It’s a new year in comedy (and the rest of the world too, cause that’s how that works)! 2014 is looking like an exciting year with comedians helming sitcoms, producing stand-up albums, and showing off their best five on more stand-up shows the industry’s had in years. There is so much to look forward to, here’s a rundown of what’s new for the new year.
Comedians Getting TV Shows:
Who better than to helm a comedic TV show than an actual comedian? Nobody probably… maybe some people, but for this, no. Stacking both your producing, writing, and acting team full of experienced stand-ups and improvisors is a good way to ensure a hilarious program. 2014 will be the year of new beginnings and second chances as some of the brightest performers to step out into the limelight of big TV.
Broad City: After FX bought then passed on a pilot based on UCB performers Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s beloved web series, Comedy Central swooped in to save the day and bring Broad City to TV. Backed by executive producer (and comedy icon) Amy Poehler, Broad City will debut on January 22. Comedy Central ordered a 10 episode season which will feature guests like Hannibal Burress, Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, and more. The first episode is available now on ComedyCentral.com. If the series stays true to the web series brand of real and sometimes raunchy humor, then let’s just order another 90 episodes now and get it out of the way.
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon: After a shaky start, Fallon has quickly battled his way to the top of the late night ladder. After only five years at Late Night, Fallon will be taking over for the retiring Jay Leno (sadness everywhere I’m sure) at the Tonight Show on February 17th. Moving the show back to NYC, Fallon will be retaining some of his Late Night staff including head writer A.D. Miles and house band The Roots.
Late Night with Seth Meyers: When news broke that Fallon would be leaving Late Night to go to the Tonight Show, it was pretty obvious that Weekend Update anchor, and SNL head writer Seth Meyers would be a good fill for the void. Late Night will be helmed by it’s third SNL alumni, a formula that has proven to be mighty effective. Late Night will also feature SNL Weekend Update head writer Alex Baze, SNL/30 Rock writer John Lutz, as well as Alison Agosti (UCB LA,Twitter), Bryan Donaldson (Twitter), Peter Grosz (Colbert Report), Chioke Nassor (Above Average’s Storytime,The Exquisite Corpse Project), Conner O’Malley (Chris Gethard Show,Vine), Seth Reiss (Comedy Bang! Bang!, head writer for The Onion), and Ben Warheit (The Awesomes, Above Average’sWaco Valley). The Seth Meyers reign will take over February 24th.
Review: Comedian Andy Daly’s long-awaited show will finally premiere on Comedy Central February 27th. Originally titled, Review with Forrest MacNeil, the show stars Daly, who also co-created the series, as a TV critic who reviews life experiences like stealing, drug addiction, and sleeping with a celebrity. Joining Daly will be Jessica St.Clair, James Urbaniak, and Fred Willard. Daly is set to have an amazing 2014, debuting not one but two shows on Comedy Central. Which brings me too….
TripTank: Daly’s second show for Comedy Central, set to premiere April 2nd, is an anthology of shorts created by a myriad of great comedy writers. Contributers for TripTank include, Larry David, Zach Galafianakis, Bill Oakley, Wayne Brady, Bob Odenkirk, Curtis Armstrong, Nat Faxon, Tom Kenny, Rachel Butera, Kumail Nanjiani, Brett Gelman, Kyle Kinane, and more. That line-up’s not too shabby…
Mulaney: Another story about second chances from one of the fastest rising stars in comedy, John Mulaney’s sitcom has finally found a home at FOX. It was the shock of the year when the most highly anticipated pilot, often described as the “new Seinfeld,” was passed over by NBC. Fortunately for Mulaney fans, we will get see Mulaney weekly in our homes after all in the fall. Elliot Gould, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, and Seaton Smith from the original NBC ordered pilot will return for the revamped Fox series alongside new addition, Zack Pearlman. Attempt to contain the excitement!
The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail: Comedy Central is making a smart return to more stand-up showcase-format shows, featuring multiple comedians in one episode. This time, they’re turning a pre-existing stand-up show in LA into their new TV show. The popular Meltdown show with Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani will be filmed at the same comic book store where Meltdown has been going on for years. Rather than be in a huge theatre, the show will capture the intimate feel of a real alt show. This is a great move as the small, intimate venues just create a much more fun and thrilling atmosphere than a show in a large soulless theatre or club. Bravo CC. There is no set premiere date yet, but Meltdown should be a welcomed addition to CC’s lineup.
Garfunkel & Oates: Folk comedy/musical duo Garfunkel & Oates, comprised of comedians Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, will star in their own sitcom for IFC. The show will be about the pair’s misadventures paired with their patented and often profane songs — sounds pretty similar to the short-lived HBO show, Flight of the Conchords. And that’s a good thing. If it is anything like FOTC, Garfunkel & Oates should be a hit.
Spoils of Babylon: IFC is becoming a comedy haven after rapidly picking up a bunch of pilots and script orders in 2013 to add to their new comedy heavy line-up. First of which is the Funny or Die produced mini-series, The Spoils of Babylon, a spoof of TV event -miniseries from years past. Spoils of Babylon will star former SNL mainstay Kristen Wiig, accompanied by Tobey MaGuire, Tim Robbins, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Will Ferrell, and Haley Joel Osment. Remember him? If you don’t, you will when you see him… because he looks exactly the same. TSOB will air January 9th.
Maya Rudolph Variety Show: Maya Rudolph will return to NBC for a primetime variety hour to air after the winter Olympics. The show will be utilizing both Rudolph’s amazing improv and musical talents (Rudolph is the daughter of the late singer Minnie Riperton and one half of the prince cover-band Princess). Little has been shared about the show, but it was clear when Rudolph hosted SNL last year that she is fully capable of taking the lead.
Untitled Dave Attell Stand-up Show: Comedy Central is bringing another stand-up show to it’s line-up. The more the merrier I say! Comedian Dave Attell will host this showcase featuring uncensored sets by various comedians. Taped at The Comedy Cellar at The Village Underground, not only are the best comedians showcased but keep an eye out for drop ins from other funny people/puppets like Triumph The Insult Comedy Dog. Oh my…