Mon, 29 October 2012
In this episode, writer/producer Kristin Newman makes me giggle even more than usual and shares some great advice on writing for television. Kristin's credits include: "That's 70's Show," "How I Met Your Mother," "Single With Parents," "Chuck" and most recently, "The Neighbors." She also has a book coming out in the near future that I can NOT wait to read: "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir of Sex on Vacation." We talk about everything from what a McGuffin is to hanging out with Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and a chimpanzee to writing a pilot about one's family.
KRISTIN NEWMAN'S BIO
Kristin Newman has been writing for American television for thirteen years, on shows such as "That '70s Show," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Chuck." She also wrote and produced a half-hour pilot for ABC starring Alyssa MIlano and Beau Bridges called "Single with Parents" and has also written and sold pilots to CBS, NBC and the CW networks. She is currently a writer/producer on ABC's "The Neighbors," and just sold her first book to Three Rivers Press, a memoir called "What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir of Sex on Vacation."
Mon, 22 October 2012
In this episode, I have the immense pleasure of chatting with the very hilarious Jimmy Pardo. A comedian often described as a "comic's comic" and the host of the immensely popular podcast "Never Not Funny," Jimmy is a guy who never fails to make me laugh. His podcast is the #2 podcast on iTunes hosted by a comic, after Ricky Gervais'. His television credits include: “Conan,” “That 70’s Show,” “Last Comic Standing” “Becker,” “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” “Monk,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and his own half-hour special, "Comedy Central Presents Jimmy Pardo." You may have also seen him interviewing celebrities on Team Coco's web series, "The Pardo Patrol." We talk about everything from managing a record store in the 80's to writing bad jokes about tornados to his new web series "Write Now! with Jimmy Pardo," a joint production of Nerdist and Never Not Funny. It will come out on October 29 on the Nerdist YouTube channel.
JIMMY PARDO'S BIO
Jimmy Pardo is as funny talking to a stranger in an elevator as he is talking to a crowd from the comic stage. That's because everything he observes or thinks, he immediately scans to find the funny. And he always finds the funny. After Jimmy was told for like the thousandth time that he was even funnier offstage than he was onstage, he dropped most of the jokes from his act. Now he spends nearly his entire set interacting with, and making fun of, his audience. And they love it.
Jimmy stands at the very center of the comedy world. That's not only because he's the ultimate "comic's comic," (as he's often called), but also because he represents where comedy is going, and everybody wants to come along.
Jimmy's raucous-but-smart weekly podcast, "Never Not Funny," has revolutionized the way comedians use the internet to connect with their audiences. It's the No. 2 paid podcast hosted by a comedian, after Ricky Gervais's. His guest list reads like a Who's Who of comedy: Conan O'Brien, Adam Carolla, Kevin Pollack, and Sarah Silverman have all been guests. Actors Jon Hamm, Ty Burrell and Craig Bierko have appeared on several of the funniest episodes.
"Never Not Funny" was voted by both iTunes and USA Today as one of the top podcasts of 2006 and 2007. It was an Editor's Pick in the September 2009 issue of Esquire magazine. In 2010, GQ magazine called the show "The Number 1 Relatively Obscure Thing You Need to Be Paying Attention To." The show, which started in Jimmy's dining room in 2006, now regularly hits the road with live tapings at festivals like SF Sketchfest, MaxFunCon, the Vancouver Comedy Festival and Bumbershoot. Twice, Jimmy and Co. have presented the "Pardcast-A-Thon," taping for up to 12 hours to raise money for The Smile Train.
Besides the podcast, Jimmy continues to headline at some of America's top comedy clubs and currently works as Conan O'Brien's opening act on "Conan," getting the studio audience into a laughing mood before the show tapes (he did the same for Conan on "The Tonight Show").
A true multimedia talent, Jimmy has frequently appeared on television and in movies. He has performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." He had his own half-hour special, "Comedy Central Presents Jimmy Pardo." He hosted "National Lampoon's Funny Money" on the Game Show Network, and was the co-host of AMC's "Movies at Our House" for four seasons. He has hosted episodes of VH1's "The Surreal Life" and "Love Lounge" and NBC's "Late Friday." He's appeared on popular shows such as "Monk," "That 70s Show," and "Becker." And he has acted in independent films such as "Relative Strangers" and "The Godfather of Green Bay."
Jimmy was the co-writer and star of the critically-acclaimed one-man show subtly titled "Attention Must Be Paid: The Jimmy Pardo Story" and a live pilot presentation, "Jimmy Pardo's Dance Party." He hosts monthly shows at the famed Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. He has recorded two comedy albums, "Uno" and "Pompous Clown."
Tue, 16 October 2012
You can find my podcast with assistant director Scottie Gissel here.
In this episode, I am lucky enough to sit down with assistant director Scottie Gissel. Scottie started off in the DGA Assistant Director Training Program and from there moved through the ranks to become a 1st AD. She has worked in both television and film and her credits include such productions as "Glee," "Six Feet Under," "Get Shorty," "True Blood," "Jericho," "The Practice" and "Undead Or Alive," just to name a few. Scottie's impressive credits only show what an impressive force she is to have on set. She's the kind of AD you want behind the scenes, and she shares with us what it's like to do the work she does. We talk about everything from the DGA trainee program to working with Bette Midler to the audition process to play a corpse on "Six Feet Under."
For anyone who isn't sure what an assistant director is, here's a quote from Scottie that was first posted in her "Message From The Chair" on TrainingPlan.org.
"Assistant Directors work the line where business meets art in the collaborative, yet hierarchal, sphere of motion picture and television production. In teamwork with the Director and Producer, the Assistant Director must facilitate production with all departments and prioritize with the ultimate result in mind: to finish the job – having done the work in the time allotted - without incident - beautifully! Not for the faint of heart, but every AD has tales of adventure born of those they have worked on."
SCOTTIE GISSEL'S BIO
I'm a 1st Assistant Director and have worked on such shows as "Glee," "True Blood," "Jericho," "Six Feet Under" and "The Practice."
I studied film at the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a Production Assistant in Texas until I moved to Los Angeles and began work as an Assistant Director Trainee.
I joined the DGA after training for 400 days on such productions as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Get Shorty."
In 2003 I was appointed by Martha Coolidge, then President of the DGA, to Trustee of this same training program that gave me my start and continue to serve in that position.
DGA TRAINEE PROGRAM
For anyone interested in the Assistant Director Trainee Program, the deadline to apply is November 5 and the website is trainingplan.org.
Tue, 9 October 2012
In this episode, I have the immense honor of chatting with screenwriter Doug Richardson. Doug's screenwriting credits include "Die Hard 2," "Hostage," "Welcome To Mooseport" and "Bad Boys." Doug was the first screenwriter in Hollywood to sell a spec script for a million dollars and to date, Doug's produced features have made over 800 million dollars worldwide. Not many screenwriters can say that. But besides huge box office success, Doug also has found success writing novels (Dark Horse, True Believers, The Safety Expert). And if that wasn't enough, he also has an amazing blog with some great stories about screenwriting and working in the trenches of Hollywood. In the podcast, we cover some interesting topics, from how he got an agent to writing for Bruce Willis to making the leap from screenwriting to novels.
DOUG RICHARDSON'S BIO
Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then- Governor Ronald Reagan’s office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.
Tue, 2 October 2012
In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with comedian and Emmy Winning writer Adam Yenser. Adam is a writer on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and you can also see him performing standup all over the country. You may have seen him on TV either on "Last Comic Standing" or in sketches on "Conan" or on "Ellen." Adam shares his stories of starting out in standup and talks about everything from the audition process for "Last Comic Standing" to appearing on TV as Anthony Weiner's bulge to writing for Ellen Degeneres.
ADAM YENSER'S BIO
Adam Yenser began performing stand-up comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City where he also studied sketch writing. He has performed at numerous venues around the country including Gotham Comedy Club, The Hollywood Improv, and The Laugh Factory. He has worked for "Late Night with Conan O’Brien," "The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien," and "Conan." He has also been a freelance contributor to Weekend Update and currently writes for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."