Last Call For The Late Late Show
What does the future hold for late-night TV when the writers might strike and nobody's watching TV anyhow?
It’s all fun and games until the elephant in the room leaves stage right. Exit stage left, even!
The Late Late Show with James Corden concludes its run this week with a primetime all-star sendoff, but last week, they hatched a sketch in which Reggie Watts and the band (and other actors as crew members — hi Will Hines!) made impromptu pitches to guest Seth Meyers to hire them for Late Night on NBC. Never you mind the rumors that the Peacock Network might not long for more Meyers, either.
It’s all a bit situation wackadoo, not just in late-night TV comedy, but throughout the cinematic landscape as the May 1 deadline approaches to ink a new contract with the Writers Guild.
I don’t necessarily feel any more optimistic about late-night TV comedy now than I did a year ago, and that’s when Showtime still aired both Desus & Mero and Ziwe, Trevor Noah was still at The Daily Show, and TBS still had Full Frontal with Sam Bee.
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That’s A Wrap On Richard Lewis
Is Twitter still a twat? Indeed. Alas, I cannot embed Richard Lewis’s video update from Sunday, but the New York Post ripped some of it for their own TikTok account….
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Lewis let us know he finished filming his parts for season 12 of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO, but don’t expect to see him onstage ever again. Lewis, 75, informed us he’s had a rough couple of years with multiple surgeries, and found out he’s also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. So no more stand-up for him. Here’s hoping for a happy, joyous and free retirement for you, kind sir.
R.I.P. Dame Edna (aka Barry Humphries)
“For 89 years, Barry Humphries entertained us through a galaxy of personas, from Dame Edna to Sandy Stone. But the brightest star in that galaxy was always Barry. A great wit, satirist, writer and an absolute one-of-kind, he was both gifted and a gift. May he rest in peace.” — Anthony Albanese, Australia’s Prime Minister
Humphries died in a Sydney hospital on April 22 following complications from hip surgery. He had been touring as recently as last year, under his own name in a one-man show called “The Man Behind the Mask,” teasing audiences by saying things such as: “I could die onstage — Buy your tickets now!”
Of course, audiences around the world knew him in drag as Dame Edna, a character he originally created in the mid-1950s while bored on the bus as part of a touring production of “Twelfth Night.” Norm Everage mimicked the local “normal, average” women who’d often introduce their shows on the road. Norm became Aunt Edna, and Edna became a Dame in 1974, earning the title from then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in the film Barry McKenzie Holds His Own. Dame Edna hosted multiple talk shows through the 1980s and 1990s, including specials here in the U.S., performed for the Queen of England, and returned to Broadway several times after winning a Tony Award in 1999. Dame Edna was known for her cat-eye spectacles and her spectacular ribbings of celebrities.
Industry News and Notes
Here’s a fun thing to brighten this week’s news: Janelle James, Jenny Slate, Stephanie Beatriz and Cardi B in a Mother’s Day ad campaign for Walmart+ Huzzah for all the fun moms!
What else is new?
Did you know Hasan Minhaj wrote a Bollywood movie? Specifically, Minhaj and Prashanth Venkataramanujam penned Best of the Best, a comedy about Bollywood dance competitions. The comedian also will star in the film, which now has a director attached: Lena Khan.
Paramount+, now with no more Picard, is looking to develop a TV series for Galaxy Quest?!
Chuck Lorre will once again boss Charlie Sheen on a TV series, as Sheen booked a recurring role on Sebastian Maniscalco’s How To Be A Bookie for Max. Or are we going with MAX?
David Spade will host a new FOX game show, Snake Oil, executive produced by Will Arnett. Contestants (aided by celeb guests) will try to figure out which product pitches are real and which ones are….snake oil salesmen.
There’s a “Tom Brady” comedy special floating around built completely with AI that’s got the former NFL quarterback filing lawsuits. If this is what we’re doing with AI….we may be doomed.
Natasha Rothwell’s character from season one of The White Lotus will return for season three! Wait, is that good news, tho?!
Will Ferrell, who has starred in movie spoofs of auto racing, figure skating and semi-pro basketball, might have his eyes set next on golf.
Peter Atencio will direct an R-rated road trip comedy, Animal Friends, that features both live-action and animation, and a cast including Ryan Reynolds, Jason Momoa, Vince Vaughn and Aubrey Plaza. From a script by Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider.
The fight over South Park continues, as Paramount Global claimed last week that Warner Bros. Discovery has withheld some $52 million in licensing fees for rebroadcasting the long-running Comedy Central toon on Max. Is it Max? Or is it MAX? Can someone clarify this, please?
Still have to wait until May 9 to hear who wins the Peabody Awards, but they let us know last week they’re going to give Lily Tomlin the Peabody Career Achievement Award, and Issa Rae the Peabody Trailblazer Award.
Last Week’s Specials
New on Amazon Originals
Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits (my review)
New on Moment
New on Dry Bar
Andrea Caspari: Don’t Judge Me
Paul Farahvar: Always A Groomsman
New on Amazon for rent/sale
New on YouTube
Hari Kondabolu: Vacation Baby (via 800 Pound Gorilla Media)
Luke Heggie: Tiprat AUSTRALIA
Stuart Laws: Stuart Laws Is All In (via 800 Pound Gorilla Media)
Gareth Mutch: I’ll Be Honest SCOTLAND
Mayabhai Ahir: Lok Dayro INDIA
Greg Warren: The Salesman (via Nateland Entertainment)
THIS WEEK: 17
LAST WEEK: 23
THIS MONTH (APRIL): 41+17=58
RUNNING TOTAL for 2023: 227+17=244
Fun Things To Do In NYC
This past weekend’s show(s) I plugged in The New York Times: Tape Face stopped by Palladium Times Square on a mini-tour away from his Las Vegas residency.
This weekend? It’s the relaunch of ArtSpace at PUBLIC hotel in the Lower East Side, starting with a Friday night comedy showcase called CHERRY, co-hosted by Chloe Troast and Moss Perricone — their first lineup includes the boys from SNL’s “please don’t destroy” plus Joyelle Nicole Johnson and SNL writer Asha Ward. They’ve already sold out this Friday, so get your tickets now for a future Friday!
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Thanks for reading!
always appreciate your thoughtful coverage!