Stevens also recently shot a stand-up set for the Comedy Central series The Half Hour that will air this summer, as well as a companion 17-episode digital series Push … Read More »
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis play opposing and predictably over-the-top political candidates running for a North Carolina House seat in the Warner Bros comedy The Campaign directed by Jay Roach. It’s set for release August 10, a couple of months before the U.S. presidential elections — just in time for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to glean some last-minute pointers.
When we began our interview, I asked Matt Weiner, “So all those Emmys aren’t good enough? You’re going for the Oscar now?” He laughed and said, “I don’t expect to enter at that level but I’m getting to make something really important to me. So I’m really excited.” As previously reported, the multiple Emmy winner (7 for Mad Men and 2 for The Sopranos) who created AMC’s much-lauded Mad Men is using his down time from the show to jump into the perilous waters of indie filmmaking as director and writer of a longtime pet project, You Are Here. Now in its fifth season, Weiner only finished up the new season of Mad Men two weeks ago but has already arrived in North Carolina this week to begin pre-production and expects to start the two-month shoot on May 7th. The comedy stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler in a story of two childhood best friends who embark on a road trip home after one of them discovers his estranged father has died.
Weiner has been trying to launch You Are Here for 8 years, “I’ve re-written it a few times, I haven’t been available for part of the time, and the rest of it is just how hard it is to get a movie made. Especially an adult movie, one that doesn’t have a high concept, ” he says. ”I tried to get it together during other off-seasons and just hadn’t been … Read More »
Beverly Hills, CA – Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis will present at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer announced today. Ferrell and Galifianakis recently wrapped shooting for “The Campaign.” Galifianakis, who was recently seen in “The Muppets,” will be making his first Oscar show appearance.
EXCLUSIVE: Australian actor Josh Lawson has been cast in Warner Bros’ Dog Fight, the Jay Roach-directed comedy that stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis and begins shooting this month. Dylan McDermott also recently joined up, as did reportedly Jason Sudeikis. The plot revolves around a political candidate (Galifianakis), and Lawson will play his brother; the script originally called for two brothers, but the roles were combined after Lawson’s table read. Lawson starred in the Aussie improv show Thank God You’re Here and is set to appear in the Don Cheadle-starring Showtime series House Of Lies that premieres in January. He’s repped by UTA, Management 360 and Lisa Mann Creative Management in Australia.
EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment has acquired Untitled Foreign Exchange, a comedy pitch that Shawn Harwell will write and Jeff Tomsic will direct. Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark and Jenno Topping will produce for Chernin Entertainment, which won the pitch with a preemptive offer made from the company’s discretionary fund. Tomsic gets the directing job after helming a number of shorts, including I’m Having A Difficult Time Killing My Parents, which debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. He’s also directed shows for MTV and VH1 and campaigns for Dr. Pepper, Hasbro and other brands. Harwell cowrote Dog Fight, the Warner Bros comedy that Jay Roach is directing with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. He also scripted Hench with Danny McBride for Warner Bros and Neal Moritz, and was a staff writer in McBride’s HBO Series Eastbound & Down. Both are repped by CAA and Tomsic is managed by Generate.
EXCLUSIVE: Dylan McDermott has carved out time from his starring role in the FX hit series American Horror Story to join the cast of Dog Fight, the Warner Bros comedy that Jay Roach will direct this fall. McDermott will play Tim Wattley, a political consultant who runs the campaign of a candidate from South Carolina. Zach Galifianakis plays the candidate, and Will Ferrell and Jason Sudeikis reportedly will also star. Chris Henchy wrote the script. The film starts in November, but they’ve worked it out so McDermott can begin filming in early December. McDermott, who’s repped by CAA and The Schiff Co., most recently wrapped The Perks of Being A Wallflower and Nobody Walks.
His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL.Read More »
In a move that seems to be about commerce as much as comedy, Warner Bros has started the process on a third installment of The Hangover. Though my sources say there are no deals and that the players involved won’t really get cracking on it for months, it seems likely that Craig Mazin will be writing the three-quel. Reports are surfacing based on an interview he did to promote the film; others involved have hinted at the third pic as well. While Mazin doesn’t have a deal, after Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just announced that the comedy crossed the $200 million worldwide mark and became the fastest comedy to surpass that number, developing the third film seems inevitable. The picture also blew past the Memorial Day weekend record for an R rated film.
Warner Bros hasn’t announced it’s going for three, and the timing of this film actually took longer than the last one: The Hangover Part II was commissioned before the original picture opened, because test audiences responded so well that Warner Bros knew it had a big hit. Now, there are hurdles to overcome. Warner Bros threatened to scrap The Hangover Part II because of salary disputes with stars Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms. Those guys were paid less than $1 million collectively to star in the first blockbuster, but luckily for the cast, they had no options for a sequel. Their reps smartly dug their heels in, and the trio each got around $5 million against 4% of gross, which ought to mean pretty good backend paydays for The Wolf Pack. Read More »
Lisa Kudrow, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bieber were among the winners announced today of the annual Webby Awards, which recognize the best in Internet entertainment. Fifteen individuals took three or more honors, with humor Web site Funny Or Die leading the way with eight wins. Agency of the Year Wieden + Kennedy won both the Webby Award (voted on by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences) and the People’s Voice Award (voted on by fans) for the social-media campaign staring Isaiah Mustafa as the “Old Spice Guy.” Winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony June 13 in New York. The Academy is comprised of Web-industry experts, including Internet co-inventor Vinton Cerf, Arianna Huffington, Federated Media founder John Battelle and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.