Dexter VS. Resident Alien

20 Ways in Which “Dexter: New Blood” and “Resident Alien” are similar!

Michael C. Hall as Dexter and Alan Tudyk as Harry

Dexter: New Blood

1. Dexter is a serial killer who has killed hundreds of bad people.
2. Dexter lives in a small, woodsy, snowy town in the fictional town of Iron Lake, NY.
3. Dexter has a cabin out in the woods, away from everyone in the nearby small town.
4. Dexter is dating a smart, pretty, intuitive Native American woman named Angela, who has a daughter. Angela adopted her daughter after her mother gave her up.

Julia Jones as Angela and Sara Tomko as Asta
5. Dexter says he loves Angela, but we’re not entirely sure he does or if he’s capable of that kind of love.
6. Dexter spent 10 years hiding out, trying to blend in and not to kill anyone.
7. Dexter chops up his victims and feeds them into the town incinerator (sometimes hiding them near his cabin).
8. Dexter’s teenaged son came to town, surprising him and creating conflict. They become close.
9. A mystery in the show is that someone else is murdering teenaged girls.
10. Dexter tries to avoid a handsome, suspicious African-American cop named Logan.
11. Sometimes Dexter hallucinates dead relatives, who guide him (really it’s his subconscious).
12.  Dexter is cute, in a goofy kind of way.
13.  We hear Dexter’s thoughts in voiceover.
14. The show is a one-hour black comedy, or a drama with many humorous elements.
15.  The show has excellent writing and acting.
16.  Many great actors have guest-starred over the years (in the original “Dexter” as well as the current show).
17. Dexter’s father’s name was Harry, and his son Harrison was named after him.
18. The show has many devoted fans.
19. Michael X. Hall (star of “Dexter”) was born February 1, 1971 (less than a month and a half before Alan Tudyk, star of “Resident Alien”).
20. Fans hope there will be a second season.

Resident Alien

1. Harry is an alien who killed the real Harry, a human, and took his place (after his spaceship crashed). Also, he spent the first season trying to fix his spaceship so he could complete his mission: to set off a device that will kill everyone on earth.
2. Harry lives in a small, woodsy, snowy town in the fictional town of Paradise, CO.
3. Harry lives in a cabin out on a lake, away from everyone in the nearby small town.
4. Harry is dating a smart, pretty, intuitive Native American woman named Asta, who has a daughter. Asta recently reconnected with her daughter, whom she gave up.
5. Harry and Asta have grown close and seem to have real feelings for each other, but we’re not sure if he’s capable of love, since he’s an alien.
6. Harry spent a year after arriving on earth, trying to blend in.
7. Harry chopped up the real Harry and hid him in his freezer.
8. The mayor’s young son, Max, can see the real alien and causes trouble for him. They become close.
9. A mystery in the show is that the real Harry murdered beloved town doctor Sam.
10. Harry tries to avoid a handsome, suspicious African-American Sherrif named Mike.
11.  Sometimes Harry hallucinates the real (dead) Harry, who acts as his subconscious.
12. Harry is cute, in a goofy sort of way.
13. We hear Harry’s thoughts in voiceover.
14. The show is a one-hour comedy, or a scifi drama with many humorous elements.
15. The show has excellent writing and acting.
16.  Many great actors guest-starred in the first season (and that will continue in the second season).
17. The alien that now calls himself “Harry” is the star of the show.
18. The show has many devoted fans.
19. Alan Tudyk (star of “Resident Alien”) was born March 16, 1971 (less than a month and a half after Michael C. Hall, star of “Dexter”).
20. Fans were elated to hear that there will be a second season (starting January 26).

Alano Miller as Logan and Corey Reynolds as Mike

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Interview with the cast of “Grand Crew”

TV Interview!

"Grand Crew" cast on NBC

Interview with cast of “Grand Crew” on NBC by Suzanne 12/9/21

The actors on this show are all friends in real life, so that made it a very entertaining press panel. Their characters are very interesting and work well together. As a comedy, I don’t find it all that funny. You should watch it, though, and make your own evaluation.

NBCUNIVERSAL

VIRTUAL PRESS TOUR 

NBC

Grand Crew

Nicole Byer, Talent, “Nicky”

Justin Cunningham, Talent, “Wyatt”

Aaron Jennings, Talent, “Anthony”

Echo Kellum, Talent, “Noah”

Grasie Mercedes, Talent, “Fay”

Carl Tart, Talent, “Sherm”

Phil Augusta Jackson, Creator/ Executive Producer/Showrunner

Dan Goor, Executive Producer

Virtual via Zoom

December 9, 2021

© 2021 NBCUniversal, Inc.  All rights reserved.

MARIANA DURAN:  Hi.  I’m Mariana Duran, and I’ll be introducing our new comedy, “Grand Crew,” which will be sneak‑previewed on Tuesday, December 14, 8:00 and 8:30 p.m., before moving to its normal time slot on Tuesday, January 4th, at 8:30 p.m.  From Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor of “Brooklyn Nine‑Nine” comes a new comedy that proves life is better with your crew.  This group of young professionals are all trying to navigate the ups and downs of life and love in Los Angeles, and they always find time to gather at their favorite bar to wind down and unpack it all.  And just like wine, their friendship gets better with time.  Here’s a look at “Grand Crew.”

In the first row, our executive producer, Phil Augusta Jackson, executive producer Dan Goor, Echo Kellum, and Nicole Byer.  In the second row are Carl Tart, Justin Cunningham,

AARON JENNINGS:, and Grasie Mercedes.  We are now ready for your questions.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Thank you, Mariana.  And welcome to our panelists.  One final reminder to use the “raise hand” function to ask a question.  Our first question comes from Mike Hughes, and Valerie Milano will be on deck.  Mike, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Yeah.  Nicole, a two‑part question.  Let me ask them one at a time here.  We are so used to you speaking in your own voice, doing reality shows, doing a show that you wrote, sort of, almost about your life and so on.  So what’s different now when you are doing someone else’s scripts?

NICOLE BYER:  What’s different?  Honestly, it’s not that different because I know Phil so well and Phil and I did improv together in New York for a very long time.  Like, ten years ago, we did improv out here, and then her name is Nicky.  My government name is Nicole.  She’s based on me a little bit.  So it is my voice.  And I feel like our writers’ room and Phil are just so talented that everything that was written was just easy.  It was easy to find.  It was easy to say.  It was easy to perform.  So, honestly, it wasn’t much different than what I’m used to, but it was fun and funny.

QUESTION:  This is ‑‑ you talk about it is a little bit your life, a little bit your voice.  You get almost serious for a minute there where your character talks about how her mother dying when she was a teenager kind of shaped her personality a little bit.  Now, that happened to you too in real life.  In what way did that shape your personality in some way?

NICOLE BYER:  I think it shaped my personality in a way where, when something sad or tragic happens, I tend to lean into finding the humor in it because I do think laughter is the best medicine.  How corny.

AARON JENNINGS::  I’m with you.  I think you are right.

NICOLE BYER:  Who wants to be sad?  So I think it shaped me in a way where I can be sad about something because I am a multifaceted person, but, also, I’d rather just laugh and have a nice time.

DAN GOOR:  These questions got deep real fast.

NICOLE BYER:  They did.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Valerie Milano, and on deck is Suzanne Lanoue.  Valerie, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Hi there.  What will set the show apart from others such as “Insecure” or “Black‑ish”?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I think, for me, the inspiration for this show is just based off of my real life.  It’s about a group of friends that hang out at a wine bar, and in real life, I hang out with my friends at a wine bar, the people that are in front of your screen right now.  So, I think that’s the core of it.  I worked on “Insecure,” and I love that show.  I love Issa and Prentice.  That whole camp over there is amazing.  And I think what made that show so relatable was the authenticity with which Issa was bring it to the table.  And so, in the same way, what I’m trying to do is just share my perspective, what I find interesting and funny.  And, so, I think I based it on ‑‑ that’s going to be what sets this show apart is just it’s coming from my personal point of view.  We have an amazing cast and (inaudible).

DAN GOOR:  What it’s like, it’s a very specific, very funny show, and also, I mean, you know, there are 25 shows about a group of white characters in the 1990s, and, you know, there was nobody asking what separated them or made those shows different or distinct.  These are different stories about different people in different circumstances than “Insecure” or “Black‑ish.”  We all think those are good shows, but this is its own show that just also happens to have an all‑Black cast.

QUESTION:  Could you give us a couple of examples about some recurring themes that the viewers can expect to see in the series?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I’m not sure about recurring themes, but I think, with this first season, what we did try to do is make sure that every episode did have a theme that is not only relatable at a broader, human level, but is relatable at a Black level.  So, in Episode 2, we talk about self‑care.  In Episode 3, we talk about the insecurity of status of who makes the money in a relationship.  In Episode 4, we talk about therapy.  In Episode 5, we talk about being inspired by your friend.  In Episode 6, we talk about Black men and their fathers.  In Episode 7, we talk about headlines.  So, each episode, we were very intentional about the themes that we wanted to hit.  But as far as recurring themes, I think one recurring theme is friendship and just having your friends there by your side for whatever you are going through and finding the fun and the funny in those situations.

QUESTION:  Great.  Thank you for talking about it.

ECHO KELLUM:  Yeah.  Like, from current things like being human and, you know, love and loss and just exploring being young and alive in L.A., you know.  It’s just a recurring theme, which is being alive.

AARON JENNINGS::  The recurring themes are the human things, which we can all connect to.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  Yeah.

AARON JENNINGS::  So being human beings, that’s a fact.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  And I don’t know which one of you just said it but the wine.

AARON JENNINGS::  And the wine.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  The low‑hanging fruit, that was such an alley oop.  I should have said, “Well, first of all….”

NICOLE BYER:  The wine.

QUESTION:  Okay.  Thanks again.

AARON JENNINGS::  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  The next question is from Suzanne Lanoue, and Jeanne Wolf will be on deck.  Suzanne, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Hi.  I enjoyed the first two episodes.  Those are funny.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Thanks so much.

AARON JENNINGS::  Thank you.  Thank you.

QUESTION:  And, Echo, I really loved your character on “Arrow.”  What attracted you to this role?

ECHO KELLUM:  Oh, man.  First of all, the fact that Phil was working on it.  As Phil said, we are actually good friends in real life, and I’m such a fan of his creative artistry.  And so, automatically, Phil wrote an amazing script and a lot of just really deep, fleshed‑out characters in different ways than I’ve seen them, and I was very excited to get the opportunity to come and play any part on it.  I would have been a grip on this show if I had an opportunity to do it.  So that’s number one, but the character really connected to me in a lot of specific ways.  As Phil said, it’s based off of our friend group.  So, I think we all have a lot of commonalities and experiences that we go through, being young Black professionals just trying to survive, you know, in L.A., and so these characters definitely connect to that struggle and the successes and wonderful aspects of that aspect too.  So, there’s a lot that pulled me into it, and I really appreciate you asking me that.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

CARL TART:  I was a grip on the show.

AARON JENNINGS::  Yeah.  Carl (inaudible).

MATTHEW LIFSON:  The next question comes from Jeanne Wolf, and Jamie Ruby will be on deck.  Jeanne, go for it.

QUESTION:  Hi.  It’s good that you are making us laugh.  And the setup of the show, the introduction, is kind of that you are making fun of the stereotypes that are being treated in a very serious way today.  So, doing that, making fun of the stereotypes, who is going to be thrilled about that, and who is going to be upset about that?

DAN GOOR:  I don’t know that it’s ‑‑ sorry.  I don’t know that it’s making fun of the stereotypes.  I think the idea is, sort of, trying to elucidate that the stereotypes are just that.  They are stereotypes, and they don’t in any way speak to the totality of these characters.  So, I don’t think, in any way, it’s, like, making light of these stereotypes.  I think the idea is to say how ridiculous it is to only portray Black men in the way in which those stereotypes suggest.  And then what we see, we are in no way laughing at Garrett Morris when he says that these characters have layers and everything else.  That’s really the mission statement of the show, and I think that’s what Phil has so geniusly put into, really, every character and every script and everything.  But in no way is it intended ‑‑ hopefully, no one will take it as us making light of those stereotypes.  I didn’t mean to cut you off, Phil.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  No.  I was going to say, I think, to me, the plan we were caught up in was we are just like everybody else.  I feel like a lot of times there are certain tropes that get played out in the media with Black people, and we are put into a specific box where there’s an opportunity just to be shown as, like, slice‑of‑life, everyday folks that are just trying to figure stuff out, and so that’s why we ‑‑ I think, with the characters that we have, whether it be Justin’s character ‑‑ he’s playing Wyatt ‑‑ like, a married guy, I would just like to see what it’s like for a married guy, who really enjoys his marriage, be in a friend group.  And we’ve got a guy who is an accountant.  I had a friend in college who was in finance and stuff like that.  So, it’s really just about just humanizing the Black experience.  And, again, I’m not trying to speak for everybody.  I don’t think we are trying to speak for everybody with this show.  It’s just, here’s a set of friends that exist in this specific part of Los Angeles, and, hey, they feel things just like everybody else.  And that was, kind of, the goal, to go from there.

QUESTION:  For the actors, is that showing of the layers what attracted you to the show?

AARON JENNINGS::  Absolutely.  Go ahead, Justin.

JUSTIN CUNNINGHAM:  I’d like to, kind of, go back to that question again, actually the prior question, which is ‑‑ well, actually, this question too about what attracted.  Yeah, I don’t think it’s necessarily making fun of stereotypes or, like ‑‑ see, I’m from Arkansas.  So, I’ve, sort of, lived with the perception of how people see me on a daily basis, being there.  And when I was in New York and we got this script ‑‑ I’ve told Phil this, and I’ve told several of the cast this.  But when I was auditioning and we got this script, people were talking about this script.  Like, me and my friends of color, we were, like, “Have you gotten this script?”  And what was so unique about it was that it was so human.  And it was, sort of, not necessarily making fun of the stereotypes, but it was showing the human side that we didn’t get to explore as actors.  And that’s what really drew me because I really fell right into this character.  And even in my audition, I had so much fun going on tape for it because it wasn’t playing towards, basically, these stereotypes.  It was showing that I can be human in this industry and I can be human through my art as well, and that’s what really drew me.

AARON JENNINGS::  And to piggyback off of that, Justin, if you don’t mind, I had the opportunity to audition for a few of the characters, and what I loved about it through the auditioning process was that each character, sort of, forced me and enabled me to tap into a different side of myself, and still they were fully fleshed out and dimensional characters.  And then, as I arrived at Anthony, it was, like, okay, as you look at the whole group, you see that these are people that are ‑‑ and a credit to you, Phil and Dan, and the rest of the writing staff ‑‑ these are people that I know in life and that I see on a daily basis that I have had experience with.  And I was so happy to see that, especially on a network such as NBC, to see that.  I don’t think we oftentimes get that opportunity.  And not only is it fully realized, but there’s also a lot of humor, and there’s also a lot of fun that we get to have in going to work every day.  It’s a fun set to be on.  We are collaborating with people who are passionate about the work but also have just, like, this immense humanity and capacity for love, and that’s what we want to bring to the audience is that love and that fun.

ECHO KELLUM:  People are really, really freaking good at their jobs to come and bring it every single day with the effort, professionality, like, the humor.  Like, I feel so privileged to get to come on set and work with every single person on this panel and all the people behind the scenes too.  It’s just, like, to have that feeling, like, family, like, everyone is at the top of their game is great.

DAN GOOR:  Watching Carl do his grip work.

ECHO KELLUM:  Oh, man.  When Carl out, he’s with the light.

DAN GOOR:  One time he had to fill in as a boom operator.  You can see the dedication.

ECHO KELLUM:  Oh, my gosh.  (Inaudible) was just shaking.

DAN GOOR:  He didn’t know he was in the cast for, like, the first few episodes.

(Laughter.)

CARL TART:  Everybody’s dialogue was Chris.  Everybody’s dialogue.

AARON JENNINGS::  No ADR for anybody.

ECHO KELLUM:  So, no ADR, yeah.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Nicole, didn’t you actually use the stick at a certain point?  Was that the finale, or am I ‑‑

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.  It was the last scene of our last episode.  I was, like, “Doot da doot.”

(Laughter.)

DAN GOOR:  I didn’t mean to cut you off, Echo.

ECHO KELLUM:  No.  But, like everyone was saying, there’s a lot of nuance, you know, people of color, the monolith.  We are all very different, distinct individuals, and Phil is really tapping into it from a perspective that really comes from a personal place, and I think that’s what really drew us as artists.  There’s a lot of uniqueness and perspective from his personal life.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  I would love to add to that that this is the first audition I personally have had in a really long time where I read it, and not only did I think it was so funny, but I didn’t feel like I had to play at a stereotype of a Black woman that I so often have to play at.  I felt, like, oh, I can just bring who I am to this character, and it felt really good.  I felt really excited about it where a lot of times I feel, like, “Oh, I’m not that thing they want me to be,” and that thing we see over and over again.  And that’s what I think is so refreshing about all of these characters.

AARON JENNINGS::  We hope that answered your question.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Jamie Ruby, and Jamie Steinberg is on deck.  So, Jamie R., go ahead.

QUESTION:  Hello.  Thank you for talking to us.  Can you tell me, during working on ‑‑ throughout the time working on the show ‑‑ this is for the actors.  Sorry ‑‑ what have you learned about yourself, either professionally, personally as an actor, as a person?  Is there anything that you’ve learned since you started?

NICOLE BYER:  Um ‑‑

ECHO KELLUM:  I’ve learned that ‑‑ sorry, Nicole.  You’ve got it.

NICOLE BYER:  No.  You go.

ECHO KELLUM:  Okay.  Well, I mean, honestly, I’ve learned that I love working with my friends and people that are close to me in my life.  I feel like sometimes, being a Black person, it’s really rare that we get to create with people that are closest to us.  I feel like I’m one in a mix.  Like, I’m just, like, one Black person in something.  And to come do this show with the people that I’m actually close to in life and really just kill it together is something that I just love, to just, like, create art with family and friends and people that I would love to have a job in real life.

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.  That was fully my answer as well.

AARON JENNINGS::  Me too.

NICOLE BYER:  I really love working with friends, and I also love working with people who are open to collaborate and just, like, easy to work with, funny, talented people who are a joy to be around but also a professional.  Do you know what I mean?  It’s, like, we can joke, but, also, we came to do a job.  I love that so much, and that’s what I’ve learned.  I really like my friends.

CARL TART:  I’ve learned a few things.  I’ve learned that I’m not a morning person at all.  Also, I’ve learned that I never want to work on another set again because this one is so perfect.  I’m just playing.  I’m just playing people who are given jobs.  Don’t worry about what they are saying.  No.  It was such a fun time.  Like, even the hard days weren’t hard because we had such a good time.  And literally everybody ‑‑ everybody who we worked with, everybody was so fun.  It went so perfectly the whole time that we would be, like, “Who is going to ruin it?”  I guess it’s up to me to come in and demand more money next season.

(Laughter.)

I felt like it was such a ‑‑ I also learned ‑‑ and this is more personal, I guess.  I learned to trust myself a little bit more acting‑wise.  I think I always want to lean into what I think is my strength, which is being ridiculous.  And Phil challenged me to stay grounded a lot of times and actually forced me to believe that it would be good.  And everybody else in the cast stayed on me about it.  Aaron would threaten physical violence when I talked down on myself.  When I talked down on myself, Aaron would be, like, “You ain’t gonna to be talking about yourself like that in front of me.”  And, so, I appreciate the support.  I think I learned that I can act a little bit, you know.  I think that’s what I learned.

AARON JENNINGS::  A lot of bit.  A lot of bit.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  I was going to say, I think Aaron was everyone’s cheerleader.  I think, Aaron, he’s such a light.  And, for me, he definitely ‑‑ I come in on the second episode.  So, I was a little scared and nervous to join this crew.  And from day one, everyone was incredible, but Aaron specifically reached out and was just, like, “You belong here,” because there was that feeling of, like, “Do I belong here?  These people are so funny and so great.”  And I know who they are, and I know how funny they are, and I know how talented they are.  And everyone was so warm and incredible.  And Phil, I think, challenged me to believe that I could do comedy.  I never thought I’d be on a sitcom.  I always thought I’d be, like, a drama girl, so just embracing that and having more confidence in that.  And I’m excited.  I hope we get a second season because I’m excited to blend Fay even more.

AARON JENNINGS::  Well, let me tell you, Grasie, you can still be very dramatic, but ‑‑

GRASIE MERCEDES:  Touche.

AARON JENNINGS::  Touche.  Yeah, the same.  The same.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  So, we are actually going to go to Rick Hong with the next question, and then Laura Surico will be on deck.  So, Rick, whenever you are ready.

QUESTION:  Hello.  I wanted to tell everybody congratulations.  So, what I love about this show is that it takes place in the backdrop of Silver Lake.  So, I was just trying to figure out just a fun question.  How convenient is it for the cast, or are some of you west-siders?

CARL TART:  I think we are all east‑siders, right?

GRASIE MERCEDES:  We are all east‑siders.

AARON JENNINGS::  We are all east‑siders.

CARL TART:  I’m from the west side.

ECHO KELLUM:  The most convenient, we can walk to set sometimes.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  Yeah, literally.  We literally shot down the block from me once.

CARL TART:  I’m from West L.A., and growing up in L.A., where I’m from, I never came to Silver Lake at all, like, never.  And then once I started doing stuff with The Second City and UCB Theaters that are more in the Hollywood area, more east, now we always frequent Silver Lake.  We are always in Silver Lake.  So, I spend much more time there than I do on the west side where I’m from, where my origins are, so yeah.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I definitely ‑‑ oh, sorry.  Go ahead.

ECHO KELLUM:  No.  Go ahead, Phil.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I was going to say I definitely ‑‑ I like to walk a lot.  I like walking.  That’s why I like the east side a lot.  I walk the reservoir a lot, and I definitely walk to Paramount every day.  So, it’s very convenient.

AARON JENNINGS::  You walk to Paramount every day?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  It’s, like, three and a half miles.  Yeah.

DAN GOOR:  What’s your daily steps?  What does that look like a day for you?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Six miles.

DAN GOOR:  How many steps?  Like, 15,000?  14,000?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Whatever six miles is.

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.  I often see Phil just walking around.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t say hello anymore because I’m, like, this is redundant.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I literally have been seeing Echo ‑‑ I see Echo three times a week now.

ECHO KELLUM:  It’s, like, nonstop.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Every other time I walk, I would just see him.

ECHO KELLUM:  And I feel like I grew up with them, driving and just, like, walking ‑‑

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.  I don’t say hello anymore.  I’m, like, “Oh, I’m lazy.”

DAN GOOR:  You guys just flip him off.

ECHO KELLUM:  I will say to that question really quickly, it is very surreal to get to shoot and create this television show in places that I actually frequent and, like, really enjoy being around.  It’s been such a pleasure and such a unique thing.  I don’t think a lot of actors or people get the privilege to shoot in their own neighborhood.  It’s something very special, and I’m really happy that our show gets to showcase this little slice of life in L.A.

QUESTION:  It’s a true dream job, like, a small commute time, especially in L.A.

AARON JENNINGS::  Oh, yeah.

QUESTION:  Congratulations again.  Thank you so much.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question is from Laura Surico, and Janice Malone will be on deck.  Go ahead, Laura.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Can you guys hear me?  Okay.  Yes.  So, touching on what Rick said, I noticed that it mentions L.A. life and being in L.A.  It’s relatable, being an Angeleno and not having friends past the 405.  We are no longer friends, like Nicole said.  But how much of ‑‑ for the writers and for the cast, how much of your experience of being and living in L.A. did you put into this and how, being a Black, person of color, Angeleno, adds to this and, for the cast, if they added their own L.A. experiences into their characters?

AARON JENNINGS::  Carl, do you want to?  I’ll say this, I added a lot of my experience.  I’m born and raised in Los Angeles, in West Adams, but I went to Brentwood.  Then I went to King School in Compton.  Then I went to school in Santa Monica.  Then I got my diploma from Culver City in the day and the whole thing.  With that being said, I had the monte of experience, and I was in and out of a lot of different worlds.  And so I think that’s ultimately ‑‑ and correct me if I’m wrong, Phil or Dan ‑‑ one of the ‑‑ one of the themes that we are, sort of, exploring is just this nominalistic Black experience.  And so, for me, it was cool because I got to pull from all of my past experiences.  And with Anthony especially, not to give too much away, but, like, he’s the captain, and I think he definitely, sort of, bounces between two worlds, if not more.  And, so, it was very, very nice to have that real‑life experience to pull from.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll say about myself.  But, Carl, also, you have an experience growing up in L.A.

CARL TART:  Yeah.  I’m not born, but I am raised, which is why I’m not a Laker fan, I’m a Clipper fan, and I ‑‑ but I’m raised here.  I’m raised in the View Park Windsor Hills area, and I always went to school on the west side, Palms Middle School, Hamilton High School Academy of Music, class of 2007 stand‑up. I was very thankful and grateful to be able to put some of my L.A. experience into the character, and I think a lot of it also came through in the wardrobe.  I will say, I’m probably going to be the only person on a network TV show this year wearing a Marathon jersey by brother Nipsey Hussle, who is very important to me, very special to me, went to Hamilton High School as well, was always in the neighborhood, was always visible, always accessible and seen and meant a lot to the community, the Crenshaw community, the area, the View Park, the Windsor Hills, the Baldwin Hills area and stuff like that.  So, to be able to, like, represent him on a network show is really awesome after his untimely and tragic passing.  And I think just like ‑‑ just the way that you know how to move in the city and, like, being a ‑‑ I think being a local helps, kind of, sell that.  And Aaron can speak to it too.  Being, like, from here kind of helps sell the fact that not all L.A. people are these people who you can’t, you know ‑‑

AARON JENNINGS:: (Inaudible.)

CARL TART:  But, yeah, I’ve been able to sell that.

DAN GOOR:  Can I just say also, it’s located here, and there’s a lot of great specifics.  But this is really, like, a big cast show.  It’s for people from all over the country, and it’s, like, in the same way that I think a show like “Seinfeld” or “Friends,” that are very New York‑based, but can be enjoyed by everybody.  What I’m saying is this show is as good as “Seinfeld” and “Friends” is what I’m saying.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  What are you doing, Dan?

DAN GOOR:  My internal thoughts are coming out.

CARL TART:  Los Angeles is really the seventh member of ‑‑

(Laughter.)

ECHO KELLUM:  But see, that’s the kind of thing I want to touch on, Dan, is, like, I’m from Chicago, like, real blue‑color kind of city, you know, and these stories still connect through other regions and other, like, people.  Might be set in Los Angeles, but it is really a human experience that we are really going onto these, kind of, young semiprofessionals and different perspectives in L.A.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  And just to build off of that, I think, when in doubt, when we were in the room, from a story perspective, for someone trying to crack a story, what would happen in real life?  What would be interesting?  What conversations have we had at the bar?  I would talk to the entire cast about inspirations that they have, things that they found interesting with their characters.  I am all for putting those feelings on the page because I think that that allows for the cast to, kind of, thrive, and that was, kind of, the goal with this first season.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  All right.  Our next question is from Janice Malone, and on deck will be Lloyd Carroll.  Janice, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Okay.  I’d like to ask the two showrunners, Dan and Phil.  I’m so happy to see Garrett Morris in your wonderful trailer there.  Are there any plans, future episodes, for him?  And second, for anyone, were there any, shall we say, wine‑bar test sites that were used in the filming of the show or what?

DAN GOOR:  Let me say really quickly ‑‑ I just want to make it very clear that Phil is not ‑‑ which side are you on?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  To me or her?

DAN GOOR:  Phil is the showrunner extraordinaire.  I’m an EP on it, but this is Phil’s show, and he is maybe the best showrunner I’ve ever been around.  He’s so, so talented.  So, I love the reflected shared glory, but I want to make sure it stays with Phil.  And with that said, Phil, you should answer the question.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Thank you for the beautiful clarification, Dan.  Garrett Morris is a legend.  He’s amazing.  He only appears in the pilot of the first season, but in the room, we did talk about ways to bring him back if possible and if it fit within, kind of, the structure of how the season broke.  The way it broke out this first season, it did, but I think, moving forward ‑‑ it was such an awesome start to the pilot, and we were so lucky to have him.  It would obviously be incredible if we could work with him again.  He was so kind and so talented on set that it was a dream come true to work with him.  So that is definitely on the table if he would be down to do it.

DAN GOOR:  And that monologue really, sort of, opened the pilot for us in a lot of ways.  So, you could imagine using him again would be something equally inspiring.  And then she was asking about ‑‑

ECHO KELLUM:  The cast?

DAN GOOR:  It was about any inspirations.  Wine bars that might be an inspiration.

ECHO KELLUM:  Oh, yeah.  Writing this show is really based off of a wine bar that we all frequent in real life ‑‑

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.

ECHO KELLUM:  ‑‑ that I think we all collectively have been going to, like, the last five years where we’ve just been, like, kind of, the wine group of friends.

AARON JENNINGS::  Yeah, most of the time.

ECHO KELLUM:  It’s kind of an all‑white establishment, like, unpacking life and love and work, and I think that’s what Phil really tapped into that’s really great.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  And when everyone got cast, we were hanging out ‑‑ I mean, this is right before the shutdown.  So it was, like, we would meet at these bars just to try and, like, get the chemistry popping early.  And so that definitely was a thing that was top of mind as far as just building the chemistry that was already built in because a lot of these folks that you are looking at now have known each other for a long time.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Lloyd Carroll, and then our final question will come from Dennis Pastorizo.  So, Lloyd, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Okay.  Phil, Dan, you guys have been talking about the wine bar.  So, I’ve got to ask this one.  How big an influence was that other bar show I remember from the 1980s, set on the East Coast, “Cheers”?  I was curious.  How much of that?  And did you have to say, “Wait a minute.  We can’t have a Norm here.  We’ve got to, kind of, make something more relevant for an urban audience.”  I’m just curious.  How big an influence was “Cheers” and to stay away from stereotypical characters, which “Cheers” sometimes got into?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  I think “Cheers” is such an iconic show that if you were making a television show, you are aware of that show.  And whether or not there’s a wine bar or any type of bar, I think the pilot has gone down as one of the best pilots in history.  So, I think, in that way, it’s just an inspiration to look at a really great piece of writing, but I don’t think the bones or the structure of this show is super, super close to what they were, what they had going on.

DAN GOOR:  Yeah.  It was inspirational and important in that it’s inspirational and important to all TV comedy.  It’s one of the greatest legendary comedies of all time.  But I definitely agree with Phil.  This show has its own bones.  It doesn’t feel like the same kind of bar or the same kind of regulars showing up, but, obviously, it’s something we would be aware of and something we wouldn’t ever want to step on the toes of because it’s such a great show, which this show is better.  It’s better than “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “Cheers.”

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Dan, what are you doing?

DAN GOOR:  Somebody is going to put that in their post and say, “This show is better than ‘Friends,’ ‘Cheers,’ and ‘Seinfeld’ combined.” And no one needs to know who said that.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Whoever puts that in quotes, please put, “Dan, what are you doing?” and my response.

DAN GOOR:  “Dash, a person who watched all of those shows.”  No one has to know who it was.

ECHO KELLUM:  And I would also like to say, because you, kind of, mentioned something like it’s an urban show.  It’s just a show, you know, and the cast happens to be Black folk, you know.  So just like “Cheers” ‑‑ I guess you could say it’s a white show if you want to say that.  I feel like a lot of us connected to parts of that regardless of the human aspect of it.

CARL TART:  I’m Norm.

(Laughter.)

DAN GOOR:  No, you aren’t.

NICOLE BYER:  Like the pilot of “Cheers,” you see the magic happening on this show.  And I don’t want to toot our own horn.  Is that a phrase?  I don’t know.  But, like, we have very magical chemistry that happened almost instantaneously, and I think that really comes through on the screen.  So, I think, like “Cheers,” you’ll be, like, “Oh, I’m rooting for these people.”  I think these people are interesting, they are funny, and they seem to just really have joy and love each other.  So, yeah, that’s what I wanted to add.

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Great.  A great addition.  And I was going to say, I was a kid in the ’90s too.  So, I think you’ve got shows like “Cheers.”  You’ve got shows like “Living Single.”  I love “Sex and the City.”  I like a lot of different shows.  So, I think, as far as inspiration and energy, I just love TV, and I do have a soft spot in my heart for network television because I think, if you were born in a certain type, it really did shape your view of comedy.  And so, yes, a shout out to all of the shows that, kind of, came before this one.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  All right.  Our final question of the day comes from Dennis Pastorizo.  Dennis, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Hey.  Good afternoon, guys.  So, my question is a bit of a double question.  What was really in the wine glasses?  And what would each one of you order ‑‑

DAN GOOR:   What was the second part?

QUESTION:  ‑‑ in real life?

NICOLE BYER:  What was ‑‑

ECHO KELLUM:  Can you say the second part again.

DAN GOOR:  What would you order in real life?

QUESTION:  What would you order in real life?

AARON JENNINGS::  This is a great final question, by the way.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  We were just asked a similar question, and I realized in that moment that I don’t know what orange wine is, really, but it’s what I drink and love.  It’s, like, this new trend of natural organic wine happening, especially, I think, in Los Angeles, but I’m so down with it because it doesn’t give me a headache and I love it.  But what was in our glasses on set, everyone had something a little different.  My glass was a white wine, and it was basically colored water.  So that was not very fun.  It wasn’t very interesting.  But sometimes I had grape juice.  Sometimes I had white grape juice.

CARL TART:  My glass was diet Cran-Grape, and when I order at a bar, I order Nicki Minaj’s mixed Moscato.

(Laughter.)

NICOLE BYER:  My order is a rosé, and on set, I was hammered all the time, drinking actual rosé.

(Laughter.)

No.  I was also drinking colored water, which sounds like a slur.

ECHO KELLUM:  It does, doesn’t it?

NICOLE BYER:  Yeah.

AARON JENNINGS::  That sounds good, colored water.

MALE PANELIST:  Yeah, I would say ‑‑ go ahead, Echo.

ECHO KELLUM:  Well, the same as Carl with a diet Cran.  And on the show and at the bar, I’d probably do, like, a lambrusca [sic], which is, like, an Italian, red ‑‑

AARON JENNINGS::  Sparkling.

ECHO KELLUM:  ‑‑ sparkling red.

AARON JENNINGS::  I’m going to piggyback off of you.  I think it was diet grape, and then I feel like they transitioned to something else, but I honestly can’t say what it was.  I forget now.

GRASIE MERCEDES:  They did have nonalcoholic wine at some point.  Yeah.

CARL TART:  It was disgusting.

AARON JENNINGS::  Like, the diet cranberry, the diet grape, I couldn’t do.  So, I switched over to the nonalcoholic wine.  And then, lately, I’ve been drinking the ‑‑ is it lambrusco or lambrusca?  I thought it was lambrusco, whatever, from Northern Italy, the wine that’s sparkling.  That’s the wine that I would order as of now, as of late.

ECHO KELLUM:  And I will say Phil put me on that, just to give him all credit.

AARON JENNINGS::  Yeah, the same.  The same.

ECHO KELLUM:  Uh‑huh.  Uh‑huh.

JUSTIN CUNNINGHAM:  Yeah, it was the diet cranberry, and I think ‑‑ I don’t really drink that much anymore or almost at all, but if I do have a cocktail, it will be either an old fashioned or, for the Bond people, a Vesper.  I don’t know if you are familiar with Vesper.

NICOLE BYER:  That’s classy.

CARL TART:  I ride to the bar.  I drive a Vespa.  What are you drinking right now, Dan?  (Inaudible.)

DAN GOOR:  It depends who is paying.  If I’m being purchased wine, I would love a white Burgundy.  If people want to send me something nice, I’m available.  And then we have been having a lot of pandemic cocktails.  I really like a Boulevardier, which is like a wry ‑‑ oh, my god.  I’m totally blanking on what it is, but ‑‑ sweet vermouth and Campari.  Sorry.

CARL TART:  I drive my Vespa down the Boulevardier.

(Laughter.)

ECHO KELLUM:  I just want to say, if colored water is racist, white Burgundy has got to be racist too.

(Laughter.)

AARON JENNINGS::  That all doesn’t sound right.

DAN GOOR:  Phil, what are you drinking?

PHIL AUGUSTA JACKSON:  Okay.  So, I’ll go backwards.  Right now, I’m really on this Mexican natural wine called Bichi.  They have a really great rosé and chilled red as well as an orange wine.  And before that, there was this wine called Gibbs, but I can’t really find it anymore.  They have a really great Cabernet.  I also like Lambrusco.  And, yeah, I think that’s it.  And I also mix sparkling wines a lot, Blanc de Blanc and stuff like that.  I think I said ‑‑ I like every wine.  I just named some.

ECHO KELLUM:  And they didn’t require it to bring it on set, but he would always have ‑‑

NICOLE BYER:  Always has it.  Always drinking.

ECHO KELLUM:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Well, thank you so much for your answers, and cheers to the new season.

AARON JENNINGS::  Cheers to all of you.  Thank you so much.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Thank you to our “Grand Crew” panelists.  It sounds like everyone needs to go grab a glass of wine.  So, thank you so much to everyone for joining us today.  This concludes NBC’s scripted press day.  For more information, please visit our MediaVillage site at NBCUMV.com, and have a fantastic rest of your day.

MORE INFO:

"Grand Crew" cast on NBCFrom Phil Augusta Jackson (Writer/Producer/Director, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Dan Goor (Creator, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) comes a new comedy that proves life is better with your crew. This group of young professionals are all trying to navigate the ups and downs of life and love in Los Angeles – and they always find time to gather at their favorite bar to “wine down” and unpack it all. There’s Noah, a hopeless romantic too eager to settle down; Nicky, a go-getter in real estate who’s adventurous in romance; Sherm, a low-key genius who plays the dating odds; Anthony, whose true love is his career; Wyatt, who’s relieved to be married and out of the dating scene; and Fay, who’s recently divorced and looking to start fresh in LA. And just like wine, their friendship gets better with time.

Echo Kellum

Noah, “Grand Crew”

GRAND CREW -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Echo Kellum as Noah -- (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)
Echo Kellum plays Noah on the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

Kellum, an actor, writer and director originally from Chicago, will recur in the new FX series “The Old Man,” starring Jeff Bridges.

Previous credits include “Arrow,” “You’re the Worst,” “Drunk History,” “Comedy Bang Bang” and a recurring voiceover role on “Rick & Morty.” Still an avid improviser, Kellum performs regularly at UCB with house team Winslow.

 

 

Nicole Byer

Nicky, “Grand Crew”

GRAND CREW -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Nicole Byer as Nicky -- (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)
Nicole Byer plays Nicky on the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

An actress, comedian, writer, author and podcaster, Byer is perhaps most well-known as the host of Netflix’s Emmy Award-nominated competition baking series “Nailed It!,” which has gained a cult following of viewers since its premiere on the streaming platform in 2018. In 2020, Byer made history by becoming the first Black woman ever to be nominated in the category of Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

Byer can also be seen co-hosting TBS’ reboot of “Wipeout,” alongside John Cena. She also voices characters in Amazon’s “Invincibles” and Adult Swim’s “Tuca & Bertie” and will voice the role of Susie Carmichael’s mom, Lucy, in the upcoming reboot of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats,” which premieres on Paramount+.

Listeners can hear Byer on five different podcasts, the fan-favorite being “Why Won’t You Date Me?,” which sees her inviting friends and guests to discuss their dating lives all while trying to figure out her own. In 2021 the podcast moved under the TeamCoco banner and Byer won the 2021 iHeart Radio Podcast Award for best female host for the show.

Byer is an Upright Citizens Brigade alum who continues to cement her status as a force in standup by regularly performing in cities across the country. Previously, she received national attention for her web series “Pursuit of Sexiness,” which she co-created and starred in alongside friend and fellow comic Sasheer Zamata.

Her additional film and television work includes “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Lady Dynamite,” “Party Over Here,” “BoJack Horseman” and “30 Rock.”

Byer currently resides in Los Angeles.

Grasie Mercedes

Fay, “Grand Crew”

GRAND CREW -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Grasie Mercedes as Fay -- (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)
Grasie Mercedes plays Fay in the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

Mercedes is a Dominican-American multi-hyphenate from New York City, living in Los Angeles. An actress who has appeared on shows that include “9-1-1,” “Good Trouble,” “Southland,” “The Affair” and “Criminal Minds,” she also recently wrote on NBC’s “Perfect Harmony.”

Mercedes is a former improviser and sketch comedy actor, and an alumna of both iO West and UCB. She also recently wrapped season two of her podcast “Not (Blank) Enough.”

Justin Cunningham

Wyatt, “Grand Crew”

GRAND CREW -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Justin Cunningham as Wyatt -- (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)
Justin Cunningham plays Wyatt on the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

Cunningham received his BFA in acting from the University of Arkansas. That ultimately led him to being accepted to the esteemed Drama Division at Juilliard, where he graduated with his MFA in 2017.

In 2019, Cunningham had a co-starring role for Ava DuVernay in the Netflix limited series “When They See Us,” based off the true story of the Central Park Five. Prior roles include CBS’ “Blue Bloods and HBO’s “Succession.” Shortly after graduating, Cunningham was part of the cast of “King Lear” on Broadway.

Cunningham is an avid boxer and is also a big advocate for fitness as well as mental health.

Aaron Jennings

Anthony, “Grand Crew”

GRAND CREW -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Aaron Jennings as Anthony -- (Photo by: Kwaku Alston/NBC)
Aaron Jennings plays Anthony on the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

Previously seen on CBS’ “Pure Genius” and HBO’s “Insecure,” Jennings can next be seen  recurring on the upcoming Amazon series “A League of Their Own,” based the feature film.

Jennings’ big screen debut came in 2013 with the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy “Movie 43,” opposite Terence Howard. Other credits include “Meet the Browns,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Vegas,” “Bones,” “Aquarius” and “Loosely Exactly Nicole.”

Jennings spent his youth training in theater and some of his stage credits include “Elmina’s Kitchen,” which won the NAACP Award for best ensemble, Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man,” Athol Fugard’s “My Children! My Africa!” and “Facing Our Truth” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif.

Dan Goor

Executive Producer, “Grand Crew”

Dan Goor is an executive producer on the new NBC comedy “Grand Crew.”

Previously, Goor was co-creator and executive producer of NBC’s Golden Globe-winning comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” In addition to having run the show, he also wrote and directed numerous episodes.

Goor is also the co-creator of the new Peacock comedy “Killing It,” starring Craig Robinson.

Prior to working on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Goor was an executive producer, writer and director on NBC’s Peabody Award-winning comedy “Parks and Recreation.”

Goor got his start writing for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” for which he won an Emmy Award in 2001. He was also a writer for NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” where he won an Emmy in 2007.

Goor resides in Los Angeles with his wife and their two daughters.

Phil Augusta Jackson

Creator/Executive Producer, “Grand Crew”

Phil Augusta Jackson is an Emmy Award-nominated writer, producer and musical artist from Philadelphia. He is the creator and showrunner of NBC’s new half-hour comedy “Grand Crew.”

A co-executive producer of HBO’s “Insecure,” Jackson also has written for “Key & Peele,” “Survivor’s Remorse” and, most recently, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” where he also directed. He has been nominated for Emmy, WGA and NAACP awards and has self-produced and directed shorts and music videos.

Jackson graduated from the University of Virginia and currently resides in Los Angeles.
December 2021

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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cast of "Grand Crew" on NBC

Interview with the cast of “American Auto”

TV Interview!

the cast of "American Auto" on NBC

Interview with the cast of “American Auto” on NBCLifetime by Suzanne 12/9/21

This is a pretty funny sitcom, and it was a lot of fun talking to the cast. This press panel had many journalists asking questions. You can see my one question a little more than halfway down the page. I wish I had gotten another question because I would have loved to have asked Harriet Dyer a question. I really loved her show “The InBetween” (2019).  What an amazing actress she is! I didn’t even recognize her as the same person in this role.

NBCUNIVERSAL

VIRTUAL PRESS TOUR

 NBC

 American Auto

 Jon Barinholtz, Talent, “Wesley”

Harriet Dyer, Talent, “Sadie”

Ana Gasteyer, Talent, “Katherine”

Humphrey Ker, Talent, “Elliot”

X Mayo, Talent, “Dori”

Michael B. Washington, Talent, “Cyrus”

Tye White, Talent, “Jack”

Justin Spitzer, Creator/Executive Producer

Virtual via Zoom

December 9, 2021

© 2021 NBCUniversal, Inc.  All rights reserved.

PAM BEER:  Hi.  It’s Pam again, and I’m here to introduce the panel for our new comedy “American Auto,” which will be sneak‑previewed on Monday, December 13th at 10:00 and 10:30 p.m., before moving to its normal time slot on Tuesday, January 4th at 8 o’clock.

From “Superstore” creator Justin Spitzer comes a new workplace comedy that takes the wheels off of the automobile industry.

Set in Detroit, the corporate executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads:  Adapt to the changing times or be sent to the junkyard.

Shaking things up as the new CEO, her leadership, experience, and savvy is only slightly offset by her complete lack of knowledge about cars.  From the corporate to the factory floor, the crew of Payne Motors is driving home the laughs.

Here’s a look at the first season of “American Auto.”

(Clip shown.)

PAM BEER:  In the top row are executive producer Justin Spitzer, Ana Gasteyer, and Harriet Dyer.  In the second row are Michael B. Washington, Jon Barinholtz, and Tye White.  In the third row are Humphrey Ker and X Mayo.

We are now ready for your questions.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Thank you, once again, Pam.  And welcome to our panelists.

Just a reminder to use the “raise hand” function if you want to ask a question.

And our first question comes from Mike Hughes, and Jay Bobbin will be on deck.

So, go ahead, Mike.

QUESTION:  Yeah, for Ana.  It seems like you’re in a really good streak right now.  I saw “A Clüsterfünke Christmas,” and I thought it was hilarious, and you co‑wrote it, and so forth.  And so, I wanted to ask you what this time has been like for you?  Because you got this show, apparently, pretty early last year, but then, had to wait for a long time, and now, this is coming up right after “Clüsterfünke.”  Has this just been a really good ‑‑ in other words, has the pandemic been pretty good for you?

ANA GASTEYER:  The pandemic has been fantastic for me, yeah.       I mean, you know, besides all the millions of people that have died, it’s worked really well for me.  Please don’t print that.

QUESTION:  Okay.

ANA GASTEYER:  You know, I flew to L.A., and I had my fitting for the pilot, and we were getting ready to film it when the entire world went into shutdown, and it’s been ‑‑ I mean, you know, it’s an overused word, but it really has been an incredible series with blessing on this because, honestly, we didn’t even know if it was going to go.  I just assumed ‑‑ I mean, I leaped at the opportunity.  The script was fantastic.  Justin is established, and smart, and human, and the perfect writer to, sort of, meet the times, I think, comedically, and that’s not an easy thing to do.  And, yeah, we got lucky.  We ended up making the pilot last October – 2020 — and then, picked up, and started filming in 2021.  So, it was a long, kind of, drawn‑out thing, but kind of nice, in a way, because you do these new television shows really, truly, in a bubble.  We didn’t really interact with anyone because of COVID.  We actually didn’t even really see Justin’s lower half of his face for a good couple of years.  (Justin laughs.)  And it was nice because, as a cast and a community, we, sort of, did that thing where we established a relationship via text, and over the months, kind of, checking in with one another, and by the time it came to filming, we were really friends, which was fantastic.

QUESTION:  And in the middle of that, when did you do “Clüsterfünke,” then?

ANA GASTEYER:  So, we ‑‑ by the way, thank you for honoring the umlauts and pronunciation.

(Laughter.)

We had sold that in ‑‑ Rachel and I sold it in 2019.  And so, we wrote that script right when we went into the shutdown.  So, we wrote it at the beginning, and then, the timing just worked out beautifully because we were able to film it directly prior to “American Auto,” and it just was, sort of, a confluence of good fortune that everything came out at the same time.

QUESTION:  Well, thanks.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question is from Jay Bobbin, and Valerie Malone is going to be on deck,

Jay, go for it.

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.  My question is for Harriet.

Harriet, you’ve been doing a lot of heavy‑duty drama lately, and a certain scene at a restaurant with an invisible man certainly sticks in mind.  Doing comedy at this point in time, is this, like, the possible best juncture for you to pivot from the drama you’ve been doing, to this?

HARRIET DYER:  I don’t know.  I, kind of ‑‑ when I got out of drama school in Sydney, I was doing both; whether it was theater, or TV, which, kind of, came later.  I would just hope to, kind of, do both for as long as, you know, people will allow it.  I think you can find both in both.  And I mean ‑‑ but this is a dream, to come to America and do a network comedy.  That was something I never thought would happen.  So, I mean, if I stayed in comedy now, you know, mostly, that would be very exciting to me, but I really do ‑‑ really do love drama, too.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Valeria Malone, and Jamie Sticker is on deck.

Go ahead, Valerie.

QUESTION:  Justin, can you talk about your decision to center the series around the corporate perspective, and your decision to make it a comedy, rather than an action or drama series, please?

JUSTIN SPITZER:  I don’t know that I would know how to write an action or a drama series.  I would love that challenge, but I think I’m in comedy for now.

The genesis of this was, I pitched this show back in 2013.  I’d been on “The Office” for a long time, and I thought I’d love to do a workplace show about the corporate world, you know?  And in “The Office,” they refer to decisions made by corporate, occasionally, and I’d think, like, oh, what’s that show about, and how do those decisions get made?  And then, the following year, I did “Superstore.”  “American Auto” was in pilot at that point, so I took bits and pieces, and put them in “Superstore,” and then, every now and then, I would talk to Tracy Acosta ‑‑ who had been to the studio when we developed “American Auto” originally, and she moved over to the network, and she was always a fan of it ‑‑ about if there was ever an opportunity to redevelop it.  And so, then, when I left “Superstore,” it felt like an opportunity, and it felt like an even better time.  You know, “Superstore” is so much a show about people whose lives are dictated by corporate, and they seem like antagonists all the time, and it seemed fun to get a peek on behind the scenes of how the decisions get made, you know?  The people at corporate aren’t bad people; they’re good people doing their best to try to make the company work, and, sometimes, their decisions have bad effects on the employees, but I thought it would be fun to get to see why those decisions get made.  So, yeah, that was, sort of, the reasoning about the corporate world.

And then, the fact that it’s the auto industry, sort of, came later.  I, sort of, just wanted it to be about a big multibillion‑dollar American industry.

QUESTION:  But you feel that diversity is important to you.  Can you talk about, perhaps, how it plays out in different roles in the series?

JUSTIN SPITZER:  You know, I think – it’s always a hard thing to answer.  I think, you know, we’re all trying to be more conscious of diversity.  I think it allows you to do more kinds of stories, especially in a show like this, that deals with issues impacted by those things.  You know, it’s a satire.  You know, you guys have seen the first episode that deals with bias in tech.  And so, it gives me those opportunities.

You know, I don’t think of it so much as what can we do for social good?  You know, my job is to make a show, and make it good, but I think diversity certainly helps with that.  Maybe some of our other cast could speak to that if anyone would like to.

MICHAEL B. WASHINGTON:  Yeah.  Well, one of the things that I was drawn to so much when I first read the script, and had the opportunity to read, NBC Universal has been very kind to many of us, and they’ve taken care ‑‑ ready good care of us for many years, but they’ve always been looking for something for me to do in a more corporate structure; like, more authoritative roles.  And that’s not something that a network lets you get to read for, as an African American gentleman, let alone two, three, four, you know, people of color in executive ranks.  So, I was very drawn to the fact that Cyrus is a very smart, educated corporate executive who’s allowed to be the smartest one in the room, for good or for bad, whether he puts his foot in his mouth, or not, and all the comedy that ensues from it, and the beautiful thing about the place we’re in right now, with the world, and society, and cultural issues.  Getting to represent that so that young Black boys, young Black girls, get to see somebody in a suit be smart is not still the norm.  So, I’m very drawn to this show because of that, and getting to play with these incredible comedians, and keeping levity about it.  It’s not always hard‑hitting; it’s light and fun.  So, diversity can be a fun thing as well.

QUESTION:  Very good.  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question is from Jamie Sticker, and Suzanne Lanoue is on deck.

Jamie, go ahead.

QUESTION:  X, I have to say, those are some hilariously funny, funny scenes with you.  How much of your work is improv?  Like, the soap scene; you bring your own soap with you.  How much of your time on “American Auto” is scripted, and how much of it is just improv?

X MAYO:  Yes.  I don’t say any lines that are written.

(Laughter.)

No, I’m kidding.  I’m kidding.  No.  I love ‑‑ first of all, this script is amazing.  But let me tell you, as someone who is an actor and an improvisor, if the script isn’t good, I do not improvise because I don’t have a place to jump off of.  There is no clear foundation.  I have nowhere to go.  So, the fact that I do play so much speaks to the quality of the writing, and the fact that they are writers, when they write that episode, they’re on there, and they’re so open to collaborate.  And I’m, like, “Hey, I wanted to try this,” and they’re, like, “Yes, go, do.  Yeah, go do that.”  And so, I really love that aspect of it.  But yeah, I mean, a lot of those words that you hear are from the script, but I do like to, like, punch up and play.  And, also, too, like, there are, like, so many amazing comedians on the show, like Humphs and JB.  Like, I just love, like, pitching jokes to them, or if I can make one of them laugh, I’m, like, “Damn.”

(Laughter.)

Sorry.  Can I cuss?

(Laughter.)

But I just did, so …

(Laughter.)

Yeah, there’s a lot of that.  There’s a lot of that where Justin always is checking, “Can X say ‘shit’ or ‘damn’?”

(Laughter.)

So, I’m just, like, “Okay.”  I’m, like, “Okay, I can do this.”  So, yeah, a lot of it ‑‑ I would say a lot of it I’ve played with, but most of what you see is, like, a mixture of me playing, and the amazing, wonderful script that we have combined.  That’s what you’ll see a lot within the show.

JUSTIN SPITZER:  Yeah.  We always like to think of, like, the jokes in the script are a safety net, you know?  It won’t get worse than that line, and to whatever extent that the actors can improve it, I always want to encourage that.  And that’s something that was very important to me, even in casting this.  You know, I’ve worked with Jon on “Superstore”; I’ve worked with Humphrey years ago on another pilot.  I knew they were amazing improvisers.  Obviously, Ana was, from her years on “SNL,” and other things.  And some of the other cast we’ve played with in the audition even a little, and I was aware of your guys’ talent, too.  So, you know, I love when the actors beat the jokes that are on the page; I love when the actors even rework the lines to make it natural in their mouth to make it the best joke, the best line.

QUESTION:  And then, Justin, we know that you’ve worked with Jon in “Superstore.”  What was it about this role that made him right for “American Auto”?

JUSTIN SPITZER:  I mean, obviously, I would work with Jon on anything.  He’s, like, aside from being a delight to work with, just hilarious.  You know, there were so many times on “Superstore,” you know, if there was a scene he was in, and it wasn’t working, and I didn’t know how to get out of it, I would say to the editor, like, “Just check through Jon’s improv, like, if he has an ad‑lib, we could, like, go in, and then, that’ll get us out of it.”  So, I wasn’t writing the role specifically for him.  It, actually, probably felt different from him on the page.

And Jon, I think we were talking ‑‑ I think it was the episode I directed of “Superstore,” and you had just recently reread the script ‑‑ that was the week it got picked up ‑‑ and you said you liked it, and it was, like, “Oh, man, I would ‑‑ if you could come aboard.”  Then, I just felt bad about taking you away from “Superstore,” potentially, and had to have the big talk with the guys over there.  But, yeah, I love Jon, and I think he’s amazing in this role.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  That’s so nice of you to say.  Yeah, I remember.  I remember reading the script that week, and it was ‑‑ it was amazing.  And I think it was, like, maybe written for, like, a little bit older of a role, but, yeah, it was ‑‑ I would jump at the opportunity ‑‑ right back at Justin ‑‑ to work with him on anything.  He’s just such a great writer, and really ‑‑ really addresses the world honestly.  And most importantly, he gives really good, wrap gifts, so…

(Laughter.)

I’m in it for the gifts.  And the scripts are secondary, for me.

HARRIET DYER:  You guys all got a car, right?

ANA GASTEYER:  I’ve got a bike.  I don’t know how to drive.

X MAYO:  I’ve got a scooter; it’s got a little bell.

JUSTIN SPITZER:  A funny little thing, also about Jon ‑‑ and this was not intentional, but on “Superstore,” he played, like, the most down‑and‑out ‑‑ like, the warehouse guy who ‑‑ like, whose car didn’t have doors, and he was homeless for a while, and now, we bring him over to this show where he is the most privileged and wealthy of all.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Yeah.  I mean, the difference ‑‑ like, someone asked me, like, “What’s the difference between Marcus and Wesley?”  And I think the answer is 58 million dollars.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Thank you all so much for your time.

ALL PANELISTS:  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  All right.  We’re actually going to go to Steven Prusakowski next, and then, Suzanne, you will be on deck.

So, Steven, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Hey, how are you doing?  The show looks great.  I can’t wait to watch.

My question is for Ana.  I have one for Ana, and one for all.

So, you were on “SNL,” and then, it seems like you’ve been working continuously since you left the series.

What do you credit your success to, and what about “American Auto” attracted you to the series?

ANA GASTEYER:  Gosh, I don’t know what to attribute my success to.  I mean, obviously, “Saturday Night Live” is an insane launching pad, as my mother would say.  Meaning, you know, the visibility is just nuts.  I mean, you get recognized pretty quickly just for being in that cast.  And then, just, honestly, hustling a lot of different angles.  I mean, I’ve worked on Broadway; I’ve worked on television; I’ve worked, you know, wherever I can work.  And I like working, so I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone, if you will.

“American Auto” ‑‑ you know, I’ve been waiting my entire career to be in my 50s.  I’ve been waiting for this part since I was 30.  So, you know ‑‑ and frankly, 10 years ago, this role wouldn’t have existed, I don’t think.  And Justin ‑‑ or I guess he said he wrote it 10 years ago, but, I mean, within that range.  I think just the opportunity to play a female CEO was really exciting to me because I like characters who are, sort of, lost in moral dilemma, and Katherine definitely is, as Justin said.  I think she definitely personifies the aspirations to do right by the company, but maybe not always ‑‑ there can be a human sacrifice in that.  And it’s just fun.  It’s a fun gray area, comedically.

My best friend ‑‑ I told Justin this before ‑‑ has characterized the, sort of, ethos of the show as Americans being bad at being good, which I think is, kind of, really fun to play, you know?  And, yeah, so, that’s ‑‑ I think that’s ‑‑ is that your question?

QUESTION:  That’s my question.  I have to say, I spoke to Kenan today, and now you, and as a big “SNL” fan, this is a dream come true.  So, thank you so much for your time.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  And I put in three different tapes for “SNL.”  So, if you want to include someone associated with “SNL” that you’ve talked to.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Now, I have that connection, too.  Thank you so much.

And one more question real quick.  Are any of you big car fans, or do you actually drive?

X MAYO:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Or it depends on, yeah, your type of auto reliance.

HUMPHREY KER:  L.A. leaves little choice but to drive.  There is no alternative.

TYE WHITE:  Well, I’m from Michigan.  So, yeah, I’ve been driving since I was 12.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  My grandfather was one of the first used car salesmen in Chicago, because used cars are, like, a newer thing.  And then, my great, great, great grandfather on my mom’s side was Studebakers.

X MAYO:  Wow.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  This is true:  There are four Studebaker brothers, and Jacob was the one I’m a descendant of, and he was the one who thought cars weren’t going to take off, and he was, like, “I’m going to stick with farming.”

(Laughter.)

And I have the legacy of Studebakers.

ANA GASTEYER:  It was the slower Studebaker; is that what you’re saying?  You’re a descendant of the slower Studebaker.  Got it.

(Laughter.)

I live in New York City, so I, pretty much, stopped it.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  All right.  Our next question ‑‑

TYE WHITE:  Cars aren’t going to work.  I don’t see it.

(Laughter.)

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Suzanne Lanoue, and Bruce Miller on deck.

So, go ahead, Suzanne.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Good morning.  Jon, my question is for you.  Your character is so unlikable.

(Laughter.)

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Thank you.

QUESTION:  I’m sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED PANELIST:  In real life.  In real life.

QUESTION:  Will we get to see him change and grow a little more this season, or show us a nicer side?

JON BARINHOLTZ:  I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I think all the characters, as we go throughout the season, we see people exist together more and more, and it really ‑‑ yeah, I think there is growth and change in everyone, but in that really, you know, pinpointed way, where we’re always able to reset and still be the same characters that you, kind of, you know, fell in love with, whether it’s fell in love with because of who they are, or fell in love to hate them, I think we all ‑‑ we strut that line pretty well throughout the season.

JUSTIN SPITZER:  I was just going to say, I think he will become more likable.  I think, you know, as the episodes go on, you want to start people with an edge, you know, or at least I like to.  You know, I would never want to create characters that are all soft, all immediately too easily likeable.  There’s no place to go.  But, you know, I think we’ll see ‑‑ I can think of one or two, you know, moments of real vulnerability in Wesley, and when you see those moments, they give you little windows, and you empathize with them, and with all the characters, as we learn about them, we’ll grow to like all of them.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Yeah, I just want to change my answer to what Justin just said.

(Laughter.)

So, put his voice to my mouth.

QUESTION:  Sure, I can do that.  I enjoyed the first two episodes a lot.  Thank you.

PANELISTS:  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question comes from Bruce Miller, and Rick Hong will be on deck.

So, Bruce, go for it.

QUESTION:  This is for Jon, too.  Jon, when you’re on a big show like “Superstore,” what do you do when you’re not on camera?  Are you trying to be seen so that you can get a bigger role, or what is that process like?

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Wait.  What do you ‑‑ do you mean, like ‑‑ in what way do you mean?  Do you mean, like, literally, like, off the camera, but still in the scene, or is it, like, I’m just, like, hanging out in my trailer?

QUESTION:  Because on “Superstore,” you guys were around a lot; you could see you in the background and doing things.  And would you just try to, like, “I’ll be a little more active here, so, then, they’ll pick me to be in more scenes”?

JON BARINHOLTZ:  I would show up on days when I wasn’t even scheduled to come in, and I would come in in uniform.  No.

JUSTIN SPITZER:  You’re background for the first season, right?

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Yeah.  I just yell things.  I steal a mic and put it on me.  No, I think I know what you mean.  It’s in these big, like, ensemble shows with workplaces, I think the best thing you could do is just, kind of, exist there.  And, like “Superstore,” I think this is a world that when we were all there, we felt very much of this world.  We were in this office; we were people who worked there.  And just a testament to how good, really, everyone on the screen is, and our BG&R show is so great, and it allows a sense of ‑‑ the looseness allows a sense of play, and us to, you know, kind of, take things wherever we think they may go, as long as it’s in a place of ‑‑ coming from a place of honesty.  So, I guess, that just the long way of saying that as long as we’re playing it real, there’s no, like, fudging your way in to, like, get more lines, or anything like that, but I think there’s always an opportunity to toss a little extra something in, and, again, it’s because, like X said, that’s how good the writing is here, that it’s such a strong foundation of us to, kind of, jump off and play in.  Whether you have one line in the scene, or thirty lines in the scene, it really ‑‑ it gives that safety net.

ANA GASTEYER:  And for sure ‑‑ I’m going to jump in.  It’s not my question, but just to say that, especially NBC has developed these really ‑‑ this ethos of a workplace comedy as the sense of the ensemble and the workplace being the star, but for me, that was part of the attraction.  Like, not having to carry something so much all by myself.  I love working with other people.  So many of us come from improvisation and, you know, ensemble backgrounds, that it’s critical that you work as a team.  That’s actually what ends up being the most fun.

And I remember ‑‑ actually, not being gross and, like, mention my last credit, but I did this show called “People of Earth,” and there were these group therapy sessions.  And every year, like, the showrunner would be, like, “We’re going to try to not have as many group therapy sessions.  I know they’re long days,” and I was, like, “But that’s the best part of show.”  Like, the best part of the show is when you’re hanging with your colleagues and all improvising together.  To me, that’s, you know ‑‑ sorry.  Did I kill the fun?

X MAYO:  No.

TYE WHITE:  Never.

ANA GASTEYER:  That’s what my theater games taught me.

HARRIET DYER:  Never, Ana.

JON BARINHOLTZ:  No, but it’s true.  When you have, like ‑‑ like, on “Superstore,” I wasn’t a regular, but you had this cast of regulars that were amazing, and would allow for play to happen.  I think like ‑‑ I feel we have the same thing on our show, where we had people come in, and it would just ‑‑ they may have, like, one or two lines in the scene, but there was always the opportunity to play, and we got so much more out of ourselves, and so much more out of these people who would come in and be these phenomenal guests on our show.  So, there’s more of that that goes along with that, you know?

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Our next question is from Rick Hong, and then, our final question will be from Francine Brokaw.

So, Rick, go for it.

QUESTION:  Hello, everybody.  Well, Jon, since you brought up Chicago, I just want to say, “Whazzup?”

(Laughter.)

JON BARINHOLTZ:  Whazzup?

QUESTION:  Okay.  So, actually, for everybody.  What was it like seeing the Ponderosa from script in your mind, to going to set and seeing the thing actually built?  What is it made of?

HUMPRHEY KER:  Many different cars.

TYE WHITE:  Yeah, it was, like, a smorgasbord of different car pieces put together.  And I remember the first time I saw it, I just busted out laughing because you just have to ‑‑ when you see it, there’s no choice but to laugh.  Like, how did they assemble this vehicle?  Like, literally.  Not just in terms of the show, but in real life, what made them grab these different pieces to put this car together?  So, I just laughed, like, uncontrollably.  And the color.  The color, too.  Like, it’s such a bright red that, like, it’s usually reserved for, like, Ferraris, and things like that.  It was, like, it’s so obnoxious to put that red on that car.  Yeah, it’s so good.  It’s red.

JUSTIN SPITZER:  It was a very difficult needle to thread, that one.  I mean, on the page you’re, like, “Oh, they put together something,” and then, there’s a reveal, and it looks, like, crazy.  And then, you do it, and then, it’s got to be crazy enough to be a bad idea, and for the comedy to play, but, like, these are smart, sensible, competent people who’ve worked at a car company, or who know cars.  So, it’s true crazy, you know?  Currently, there’s acknowledgement that it’s bad, but, like, at a certain level, you’d be, like, this is insane.

(Laughter.)

So, it was hard to find that level of grounded, but still funny.  And, yeah, the set is amazing.  The guys were constructing it, and we’d go down and try to give notes.  And I know nothing about cars, so I’d be, like, “Yeah, something like that.”  And I’d look on my phone for, like, pictures, and ‑‑ I don’t know.  But, yeah, it turned out good.

QUESTION:  Congrats to you all.  Thank you so much.

PANELISTS:  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  And our final question comes from Francine Brokaw.  Francine, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Can you hear me?

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Yes.

QUESTION:  Okay.  This has happened twice.  You’ve called on Francine, but you’ve unmuted me, and I’m Luaine Lee.  So, I’m going to go ahead and ask my question.

So, Ana, is it true you don’t know how to drive?

ANA GASTEYER:  My character doesn’t know how to drive.  I do drive, but I live in New York City, so I don’t do it a lot, and my family doesn’t like it when I do it.  Let me just say that.  And I didn’t learn to ‑‑ actually, this is even worse.  I learned to ride a bike in ‑‑ I grew up, like, in the city‑city, in Washington D.C., and I wasn’t allowed to cross the street on my bike.  So, I learned to ride a bike.  And then, I’m the one example that the adage is not true.  I forgot.  I forgot how to ride a bike.  And my husband didn’t believe me, and I got on one, and I immediately ran into a mailbox and hurt myself badly.  And then, later, I took bike‑riding classes.  So, I’m not very comfortable with things on wheels, is what I’m trying to say.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Well, my question is, how did you learn to drive?  Who taught you, and what was that like?

ANA GASTEYER:  In real life?

QUESTION:  Yes.

ANA GASTEYER:  My mother taught me.  I grew up on Capitol Hill in D.C., and she taught me in rush‑hour traffic, with a clutch car, going uphill.  So, that might be why I don’t like to drive.  Let me say, she’s not great under stress.

QUESTION:  I have the same question for Michael.  How did you learn to drive, Michael?  What was it like?

MICHAEL B. WASHINGTON:  I learned to drive ‑‑ my parents were reared in Louisiana in backwoods dirt roads.  So, when I was 10 ‑‑ this is, like, right after my 10th birthday.  We went down to my grandparents’ house, and my dad put me on his lap and just said, “Start steering,” and then, he slid out from under me ‑‑ because I was, kind of, tall, so my foot hit the pedal, and I just started ‑‑ and he got terrified.  I mean, because it’s dirt roads, but there still are trees and things.  Because “Dukes of Hazard” was my favorite TV show.

(Laughter.)

And I asked him, like, “Can I just please get in the car through the window, like the Duke boys?”  And he’s, like, “No.  No, you’ll ruin the paint.”  So, I learned to drive after, you know, my 10th birthday.

HUMPRHEY KER:  Is that why you still have a Confederate flag in your trailer?

(Laughter.)

MICHAEL B. WASHINGTON:  Oh, that’s what we call British humor.

ANA GASTEYER:  That’s British humor.

MICHAEL B. WASHINGTON:  And I deal with that 13 hours a day.

ANA GASTEYER:  It means something different over there.  It means something different.

HUMPRHEY KER:  It’s very different.  It’s a very different ‑‑

ANA GASTEYER:  It’s a popular pub sign.  That’s it, right?

(Laughter.)

HUMPRHEY KER:  I saw Michael’s trailer door open, and there it was.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  Thank you.  If Francine wants to ask a question ‑‑ I feel bad.

ANA GASTEYER:  Francine, Francine, Francine.

HARRIET DYER:  Francine.

MATTHEW LIFSON:  We’ll have to get to the bottom of that on our end.  But thank you to our panelists.  That concludes our session for “American Auto.”  We’ll take a short break, and get back up at 11:30 with SYFY’s “Astrid & Lilly Save the World.”

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

American Auto

"American Auto" castPreviews: Monday, Dec. 13 on NBC (10-10:30 and 10:30-11 p.m. ET); Moves to Tuesdays (8-8:30 p.m. ET) beginning Jan. 4

From the creator of “Superstore” comes a new workplace comedy that takes the wheels off the automobile industry. Set in Detroit, the corporate executives of Payne Motors are at a crossroads: adapt to the changing times or be sent to the junkyard. Shaking things up is the new CEO, whose leadership, experience and savvy is only slightly offset by her complete lack of knowledge about cars. Luckily, her team has some of the best minds in the business – when they aren’t fighting or trying to outwit each other. From the corporate office to the factory floor, the crew of Payne Motors is driving home the laughs.

The cast includes Ana Gasteyer, Harriet Dyer, Jon Barinholtz, Humphrey Ker, Michael B. Washington, Tye White and X Mayo.

Justin Spitzer (“Superstore”) will write and executive produce. Jeff Blitz will direct and executive produce the pilot episode. Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor will executive produce.

“American Auto” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Spitzer Holding Company, Kapital Entertainment.

Ana Gasteyer

Katherine, “American Auto

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Ana Gasteyer as Katherine Hastings -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Ana Gasteyer plays Katherine on the new NBC comedy “American Auto.”

During her six years on “Saturday Night Live,” Gasteyer created several iconic characters, including middle school music teacher Bobbie Moughan-Culp, NPR radio host Margaret Jo, Lilith Fair poetess Cinder Calhoun, as well as spot-on impressions of Martha Stewart, Celine Dion and Hillary Clinton.

This holiday season Comedy Central will premiere “A Clüsterfünke Christmas,” which Gasteyer and fellow “SNL” alum Rachel Dratch wrote, executive produced and star. The special is a parody of the corny and ubiquitous traditional holiday TV movie. Previous TV credits include “The Goldbergs,” “Lady Dynamite, “People of Earth,” “Suburgatory and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

On stage, Gasteyer has starred on Broadway in “Wicked” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “The Royal Family” and “Three Penny Opera.” Other stage credits include “Funny Girl” and “Passion” at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which earned her a Jefferson Award nomination. At the Hollywood Bowl, she played Miss Hannigan in the musical “Annie.”

Gasteyer is also a highly accomplished singer and songwriter. This winter she’ll embark on a Christmas tour in support of “Sugar and Booze,” her recent album of seasonal favorites and holiday originals.

Gasteyer attended Northwestern University and honed her comedy skills at the Groundlings in Los Angeles. She resides on the East Coast with her husband, children and rescue pup, Gloria.

Harriet Dyer

Sadie, “American Auto”

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Harriet Dyer as Sadie -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Harriet Dyer stars as Sadie on the new NBC comedy ”American Auto.”

Dyer most recently starred in the NBC drama series “The Inbetween,” appeared in the sec-ond season of the CBS’ All Access comedy “No Activity” and co-starred in the feature film “The Invisible Man,” opposite Elizabeth Moss.

A native of Australia, Dyer’s other television credits include local series “The Other Guy,” “No Activity,” “The Letdown,” “Kiki & Kitty,” “Black Comedy,” “Rake,” “Janet King” and “Love Child.” She’s earned her a Logie Award nomination for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress and two 2015 Logie Award nominations as well as the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Out-standing Newcomer and the Most Popular New Talent Award. Dyer has also received an AACTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama.

Dyer’s film credits include “Killing Ground,” which premiered at the 2016 Melbourne Interna-tional Film Festival and screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; “Down Under,” which premiered at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival; and “Ruben Guthrie,” which opened the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.

Harriet has also appeared on stage in “A Flea in Her Ear,” “Hay Fever,” “Travelling North,” “Machinal” and “Pygmalion” for the Sydney Theatre Company; “Brisbane” for the Queens-land Theatre Company; “Peter Pan” for Belvoir; “Time Stands Still” for the Darlinghurst Thea-tre; “Suddenly Last Summer” for the National Art School; and “The School for Wives” for the Bell Shakespeare Company. In 2013, she made her Broadway debut in “Peter Pan” at New York’s New Victory Theatre.

Dyer received the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Main-stage Production for her performance in “Machinal” with the Sydney Theatre Company, and was nominated for the same award for her role in “The School for Wives” for the Bell Shake-speare Company.

She graduated from the Actors Centre Australia in 2011.

Michael Benjamin Washington

Cyrus, “American Auto”

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Michael Benjamin Washington as Cyrus -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Michael Benjamin Washington stars as Cyrus on the new NBC comedy “American Auto.”

Washington most recently reprised his role of Bernard from the Tony Award-winning revival of “The Boys in the Band” in Netflix’s feature adaptation. He can previously be seen opposite Cynthia Nixon in Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched” and has had roles in “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

On stage, Washington wowed audiences and critics in 2019 with a tour-de-force performance playing 25 different characters in the revival of Anna Deavere Smith’s landmark 1992 one-person show, “Fires in the Mirror.” He also wrote and starred in “Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin,” which premiered regionally at La Jolla Playhouse and KC Rep in 2015.

X  Mayo

Dori, “American Auto”

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: X Mayo as Dori -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
X Mayo stars as Dori on the new NBC comedy “American Auto.”

She is an Emmy Award-nominated actor, writer, producer and comedian known for her work on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Her other credits include supporting roles in Amazon’s “Yearly Departed” and the dramatic feature “The Farewell.”

Mayo is also the creator and host of “Who Made the Potato Salad?,” a sketch comedy show/party starring BIPOC creatives and talent.

 

 

Jon Barinholtz

Wesley, “American Auto”

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Jon Barinholtz as Wesley -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Jon Barinholtz plays Wesley on the new NBC comedy “American Auto.”

Barinholtz is an actor and improvisor born and raised in Chicago, and a proud alum of the Second City Conservatory, iO, the Annoyance Theater and Steppenwolf Theater.

He is the creator, writer and voice on Netflix’s animated series “Chicago Party Aunt.” Previously, he was in the cast of NBC’s “Superstore.” Other credits include “Veep,” “With Bob and David,” “The Mindy Project,” “Key and Peele,” “New Girl,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Happy Endings” and the indie feature “The Oath,” co-starring Tiffany Haddish, John Cho, Meredith Hagner and Ike Barinholtz.

Tye White

Jack, “American Auto”

AMERICAN AUTO -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Tye White as Jack -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Tye White stars as Jack in the new NBC upcoming comedy “American Auto.”

White is best known for his role as Kevin Satterlee on OWN’s hit series “Greeneleaf.” Other TV credits include “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Chicago Fire” and “American Crime Story.”

He hails from Detroit and resides in Los Angeles.

 

 

Justin Spitzer

Executive Producer, “American Auto”

Justin Spitzer is the creator and executive producer of the NBC comedy series “American Auto.” Prior to that, he created and executive produced “Superstore,” which ran on NBC for six seasons, wrapping in 2021.

His other credits include seven seasons writing for and producing the NBC comedy “The Office,” as well as stints on “Scrubs,” “Committed,” “Courting Alex” and “Mulaney.”

He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Jenna Bans, and daughters Lucy and Phoebe.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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scene from "American Auto" on NBC

Interview with Lisa Arch

TV Interview!

Lisa Arch of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and more

Interview with Lisa Arch of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO by Suzanne 11/18/21

I enjoyed chatting with Lisa on Zoom! She is so funny. I can see why they like her on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I learned some valuable insights from her about the way that show is run, how the people on it are, and how show business can be. It was very informative. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Suzanne:  I was watching some of your YouTube videos last night…

Lisa: Which one? The reviews? The podcast?

Suzanne: The thing where you’re interviewing people with another lady. I can’t remember her name.

Lisa: The Leslie and Lisa Show.

Suzanne: Leslie and Lisa, yeah.

Lisa: Yeah.

Suzanne: I was watching the one with the the actress from The Flash…So, I noticed that the last one was awhile ago. Are you still doing that?

Lisa: No, it was kind of an experiment. It was kind of an experiment we were doing during quarantine. We had a really good time, but it just wasn’t floating our boat enough, I guess, to keep it going.

Suzanne: Yeah, seems a lot of work.

Lisa: And there’s so much work…It just wasn’t clicking for me. I love working with her. She and I are actually working on another project now, but, yeah, for some reason that was too much. It was just too much with everything else I had going on.

Suzanne: Yeah, I wouldn’t be able to do that kind of thing. I tried it once. I’m like, “Oh, I’m terrible at this. Nevermind.”

Lisa: It’s hard. Everybody makes it seem so easy, but it’s just, it’s a lot.

Suzanne: Yeah. There are a lot of bad YouTube videos where people try to do that. And it’s like, “No, I can’t watch this.”

Lisa: One hundred percent.

Suzanne: Not yours. Yours I enjoyed.

Lisa: Thank you.

Suzanne: It probably helps you’ve done a lot of comedy, both of you.

Lisa: Yes, exactly, and I’ve hosted a ton. So, I love that medium. I still love hosting, and I love interviewing people, but it’s just a lot, when you’re booking all the talent, and you’re doing all the stuff.

Suzanne: And the editing, and you’re trying to promote it; the promotion is hard.

Lisa: You need a team; you need a team of people. We just don’t have it.

Suzanne: I completely understand, because I do all mine, [but] not solo. I have volunteers. I can’t afford to pay anyone to promote, do that kind of thing.

Lisa: But you have volunteers that do it?

Suzanne: I have volunteers who do a lot of writing and proofreading and different things, not promotion so much. I need to get somebody to help me with promotion. That would be great. I spend more time on my own social media, my personal social media, than I do for the site, so that’s a problem.

Lisa: Exactly. Yes. Priorities.

Suzanne: Yeah, I’d rather take a lot of pretty pictures and post them on Instagram than promote my site. [laughs] Well, I realize everybody has their strengths.

So, I’ll get to my questions. You were on Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009, and then not again until [2020], so what happened in between?

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" group scene with Lisa ArchLisa: Well, so I mean, the show took six years off. I did a season; then they did one more season. Then, they took six years off. I think it’s how it was. No, it might have been two more seasons, and then they took six years off. So, yeah, when I was on the first time, it was just a one shot deal. It was just “come do this role,” and that’s it. There was no indication that there would ever be more.

So, a decade later, when I’m picking my son up from school, my manager and agent called me, and whenever they call me at the same time, it’s good news. But I hadn’t auditioned for anything recently. So, I was like, “I don’t know what this is.” And they said, “Curb wants you back,” and I was like, “Okay. I’m sure they want me back.” They were like, “No, they want you back, and it’s for multiple episodes.” And I just started sobbing, because it was so unexpected, because the day, or the several days, I had done the first time were so magical and everything I had ever wanted this industry to be, and it had never been before. So, to know I was going back to that was just the greatest feeling ever.

Suzanne: I know. He gets a lot of wonderful actors to come in and do their parts. They all love the show so much, and he lets them be different characters, even though they’re playing themselves. They get to be like, the jerk version of themselves.

Lisa: Absolutely, exactly. You’re so right. Yeah, and it is such an amazing, creative environment, and everyone there is such a powerhouse in their own right. So, it’s just an incredible place to be. It’s magical; it’s the Disneyland of the entertainment industry.

Lisa Arch with Richard Kind and Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"Suzanne: Right, I understand. So, on the show, you’re paired with the amazing Richard Kind. What’s that been like, for you?

Lisa: He is spectacular. He is so adorably insecure in a way. I just don’t even think he understands how brilliant he is. So, it just makes him even more brilliant. He’s so funny and lovable. He’s also just been in everything, literally. There is not a television show or a movie he’s not in, nor is there a Broadway show he hasn’t performed in.

Like, off camera he’s talking with Larry about musicals that he’s been in. Larry’s grilling him about certain shows. You know, “Have you ever been in Fiddler on the Roof? Did [you] ever do this? Were you ever in that?” And the answer is always “yes.” “Yes, I was in that. Yes, I did do that.” He is adorable. When I first did the show…When was it?

Suzanne: 2009.

Lisa: So, I was in my late thirties. I was like, thirty-eight, and he’s like, fifteen years older than me, I think. So, when I was first paired with him, I was like, “This is interesting thing.” But then I just immediately felt like, “Yeah, I see it. He’s my husband. I totally get it.” Then, the more we work together, the more I’ve kind of just like literally fallen in love with him, and I completely see us as a married couple.

Suzanne: That’s cool. Yeah, I interviewed him years ago. Did you ever see “Red Oaks” that he was in? He is wonderful in that. You need to see it; it’s a good show anyway.

Lisa: I have it on my list. I watched like part of the pilot episode, and then something happened. I don’t know, but I have to get back on my list. He told me that I would love it.

Suzanne: I think it’s only two seasons, but it’s really good. He is he just even better than usual in that. It was just like, when I was watching, I was thinking, “What else can you do?” This is like the role of a lifetime. There’s more after that, but still.

Lisa: Yeah, there’s nothing he can’t do.

Lisa Arch on "MadTV"Suzanne: Yeah, and I saw that you were on Mad TV in the late 90s. Was that a great training ground for you?

Lisa: So, actually, I consider my training ground what I did before Mad TV, which was years and years of sketch comedy live. That was really my training ground. I started when I was fifteen doing sketch comedy in my brother’s sketch comedy troupe, which was really a lot of work. We did it every summer for years, and we sold out every show in Hollywood. Then, after that, I was with ACME Comedy Theater for several years, and I did a couple one-woman shows. So, that that my training ground, and that’s what led to Mad TV. Mad TV was definitely a training ground for how to get the crap kicked out of you on a daily basis and react well to it, which I did not do at the time, but now I know how to, so yes, it was a training ground for the toughest parts of this business.

Suzanne: Would you like to elaborate on what you mean by that?

Lisa: Any sketch comedy show – I mean, you hear this, especially from Saturday Night Live, not only because it’s an incredibly competitive show, but also it’s live. Mad TV, we had the luxury of being taped, so you could screw up and do it again. Although that didn’t happen very often; we memorized our lines instead of having cue cards. So, it was sort of like – I don’t know, but it’s just a very competitive genre. I am a competitive person with myself, if that makes sense, but I’m not super competitive against other people. So, to be thrown into that atmosphere was very difficult for me, and I did not respond super well to it.

I met some wonderful people. I actually met my husband on that show, which is the entire reason I think I got that show was to meet him, but it was a really difficult year for me, very hard. A lot of good times, a lot of fun, and a lot of lessons. I was thrown from being a waitress literally right into being a series regular on a show.

So, you go from struggling to people throwing Nikes at you and going, “Here are these for free,” and you know, “Here’s a bracelet from Tiffany,” and all this stuff that you had never had, unless you’re being driven to parties and stuff like that. It really kind of messes with your head. So, it’s also a good training ground and learning how to be grounded, because that stuff is beyond temporary, and nobody actually loves you as much as you feel like they do. So, I learned a lot of lessons and how to trust the right people [and] how to trust myself and not get caught up in the BS of the industry, because [in] the industry, there’s a lot of BS.

Suzanne: Right, I’m sure. I’m always talking about the people just in PR, who their whole business is [PR], and I’m a Mass Comm major, so I learned about PR, but I already sort of knew about it from this job. Their whole business is to hype everything and pretty much lie almost at times. I’m not putting them down; that’s their job, and it’s a hard job. Acting is also a form of lying in a way, and then the people in charge of actors, do they even look at the stuff? I can see why you would have a lot of that.

Lisa: Yes, it’s definitely a lot of BS. I mean, look, I have some friends in PR, and I definitely think what they do is very real and very hard, but, yeah, what you’re saying is true. It’s a lot of like, “How can we make this one part of your life seem even better than it actually is?” Yeah, for sure.

Suzanne: And the network’s do do that a lot too. It’s so funny, because it can be like, “Oh, this is the great hit of the season,” and then two weeks later, they cancel it. [laughs]

Lisa: But look, what’s so funny is what has completely been modeled after that is social media. I mean, yeah, technically every post is a lie. Anything that has a filter on it is a lie. You know, how many couples do you know that have terrible marriages, and then they’re on a vacation with their family, and they’re kissing in front of a Joshua Tree or whatever. You’re like, “Oh, my God. You just you hate him.” [laughs] You gotta weed through the BS and keep your inner circle small.

Suzanne: That’s true. Yeah. Actually, yeah, you’re right, because I always tell people, “Online friends are not the same as real life friends. Don’t believe anything people say to you. They could be lying. Everything they said could be a lie.”

Lisa: And yet, ironically, I feel as though I have learned so much from online friends that I’m not even super close with in real life. Yeah, there’s definitely a balance.

Suzanne: Yeah, I mean, I have I have people that I’ve known before even what they call “social media” where they was just message boards and forums things like that I’ve known for a long time, and I feel like I know them but, yeah, you never know how much you know about them.

Lisa: Absolutely.

Suzanne: My criteria is always, would you invite them to your house? Would you let them sit sit with your kids or your dog or house sit? Would you loan them money? If you answer yes to all that, either they’re friends, or you’re very gullible. [laughs]

Lisa: Exactly. You’re exactly right.

Suzanne: So anyway, you’ve done a lot of kids comedies. Is acting in those very different from acting in regular comedies?

Lisa: It really is. It really is. Nickelodeon and Disney, it’s such a blast. First of all, it’s so stupidly fun, but I never feel as much like I’m acting as I think I feel like I’m just like at a playground. You have to be so much broader. And I have to tell you, I did so much of it that I think a lot of my auditions for many years were way too big, because it’s hard to get out of that mindset. It’s like, you’re playing a mean principle, and then everything you do is really big and angry. So, it’s so much fun, but it is very different. For sure. It’s a heightened version of what I normally would think I would do.

Lisa Arch with Michael Richards on "Seinfeld"Suzanne: Yeah, that makes total sense. You were on Seinfeld in 1996. Did that help you at all get the role of Cassie in Curb?

Lisa: I don’t think so. Honestly, to this day, I don’t know if Larry knows that I was on Seinfeld. I imagine he does, but I don’t know for sure, because it was so many years in between. When I came in, there was no indication that he knew who I was.

It did help me get Mad TV, believe it or not, because right after I did Seinfeld, Mad TV was auditioning, and the person who cast me on Seinfeld was casting Mad TV. I didn’t have an agent at the time, so I called her and just said, “Hey, can I come in? I should be in there.” And she said, “Absolutely. We’ll see you Monday.” So, definitely, Seinfeld was a huge kickoff for my career.

Suzanne: Well, that’s great. Yeah. A lot of careers.

Lisa: Yes.

Suzanne: So, you’ve been on a lot of different TV and movie sets. What sets Curb apart from the others?

Lisa: So, first of all, Curb is all improv. You get a scenario, but nothing’s written for you. So, in that respect, it takes the pressure off, because you don’t have any lines to memorize. A lot of people I’ve spoken to, other people who’ve been on the show, thought it adds pressure, because you have to come up with your own stuff, but, to me, that is my favorite thing to do.

Suzanne: Right, you have all that experience.

Lisa: Yeah, and the thing is, it’s such a supportive environment. Beyond that, it is easy to do, because everyone there is rooting for you to be funny. It’s basically the opposite of what Mad TV was. Mad TV, you felt like everybody was rooting for you to screw up. And when I say everybody, I’m generalizing. There were a lot of wonderful, wonderful people there, but on Curb, it’s literally everybody there…But everyone at Curb is just rooting for you to be funny, because they want the show to be good.

Suzanne: That makes sense.

Lisa: So, it’s insanely supportive. It is, genuinely.

When I wanted to get into this business, it was to do everything that happens on Curb. It’s to play, it’s to feel creative, it’s to feel challenged and supported, and to laugh. And all of that happens there. And, honestly, I can’t stress enough, when I tell you that I sobbed when my managers told me I was going back, I promise you that’s the truth, because it is a magical land filled with magical people. Then, all of a sudden you’re at a table with friggin Larry David and Susie Essman and Cheryl Hines and JB Smoove and Patton Oswald. My head, literally, every time I walk into one of those dinner party scenes, my head just like explodes a little bit, and then I’ve got to put the pieces back together, but it’s a dream. It’s a dream.

Suzanne: You mentioned Patton Oswald. He’s another one who’s in everything, between him and Richard.

Lisa: You’re so right. I actually said that exact thing to my husband. Patton is in everything. And what’s so funny is he and Jeff Garlin and Richard Kind, we’re all sitting at this dinner party scene, talking about how they’re all on The Goldbergs, because Richard and Jeff are on it, and Patton does the voiceover. He’s in everything.

Suzanne: Yeah, and he tours too. I don’t know how he finds time for a real life.

Lisa: I don’t either. And he’s an absolute genius, brilliant mind. He’s just insane and so kind.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s nice. That’s good. It’s good when you hear that people are nice.

Lisa: But by the way, also, and not that he is, because I’ve met him before; he is lovely, but you can’t be a dick on the set of Curb.

Suzanne: I’m sure. Yeah. If it’s that supportive, then, yeah, they wouldn’t put up with that. It’s funny, because you’re all acting like that on the show.

Lisa: You’re so right. Yeah, everyone on that set is so sweet. It’s ridiculous.

Suzanne: That’s good. So, can we see you on other Curb episodes this season?

Lisa: Not this season. I might show up for literally like five seconds on screen in one other episode, but that’s it, unfortunately, because I want to be there every day.

Lisa Arch with Larry DavidSuzanne: And have you heard about whether there’ll be a season twelve, or is that something that only Larry knows?

Lisa: That’s something that only Larry knows, and that’s the absolute truth. It’s funny, because the whole crew – I would say, conservatively, eighty percent of the crew has been the same since the very beginning, and the only reason anyone would have fallen off is because they got a job that they just can’t leave, but everyone shows up for him. But he is the only one [who] knows if, and he’s the only one that knows when, so you never know. Every time it’s been a surprise for me.

Suzanne: Well, I’m sure he’ll keep doing as long as he enjoys it. It’s not like he probably needs the money. [laughs]

Lisa: Yeah, I do not think he needs the money, and I do think he absolutely is having a blast. He’s also like, the coolest human being alive. No one believes me; he’s super sexy, because he so couldn’t care less what anybody thinks, and it’s so authentic. He just emanates, cool. Literally, he’s like Fonzie, but better.

Suzanne: No, I can understand. A little bit of that comes across on the on the screen, even though he’s being a jerk on the show. You can tell. And I don’t think you could produce a show like that if you were a real jerk in real life. It’s funny how many people in the audience in that Facebook group think that’s what he’s like in real life. I’m like, “Are you kidding?”

Lisa: Oh, yeah. And of course there are aspects, I’m sure; that all comes from his brain. So, that’s definitely indicative of what he is thinking, and I do believe there’s a lot of that; that is who he is, but it’s just obviously a much more heightened version of that.

Suzanne: Right. Well, yeah, he’s probably thinking about things that do bother him, but he wouldn’t be obnoxious enough to say it to people. [laughs]

Lisa: Exactly.

Suzanne: Like he wouldn’t have any friends or be invited to dinner parties if he really were that obnoxious.

Lisa: Exactly. And yet, I think he also probably takes advantage of the character to use as needed.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah, because some of the things he says are very political in a very sneaky way and a commentary on society.

Lisa: Absolutely, absolutely.

Suzanne: That’s one of the things that makes it great, I think, because you watch it because it’s funny. Then something gets in there that you go, “Oh, yeah, that’s right.”

Lisa: Little stupid things, like the towels. Like, my husband has said, and I’m not joking, my husband has said a million times, “Please don’t give me one of the new towels.” And I’m like, “I don’t get you.” And he goes, “It’s just different; it doesn’t dry you right.” So, when we saw [that], like, who would think that anyone else on the planet would have that thought? So, when we saw that on the show, we were like, “What?” That freaked us both out.

Suzanne: Where’s the hidden camera, that he was spying on you with?

Lisa: Exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne: That’s funny. Yeah, today I was looking up Pirate’s Booty. I mean, I already know what it is; I’ve had it before, but I thought, “I wonder if they take they were really happy about this episode,” but apparently they were bought out by Hershey, so they don’t care.

Lisa: That’s funny. That is very funny.

Suzanne: Then, I found another wonderful article about what the Talmud would say about what Larry did on that episode.

Lisa: I read that.

Suzanne: Did you read that? Wasn’t that a great article?

Lisa: That was phenomenal. So, I love how specific the Talmud is. That’s the funniest thing ever.

Suzanne: Yeah, I said that to my husband. We both love the show.

So, you already pretty much said your favorite part of working on Curb is the supportive environment and the people.

Lisa: And how fun it is and how funny you get to be. You get to be as funny as you can possibly be on the day you’re working. That’s a great feeling.

Suzanne: When you’ve been on, have you ever seen anybody where you thought, “Ah, they probably won’t come back,” because they didn’t do that great of a job? Or is that all pretty much taken care of before they get on the screen?

Lisa: No, I don’t think that is, because, genuinely, I don’t know that I was supposed to be ever back. I think it’s just Larry populates the show with whoever he thinks would fit. So, I don’t think he ever knows if you’re coming back. I don’t know. But no, I’ve never – But then again, I haven’t worked with a ton of guest stars. I worked with more stars this time than I ever have before, but usually I’m just working with the regulars. So, no.

Suzanne: That’s funny. So, do you have any other projects going on that you want to tell us about?

Lisa: Not really anything that I can talk about right now. I’m doing a behind-the-scenes thing right now that I hope turns out well, but I can’t really talk about it yet. Otherwise, no. I’m a character actress, so much of my life is just auditioning and waiting. And during the pandemic, there was so little going on. Now, it’s just gotten very busy again, audition-wise. So, my fingers are crossed that work is coming, and in the meantime, I’m in school, and loving that.

Suzanne: Are you working towards a particular degree?

Lisa: I am. I never [graduated]. I quit school to pursue acting. So, over quarantine, I decided it was time to try to get my Bachelor’s degree. So, I am working toward my Associate’s degree right now, and then I’m transferring for a psychology degree.

Suzanne: Oh, nice. That probably would have come in handy back when you were on Mad TV, right?

Lisa: Oh, my God so much. You have no idea. Yes. I probably should have finished school, although I would have finished with a theater degree. So, I don’t know that it would. Yes, it would have been very helpful.

Suzanne: Are you finding it challenging at all? Are all your classes online?

Lisa: All online, yeah. I decided there was no way I was going to do it if I had to go to school. So, yeah, all online. And it’s been challenging. It’s hard. You know, I’m a mom, and I’ve got all my house duties, plus all my auditions, plus whatever else comes up. So, it’s been tough, but I’m loving it. I’ve never been a good student, and I’ve never liked school, and I’m absolutely loving it. I feel myself becoming a more well-rounded person, just because I’m learning things that I never knew.

Suzanne: I think, in some ways, it’s better to go when you’re older, because you’re more mature; you take it more seriously. Your writing is probably better, all these different things.

Lisa: Absolutely. I mean, I think if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, it’s an important thing to do, to go to school. Look, to be frank, I wish I had finished back then, but I didn’t; that wasn’t my path. And I do feel that I am one hundred a better student now and learning so much more than I would have back then.

Suzanne: And are you going full time or part time?

Lisa: Oh my God, no, part time. [laughs]

Suzanne: That makes it easier too.

Lisa: Exactly. No, there’s no way it could be a full-time student. And what’s cool is there is a program that does classes in an accelerated fashion. So, a sixteen-week class takes eight weeks, but it also packs more work into those eight weeks, but if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t get my AA until I was 60.

Suzanne: …I really like your curtains by the way. Those are pretty.

Lisa: Oh, thank you.

Suzanne: I like looking at the background when I interview people.

Lisa: I know, it’s hilarious

Suzanne: [I see] interesting things. Who’s the actor? Jeff Daniels, I was on a TCA thing with him. There’re lots of people there, but he had like fifty guitars behind him hanging on the wall. He apparently has an addiction to buying guitars.

Lisa: That is awesome. I don’t collect anything. I’m not a collector. I collect dust. I don’t have any cool collections of anything.

Suzanne: Oh, you do enough as it is.

Lisa: Yeah, I do, darn it.

Suzanne: All right. Well, I thank you so much for meeting up with me.

Lisa: Thanks for asking.

Suzanne: Oh, it was great. I will see you on Facebook and hopefully more in Curb.

Lisa: Yeah, hopefully more. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: All right, bye bye.

Here’s the video!

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Lisa Arch is an American actor and comedian, known for her roles in the 1997–98 season of the FOX Network comedy show, Mad TV, as cohost of TBS’s Dinner and a Movie from 2002 to 2005, and as the recurring character of Samantha Samuels on Disney Channel’s Cory in the House. Arch has also been in movies, such as 2007’s Evan Almighty.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American television sitcom that has been produced and broadcast by HBO since October 15, 2000. The series was created by Larry David, who stars as a fictionalized version of himself. The series follows Larry in his life as a semi-retired television writer and producer in Los Angeles, and for one season, New York City. Also starring are Cheryl Hines as his wife Cheryl, Jeff Garlin as his manager and best friend Jeff Greene, and Susie Essman as Jeff’s wife Susie. Curb Your Enthusiasm often features guest stars, many of them playing fictionalized versions of themselves.

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Lisa Arch of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and more

Interview with Dean Winters and Shawnee Smith

TV Interview!

Shawnee Smith and Dean Winters of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"

Interview with Shawnee Smith and Dean Winters of “Christmas Vs. The Walters” – in theaters now by Suzanne 10/28

This movie is very funny and warm – great for the holidays! These two fine actors play the husband and wife of the Walters family. Shawnee is the main star of the film, but she has a wonderful cast surrounding her. Go see the movie because you’ll enjoy it! We had a fun chat here. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Suzanne:   So, when was the movie filmed, and how long did it take? Either of you?

Dean:   We shot the movie last November.

Shawnee:   Last year, yeah.

Dean:   Yeah. It was about a three and a half week shoot, and we shot it in Long Island and Melville. It was a real run and gun production, and we were able to capture the atmosphere of Christmas on Long Island. We just had a really, really good time shooting this film. I had been a massive fan of Shawnee’s for years and had a big crush on her. And when I met her, I melted. So, it just kind of added to the joy of making a film. She’s very easy to work with, and the film is really her film. So, we were all there to support Shawnee, and Shawnee is just, I mean, she’s just one of the really good ones, you know?

Shawnee:   Oh, what a good husband, right? I love him.

Suzanne:   I watched it yesterday, and I enjoyed it. It was it was funny, and it made me cry in one part.

Shawnee:   Right, I watched it. I watched it on my phone with my headphones late at night. The kids were all sleeping. I woke them up laughing. I was laughing out loud. I cried. I thought, you know, we’re not going to win any awards, but like, grab your family and go to the theater and have a ball. It sets a good tone for the rest of the holidays.

Suzanne:   It does. And you two seem very natural as a husband and wife. Did you do anything beforehand and sort of get to know each other better to prepare for that?

Shawnee:   We got married and pregnant.

Dean:   [laughs]

Shawnee:   Now we have three kids, because we are method actors.

Dean:   No, we actually met the day before filming, and it was just very, very natural. You know, good casting.

Suzanne:   You could tell. There’s a great cast anyway. I mean, you had so many great character actors.

Shawnee:   The cast just kept filling out and filling out. I was like, “Who’s playing my doctor?” I mean, it was like, just when you thought it can’t get any better, you know, and then down to our ingenue, Paris Bravo plays our daughter, who’s amazing and a badass triple Black Belt. I mean, she’s like a future action star.

Dean:   Then, you have guys like Richard Thomas, and Bruce Dern and Chris Elliott. I mean, they really filled the room with great character actors, and it just kind of adds to the atmosphere.

Suzanne:   What was the both the best and worst, or most challenging things about making the movie?

Shawnee:   Definitely the most challenging was filming during COVID protocol. Rehearsing with masks on is just different. You can’t really rehearse like that. I mean, you do the best that you can, but all the windows and doors are open for ventilation, and it’s November. In November in New York, in Long Island; you’re freezing. God love the crew; they were masked up all the time, and we were testing every other day. Far and away that was the most challenging. Everything else was pretty easy.

Dean:   Yeah, we were one of the first movies to actually shoot during COVID. So, I think last October is when films really started to kind of dip their toe in the water again. So, it was a real[ly] new experience for everybody. So, that was the most challenging part. The fun part was just, we all just love each other very much. So, working with each other was really a no brainer, and that chemistry, you know, in real life, I think kind of parlays on screen.

Suzanne:   And [Shawnee], do you actually get stressed out at all on Christmas?

Shawnee:   Oh, listen, of course! I’m a mother. There’s so much pressure to be a family, have a meal, and then the presents, and you’re like, “We’re gonna keep it simple this year.” Somehow, Christmas Eve, just the momentum of the thing builds up, and it’s like that tension is just a fun thief, you know? Like, the fun part of Christmas Vs. the Walters is that circumstances all around just break everybody down to the point where they just let go of the reins, and then everyone exhales and starts to have fun together, you know, take the pressure off. So, I think my good technique for taking the pressure off this Christmas will be just put on your pajamas and go to the theater and watch Christmas Vs. the Walters.

Suzanne:   And Dean do you get most recognized for that Mayhem commercials or for a show you a movie that you did?

Dean:   Pretty much Mayhem sums it up. [laughs] Yeah, in New York, it’s like, you know, yesterday, I was walking down the block, and within the span of walking down the block, I got Oz, Sex and the City, Law & Order, and then Mayhem, but it’s really just Mayhem all day long.

Suzanne:   Well, you do such a good job of it. I hate your character. I hate those commercials – not that guy! But I like you, and I loved you in Law & Order: SVU.

Dean:   Oh, thank you.

Suzanne:   Anything else? We’re almost done… anything else you’d like say about the movie?

Dean:   I think that this movie has a tone for a Christmas film that I haven’t seen before. Every great Christmas film has its own tone, whether it’s Elf or Scrooge or It’s a Wonderful Life, whatever, and this movie has a different tone to it, and I think that’s what is going to hopefully make it have its own little kind of special niche. It’s really just a lovely film about showing you what’s important, which is usually right in front of your face.

Suzanne:   And Shawnee, final words?

Shawnee:   You love this family. I love this family; that’s a marriage that I want to be in, and I root for them. Last Christmas, we were all in the middle of this pandemic, and we couldn’t go to the theater, and we couldn’t be with our families, and so this year, let’s do it and have a ball. Looking forward to it.

Suzanne:   Thank you guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

Here’s the Video!

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Official Website   Trailer

"Christmas Vs. The Walters" posterDiane Walters, an over-burdened mother of two with a third child on the way, strives to create the perfect Christmas while her loving but dysfunctional family falls apart around her.

CAST: Shawnee Smith, Dean Winters, Caroline Aaron, Betsy Beutler, Paris Bravo, Nate Torrence, Richard Thomas, Jack McGee with Bruce Dern and Chris Elliott

DIRECTED BY: Peter A. D’Amato

WRITTEN BY: Peter A. D’Amato and Ante Novakovic

PRODUCED BY: Rob Simmons, Ante Novakovic, DJ Dodd and Jared Safier

COMPOSED BY: Rhyan D’Errico, and Jared Forman

EDITED BY: Pete Talamo

DISTRIBUTOR: Safier Entertainment

RUN TIME: 101 minutes

MPAA RATING: PG-13

Dean Winters of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"Dean Winters is an American character actor. He is known for his role as Ryan O’Reily on the HBO prison drama Oz and had roles in TV series Rescue Me, 30 Rock, Sex and the City and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as portraying “Mayhem” in a series of Allstate Insurance commercials. He co-starred in one season of the CBS Network cop drama series Battle Creek and had a recurring role as the Vulture on the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

 

 

Shawnee Smith of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"Shawnee Smith is an American actress and singer. She is known for her portrayal of Amanda Young in the Saw franchise and for starring as Linda in the CBS sitcom Becker (1998–2004). She co-starred as Jennifer Goodson, the ex-wife of Charlie Goodson on the FX sitcom Anger Management (2012–2014). In addition to acting, Smith once fronted the rock band Fydolla Ho, with which she toured globally. Later, with actress Missi Pyle, she served as half of Smith & Pyle, a country rock band.

 

 

 

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Cast of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"

Review of “Ghosts”

TV Review!

The cast of "Ghosts" on CBS

“Ghosts” on CBS Review by Suzanne 10/10/21

I really want to love this show, but it’s just not funny enough for me. This is based on a British show of the same name, which you watch on HBO Max and Daily Motion. Frankly, I find the British one a little funnier. Neither one is hilarious, though. To me, the main goal of a sitcom is to make me laugh. If I just sit here and smile, or chuckle occasionally, that’s not good enough. It’s not worth my time.

Rose McIver (“iZombie”) plays Samantha, and Utkarsh Ambudkar plays her husband, Jay. She inherits a big old house, so they decide to invest all of their money into fixing it up and making it into a bed and breakfast. Unbeknownst to Sam and Jay, the house is haunted by many ghosts from the past. When Sam hits her head, she can suddenly see and hear the ghosts. They become very annoying to her and her husband.

I do like shows about supernatural creatures, so that’s why I really wanted to like it. I like the characters, too. One ghost, Hetty, is a Victorian older woman (played by the marvelous Rebecca Wisocky). The ghost that stands out the most is Thorfin, a Viking (Devan Chandler Long). In the UK version, he was a caveman. This version of the show has a native American, Sasappis (Román Zaragoza), who seems very interesting. I want to learn more about them, and that’s the main reason I added it to my DVR.

I’m crossing my fingers that it gets funnier as it goes along.

MORE INFORMATION:

GHOSTS is a single-camera comedy about Samantha and Jay, a cheerful freelance journalist and up-and-coming chef from the city, respectively, who throw both caution and money to the wind when they decide to convert a huge rundown country estate they inherited into a bed & breakfast—only to find it’s inhabited by the many spirits of deceased residents who now call it home. The departed souls are a close-knit, eclectic group that includes a saucy Prohibition-era lounge singer (Danielle Pinnock); a pompous 1700’s Militiaman (Brandon Scott Jones); a ‘60s hippie fond of hallucinogens (Sheila Carrasco); an overly upbeat ‘80s scout troop leader (Richie Moriarty); a cod-obsessed Viking explorer from 1009 (Devon Chandler Long); a slick ‘90s finance bro (Asher Grodman); a sarcastic and witty Native from the 1500s (Román Zaragoza); and a society woman and wife of an 1800’s robber baron who is Samantha’s ancestor (Rebecca Wisocky), to name a few. If the spirits were anxious about the commotion a renovation and B&B will create in their home, it’s nothing compared to when they realize Samantha is the first live person who can see and hear them.

 

Premiered Thursday, Oct. 7 on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.

ON AIR:

Thursday (9:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT)

ORIGINATION:

Montreal

FORMAT:

Comedy (Filmed in HD)

STARRING:

Rose McIver (Samantha)
  Utkarsh Ambudkar (Jay)
  Brandon Scott Jones (Isaac)
  Richie Moriarty (Pete)
  Danielle Pinnock (Alberta)
  Asher Grodman (Trevor)
  Román Zaragoza (Sasappis)
  Sheila Carrasco (Flower)
  Rebecca Wisocky (Hetty)
  Devan Chandler Long (Thorfinn)

PRODUCED BY:

CBS Studios in association with Lionsgate Television and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Joe Port & Joe Wiseman, Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond and Martha Howe-Douglas; Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, and Alison Owen (Monumental Television); Angie Stephenson (BBC Studios); and Trent O’Donnell (pilot only)

Website: https://www.cbs.com/shows/ghosts/

CBS PR Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBSTweet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GhostsCBS/

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The TV MegaSite or its other volunteers.

The cast of "Ghosts" on CBS

Interview with Gina Yashere

TV Interview!

Gina Yashere of "Bob Hearts Abishola" on CBS.

Interview with Gina Yashere of “Bob ❤️Abishola” on CBS by Suzanne 9/21/21

This was a fun TCA panel of various women who write TV comedies for Warner Brothers shows, “Leaning into Laughter: Exploring Timely Topics Through Humor & Heart.” I would have liked to have asked more questions, but it was only a half-hour long panel.

I chose Gina Yashere for my one question because I love her show, and she’s very funny in it as an actress as well as a writer. I was asking how much of her character, Yemi, is from her.

It was a fun panel with lots of humor. I would have loved to have asked the “Batwoman” showrunner, Caroline Dries, about the upcoming season and the crossover with the other CW shows. I was really surprised that no one else asked her that. I would also have liked to have asked Molly Smith Metzler about her upcoming show, “Maids.” On these TCA panels, I’m lucky if I get to ask more than one question the entire day.

Here is the list of panelists: Nkechi Okoro Carroll from The CW’s “All American” and the upcoming “All American: Homecoming,” Caroline Dries from The CW’s “Batwoman,” Maria Ferrari from CBS’s “United States of Al,” Molly Smith Metzler from Netflix’s upcoming “Maid,” Audrey Morrissey from NBC’s “The Voice,” and Gina Yashere from CBS’s “Bob ♥ Abishola.”

I first told Gina how much I loved her show and never miss it.  She had quite a long answer to my question.

“It’s quite a lot of me in this show. A lot of the stories – similar immigrant stories, people coming from somewhere else coming to America trying to raise their kids in America (and it doesn’t even have to be America, it can be anywhere; I was born and raised in England – a lot of Abishola’s story is based on my parents’ story. My mum and dad are from Nigeria. They came to England. They had us in England and were up against racism, misogyny, all those kinds of things that are very apparent all over the world. And it’s just the story of their love and their triumph of raising their kids in another country, away from home. And the “Bob ♥ Abishola” story is just the coming together of the two families, the two cultures meeting, the fact that people from various backgrounds, no matter where they’re from, find that commonality. And it’s a story about love and inclusion, and just people coming together. Being born outside of my parents’ country and having to assimilate into society that was not necessarily mine originally, it’s just all of those things. So there’s a lot of me in that. Plus, I’m in the show as well ’cause I wrote myself in because I wanted all the checks.
(Laughter.) But, yeah. So there’s a lot of my family and a lot of the immigrant – it doesn’t even have to be Nigeria; it can be Vietnamese; it can be Chinese; it can be Indian; it could be Pakistani, Russian – it’s a very similar story.

Maria Ferrari was asked how her show will be handling current events in Afghanistan. Her answer was amazing: “We had shot one-and-a-half episodes during the week of the fall of Kabul and quickly realized that we had guessed wrong what was going to happen and that we were going to have to adjust our plans. And basically, on August 12th when Herat fell, which is the third-biggest city in Afghanistan which was a very anti-Taliban stronghold, that was when our writers started to feel that something very big was going to change and they had pressing needs to get their own family members out of Afghanistan. And it happens that kind of the Venn diagram of Vets and Afghans and Afghan Americans that is necessary to write this show is also the one that works as a fairly-effective rescue operation. So, we had to stick a pin in everything and focus first on our people that needed help and who needed to get their families out, which was just the wildest week of my life. I have never experienced anything like that. And at the same time, we were realizing that we needed to change everything we had done, and we needed to do it quickly. And so we chose to tell that story. We chose to tell the story of what we were experiencing and hoping that some of the fear and the urgency that we were feeling in the room would come through in this story, which also happened to map very tightly onto our characters because the writers and the characters are, by design, from similar walks of life. So that is the story that we chose to tell in our premiere.” Wow!

She was asked how CBS discussed with her about the show coming back (in relation to what she said) and whether they considered bringing the show back a bit later because of it. However, she replied that everyone at CBS was quite supportive of their show, and where they decided to go with it (particularly the script). She and the others didn’t feel it would be appropriate to show a re-run at this particularly sensitive time.

Dries was asked whether she thought that there was any difference between men and women’s writing. She didn’t think there is. She stated that “The job of the writer is to mimic the showrunner, the creator’s voice. So I don’t see gender in the words frankly, so I can’t really answer that with a definitive ‘here’s how it’s different.’ Each writer brings its own thing. If they’re mimicking the voice, they’re succeeding on the show.”

The reporter asked the other writers to respond as well. Metzler agreed with Dries and said, “I think not seeing gender in the words – that really rings true to me as well. ‘Maid’ is a women’s story. It’s based on a memoir written by a woman. I’m a woman. But when I went to staff the writers room, I hired two men and two women. And I think everyone got the tone of the show. I have to say in my personal experience, the writing was uniformly excellent. And if you covered the title page, I don’t think you could tell who’s a man and who’s a woman.”

Carroll also agreed that there’s no difference: “I am a female showrunner of a football show, and a baseball show coming up, so I very much agree with the ladies. It becomes about their talent on the page. It becomes about capturing the accurate, emotional voice of the show. And then it becomes about mimicking my voice. And we have a pretty great split in both rooms in terms of gender. And you’d be surprised what comes out of who. You would be surprised that some of our best football stuff is written by women. It just works out that way. So, I think I would have to agree. I think we’ve retained 90% of our staff since Season 1 on ‘All American’ because they’re all just really good at what they do and are really good at capturing not just my voice, but also instinctively the type of stories I want to use this show to tell. And so that’s what makes them successful.”

Morrissey replied that her show, “The Voice,” doesn’t have much writing. They just have one writer, and she’s female.  With all of their people, they try to create a safe place for them to “be vulnerable and they can grow as artists – it’s gender-equal.”

Ferrari agreed that she didn’t see any differences. She likes to have all difference voices on her show – not just different genders but different ethnicities.

Gina gave another long answer: “Yeah, I think a lot of certain attitudes have kept women out of the writers’ room. It’s because they thought that we couldn’t write stories where maybe the cast were more male than female, whatever. And so, I like the fact that it doesn’t matter as long as you understand the subject you’re talking about, and you know the story you’re trying to tell, you can write for those people. We’re writing for people. And with my show, yeah, we have a nice even split, men and women. And in fact, I think we might have actually more women in the room. But we’ve got a nice split in our writers’ room. And also, in my show, more than half the cast is Nigerian, so we definitely wanted that Nigerian perspective. My parents were born in Nigeria. We’ve got another writer from Nigeria, a Nigerian American. And then, some of our actors are born and bred in Nigeria. So we wanted to get the perspective right. We wanted to make sure that it’s authentic as well, 100% authentic. We were also trying to smash stereotypes. And so you need people with those specific perspectives to be able to smash the stereotypes some people might have of Africa. If you watched the first episode of Season 3 of our show that aired last night, people are commenting and saying, “Oh, my gosh, we had no idea that Nigerian women live a certain way, that we had a certain image of that and how African people live” – little things like that. “They have really nice houses, we were surprised by that” – stuff like that. That’s why you need a good mix of people in the writers room, across gender, across sexuality, across race, to make sure that everything is covered, and covered properly.”

Dries was asked about Ryan Wilder’s story this season on “Batwoman.” She replied that now she has to fix the problems she’s made and taken responsibility for what she’s done. She added that we get to meet her mom and brother, and “we get to sort of carve out more details specifically about her personal life and all those new personal dynamics.”

Carroll was asked about crossovers between “All-American” and the new spinoff show. They do plan to have crossovers, but they have to wait and see how COVID and other factors affect their plans, but there will be familiar faces on the new show. She quickly added that they won’t be nearly as ambitious as the DC crossovers on The CW. She praised the showrunners and writers for those shows for being able to pull that off: “God bless the showrunners on the DC shows in how you pull that together because that is miraculous.”

Another press member asked her whether she would consider a third series someday, about soccer (since the first one is about football and the second one is about baseball).  Gina brought the comedy, saying, “It’s not soccer, it’s football! It’s football! It’s not soccer! It’s football!”  We all laughed at that. It was hilarious.

After correcting her, jokingly, that it’s football here in America, Carroll answered that she first needs to figure out how to fit sleep into her schedule before considering any other spinoffs.

Gina and Ferrari were asked a rather complex question about writing about the immigrants in their shows; specifically balancing writing about where they were before and where they are now.

Gina gave another lengthy answer: “For me, as a British-born Nigerian and watching American TV throughout my childhood, I didn’t like the way African people seemed to be depicted all the time. It felt like it was an image that had been just carried on way back from, I don’t know, Tarzan days, where Africans were seen a similar way.  And I was like, “That’s not what we’re like.” And then, whenever I’d watch movies, Africa was seen as like a country rather than a continent with a lot of different countries, different languages, different traditions, different religions, different everything. When I went to make this show, I wanted to make sure that you could see the differences, see the nuances of where my people come from in Nigeria and how different it is and how hard we work. When the idea of the show first came around, we were still in the middle of the Trump era, and so there was all that anti-immigrant feeling. So we wanted to just say, “Look, we’re just people. We’re just doing the same as what you guys. We love the same. We want to send our kids to school. We want to work. We want to contribute. That’s what we’re doing.” And so that’s what I wanted to do with this show, and to show us as people.  The language might be different.  The food we eat might be different.  Our clothes might be a little bit more colorful but, at the end of the day, we’re the same people.  And also, Nigerians, Africans, we’re everywhere.  The world is built on people moving to different places to find their fortune.  It’s not like we’re the only ones that are doing it.  White people have been doing it for hundreds of years – going to different places to find their fortunes.  So it’s just saying, “Look, the journey’s the same for all of us.  We’re all together in this.”  And I wanted to get that balance right between showing my culture, showing the people, but also showing how we fit in America and how we can easily mix with other people.  It’s not a problem.  We’ve been here for a long time.  Obviously, authenticity was extremely important to me because of who I’ve seen depicted in the past.  So, we made a point of making sure the language is correct, the food is correct.  When I met with Chuck to talk about the making of the show, I’d say things to him like, “If I say that this isn’t right, you’ve got to believe me.”  If I say, “We don’t do this or we would never do this,” just little things.  In American shows, kids coming in and putting their dirty shoes up on the couch and taking a bottle of milk from the fridge and drinking it straight from the bottle – that would never happen in an African family.  So even the small minutia of things, we had to get it right.  And I think it makes for a great show.  People love it.  Every immigrant family’s enjoying it because it’s their story too.  And then wanting to introduce it to America and its people – let’s be honest, CBS is not the blackest channel, but we’re introducing it to an audience of people who may never have even fraternized with people from my culture. And they’ve grown to love the characters and the people.  And so, as far as I’m concerned, that’s my job done.”

Ferrari said that the Afghani culture she works with has the same issue with the shoes. She even feels like it’s disrespectful now to walk on to their set with shoes on. She went on to say that bringing the first main character of a culture to TV puts pressure on your show “to be all things to all people, which is impossible.” They’re doing their best by showing us more of Al’s world both in his family “and also to introduce him to more Afghan-American communities in the Tristate area.”  This season, Al will find romance; there will be a new Afghan-American DJ, played by one of their writers, Fahim Anwar; and we see more of his sister. They hope to move the focus of the show a little bit to these new characters and not just Al. She finished with, “You can’t really say anything meaningful about diversity unless you are showing it in the bodies of multiple characters, because that’s what diversity means.”

Carroll was also asked whether she’ll be introducing more immigrant characters in her show, since they’ll be at a college.

She replied, “Oh, absolutely. Especially at an HBCU. It’s the diaspora, which is what’s the beauty of it. That’s why I’m so excited to be putting an HBCU back on TV because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that. But it really is sort of all the versions of Black. In the backdoor pilot we had – because I’m Nigerian, so I was like, “I must put my people in it” – and so we had some of the other characters that were in the classroom and interacted with Keisha and everything. We had both Nigerians and Nigerian Americans portrayed and we plan to continue with that. And also in the diversity of religion. And that’s a conversation I was having with my writers in the writers room just yesterday. I want to make sure as we’re telling these stories, it’s not the Christian Black experience or it’s not the non-denominational Black experience. I want to talk about the Muslim Black experience. If we’re saying we’re in this melting pot of the Black diaspora, I want to make sure we’re really representing that. And again, to what Maria said, we can’t represent everybody all at once and so it’s something that we’re just very conscious of in the room. And as we can organically sort of expand the storylines we’re telling around our series regulars, and incorporating these other cultures and religions and everything, we’re so excited to do that because that’s why we’re doing what we do.”

Morrissey was asked about the logistics of this season on “The Voice” since the audience is still not back to full capacity. She talked about all the issues they had, and how they discussed whether to bring any audience back or not. They did decide to bring some back. She went on at length about how the performers really need an audience to sing to. It helps them out. As a singer myself, I know that’s very true. I can imagine that whether you’re in front of 100 or 1000 people, it’s helpful to have an audience. She also mentioned that they have a new coach, Ariana Grande.

At the end, Morrissey also sent out some love to the other panelists. She said, “I’m such a fan of every other woman on this panel. And so I’m really excited to be on this panel with you. So, good luck to you all. Happy to meet you here.” Carroll gave her the love right back, saying that binging “The Voice” has been her go-to during the pandemic. Morrissey replied right back with “Please. I am binging “All-American” right now with my ten-year-old son. And literally, when I open my laptop to log on, there was Taye Diggs frozen from my Netflix…”

Gina chimed in with a naughty joke: “I think we’ve all had Taye Diggs on our laptops at some time” and everyone laughed.

MORE INFO:

Assembled here is a group of incredibly talented women who are responsible for some of the studio’s most innovative and inclusive television programming. From comedy to drama, reality or superheroes, this group has it covered. Each of these amazing women has played an instrumental role in creating more diverse storylines and bringing them to television screens everywhere. And critics have responded to the importance of these stories. From the GLAAD Award-nominated “Batwoman” and its historic casting of Javicia Leslie, the first Black actress to portray Batwoman in a live-action television or film production, to “Bob ♥ Abishola,” being the first series to depict a Nigerian family in a comedy, it’s apparent, these women are groundbreaking creators. “The Voice” has been recognized by the Television Academy with a phenomenal 69 Emmy nominations and 7 wins. And the hit drama “All American” received nominations from the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, as well as the Black Reel Awards for its ability to tackle a vast spectrum of social issues. And we are expanding the “All American” universe with the upcoming “All American: Homecoming.” Most importantly, the stories these women have elected to tell are authentic. From the timely “United States of Al,” which addresses the current crisis in Afghanistan, to “Maid,” which tackles the issue of poverty in America and has already appeared on “Vogue,” “Time,” and “Rolling Stone’s” Best-of-Fall TV lists. These women have all proven themselves to be creative forces to be reckoned with.

Gina Yashere of "Bob Hearts Abishola" on CBS.Gina Yashere

Co-Creator and Producer, Kemi in BOB ♥ ABISHOLA

Hometown: London

Birthday: April 6

Comedian Gina Yashere was born and raised in Bethnal Green, London to Nigerian parents. Prior to becoming a comedian, she worked as an elevator engineer for Otis.

In 1996 Yashere became a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, a British competition devoted to discovering and promoting new stand-up comedians and variety talent. In 2000 she began creating and performing popular comedic characters on the series “The Lenny Henry Show,” and in 2006 and 2007 she co-hosted the MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards in the U.K.

Yashere broke onto the American comedy scene as one of 10 finalists on “Last Comic Standing” in 2007. She went on to be named one of the top 10 rising talents in The Hollywood Reporter. In 2008 she became the first and only British comic to perform on “Def Comedy Jam.” In 2009 she performed a stand-up comedy routine on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” and appeared on the BBC’s “Live at the Apollo.” Starting in 2010, she appeared regularly on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in a sketch comedy series called “Madame Yashere: The Surly Psychic,” in which she gave fake psychic readings to unsuspecting people on the street. Also, she appeared as Flo in several episodes of the ITV drama “Married Single Other.” In 2010 her one-hour comedy special, “Skinny B*tch,” premiered on SHOWTIME. In 2015 she was featured on “Gotham Comedy Live” and in 2016 appeared on SHOWTIME’s “The Nasty Show with Artie Lange.” She produced and starred in the comedy specials “Gina Yashere: Laughing to America” and “Gina Yashere: Ticking Boxes,” and performed on season two of the Netflix comedy showcase “The Standups.” In 2017 Yashere became the British correspondent for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” As an in-demand voice artist, Yashere voiced the character of Keisha in the British cult hit “Bromwell High” and was the voice of Gravelle in the movie “Early Man” from the creators of “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run.”

In addition to performing for audiences in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, Yashere is a highly sought-after comedian in Asia, selling out shows in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The U.K.’s Black Entertainment and Comedy Awards named her “Best Comedian” four years in a row, and she has performed several times at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and Toronto.

Currently, Yashere is writing an autobiography scheduled for release next year.

Born in London, Yashere currently resides in Los Angeles. Her birthday is April 6. Her web site is www.ginayashere.com, and she can be followed on Instagram and Twitter @ginayashere and on Facebook @ginaisfunny.

Nkechi Okoro CarrollNKECHI OKORO CARROLL

Showrunner/Executive Producer of “All American”

Nkechi Okoro Carroll is the Executive Producer/Showrunner of the Greg Berlanti-produced drama series “All American.”

Prior to “All American,” Okoro Carroll served as Co-Executive Producer on the drama series “The Resident” and “Rosewood.” Her other television producing credits include, “Bones” and “The Finder.” Additionally, Okoro Carroll is in an exclusive, multiyear overall deal with Warner Bros Studios.

Born in New York, raised in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and England, Okoro Carroll earned a B.A. in Economics and French from the University of Pennsylvania and Masters in International Economics from New York University. Prior to her television writing career, Okoro Carroll worked for the Federal Reserve where her responsibilities included managing the reserve position for the U.S. Banking system and analyzing the impact of monetary policy decisions on the domestic money markets. All of which she did while still writing and producing plays in New York.

Okoro Carroll currently resides in Los Angeles.

Caroline DriesCAROLINE DRIES

Executive Producer/Showrunner of “Batwoman”

Caroline Dries is the Executive Producer/Showrunner of the Greg Berlanti-produced drama series “Batwoman.”  Dries also developed the series for The CW.

Prior to “Batwoman,” Dries served as a producer on “Melrose Place” (2009-2010) and was an executive producer on The CW’s hit series, “The Vampire Diaries.”  Her other television credits include “Smallville” and “Arrow.”  Dries began her career in television as a PA, writers assistant and script coordinator on “Smallville” before joining the series as a staff writer.

Dries was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She attended NYU as an undergraduate, earning a BFA in Psychology.  Afterwards, Dries attended the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts where she earned her master’s degree.

Dries currently resides in Los Angeles with her wife, Danielle, and their new baby girl.

Maria FerrariMaria Ferrari

Executive Producer/Creator, UNITED STATES OF AL

March 2021

Maria Ferrari began her career as a script coordinator for the television series “Blue Collar TV” and “How I Met Your Mother,” on the Network. She went on to write multiple scripts for both shows before joining “The Bill Engvall Show” as a staff writer. Next, Ferrari joined “The Big Bang Theory,” on the Network, where she rose to executive producer and was nominated for three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Ferrari’s additional television credits include “Young Sheldon,” also on the Network.

Ferrari is a graduate of Northwestern University and resides in Los Angeles.

Molly Smith MetzlerMolly Smith Metzler (playwright) is the author of Cry it Out, Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Close Up Space and Training Wisteria. Her regional credits include: Northlight Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Chautauqua Theater Company, City Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Geva Theatre Center, Mixed Blood Theatre Company and more. In New York City: Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC). Metzler’s awards include the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg National Student Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, the Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting and a finalist nod for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is a proud alumna of the Ars Nova Play Group, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages and the Cherry Lane Mentor Project. In television, Metzler has written for Casual (Hulu), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Codes of Conduct (HBO), and is currently a writer/producer on Shameless (Showtime). She is also a screenwriter, currently adapting Ali Benjamin’s award-winning novel The Thing About Jellyfish into a film for OddLot Entertainment with Made Up Stories and Pacific Standard (Reese Witherspoon’s company). Metzler was educated at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Boston University, New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts and the Juilliard School. She lives in Los Angeles and Kingston, N.Y.

Audrey MorrisseyAudrey Morrissey is an executive producer and the creative force behind “The Voice,” NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series, and “Songland,” NBC’s brand new songwriting competition series.

Morrissey’s roots are in music television. A veteran of MTV, she spent nine years at the network in their music and specials division

working on their high-profile music series and annual event specials, such as “Unplugged,” “VMAs,” and “Movie Awards.”

After several years in New York, she was sent to Los Angeles to build the West Coast production department for both MTV and VH1.

After MTV, Morrissey joined Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris as the Head of Television for their online music venture, Farmclub.com. While at Farmclub, she executive produced 65 episodes of the weekly music series “Farmclub.com” on USA Network and met her future partner, Ivan Dudynsky, with whom she started Live Animals Productions and serves as executive producer.

Since the formation of Live Animals, Morrissey has executive produced award shows, music specials, reality series, music videos and promos. She has executive produced the Emmy Awards, “People’s Choice Awards,” “MTV Movie Awards,” “CMT Music Awards” and “Teen Choice Awards.” She also executive produced the NBC series “I Can Do That.” Morrissey has not only gained the attention of millions of viewers, but critics as well. In addition to five PGA Awards for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television, “The Voice” has earned four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Competition Program in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

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TCA panel

Interview with “Only Murders in the Building” stars

TV Interview!

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in "Only Murders in the Building"

Interview with actors from “Only Murders in the Building” on HULU by Suzanne 8/6/21

HULU invited me to their Summer TCA Press Tour. I really enjoyed all five panels I attended, but this one was my favorite because it was the best show of the bunch.  I really loved it — It’s funny and has an intriguing mystery drama as well as an excellent cast.

I grew up watching Steve Martin (“Father of the Bride” and “Pink Panther” movies) and Martin Short (“Schmigadoon!”) on TV and in the movies (especially on “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV” while I was in high school). It was quite an honor to see them via Zoom and to be able to speak with them (albeit briefly). Singing sensation/actress Selena Gomez is also a huge star. Even I’ve heard of  her, and I’m not in the key demographics of her fans. They all do a wonderful job on this show.

“Only Murders In the Building” is about a murder that happens in a large New York City building where these three (and many others) live. They start trying to solve the murder and make a podcast out of it. Steve Martin plays a quiet, former TV actor, Charlie.  Martin Short plays a chatty, washed-up Broadway director, Oliver.  Selena Gomez plays a young woman, Mabel, who’s renovating her aunt’s apartment. None of them have a lot of friends, but of course they do have a lot of secrets, which makes things even more interesting.

Other members of the cast include Nathan Lane, Sting, Aaron Dominguez, and Amy Ryan.

Unfortunately, they didn’t let us record the interview, so I can’t share it with you. It’s a shame because Martin and Short were really hilarious (as you might expect). The panel included actors and executive producers Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, along with executive producers John Hoffman and Dan Fogelman. Steve Martin is also credited as co-creator and wrote one of the episodes. Dan Fogelman created “This Is Us” and writes that show as well.

In the show, Nathan Lane and Martin Short have many funny exchanges. In one of them, Oliver is trying to convince Lane’s character that he should invest in their podcast. Oliver says something about how he was young the last time he lost his money, so Lane’s character retorts, “You were 58!” and then a little bit later, Oliver says again that he was young, and Lane’s character points out, “You were pushing 60!”  Now, I laughed at that, even though I’m turning 60 later this year. So, when they let me ask my question of the panel, I told them that I forgive them for making 60 seem old… I was very pleased when they laughed at my joke. I’ve made two amazing, legendary comedians laugh, so now I can die. There’s probably nothing in my life that will top that! 😉

I also asked Gomez about acting in the show, which is her first adult TV series. I asked her to compare this one with her old Disney shows, such as “Hannah Montana” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place.” She said that she couldn’t compare them because back then, she was just so young and had no idea what she was doing. Now she just tries to soak up as much as she can from these great actors, like a sponge.

I was going to make a joke about how we had two of the “Three Amigos!” together again, but someone else mentioned that movie, so I didn’t bother.

Steve Martin revealed that he is a fan of “true crime” shows, and that’s part of how the show was created. Martin Short said that he enjoyed how different the three of them were. They had “different energies” because he generally plays it very broadly, and Steve Martin is very understated, and Selena Gomez has a very dry delivery. They were very excited to get the many stars they have, such as Sting, Amy Ryan and Nathan Lane. Martin Short also disclosed that Sting did some ad-libbing in his scenes in the elevator with Short’s character, Oliver.

On a serious note, Martin and Short complimented each other when answering the question about how they work so well together after all these years. They said that neither one is neurotic, and they’re not competitive with each other. Gomez praised their type of comedy, which is not very dark or or crass (like a lot of humor today). She also admitted that she’s not sure if she’s a very good actor, saying “I have to be honest, I don’t know if I’m a good actor. I just do my job. And I just really hope that I can live up to, you know, these incredible people.”  Steve Martin disagreed with her on that: “When Selena’s on screen, the show is suddenly elevated. It’s more mysterious, it’s more interesting. There’s an old cliché, the camera loves her. And I would say the camera likes me, and it’s fine with Marty.”

Martin and Short have been together for a long time as friends and co-workers. They have a comedy tour and were thinking of doing another movie when this project came up. They’re thrilled to be doing it again. Short called it, “A delightful surprise.”  It definitely is that for those of us watching this great show.

MORE INFO:

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
Premiere Date: August 31, 2021 
(weekly release)
Date Announcement Teaser: HERE

Synopsis: From the minds of Steve Martin, Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman comes a comedic murder-mystery series for the ages. “Only Murders in the Building” follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

Cast: The series stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Aaron Dominguez and Amy Ryan.

Credits: “Only Murders in the Building” hails from co-creators and writers Steve Martin and John Hoffman (“Grace & Frankie,” “Looking”). Martin and Hoffman will executive produce along with Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Jamie Babbitt, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal.

HULU PRESENTS UPCOMING ORIGINAL SERIES ‘DOPESICK,’ ‘THE GREAT’ SEASON TWO, ‘ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING’ AND ‘NINE PERFECT STRANGERS’ AT THE 2021 TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION SUMMER PRESS TOUR

Company Greenlights Comedy Series ‘This Fool’ Created By and Starring Comedian Chris Estrada and Expands Unscripted True Crime Collection With New Documentary ‘Dead Asleep’  and Docuseries ‘Captive Audience’

Premiere Dates Revealed for ‘Dopesick,’ Second Seasons of ‘The Great’ and ‘Animaniacs,’ as well as the Fall Foodie Lineup of Unscripted Series—Including ‘Baker’s Dozen,’ ‘The Next Thing You Eat’  and a Special Holiday Edition of the Award-Winning ‘Taste The Nation,’ Debuting Thursdays 

 SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2021) — Today, during the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, Hulu presented the company’s lineup of upcoming original programming, including the highly anticipated new drama series “Dopesick,” starring Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rosario Dawson; the second season of acclaimed, Emmy®-nominated comedy series “The Great,” starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult; new comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez; and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the latest limited series from executive producer David E. Kelley and starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy—all of which join the company’s collection of premium original content.

The company also announced a series order for the new Hulu Original comedy series “This Fool,” inspired by the life of up-and-coming comedian Chris Estrada, in which he will also write, star and executive produce. Additionally, the highly successful Hulu Originals true-crime collection expands with two new titles announced today—documentary “Dead Asleep” from award-winning director Skye Borgman and “Captive Audience,” a docuseries which explores the evolution of true-crime storytelling through the lens of one family’s journey.

“Breaking out new and distinct voices continues to be a hallmark of Hulu Original programming, and we are incredibly excited to add Chris Estrada to our roster of multihyphenate creators and to bring ‘This Fool’ to our viewers,” said Craig Erwich, president Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.

Adding, “Looking ahead, we could not be more proud of the lineup of event series coming to Hulu through the end of the year and beyond. Led by the debut of ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ from the brilliant David E. Kelly and a truly all-star cast, and ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ which marks a return to television for Selena Gomez and two comedic giants—Steve Martin and Martin Short—as well as the incredibly timely ‘Dopesick,’ the return of acclaimed comedy series ‘The Great,’ and a rapidly expanding slate of conversation-worthy unscripted series and documentaries, Hulu viewers will have access to many of the best shows coming to television this fall.”

With 41.6 million total subscribers across live and SVOD as of April 3, 2021, Hulu has gained remarkable momentum over the past year, with the streamer recently earning 25 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series, 10 Golden Globe® nominations across five titles, four SAG Award nominations, six WGA Award nominations and seven NAACP Image Award nominations.

ABOUT HULU

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Taleand The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy Award-nominated series Pen15 alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Normal PeopleThe Great, Hillary and Solar Opposites; Oscar® and Emmy nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films Palm Springs, Run and Happiest Season. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime-inspired comedy Only Murders in the Building starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez and the book-to-screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.

Interviews with HULU stars at 2021 TCA Summer Press Tour

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Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in "Only Murders in the Building"

Interview with Andrew Leeds and Alice Lee

TV Interview!

Andrew Leeds and Alice Lee of "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" on NBC

Interview with Andrew Leeds and Alice Lee of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” on NBC by Suzanne 3/23/21

This was a day full of many NBC and Syfy interviews, but this was the most fun and relaxed of all of them. These two are great and funny. We had a good time. I hope you enjoy it! This is a fabulous show.  It’s so funny that Andrew used to be a computer programmer and engineer, when he’s one of the few characters on the show who’s NOT one of those! That’s hilarious.

Suzanne:   Do we get to see you singing and dancing a lot more in the rest of the season?

Andrew:   Yeah, we do. We get to see a little bit in seven. We get to see a little bit in episode eight. So, seven is coming up this weekend, then eight we have a little bit, and then in nine. This one (Alice)’s got some really sweet stuff, and in ten we both have some fun stuff.

Alice:   Yeah. We definitely sing and dance in more.

Suzanne:   Are you allowed to tell us any of the songs?

Andrew:   Well, I guess. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think it really matters.

Alice:   Does it? I don’t know.

Andrew:   I don’t think it matters, actually – for the next episode, anyway.

Alice:   Yeah, yeah, do the next one.

Andrew:   I sing the song “Drift Away” in the next episode. Yeah, and then after that, I don’t think we can say.

Alice:   There’re some throwbacks in there.

Andrew:   Yeah. There’s some really good stuff.

Alice:   Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew:   We all get to sing some cool stuff for sure.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s what’s great about the show; you get all different kinds of songs, recent, old, and all of that.

Andrew:   How often – do you do you always recognize the songs, or are you like, “I don’t know that one.”

Suzanne:   I’m older than I look, so I don’t recognize all the new ones so much. I know all the old ones.

Question:   …[This] may be a hard question, but free to answer [how] you feel, but in the spirit of the events of this past week, the Asian American community, you’ve been active for a while and worked. What’s your thoughts on Asian American stories? You know, in terms of the prejudice that’s faced, because we don’t see that as much on screen I feel as much as we see…This is a reality in which eyes are opening now. So, any words on that, and how’s your experience been?

Alice:   Yeah, totally. I mean, I think it’s very complex, because, yeah, there’s obviously a lot more. I mean, obviously, Asian stories are important, that’s the bottom line. I feel like our stories need to be told, and it’s a lot better. I think things have gotten a lot better in Hollywood and stuff, but I do still feel like there’s a lot more room for growth and more room for other stories, but I think it’s important that we’re being seen, and we have visibility and the more we can, [the better]. I always think there’s room for more. So, yeah.

Question:   …[You] left computer engineering…Can you talk a little bit about that transition? I’m sure you’ve been asked a lot, but I’m always curious to hear that in person from a person like you. How is that transition and what does it mean for you to be on this show? This is a huge, huge thing for you.

Andrew:   Yeah, well, I started acting as a kid, and then, when I went to college, I don’t really know what I was thinking exactly, except that I was like, “Oh, I think programming is fun.” I think I was actually fairly good at that part of computer science; the rest of the parts were really difficult for me. I don’t think I had quite the quite the brain for it, but the programming I was good at, and I enjoyed that.

I did that, and then I actually got a job at Adobe. The guy hired me and told me that he was going to hire me, but he was certain that I would go to LA and pursue an acting career, because he could tell based on my resume from before that. He hired me, and I was like, “No, no, no, I’m gonna come work for Adobe.” Then, I did exactly what he thought I would do and did not take the job and went to LA to continue acting.

So, I don’t think it was ever really anything that I was really seriously going to pursue. I just really liked it. I still think it was a good thing in terms of training my brain to think in a certain way, or explore how to think in a certain way.

Then, doing the show has been, for me, just really wonderful and exciting, because it’s the combination of a lot of things that I’ve done that I love to do, which is, musicals and singing and dancing and acting, and getting to do that all together on camera is kind of an amazing thing, and getting to be around all these incredibly talented people in this way. It’s just been so, so fun and satisfying, and like getting to watch her do her numbers, it’s just awesome. It’s just awesome. I feel so appreciative for getting to do this.

Question:   This is such a unique genre for television. We haven’t seen this in a long time, a show that combines narrative and singing and dancing, and I’m just curious, as actors, do you find that you put more work into your character when they’re speaking or when they’re singing and dancing?

Alice:   Yeah, I feel like it’s probably different for everyone, because I –

Andrew:   She can roll out of bed and sound amazing. That’s true.

Alice:   No, that’s not true. Singing and dancing for me, yeah, that’s definitely my comfort [zone]. In those areas, I’m like, “Okay.” It’s more acting sometimes where I’m like, “What’s my character really doing and stuff?”

Andrew:   I probably should put more energy into the acting, [laughs] but I’d say I put more energy into the singing and dancing, just because it’s always a challenge. It’s always a song that’s harder for me than something that I’ve never done before, a style of music that I’ve never sung before. It’s always a style of dancing that I don’t know how to do, and it always just takes a lot more.

We get together sometimes on the weekends and rehearse if we’re doing it. Like, we’re working on a dance a dance right now. It’s like, we have to get together outside of work to figure out how to do it and help each other, basically.

So, I’d say, definitely – and also, when you’re doing the dance numbers, a lot of them are done in one take. So, if I mess up a scene, they can cut around it; we do another take. But with the dance numbers, if you don’t get it right the whole way through, you’re done. So, the pressure is a lot more, is a lot higher, I’d say, on the musical numbers.

Alice:   The dancing is like, for sure – like having Mandy Moore, it’s so cool.

Andrew:   Yeah.

Alice:   Those rehearsals are so fun, but they are challenging. We’re doing stuff that we normally wouldn’t, but it’s so fun.

Andrew:   It’s also just really fun, so maybe that’s why we all feel this way and spend a lot of time. It’s almost sad when you only get to do like three takes if it actually goes really well. They’re like, “Okay, we got it,” and you’re like, “But I just worked for weeks trying to get this great. I want to do more. I want to do more.”

Here’s the video!

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

In its second season, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” continues to explore the feelings we keep buried on the inside, the human impulse for connection and the undeniable healing power of music and dance. Following a tragedy, Zoey (Jane Levy) and the Clarke family begin to recalibrate and navigate their new normal. As she finds herself in a new dynamic at work and in her love life, Zoey’s musical powers will continue to both awkwardly complicate and inform her worldview as she attempts to rediscover joy and connect with those around her.

The series stars Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Andrew Leeds, Alice Lee, Michael Thomas Grant, Kapil Talwalkar and Mary Steenburgen.

Featuring inventive musical performances set to hit records from a variety of genres and time periods, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming in its freshman season.

Austin Winsberg writes and executive produces. Kim Tannenbaum and Eric Tannenbaum, Paul Feig, David Blackman, Daniel Inkeles and Sam Laybourne also serve as executive producers. Dan Magnante, Jason Wang, Samantha McIntyre, Emily Fox and Robert Sudduth serve as co-executive producers with Michele Greco and Mandy Moore serving as producers.

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” is produced by Lionsgate and Universal Television (a division of Universal Studio Group) in association with the Tannenbaum Company, Feigco Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment and Zihuatenejo Productions.

Andrew Leeds

David, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

Andrew Leeds stars as David on NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

Leeds can most recently be seen opposite Reese Witherspoon in Apple’s “The Morning Show” and opposite Bill Hader in HBO’s “Barry.” Prior to that, he recurred for two seasons on Epix’s “Get Shorty” and starred in the film “Office Christmas Party.”

Other television includes a series regular role on the ABC sitcom “Cristela,” a four-season arc on “Bones” and guest starring on “Veep,” “Silicon Valley,” “Modern Family,” “Shamless” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

As a writer, he has written pilots for various networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, USA and Showtime.

Leeds first appeared on Broadway in the musical “Teddy & Alice” and soon after appeared as Gavroche in “Les Miserables.” He next starred on Broadway in the musical “Falsettos.”

A member of the main company for the Groundlings, Leeds graduated from Stanford University with a degree in computer science. He splits his time between Los Angeles and New York.

Alice Lee

Emily, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

Alice Lee stars as Emily on NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

In film, Lee was most recently seen sharing the screen with Jillian Bell in Amazon’s “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Other films on her resume include Netflix’s “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, “Wish Upon,” Jack, Jules, Esther & Me” and the upcoming “Dream Years.”

On the small screen, Lee had a season-long arc on Facebook’s “Real Bros. of Simi Valley,” “Take Two” and Hulu’s “Gap Year.” She recurred on the award-winning web series “Control Alt Delete,” the YouTube Red series “Sideswiped,” Freeform’s “Switched at Birth,” MTV’s “Faking It” and Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover.” Guest appearances include Amazon’s anthology series “Electric Dreams” “Splitting Up Together,” “Two Broke Girls,” “Grandfathered,” “Son of Zorn” and “The Mindy Project.”

Lee, a Chicago native, attended an open call while she was a student at NYU and was immediately cast in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of “Spring Awakening.” She then went on to be in the original company of Julie Taymor’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and starred as Heather Duke in the cult-classic Off-Broadway musical “Heathers.”

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Andrew Leeds and Alice Lee of "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" on NBC

Interview with Ella Mika

TV Interview!

Ella Mika in "Chad" on TBS

Interview with Ella Mika of “Chad” on TBS by Suzanne 3/24/21

It was very nice to speak with young Ella. She is obviously very smart, and I think she’ll do well as her career progresses.  She was thoughtful in her answers and handled them with aplomb.

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: Tell us how this part came about for you…

Ella: Getting this part was a step by step process. It was my longest audition process I’ve had so far, actually. So first, we had two rounds of auditioning and getting a callback that was more focused on the character and how well I could perform and fit into it. So, that was what the first two rounds of auditioning was made up of.

Then, with each callback, the script changed, so I had to make sure I coached every time before I went in, and I think that was really helpful with getting the role.

Then, we had a third and fourth round of auditioning to really test out my improv skills, and they made sure to send notes on what to adjust and what they really wanted from me each time I auditioned.

Then, the third and fourth round of auditioning was also down to me and one other girl, which really raised the stakes and brought lots of anticipation.

Then, finally, the last two rounds of auditioning were for a chemistry read with Nasim [Pedrad] and Saba [Homayoon], who plays my mother in “Chad,” to see how well us three work together and if we were able to communicate well and really perform our characters well together. In the end, it was the Nasim who called me and gave me the news that I got the part.

Suzanne: Wow, that is a long process.

Ella: Yeah, it was very long.

Suzanne: But at least now you have all that experience. You can handle anything now, right?

Ella: Yeah.

Suzanne: That’s great. From what I’ve heard from actors, a lot of times they change the scripts on you constantly, even after you get the role, and you have to really be on your toes all the time. That would be difficult.

Ella: Yeah.

Suzanne: So, tell us what your character is like.

Ella: So, my character is Niki. She’s really sassy, straightforward, stylish, confident, and she’s slightly bratty, and she’s a young girl as well. She’s my age range, around 13 years old. She’s constantly bickering with her brother Chad (Pedrad), and she’s also known as the popular girl at school, but she has a sweet and sentimental side to her that we get to see on the show as well. A lot of the times she doesn’t act her age, and the show usually describes her as 13 going on 21 just to kind of explain her attitude. She’s just a young girl that I think is confident in herself and never afraid to see things straight up and as they are.

Suzanne: What has been the best thing about filming the show?

Ella: …The best thing was probably the amount of freedom to improv that we had and the amount of positive energy during the process. Nasim, the directors, and the producers, they were all really great about giving us just the right amount of freedom to improv throughout the process of filming, which I think was really important for the show, since it is a comedy. I think some of the best moments and scenes were actually because of a spontaneous improv moment by one or more of the actors, which really got a raw reaction out of us and made the scene a lot funnier than we could have like imagined. The energy throughout filming was also really helpful, because we always felt like each day was better than the last, and all the cast and crew were really great at making it a positive environment to want to work in.

Suzanne: Did the pandemic affect the filming at all?

Ella: Yeah, it affected it quite a bit. That was one of the more unusual and difficult parts of it. We had to stop filming for about five months until we could resume again in August. Then, we had to test for COVID multiple times before we flew out to Oregon again to finish filming. As we arrived, we had to self quarantine for a few days and then get tested. While we were self quarantining, the wardrobe and styling team dropped off some outfits for a fitting for us to take pictures [of] and send to them, and then they came back and they took it again without contact, which was really weird for me, since before the pandemic, we used to go in person for fittings. It was just more like in person with contact with one another. While we were filming, the actors had to be tested around like three times a week, whether or not we were [actually] filming, because we were the most dangerous to others by having our masks off for the filming of the scenes. So, I think the most unusual part, for me, was not being able to interact with others close up and personal, but the entire team was really smart and careful, so we all felt safe and happy.

Suzanne: That’s good. Yeah, that’s pretty much aligned with what I’ve been hearing from other actors about when you’re on set, and they have to keep you away from each other and test you a lot.

Ella: Yeah.

Suzanne: So, the show is about a teenage boy, but he’s being played by an adult woman. Do you know why they went in that direction?

Ella: Yes. So, I think Nasim really wanted to make the show stand out and be different, and what better way to do it than to dress an adult woman as an awkward, puny, teenage boy? I also think she thought it would push the comedic aspect of the show much more if it was an adult that was playing a teen boy and she was in on the joke. Nasim was also the one that wrote the majority of the show, and I think she enjoyed playing different roles that could have led to her writing about her experiences as a Middle Eastern girl moving to America, but as an awkward teenage boy instead to really push the comedy.

Suzanne: And why do you think audiences will enjoy the show?

Ella: I’m sure audiences will enjoy the show, because it’s something new, something different, and you don’t see very many shows like this one. I think it has the perfect combination of comedy and culture, and I think audiences will also love the show for its diversity and strong implement of culture throughout it. The show is really full of people with different looks, races, and ethnicities, so I feel like people are really going to enjoy the inclusivity.

Suzanne: Have you have you done anything with a live audience, like plays and things like that before?

Ella: Yeah, I have. I’d started doing live audience plays, even when I was little and I went to daycare, we had some performances. Then, throughout growing up, I also did a few performances at different theaters. Also, when visiting Armenia, I did a few performances there too.

Suzanne: Great. So, I was wondering what the differences [are] you found between doing live stage performing, especially if you did a comedy and filming without an audience?

Ella: Yeah, I think definitely, filming with an audience, in live and in person, it’s definitely much more difficult and stressful, because you can’t really mess up, as you can’t do more takes. Then, they’re quite different filming them, because one is really in person, you do it on the spot, you do it in the moment, and then the other, you get so many scenes from different angles, you take so many takes, and you can do it out of order, and in the end, it all gets put together. So, you have your best moments on camera.

So, I think I enjoy the thrill of both. I enjoy the thrill of being in the moment for theater, but I think for films, I love that most, because I’m able to connect with others, and it’s just more fun for me to be able to put [out] my very best.

Suzanne: …Your character looks very stylish, as you mentioned earlier, in the clips I’ve seen. How is your own style similar or different from hers?

Ella: So, Niki is definitely a stylish girl, and she includes girly pieces in her wardrobe, but she also has some edgier pieces, and I think that’s something we both have in common. She’s also switching up her looks quite a bit, whether [it’s] her shoes or her hair or her style, which is another thing I like to do quite often. I just like the change. And she loves pink quite a bit. So, while playing her role, I actually started to like the color pink too, which was unexpected for me. Unlike Niki though, I usually tend to have a more minimalistic look, and I love neutrals, whereas Niki is often exploring colors and patterns and things of the sort.

Suzanne: Do you think the way she’s changing a wardrobe is her way of fitting in to the culture, like Chad is trying to fit in his way?

Ella: Yeah, and I think also because she is the popular girl, she’s often a trendsetter at her school. So, oftentimes she’ll wear something, and then her friends will. So, I think she also switches it up for that reason, to kind of show people that whatever she does is basically what starts the trend.

Suzanne: She and Chad argue quite a bit. Do you have siblings in real life, and did this help you in the role?

Ella: Yeah, I do have siblings in real life, and that helps a lot, definitely. I have a three-month-old baby brother and an eight-year-old sister who I’m constantly arguing with, and which, for once, came in handy, which I never thought would happen. So, Niki and her brother, Chad, arguing almost came as a natural instinct to me when filming. So, that was pretty easy for both me and Nasim, because I know she has a younger sister too. So, definitely I use some of the things my sister and I say to one another, like quotes, when arguing, anytime we improvised with Nasim. So, that definitely was a great help.

Suzanne: Had you seen Nasim on SNL or elsewhere before you started working with her?

Ella: Yeah, I saw her quite a lot on SNL, and she’s always been successful in putting a smile on my face. I’ve also seen some of her work in the sitcom New Girl where she’s in for a few episodes and parts. I also loved her a lot in the live remake of Aladdin, which recently came out.

Suzanne: Does she star in that? I don’t think I saw that one.

Ella:
Yeah, she played Jasmine’s maid.

Suzanne:
Oh, okay.

Ella: I really loved seeing her, because it was so weird to see her as a pretty dressed up girl, when usually on the show, I see her looking like a teenage boy.

Suzanne: Were your parents there on set with you?

Ella: My dad had to work, and my mom had to take care of my little sister, so my grandma was actually the one that traveled with me and came on set. She doesn’t know the language, so I was really the one helping her figure things out, but I don’t really mind that much, because I’m really an independent person. I’ve always been like that. So, I like figuring things out myself and learning them throughout the process, but my parents let me know that they’re always here, and if I need help figuring anything out, but I just like doing it myself.

Suzanne: Was there anyone on set though that took you under their wing or helped you, that kind of thing?

Ella: Yeah, all of the cast was usually older than me, but not by too much. During school there was Alexa Loo and Jake Ryan, who I did school with, and they both helped me a lot to feel welcomed. Their parents as well were very welcoming and let me know that if there was ever anything I needed, we could help and talk to one another. And before the pandemic, when we were filming back in January in August, we actually hung out with Alexa. Jake couldn’t attend that time, but Alexa and I went out for ice cream and just really bonded.

Suzanne: What was different about filming “Chad” than other projects you’ve worked on?

Ella: The entire cast and crew were the kindest that I’ve worked with so far. And again, the freedom to improv a good amount was really different for me than any other project I’ve worked on. I really had so much fun while filming, and unlike other projects I’ve worked on, the entire cast was able to bond so quickly, in such a short amount of time, because we all really liked one another and [unintelligible]. So, filming “Chad” was one of the most positive experiences that I’ve personally ever had, and the show overall just had three interesting storylines for each episode, which kept things really fun.

Suzanne: And you have another movie coming out starring Elijah Wood. Can you tell us about that one?

Ella: Yeah, I honestly don’t remember auditioning for the movie, so when I had gotten the news that I got the role, it was really surprising to me. Nonetheless, I was happy to have a great opportunity and got prepared to film. So, for the amount of time I filmed, our set was a house in a small neighborhood…I had my fitting and school was done there at the small neighborhood in the tiny house, and it was an interesting experience. I had to play a role that was younger than I was, but I was ready for any roles I got. So, I was really grateful for the experience, and I’m glad I had the opportunity.

Suzanne: What was the name of the movie?

Ella: It’s, I think, LA Rush.

Suzanne: Do you know if it’s done filming and when it will be out?

Ella: It was filmed a while ago. I believe it was filmed about like two or three years ago, actually. So, I was waiting to see when it would come out, because it had been quite a while, but I’m not sure when they’re planning on releasing it.

Suzanne: Okay. And you actually worked with Elijah Wood?

Ella: No, I didn’t. I worked with another girl and a small little family.

Suzanne: Well, he’s really nice. So, if you ever get to talk to him, he’s a great guy.

Ella: Yeah.

Suzanne: I’ve interviewed him a few times. He’s always super nice.

So, do you have any plans besides acting? Would you like to direct, write, or anything like that in the future?

Ella: As of now, I want to remain an actress for as long as life takes me to be, which I’m hoping is quite a while, but I’m open to directing and possibly writing in the future. I definitely think directing is something I would explore, and if not directing, then at least producing. But then, I really enjoy writing, so writing might also interest me quite a lot when I’m a bit older.

Suzanne: Let me ask this. Say if you decided you didn’t want to be in the entertainment industry anymore – you’re only 14, right? So, what do you think you would like to do if you weren’t in the entertainment industry? What other talents or desires do you have that you think you would do for say, a second job, if you had to?

Ella: I’d definitely be a CEO and have my own business. I think I’ll still do that with acting, that’s one of my goals, but maybe a business that’s into makeup or into fashion, because those really interests me.

Before I was thinking possibly a physicist, but we’ll see how that goes.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s a little tougher.

Ella: Yeah.

Suzanne: But you must enjoy math then?

Ella: Yeah, I do.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Ella Mika in "Chad" on TBSArmenian actress and superstar in the making Ella Mika (BIRDS OF PREY) is taking over screens nationwide next month as she stars in TBS’ “CHAD.” The sure to be hit comedy premieres on April 6th and features SNL alum, Nasim Pedrad who created, wrote, and executive produced the show. Ella stars as “Niki”, ‘Chad’s’ younger, popular sister, that often bickers with her dorky brother at school and in family settings. ‘Chad’ (Nasim Pedrad) is on a mission to become popular using every trick in the book, all while the two endure their mother’s new dating life and reconcile with cultural identity. The show is packed full of comedy, improv and those cringey middle-school moments we all love and loathe the same.

TBS “Chad” Teaser

Born in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, Ella’s journey to America started on April 6th 2008, just after her first birthday, and coincidentally, the same date being used for the premiere of “Chad” next month. Her parents won aposter for "Chad" on TBS Green Card and moved to Los Angeles. Her father was a prominent actor back in Armenia, so it was only a matter of time before Ella would also catch the acting bug. Signs first appeared while she was in daycare, often taking on leading roles in plays and poems with her class. After a couple years of appearing in commercials for “My Little Pony” and “Red Robin,” while simultaneously taking acting classes, Ella landed her first mainstream role as young Helena in BIRDS OF PREY, where she got to work with Margot Robbie. Fast track to “Chad,” Ella has her first series regular role, embracing improv and refining her comedic craft. Filming started and stopped as Covid hit, but the cast was able to complete the show in the Summer and it’s ready to share with audiences nationwide.

When Ella isn’t juggling schooling with acting or booking her next role, she loves to embrace the arts of all kinds. She’s trained in Latin American ballroom, loves fashion, cooking, baking, and stays connected to herself through meditation and yoga.

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Ella Mika in "Chad" on TBS

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Season 1

1. 1-1 31 January 1999 “Death Has a Shadow”
2. 1-2 11 April 1999 “I Never Met the Dead Man”
3. 1-3 18 April 1999 “Chitty Chitty Death Bang”
4. 1-4 25 April 1999 “Mind Over Murder”
5. 1-5 02 May 1999 “A Hero Sits Next Door”
6. 1-6 09 May 1999 “The Son Also Draws”
7. 1-7 16 May 1999 “Brian: Portrait of a Dog”

Season 2

8. 2-1 23 September 1999 “Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater”
9. 2-2 30 September 1999 “Holy Crap”
10. 2-3 26 December 1999 “DaBoom”
11. 2-4 07 March 2000 “Brian in Love”
12. 2-5 14 March 2000 “Love Thy Trophy”
13. 2-6 21 March 2000 “Death is a Bitch”
14. 2-7 28 March 2000 “The King is Dead”
15. 2-8 28 March 2000 “I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar”
16. 2-9 04 April 2000 “If I’m Dyin’ I’m Lyin'”
17. 2-10 11 April 2000 “Running Mates”
18. 2-11 18 April 2000 “A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Bucks”
19. 2-12 25 April 2000 “Fifteen Minutes of Shame”
20. 2-13 30 May 2000 “Road to Rhode Island”
21. 2-14 06 June 2000 “Let’s Go to the Hop”
22. 2-15 13 June 2000 “Dammit Janet”
23. 2-16 27 June 2000 “There’s Something About Paulie”
24. 2-17 27 June 2000 “He’s Too Sexy for His Fat”
25. 2-18 12 July 2000 “E. Peterbus Unum”
26. 2-19 18 July 2000 “The Story on Page One”
27. 2-20 25 July 2000 “Wasted Talent”
28. 2-21 01 August 2000 “Fore, Father”

Season 3

29. 3-1 11 July 2001 “The Thin White Line”
30. 3-2 18 July 2001 “Brian Does Hollywood”
31. 3-3 25 July 2001 “Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington”
32. 3-4 01 August 2001 “One If by Clam, Two If by Sea”
33. 3-5 08 August 2001 “And the Wiener is…”
34. 3-6 15 August 2001 “Death Lives”
35. 3-7 22 August 2001 “Lethal Weapons”
36. 3-8 29 August 2001 “The Kiss Seen Around the World”
37. 3-9 05 September 2001 “Mr. Saturday Knight”
38. 3-10 19 September 2001 “Fish Out of Water”
39. 3-11 08 November 2001 “Emission Impossible”
40. 3-12 15 November 2001 “To Love and Die in Dixie”
41. 3-13 29 November 2001 “Screwed the Pooch”
42. 3-14 06 December 2001 “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father…Brother?”
43. 3-15 20 December 2001 “Ready, Willing, and Disabled”
44. 3-16 21 December 2001 “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”
45. 3-17 17 January 2002 “Brian Wallows and Peter’s Swallows”
46. 3-18 24 January 2002 “From Method to Madness”
47. 3-19 31 January 2002 “Stuck Together, Torn Apart”
48. 3-20 07 February 2002 “Road to Europe”
49. 3-21 14 February 2002 “Family Guy Viewer Mail (1)”
50. 3-22 10 December 2004 “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein”

Season 4

51. 4-1 01 May 2005 “North by North Quahog”
52. 4-2 08 May 2005 “Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High”
53. 4-3 15 May 2005 “Blind Ambition”
54. 4-4 05 June 2005 “Don’t Make Me Over”
55. 4-5 12 June 2005 “The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire”
56. 4-6 19 June 2005 “Petarded”
57. 4-7 26 June 2005 “Brian the Bachelor”
58. 4-8 10 July 2005 “8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter”
59. 4-9 17 July 2005 “Breaking Out is Hard to Do”
60. 4-10 24 July 2005 “Model Misbehavior”
61. 4-11 11 September 2005 “Peter’s Got Woods”
62. 4-12 18 September 2005 “The Perfect Castaway”
63. 4-13 25 September 2005 “Jungle Love”
64. 4-14 06 November 2005 “PTV”
65. 4-15 13 November 2005 “Brian Goes Back to College”
66. 4-16 20 November 2005 “The Courtship of Stewie’s Father”
67. 4-17 27 November 2005 “The Fat Guy Strangler”
68. 4-18 18 December 2005 “The Father, The Son and the Holy Fonz”
69. 4-19 08 January 2006 “Brian Sings and Swings”
70. 4-20 29 January 2006 “Patriot Games”
71. 4-21 12 March 2006 “I Take Thee, Quagmire”
72. 4-22 26 March 2006 “Sibling Rivalry”
73. 4-23 09 April 2006 “Deep Throats”
74. 4-24 23 April 2006 “Peterotica”
75. 4-25 30 April 2006 “You May Kiss the…Uh…Guy Who Receives”
76. 4-26 07 May 2006 “Petergeist”
77. 4-27 14 May 2006 “Untitled Griffin Family History”
78. 4-28 21 May 2006 “Stewie B. Goode”
79. 4-29 21 May 2006 “Bango Was His Name Oh!”
80. 4-30 21 May 2006 “Stu & Stewie’s Excellent Adventure”

Season 5

81. 5-1 10 September 2006 “Stewie Loves Lois”
82. 5-2 17 September 2006 “Mother Tucker”
83. 5-3 24 September 2006 “Hell Comes to Quahog”
84. 5-4 05 November 2006 “Saving Private Brian”
85. 5-5 12 November 2006 “Whistle While Your Wife Works”
86. 5-6 19 November 2006 “Prick Up Your Ears”
87. 5-7 26 November 2006 “Chick Cancer”
88. 5-8 17 December 2006 “Barely Legal”
89. 5-9 28 January 2007 “Road to Rupert”
90. 5-10 11 February 2007 “Peter’s Two Dads”
91. 5-11 18 February 2007 “The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou”
92. 5-12 04 March 2007 “Airport ’07”
93. 5-13 11 March 2007 “Bill and Peter’s Bogus Adventure”
94. 5-14 25 March 2007 “No Meals on Wheels”
95. 5-15 29 April 2007 “Boys Do Cry”
96. 5-16 06 May 2007 “No Chris Left Behind”
97. 5-17 13 May 2007 “It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One”
98. 5-18 20 May 2007 “Meet the Quagmires”

Season 6
99. 6-1 23 September 2007 “Blue Harvest (60 min)”
100. 6-2 30 September 2007 “Movin’ Out”
101. 6-3 07 October 2007 “Believe It or Not, Joe’s Walking on Air”
102. 6-4 04 November 2007 “Stewie Kills Lois”
103. 6-5 11 November 2007 “Lois Kills Stewie”
104. 6-6 18 November 2007 “Padre de Familia”
105. 6-7 25 November 2007 “Peter’s Daughter”
106. 6-8 13 January 2008 “McStroke”
107. 6-9 17 February 2008 “Back to the Woods”
108. 6-10 02 March 2008 “Play It Again, Brian”
109. 6-11 27 April 2008 “The Former Life of Brian”
110. 6-12 04 May 2008 “Long John Peter”

Season 7

111. 7-1 28 September 2008 “Love Blactually”
112. 7-2 05 October 2008 “I Dream of Jesus”
113. 7-3 19 October 2008 “Road to Germany”
114. 7-4 02 November 2008 “Baby Not on Board”
115. 7-5 09 November 2008 “The Man with Two Brians”
116. 7-6 16 November 2008 “Tales of a Third Grade Nothing”
117. 7-7 15 February 2009 “Ocean’s Three and a Half”
118. 7-8 08 March 2009 “Family Gay”
119. 7-9 15 March 2009 “The Juice is Loose!”
120. 7-10 22 March 2009 “FOX-y Lady”
121. 7-11 29 March 2009 “Not All Dogs Go to Heaven”
122. 7-12 19 April 2009 “420”
123. 7-13 26 April 2009 “Stew-Roids”
124. 7-14 03 May 2009 “We Love You Conrad”
125. 7-15 10 May 2009 “Three Kings”
126. 7-16 17 May 2009 “Peter’s Progress”

Season 8

127. 8-1 27 September 2009 “Road to the Multiverse”
128. 8-2 04 October 2009 “Family Goy”
129. 8-3 11 October 2009 “Spies Reminiscent of Us”
130. 8-4 08 November 2009 “Brian’s Got a Brand New Bag”
131. 8-5 08 November 2009 “Hannah Banana”
132. 8-6 15 November 2009 “Quagmire’s Baby”
133. 8-7 22 November 2009 “Jerome is the New Black”
134. 8-8 29 November 2009 “Dog Gone”
135. 8-9 13 December 2009 “Business Guy”
136. 8-10 03 January 2010 “Big Man on Hippocampus”
137. 8-11 31 January 2010 “Dial Meg for Murder”
138. 8-12 14 February 2010 “Extra Large Medium”
139. 8-13 14 March 2010 “Go, Stewie, Go!”
140. 8-14 21 March 2010 “Peter-assment”
141. 8-15 28 March 2010 “Brian Griffin’s House of Payne”
142. 8-16 11 April 2010 “April in Quahog”
143. 8-17 02 May 2010 “Brian & Stewie”
144. 8-18 09 May 2010 “Quagmire’s Dad”
145. 8-19 16 May 2010 “The Splendid Source”
146. 8-20 23 May 2010 “Something, Something, Something, Dark Side” (60 min)
147. 8-21 20 June 2010 “Partial Terms of Endearment”

Season 9

148. 9-1 26 September 2010 “And Then There Were Fewer”
149. 9-2 03 October 2010 “Excellence in Broadcasting”
150. 9-3 10 October 2010 “Welcome Back, Carter”
151. 9-4 07 November 2010 “Halloween on Spooner Street”
152. 9-5 14 November 2010 “Baby, You Knock Me Out”
153. 9-6 21 November 2010 “Brian Writes a Bestseller”
154. 9-7 12 December 2010 “Road to the North Pole”
155. 9-8 09 January 2011 “New Kidney in Town”
156. 9-9 16 January 2011 “And I’m Joyce Kinney”
157. 9-10 13 February 2011 “Friends of Peter G”
158. 9-11 20 February 2011 “German Guy”
159. 9-12 06 March 2011 “The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair”
160. 9-13 20 March 2011 “Trading Places”
161. 9-14 10 April 2011 “Tiegs for Two”
162. 9-15 17 April 2011 “Brothers & Sisters”
163. 9-16 08 May 2011 “The Big Bang Theory”
164. 9-17 15 May 2011 “Foreign Affairs”
165. 9-18 22 May 2011 “It’s a Trap!” (60 min)

Season 10
166. 10-1 25 September 2011 “Lottery Fever”
167. 10-2 02 October 2011 “Seahorse Seashell Party”
168. 10-3 30 October 2011 “Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q”
169. 10-4 06 November 2011 “Stewie Goes for a Drive”
170. 10-5 13 November 2011 “Back to the Pilot”
171. 10-6 20 November 2011 “Thanksgiving”
172. 10-7 27 November 2011 “Amish Guy”
173. 10-8 04 December 2011 “Cool Hand Peter”
174. 10-9 11 December 2011 “Grumpy Old Man”
175. 10-10 08 January 2012 “Quagmire & Meg”
176. 10-11 15 January 2012 “The Blind Side”
177. 10-12 29 January 2012 “Livin’ on a Prayer”
178. 10-13 12 February 2012 “Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream”
179. 10-14 19 February 2012 “Be Careful What You Fish For”
180. 10-15 04 March 2012 “Burning Down the Bayit”
181. 10-16 11 March 2012 “Killer Queen”
182. 10-17 18 March 2012 “Forget-Me-Not”
183. 10-18 01 April 2012 “You Can’t Do That on Television, Peter”
184. 10-19 29 April 2012 “Mr. and Mrs. Stewie”
185. 10-20 06 May 2012 “Leggo My Meg-O”
186. 10-21 13 May 2012 “Tea Peter”
187. 10-22 20 May 2012 “Family Guy Viewer Mail (2)”
188. 10-23 20 May 2012 “Internal Affairs”

Season 11
189. 11-1 30 September 2012 “Into Fat Air”
190. 11-2 07 October 2012 “Ratings Guy”
191. 11-3 04 November 2012 “The Old Man & the Big ‘C'”
192. 11-4 11 November 2012 “Yug Ylimaf”
193. 11-5 18 November 2012 “Joe’s Revenge”
194. 11-6 25 November 2012 “Lois Comes Out of Her Shell”
195. 11-7 09 December 2012 “Friends Without Benefits”
196. 11-8 23 December 2012 “Jesus, Mary & Joseph”
197. 11-9 06 January 2013 “Space Cadet”
198. 11-10 13 January 2013 “Brian’s Play”
199. 11-11 27 January 2013 “The Giggity Wife”
200. 11-12 10 February 2013 “Valentine’s Day in Quahog”
201. 11-13 17 February 2013 “Chris Cross”
202. 11-14 10 March 2013 “Call Girl”
203. 11-15 17 March 2013 “Turban Cowboy”
204. 11-16 24 March 2013 “12 and a Half Angry Men”
205. 11-17 14 April 2013 “Bigfat”
206. 11-18 28 April 2013 “Total Recall”
207. 11-19 05 May 2013 “Save the Clam”
208. 11-20 12 May 2013 “Farmer Guy”
209. 11-21 19 May 2013 “Roads to Vegas”
210. 11-22 19 May 2013 “No Country Club for Old Men”

Season 12
211. 12-1 29 September 2013 “Finders Keepers”
212. 12-2 06 October 2013 “Vestigial Peter”
213. 12-3 03 November 2013 “Quagmire’s Quagmire”
214. 12-4 10 November 2013 “A Fistful of Meg”
215. 12-5 17 November 2013 “Boopa-dee Bappa-dee”
216. 12-6 24 November 2013 “Life of Brian”
217. 12-7 08 December 2013 “Into Harmony’s Way”
218. 12-8 15 December 2013 “Christmas Guy”
219. 12-9 05 January 2014 “Peter Problems”
220. 12-10 12 January 2014 “Grimm Job”
221. 12-11 26 January 2014 “Brian’s a Bad Father”
222. 12-12 09 March 2014 “Mom’s the Word”
223. 12-13 16 March 2014 “3 Acts of God”
224. 12-14 23 March 2014 “Fresh Heir”
225. 12-15 30 March 2014 “Secondhand Spoke”
226. 12-16 06 April 2014 “Herpe the Love Sore”
227. 12-17 13 April 2014 “The Most Interesting Man in the World”
228. 12-18 27 April 2014 “Baby Got Black”
229. 12-19 04 May 2014 “Meg Stinks!”
230. 12-20 11 May 2014 “He’s Bla-ack!”
231. 12-21 18 May 2014 “Chap Stewie”

Season 13
232. 13-1 28 September 2014 “The Simpsons Guy” (60 min)
233. 13-2 05 October 2014 “The Book of Joe”
234. 13-3 19 October 2014 “Baking Bad”
235. 13-4 09 November 2014 “Brian the Closer”
236. 13-5 16 November 2014 “Turkey Guys”
237. 13-6 07 December 2014 “The 2000-Year-Old Virgin”
238. 13-7 04 January 2015 “Stewie, Chris & Brian’s Excellent Adventure”
239. 13-8 11 January 2015 “Our Idiot Brian”
240. 13-9 25 January 2015 “This Little Piggy”
241. 13-10 08 February 2015 “Quagmire’s Mom”
242. 13-11 15 February 2015 “Encyclopedia Griffin”
243. 13-12 08 March 2015 “Stewie is Enceinte”
244. 13-13 15 March 2015 “Dr. C and the Women”
245. 13-14 12 April 2015 “#JOLO”
246. 13-15 19 April 2015 “Once Bitten”
247. 13-16 26 April 2015 “Roasted Guy”
248. 13-17 03 May 2015 “Fighting Irish”
249. 13-18 17 May 2015 “Take My Wife”

Season 14
250. 14-1 27 September 2015 “Pilling Them Softly”
251. 14-2 04 October 2015 “Papa Has a Rollin’ Son”
252. 14-3 11 October 2015 “Guy, Robot”
253. 14-4 25 October 2015 “Peternormal Activity”
254. 14-5 08 November 2015 “Peter, Chris, & Brian”
255. 14-6 15 November 2015 “Peter’s Sister”
256. 14-7 22 November 2015 “Hot Pocket-Dial”
257. 14-8 06 December 2015 “Brokeback Swanson”
258. 14-9 13 December 2015 “A Shot in the Dark”
259. 14-10 03 January 2016 “Candy, Quahog Marshmallow”
260. 14-11 10 January 2016 “The Peanut Butter Kid”
261. 14-12 17 January 2016 “Scammed Yankees”
262. 14-13 14 February 2016 “An App a Day”
263. 14-14 21 February 2016 “Underage Peter”
264. 14-15 06 March 2016 “A Lot Going on Upstairs”
265. 14-16 13 March 2016 “The Heartbreak Dog”
266. 14-17 17 April 2016 “Take a Letter”
267. 14-18 08 May 2016 “The New Adventures of Old Tom”
268. 14-19 15 May 2016 “Run, Chris, Run”
269. 14-20 22 May 2016 “Road to India”

Season 15
270. 15-1 25 September 2016 “The Boys in the Band”
271. 15-2 02 October 2016 “Bookie of the Year”
272. 15-3 16 October 2016 “American Gigg-olo”
273. 15-4 23 October 2016 “Inside Family Guy”
274. 15-5 06 November 2016 “Chris Has Got a Date, Date, Date, Date, Date”
275. 15-6 13 November 2016 “Hot Shots”
276. 15-7 20 November 2016 “High School English”
277. 15-8 04 December 2016 “Carter and Tricia”
278. 15-9 11 December 2016 “How the Griffin Stole Christmas”
279. 15-10 08 January 2017 “Passenger Fatty-Seven”
280. 15-11 15 January 2017 “Gronkowsbees”
281. 15-12 12 February 2017 “Peter’s Def Jam”
282. 15-13 19 February 2017 “The Finer Strings”
283. 15-14 05 March 2017 “The Dating Game”
284. 15-15 12 March 2017 “Cop and a Half-Wit”
285. 15-16 19 March 2017 “Saturated Fat Guy”
286. 15-17 26 March 2017 “Peter’s Lost Youth”
287. 15-18 30 April 2017 “The Peter Principal”
288. 15-19 21 May 2017 “Dearly Deported”
289. 15-20 21 May 2017 “A House Full of Peters”

Season 16
290. 16-1 01 October 2017 “Emmy-Winning Episode”
291. 16-2 08 October 2017 “Foxx in the Men House”
292. 16-3 15 October 2017 “Nanny Goats”
293. 16-4 22 October 2017 “Follow the Money”
294. 16-5 05 November 2017 “Three Directors”
295. 16-6 12 November 2017 “The D in Apartment 23”
296. 16-7 19 November 2017 “Petey IV”
297. 16-8 03 December 2017 “Crimes and Meg’s Demeanor”
298. 16-9 10 December 2017 “Don’t Be a Dickens at Christmas”
299. 16-10 07 January 2018 “Boy (Dog) Meets Girl (Dog)”
300. 16-11 14 January 2018 “Dog Bites Bear”
301. 16-12 18 March 2018 “Send in Stewie, Please”
302. 16-13 25 March 2018 “V is for Mystery”
303. 16-14 01 April 2018 “Veteran Guy”
304. 16-15 08 April 2018 “The Woof of Wall Street”
305. 16-16 22 April 2018 “‘Family Guy’ Through the Years”
306. 16-17 29 April 2018 “Switch the Flip”
307. 16-18 06 May 2018 “HTTPete”
308. 16-19 13 May 2018 “The Unkindest Cut”
309. 16-20 20 May 2018 “Are You There God? It’s Me, Peter”

Season 17
310. 17-1 30 September 2018 “Married… with Cancer”
311. 17-2 07 October 2018 “Dead Dog Walking”
312. 17-3 14 October 2018 “Pal Stewie”
313. 17-4 21 October 2018 “Big Trouble in Little Quahog”
314. 17-5 04 November 2018 “Regarding Carter”
315. 17-6 11 November 2018 “Stand By Meg”
316. 17-7 18 November 2018 “The Griffin Winter Games”
317. 17-8 02 December 2018 “Con Heiress”
318. 17-9 09 December 2018 “Pawtucket Pete”
319. 17-10 06 January 2019 “Hefty Shades of Gray”
320. 17-11 13 January 2019 “Trump Guy”
321. 17-12 10 February 2019 “Bri, Robot”
322. 17-13 17 February 2019 “Trans-Fat”
323. 17-14 03 March 2019 “Family Guy Lite”
324. 17-15 10 March 2019 “No Giggity, No Doubt”
325. 17-16 24 March 2019 “You Can’t Handle the Booth”
326. 17-17 31 March 2019 “Island Adventure”
327. 17-18 28 April 2019 “Throw It Away”
328. 17-19 05 May 2019 “Girl, Internetted”
329. 17-20 12 May 2019 “Adam West High”

Season 18
330. 18-1 29 September 2019 “Yacht Rocky”
331. 18-2 06 October 2019 “Bri-Da”
332. 18-3 13 October 2019 “Absolutely Babulous”
333. 18-4 20 October 2019 “Disney’s the Reboot”
334. 18-5 03 November 2019 “Cat Fight”
335. 18-6 10 November 2019 “Peter & Lois’ Wedding”
336. 18-7 17 November 2019 “Heart Burn”
337. 18-8 24 November 2019 “Shanksgiving”
338. 18-9 15 December 2019 “Christmas is Coming”
339. 18-10 05 January 2020 “Connie’s Celica”
340. 18-11 16 February 2020 “Short Cuts”
341. 18-12 23 February 2020 “Undergrounded”
342. 18-13 01 March 2020 “Rich Old Stewie”
343. 18-14 08 March 2020 “The Movement”
344. 18-15 15 March 2020 “Baby Stewie”
345. 18-16 19 April 2020 “Start Me Up”
346. 18-17 26 April 2020 “Coma Guy”
347. 18-18 03 May 2020 “Better Off Meg”
348. 18-19 10 May 2020 “Holly Bibble”
349. 18-20 17 May 2020 “Movin’ In” (Principal Shepherd’s Song)

Season 19
350. 19-1 27 September 2020 “Stewie’s First Word”
351. 19-2 04 October 2020 “The Talented Mr. Stewie”
352. 19-3 11 October 2020 “Boys & Squirrels”
353. 19-4 01 November 2020 “Cutawayland”
354. 19-5 08 November 2020 “La Famiglia Guy”
355. 19-6 15 November 2020 “Meg’s Wedding”
356. 19-7 22 November 2020 “Wild Wild West”
357. 19-8 06 December 2020 “Pawtucket Pat”
358. 19-9 13 December 2020 “The First No L”
359. 19-10 17 January 2021 “Fecal Matters”
360. 19-11 21 February 2021 “Boy’s Best Friend”
361. 19-12 28 February 2021 “And Then There’s Fraud”
362. 19-13 07 March 2021 “PeTerminator”
363. 19-14 14 March 2021 “The Marrying Kind”
364. 19-15 21 March 2021 “Tales of Former Sports Glory”
365. 19-16 28 March 2021 “Customer of the Week”
366. 19-17 “Who’s Brian Now?”
367. 19-18 “The Young Parent Trap”
368. 19-19 “Meg Goes to College”
369. 19-20 “Family Cat”
370. 19-21 “Must Love Dogs”
371. 19-22 “Brief Encounter”
372. 19-23 “Rock Hard”

Info from EpGuides

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Family Guy

Primetime TV Review of “Resident Alien”

TV Review!

"Resident Alien" on Syfy

“Resident Alien” on Syfy Review by Suzanne 2/5/21

I love this show. Syfy let me see the first 7 episodes because I recently interviewed the star of the show, Alan Tudyk. The first episode is good, but it gets better and better. There were many times I laughed out loud. The story is great, and it has many wonderful characters.

Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Doom Patrol) stars as an alien that crash-lands in the small, snowy town of Patience, Colorado. He finds this doctor in a nearby cabin and kills him, then takes his identity. His mission was to drop a small device that will kill everyone, but he ends up crashing instead. He then has to try to find his spaceship and the pieces of the device, out in the snowy wilderness.

However, the town doctor is found dead, so the alien, now posing as Harry, the doctor, takes over his office temporarily. It’s fun to watch Harry learn how to be human. We also hear his voice-over, which is very funny. There are many characters, but the writing is so good that you don’t get any confusion about who they all are. Harry makes friends with the doctor’s nurse, Asta (Sara Tomko), and her friend D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund), the town bartender. There is also a funny town sheriff, Mike (Corey Reynolds), his deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen), the mayor (Levi Fiehler), the mayor’s son, Max (Judah Prehn), and more. Max is the only one in town that can see the alien as he really is.

You’ll notice that the show will remind you of other scifi shows, like “Mork & Mindy,” “Starman,” “Alien Nation” and more. We’ve really never seen a scifi comedy like this one, however. Not only is it a comedy/drama/scifi show, but it’s also a mystery. For each episode, they really leave you wanting more. As the episodes progress, we see that Harry is not alone here and that there are some people who know he’s here (and are not friendly). Linda Hamilton (“The Terminator”) plays a general that’s hunting for the alien.

Asta and her family are native Americans, and it’s great that they showcase them because that’s rare on American TV. Canadian TV shows seem to show them much more often than we do on this side of the border.

If you’re a fan of scifi or comedy, you won’t want to miss this one.

MORE INFORMATION:

‘RESIDENT ALIEN’ BLOOPER REEL & DELETED SCENE REVEALED
 
Season Finale Airs Wednesday, March 31 at 10/9c
 
In advance of the season finale, we’re excited to share the hysterical season 1 blooper reel and deleted scene from episode 7.
 

Based on the Dark Horse comic, SYFY’s RESIDENT ALIEN follows Harry, an alien played by Alan Tudyk (“Rogue One,” “Firefly”) that crash lands on Earth and passes himself off as a small-town human doctor. Arriving with a secret mission to kill all humans, Harry starts off living a simple life… but things get a bit rocky when he’s roped into solving a local murder and realizes he needs to assimilate into his new world. As he does so, he begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his mission and asking the big life questions like: “Are human beings worth saving?” and “Why do they fold their pizza before eating it?”

From UCP, in association with Amblin TV and Dark Horse Entertainment, RESIDENT ALIEN was adapted to television by executive producer Chris Sheridan (“Family Guy”). Mike Richardson (“Hellboy”) and Keith Goldberg (“The Legend of Tarzan”) of Dark Horse Entertainment (“The Umbrella Academy”), and Justin Falvey (“The Americans”) and Darryl Frank (“The Americans”) of Amblin TV also executive produce. David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”) executive produced and directed the pilot. “Resident Alien” also stars Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund and Levi Fiehler.

SYFY PICKS UP DARK HORSE COMICS’ ‘RESIDENT ALIEN’ TO SERIES

breaking news | May 30, 2019Alan Tudyk Stars in Series from UCP, with Chris Sheridan Executive Producing Alongside Dark Horse Entertainment and Amblin TV

David Dobkin Executive Produced and Directed the Pilot

NEW YORK, NY – February 28, 2019 — SYFY today announced the series pickup of RESIDENT ALIEN, a comedic drama based on the popular Dark Horse comics series by co-creators Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. From Universal Content Productions (UCP), in association with Amblin TV and Dark Horse Entertainment, the series was adapted to television by executive producer Chris Sheridan (“Family Guy”). Mike Richardson (“Hellboy”) and Keith Goldberg (“The Legend of Tarzan”) of Dark Horse Entertainment (“The Umbrella Academy”), and Justin Falvey (“The Americans”) and Darryl Frank (“The Americans”) of Amblin TV will also executive produce. David Dobkin (“The Judge”) executive produced and directed the pilot.

RESIDENT ALIEN is a twisted and comedic fish-out-of-water story that follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Alan Tudyk) who, after taking on the identity of a small-town Colorado doctor, slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth — ultimately asking the question, “Are human beings worth saving?”

Tudyk (“Doom Patrol,” “Rogue One”) is joined by series regulars Sara Tomko (“Once Upon A Time”), Corey Reynolds (“The Closer”), Alice Wetterlund (“People of Earth”) and Levi Fiehler (“Mars”). The series will begin production in Vancouver this summer.

About SYFY
SYFY is a global, multiplatform media brand that gives science fiction fans of all kinds a universe to call home. Celebrating the genre in all its forms, SYFY super-serves passionate fans with original science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and superhero programming, live event coverage and imaginative digital and social content. The brand is powered by SYFY WIRE (www.syfy.com), the premier portal for breaking genre news, insight and commentary. SYFY is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About UCP
UCP is a premium content studio that operates with a highly curated indie sensibility, while simultaneously leveraging the power and scale of NBCUniversal. As fierce advocates for creators with an eclectic point of view, the UCP team develops pioneering original programming with partners such as Amazon (“Homecoming”), Netflix (“The Umbrella Academy”), Hulu (“The Act”) and YouTube (“Impulse”). In addition, UCP produces high-caliber content for NBCU Cable networks, including Bravo (“Dirty John”), USA (the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning drama “Mr. Robot,” the Golden Globe nominated “The Sinner,” “The Purge” and “Suits” ) and SYFY (“Happy!,” and “The Magicians”). UCP’s content library also features 800 hours of award-winning and critically-acclaimed content, including the Emmy Award-winning “Monk,” the Peabody and Hugo Award-winning “Battlestar Galactica” and the Emmy nominated “Psych.”

About Amblin Television:
Amblin Television, a long-time leader in quality programming, is a division of Amblin Partners, a content creation company led by Steven Spielberg. Amblin Television’s co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, oversee all development, production and programming for the company. Amblin Television currently has thirteen projects in various stages of production including “Bull” and “Tommy” for CBS, “Roswell, New Mexico” for the CW, “The Haunting of Bly Manor” for Netflix – the follow-up chapter to The Haunting of Hill House, “Amazing Stories” for Apple, “Halo” for Showtime, a straight-to-series order for “Brave New World” from USA Network, “Cortes and Moctezuma” for Amazon, “Animaniacs” for Hulu, “Why We Hate” for Discovery, “Resident Alien” for SYFY, and the documentary films “Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind” for HBO and “Laurel Canyon” for Epix.

Some of Amblin Television’s previous credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama “The Americans” for FX, Emmy-nominated HBO movie “All The Way” starring Bryan Cranston, “Smash” for NBC, “Under the Dome” for CBS, “Falling Skies” for TNT, “The Borgias” and “The United States of Tara” for Showtime, and “Las Vegas” for NBC.

About Dark Horse Entertainment:
Dark Horse Entertainment was spun off from founder Mike Richardson’s Dark Horse Comics in 1992. The company’s first major hits—THE MASK and TIMECOP — were based on Richardson’s creations and DHE has since produced over 30 films and series, including an Emmy Award–winning documentary, MR. WARMTH: THE DON RICKLES PROJECT. Recent projects include THE LEGEND OF TARZAN with Warner Bros., the DARK MATTER television series for Syfy network and POLAR, adapted from Victor Santo’s noir graphic novel starring Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One) at Netflix. Current projects include a reboot of Mike Mignola’s HELLBOY starring David Harbour (Stranger Things) directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent), and THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, a Netflix original series based on the comics created by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and Gabriel Ba.

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"Resident Alien" on Syfy

Primetime TV Review: “Everyone Is Doing Great”

TV Review!

"Everyone Is Doing Great" on HULU

“Everyone Is Doing Great” on HULU Review by Suzanne 1/15/21

I didn’t find this “comedy” to be funny at all, and the characters are bland and unlikable. Also, it has too many awkward scenes. I hate that type of humor. The last thing I want to see is someone being or looking awkward for a half an hour or more. That’s not funny. It’s hard to watch. You have to have funny jokes and/or situations in a comedy. Being weird or awkward is just not enough.

The series is loosely based on the lives of “One Tree Hill” co-stars Stephen Colletti (Seth) and James Lafferty (Jeremy), who also created and wrote the series as well as star in it. In the series, they’re both former actors from a hit vampire TV series called “Eternal,” but now, 5 years later, they can’t find work. We’re supposed to feel sorry for them, I guess, in their mansions with all the drugs and booze they want.

The characters just seem pathetic and whiny to me. I wouldn’t care so much about that, if it were funny, but it’s not. In one scene, Seth has sex with a pillow during an audition. Jeremy, who seems worse than Seth, has trouble having sex with his wife or even masturbating by himself. At the end of the series, he throws up after getting some bad news. Somehow I can’t see any of the actors from “True Blood,” “Vampire Diaries” or “The Originals” acting this way. Part of the problem is that they’ve made it so that Seth and Jeremy were on their shows straight out of college, so they don’t have much experience beyond “Eternal.”  It’s very rare for anyone to cast a newbie as the star of a primetime series, so this premise didn’t work for me.

The actors crowd-funded most of the episodes. They must have some really great fans. Chalk this show up to yet another unfunny HULU show.

MORE INFORMATION:

Seth and Jeremy enjoyed the success of ‘Eternal,’ a hit television vampire drama. Five years after their show has ended, they lean on each other as they awkwardly navigate the perils of life and love in a late coming-of-age.

Trailer

PRINCIPAL CAST INFORMATION:
· James Lafferty as Jeremy
· Stephen Colletti as Seth

CREW INFORMATION:
· Eshom Nelms as EP
· Ian Nelms as EP
· James Lafferty as CRTR/EP
· Johnny Derango as EP
· Michelle Lang as EP
· Ngoc Nguyen as PROD
· Rocque Trem as EP
· Stephen Colletti as CRTR/EP
· Stuart Lafferty as CO-PROD

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Stephen Colletti (Seth) and James Lafferty (Jeremy) in "Everyone Is Doing Great" on HULU

Primetime TV Review: “Mr. Mayor”

TV Review!

Mr. Mayor cast

“Mr. Mayor” on NBC Review by Suzanne 1/9/21

This show is created by Tina Fey and her writing/producing partner Robert Carlock (who also did “30 Rock,” “Good News” and “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and stars Ted Danson (“The Good Stuff,” “Cheers”). However, it’s not as funny as it could be. I watched the first two episodes. The second episode was funnier (where the Mayor gets stoned), so you do need to stick with it to enjoy it. It’s no “30 Rock” or “The Good Place,” though.

Danson stars as the new mayor of Los Angeles, Neil Bremer. He’s a former retired local businessman, widowed, that got into the race after the previous mayor flamed out in that last horrible year, 2020. Holly Hunter plays a sarcastic city councilwoman, Arpi Meskimen. She reminds me a bit of Tig Notaro’s character in “Star Trek: Discovery.” Mikaela Shaw plays Vella, the mayor’s chief of staff. Others in the mayor’s staff include Mike (Tommy Tomás) and a really annoying dumb guy, Jayden (Bobby Moynihan).

The joke of the show is that the mayor knows nothing about politics, and they’re all worried about what dumb things he’ll do, but really, he’s a bit more savvy than they give him credit for because he’s good with people. He’s softened a bit by his teen daughter, Orly (Kyla Kenedy).

Unless the show gets a lot funnier, I doubt it’ll be a hit. Hunter and Danson are both way too good to be in this sitcom.

MORE INFORMATION:

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

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Mr. Mayor cast

Interview with Jason Weems

TV Interview!

Jason Weems

Interview with comedian Jason Weems by Suzanne 7/28/20

This interview was done via email. I watched his comedy special. He’s very funny! I hope you can check it out.

1. What age were you when you first started writing jokes or performing?

 

I was 15 or 16 when I first remember writing jokes, and I got my first taste of being on a stage (with a mic in my hand) in front of a crowd in high school. I hosted a fashion show and remember the feeling of getting big laughs from simply sharing my thoughts. It instantly grabbed me, and I fell deeply in love with comedy. It wasn’t until years later in college that I tried my first official attempt at standup. Up until that point I was the host who was surprisingly funny, but there was no pressure because there was no expectation. It’s a completely new level of pressure & expertise required when you’re announced as a comedian and people who paid money actually EXPECT for you to be funny. Let’s just say the first attempt wasn’t very fruitful, LOL.

 

2. Which comedians did you watch growing up and that influenced you?

 

I watched whoever was accessible when I first got into standup. Some of my earliest memories of standup were Comic View on BET and those HBO half-hour specials that used to come on. I was a student to it all though. The Original Kings Of Comedy had a really profound impression on me. I loved everything about that special. The ingenuity, the energy, the creativity, the jewels they dropped, it all was scripture to me. Some of my influences comedically have been Chappelle, Rock, DL Hughley, Jamie Foxx, Robin Harris, Tommy Davidson and I’ve got a ton of peers who I admire and who inspire me.

 

3. Are other people in your family funny as well?

 

Absolutely. No one that has made a website like me or anything, LOL, but definitely funny. My Father is probably my earliest comedic influence. He’s a stoic man to the majority of the world that meets him, but to his family & those closest to him, he’s a straight FOOL !!! He introduced me & my brother to an array of horribly funny movies and moments in life. You know those movies that are so terrible that they’re actually good somehow. I can still clearly remember sitting on the couch with him and my older brother when I was little watching the worst movies and just crying laughing. I’m talking straight weeping with laughter. My wife & kids are in a league of their own and ready for their own sitcom. They’re just waiting on the right money deal to come through. They make me run away laughing its so damn funny.

 

4. Doing standup, do you travel a lot? Is your wife supportive of that?

 

I did a fair amount of traveling pre-Rona, pre-Dying & pre-Fatherhood, but I try to keep it as close to home as possible nowadays. I’m not a big national name just yet (hopefully my new comedy special Unknown changes that), so I really try to make the gigs I take make sense. My family is priority one always for me, so really being selective with my calendar is important. I take my boys to school and pick them up daily. I do homework with them and never miss a thing, so I select shows that support that. Shows that I can drive to and be back home by the morning to get my boys up. The ones I get on a plane for are either career-advancing opportunities or bank account advancing opportunities. Everything else is a hard pass, LOL. Luckily, my wife who is my biggest fan has always supported me in all things comedy. She is in many ways the catalyst that finally made me take the full leap into it.

 

5. Have you gotten much feedback from fans or others since you almost died? Obviously there’s been a lot of press…

 

So much. I’ve had too many meaningful exchanges with folks to remember them all, but there has been a ton of feedback. All positive. Whether its been people commenting on my story who heard Season 3 of First Day Back Podcast where the entire ordeal is masterfully documented by Tally Abecassis, or folks who came to the filming of my latest comedy special Unknown which drops on Amazon August 4th, 2020. A lot of people have reached out sharing their own tales with death & their feelings surrounding it all. I’ve had some really great conversations and connections with folks.

 

6. Did you go to college, and if so, what did you major in?

 

Indeed I did. I attended the mighty Morgan State University here in my beautiful hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. I kind of majored in Elementary Education, but they were tripping, so I took the quick exit and graduated with a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences. Which is a fancy way of saying Home Economics aka “I Wasted 40 Grand Mom & Dad”.

 

7. How many years have you been doing standup?

 

September 27, 2006 is my standup comedy anniversary. So this fall will mark 14 years for me if the world doesn’t self destruct before then.

 

8. Who is the most famous comedian that you’ve met while doing comedy and traveling?

 

I’ve met a lot of famous comics during my years of service, LOL, but hands down it would have to be Dave Chappelle. The funniest thing, it wasn’t even in a comedy environment. It wasn’t at a club, or in Los Angeles or NYC at some late night spot. It was right here in my lovely hometown of Baltimore, Maryland at a fundraiser for his God-brother Ben Jealous who was running as the Democratic nominee for Governor here in Maryland. My wife Dionne Joyner- Weems and one of her closest friends and business partners Shelonda Stokes finagled the opportunity for me to attend and I took full advantage of it. I’m a big fan of still writing by hand, and for buying beautiful blank cards and writing real sentiments to those you love and care for. Dave Chappelle is one of those people for me, so that’s what I did. I found the greatest blank card and spilled all of my thoughts & gratitude for him into it. I wasn’t sure how I was gonna get it in his hands and how it would be received, but I wasn’t leaving that swanky ass garden party without giving one of my greatest inspirations his flowers while he is here. About 30 minutes into the soirée, my wife and I were speaking to the hosts of the event about their lovely home when I saw Chappelle and his publicist Carla Simms walk-in (lovely woman). I gave my wife the “Chappelle and his publicist Carla Simms just walked in eyes” and I broke away from telling the host that his home was lovely, LOL. By the time I made it out to the garden area, Chappelle was already swarmed by everybody and their ancestors. I played it cool, and the universe conspired. A few minutes later, it was as if the comedic forces that govern our world saw fit that we meet. We bumped into each other and got caught into a great quick conversation. We talked about standup briefly, I made him spit laugh, push me and run in the opposite direction which is one of the highest compliments in comedic black culture and I was able to personally hand him my 4 page handwritten card and express to him verbally his impact on my trajectory in life. It was powerful and a moment I’ll always hold close.

 

9. Did your doctors ever tell you why your nebulizer didn’t work well enough that night that you died?

 

That sentiment was never relayed to me exactly. They feel like the most likely culprit was a glass of wine I sipped at the venue prior to going on stage that night in Philly (May 3, 2017). My pulmonologist feels that it was the sulfites found in the wine & even possibly the type of barrel that wine was stored in (my pulmonologist is also a part-time detective). And I had unfortunately already collapsed by the time the folks who tried to assist me hooked my nebulizer up (I need a new pit crew, lol).

 

10. Do you have better control of your asthma now?

 

I feel like I do, but I did on May 3, 2017, too. I take all of my prescribed meds, exercise, eat right and pray, not much more I can do. It’s a scary reality of mine, but my reality nonetheless.

 

11. Is performing in clubs and being on the road bad for your asthma (is there a lot of smoking, for instance)?

 

It can be. Most of the venues I choose to work are pretty good about regulating that type of stuff in the areas the performers are in, but there is of course some of that to a certain degree (even if it’s from peers). The stress of traveling, sleeping in airports, and driving insanely long distances can be detrimental, which is why I avoid it as much as “financially feasible” right now, LOL.

 

12. What plans or preparations have you made since almost dying? For example, seeing a financial planner, etc.

 

Life Insurance was ramped up immediately after & my travel schedule shifted (as outlined in question 4) to accommodate my health concerns. Oh, and I stopped drinking wine IMMEDIATELY !!! #DamnThatWine

 

13. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?

 

To not die from asthma. To see every continent. To sell my script & develop my sitcom. To see my kids grow up & their kids grow up. To put out more comedy specials. For this comedy special Jason Weems: Unknown to do something insane that no one ever expected. To secure my kid’s financial futures & their kid’s financial futures from doing what I love. To walk outside without a face mask & damn flame thrower would be nice.

 

14. Have your kids ever heard or seen daddy perform, or are they too young?

 

They have actually seen me two times now. My boys are 8 & 6 (twins). The first time they accompanied me to a show I had at The Kennedy Center while my wife was away for a work retreat. They got to see Daddy in another element as they waited with myself and a few other comics in the green room that night. They sat backstage as I closed the show, and I brought them out on stage to uproarious applause at the end of the night. The second time is when we filmed “Jason Weems: Unknown” before a Sold-Out crowd. That night was electric, and folks can get some of that electricity on August 4th when it begins streaming on Amazon.

 

15. How did you and your wife meet?

 

We met our first day of college on the steps of Holmes Hall at our beloved Morgan State University here in Baltimore. Our relationship grew into a deep friendship as we served in student government together (I was class king & she was class president), and we began dating officially our Junior year. Although everybody said they knew we were together since that first day of college on the steps of Holmes Hall. And we stillllllll together, LOL.

MORE INFO:

Jason Weems

Jason Weems, proud Baltimore native and renowned comic known for his quick wit and drive for life since he died for 5 minutes in 2017, has a brand new hour of comedy coming out at the top of August 2020, on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures, available everywhere comedy is sold or streamed in both video and audio album format.

Jason Weems is a comedic genius, actor and writer who has been featured on NBC’S Last Comic Standing, Fox and HBO. In 2014, his online series “The Lunchtime Show” premiered on Marlon Wayans’ comedy platform WhatTheFunny.com.

Weems began performing comedy after getting hit extremely hard in JF football; he slid under the opposing team’s bench and his shoes came off. After he got that laugh, the rest is history. He’s always been able to see the humor in anything around him. It took years before he finally found his way to a mic, but he says his first attempt was even funnier than the shoes coming off.

He is a long-time favorite in the DMV who has headlined at premier comedy clubs and festivals nationally, including the exclusive “invitation-only” Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Film critics have also recognized Jason’s emotional range in his lead role in the comedic drama, “Wits End”.

JASON WEEMS

Unknown

Unknown

Watch the Trailer

Hour Comedy Special Drops August 4, 2020 on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures

All PR Inquiries to Kathryn Musilek: km@sharkpartymedia.com

Jason Weems, proud Baltimore native and renowned comic known for his quick wit and drive for life since he died for 5 minutes in 2017, has a brand new hour of comedy, Unknown coming out at the top of August 2020, on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures, available everywhere comedy is sold or streamed in both video and audio album format. 

On May 3, 2017, Jason Weems died after a stand-up performance in Philadelphia. No pulse. No heartbeat. 5-minutes. He awoke 16-hours later in the hospital labeled as “Unknown”. This life altering experience re-ignited his comedic drive to never allow his life or his talent to be overlooked again. The Guardian and Washington Post spoke to Weems early last year about the event which largely informs the upcoming hour of new material. The New Yorker covered his 6-part series on the award winning podcast, First Day Back as well, which gives listeners an in-depth description of his near-death experience. 

With vast themes including hope, resilience, life & death, Weems finds his way to levity and joy in Unknown.

Jason Weems’ love & spark for comedy goes all the back to his childhood where chronic asthma kept him sidelined from many everyday activities. He spent many days sitting on his apartment steps watching other kids play freely & observing every detail of life. During these times and countless hospitalizations, he discovered his ability to shift the energy in a room with his words and observations. It was a liberating feeling that allowed him to not feel captive to his condition. 

As years went on, he discovered that often the funniest things came from moments that started out misfortunately. Like a moment during his very brief JV high school football playing days, where he was hit so hard that he slid under the opposing team’s bench and lost his shoes (both of them). His embarrassing incident ended up being a go to story around friends, and it brought Weems to realize how much he loved finding the humor even in his most unfortunate moments. 

Years later, his response to his near-death experience was no different. In fact, before Weems even left the hospital he was writing jokes, asking his wife to note them in his cell phone so he wouldn’t forget.

Jason Weems is a comedic genius, actor and writer who has been featured on NBC’S Last Comic Standing, Fox and HBO. In 2014, his online series The Lunchtime Show premiered on Marlon Wayans’ comedy platform WhatTheFunny.com.

He is a long-time favorite in the DMV who has headlined at premier comedy clubs and festivals nationally, including the exclusive “invitation-only” Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Film critics have also recognized Jason’s emotional range in his lead role in the comedic drama, Wits End

Jason Weems Online:

Website: http://jasonweemscomedy.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jasonweemscomedy

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jweemscomedy

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jasonweemscomedy

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/jasonweemscomedy

Photos by Ryan Stevenson

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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TV Classics and More DVD Guide

Page 6 – TV Classics and More

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Ernie Kovacs DVD coverErnie Kovacs: The Centennial Edition Happy 100th Birthday, ERNIE! To celebrate the 100th birthday of television’s original genius, this collection combines the previously released volumes of groundbreaking, rule-breaking, surreal and charmingly silly comedy of Ernie Kovacs. Included are over 22 hours of decidedly offbeat entertainment from across his many television shows and specials, all of which showcase an utterly unique sensibility that has influenced such comedy institutions as Monty Python and SNL. Featuring: Episodes From His Local And National Morning Shows; Episodes From His NBC Prime-Time Show; Kovacs On Music; Five ABC TV Specials; The Color Version of His Legendary Silent Show, Eugene; His Award-Winning Commercials For Dutch Masters Cigars; Short Films, Tributes, Rarities; 18 Bonus Sketches Featuring Many Of His Most Beloved Characters; 3 Complete Episodes Of His Offbeat Game Show Take A Good Look; A Pony For Chris: His Rare TV Pilot For Medicine Man Co-Starring Buster Keaton; The Lively Arts Featuring The Only Existing Filmed Solo Interview With Ernie Kovacs; and 2011 American Cinematheque Panel

The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fifth Season Season five of The Beverly Hillbillies finds the sturdy Clampett The Beverly Hillbillies 5th Season DVD coverclan — Jed (Buddy Ebsen), Elly May (Donna Douglas), Jethro (Max Baer Jr.), and Granny (Irene Ryan) — still retaining their mountain-grown values and essential decency despite Jed’s millionaire status and the family’s luxurious Beverly Hills surroundings. Two of the season’s best plotlines are characteristically manifested in story arcs, spread out over several successive episodes. In the first, Jed is targeted for blackmail by a pair of slick con artists, played by Leon Ames and Gayle Hunnicutt. This is followed by a farcical escapade in which Granny forces a trained gorilla (actually a costumed stunt man, played by George Barrows) to take over the chores at the Clampett estate. Otherwise, season five follows the pattern established in season four of enlivening the traditional Beverly Hillbillies nonsense with choice guest-star appearances. Veteran comic actor Charles Ruggles makes a return appearance as Mr. Farquhar, the skirt-chasing father-in-law of Jed’s banker Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey). Gloria Swanson plays herself in another episode, wherein the Clampetts, acting under the misapprehension that Swanson is broke, bankroll her “comeback” in a brand new silent movie (and no, William Holden did not write the screenplay). And in the episode “The Indians are Coming,” John Wayne makes what must have been the best-publicized “surprise” guest appearance in TV history! But perhaps the most memorable of the guest-star turns is contributed by the voluptuous Joi Lansing, cast as the wife of country singer Lester Flatt. In “Delovely and Scruggs,” Mrs. Flatt is given a Hollywood screen test, with Jed’s bumptious nephew Jethro Bodine (Max Baer Jr.) launching what he hopes will be an illustrious Hollywood career as the test’s director. The Beverly Hillbillies closed out its fifth season on CBS as America’s seventh most popular TV series, indicating that the corn pone-comedy well had not yet run dry!
Cast & Crew: Buddy Ebsen – Jed Clampett; Irene Ryan – Daisy `Granny’ Moses; Donna Douglas – Elly May Clampett; Max Baer Jr. – Jethro Bodine; Raymond Bailey – Milburn Drysdale; Nancy Kulp – Jane Hathaway; and Harriet MacGibbon – Margaret Drysdale.
Specs: Details: Format DVD; Studio Paramount; Flags Suitable for Children; Language English; Release Date 10/02/2018; Region Code 1; Aspect Ratio 1.33:1; Subtitles English; Rating TV-G; Sub Genre Comedy of Manners, Sitcom [TV]; and Themes Fish Out of Water, Rags To Riches.

Outer Limits Season 2 Blu-ray DVD coverThe Outer Limits: Season Two Newly Re-Mastered in HD! The entire first season – 17 Episodes. A four-disc set that controls over 15 hours of transmission from the 1964-1965 series. Guest stars include William Shatner, Adam West, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Duvall, Robert Culp, Eddie Albert, Patrick O’Neal, Dabney Coleman and Robert Webber.
SPECIAL FEATURES: 17 Episodes and 2 Alternates Episodes – All Newly Mastered in HD; THE UNKNOWN – the alternate cut of “The Forms of Things Unknown” intended a pilot for a show that was never broadcast – with an optional audio commentary track by Dr. Reba Wissner; PLEASE STAND BY – the alternate cut of “The Galaxy Being” was the pilot episode shown to ABC executives which later became THE OUTER LIMITS – with an optional commentary track by Film Historian Eric Grayson; AUDIO COMMENTARIES: – SOLDIER by Film Historian David J. Schow; – COOL HANDS, WARM HEART by Film Historian Craig Beam; – BEHOLD ECK! by Film Historian Reba Wissner; – EXPANDING HUMAN by Film Historian Reba Wissner; – DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND by Film Historian Craig Beam; – CRY OF SILENCE by Film Historian Gary Gerani; – CRY OF SILENCE by Film Historian Reba Wissner; – THE INVISIBLE ENEMY by Film Historian Craig Beam; – WOLF 359 by Film Historian Craig Beam; – I, ROBOT by Film Historian David J. Schow; – THE INHERITORS: PART 1 by Film Historians Gary Gerani and Steve Mitchell; – THE INHERITORS: PART 2 by Film Historians Gary Gerani and Steve Mitchell; – KEEPER OF THE PURPLE TWILIGHT by Film Historian David J. Schow; – THE DUPLICATE MAN by Film Historian Tim Lucas; – COUNTERWEIGHT by Film Historian Reba Wissner; – THE PREMONITION by Film Historian Tim Lucas; 12 TNT PROMOS with Robert Culp, Harlan Ellison, Martin Landau, Cliff Robertson, William Shatner and Leslie Stevens; DAVID J. SCHOW – Showtime Interview; THE OUTER LIMITS PHENOMENON; PENN & TELLER TNT Host Segments; CLIFF ROBERTSON – THE GALAXY BEING – Full TNT Interview; JOSEPH STEFANO – Full TNT Interview (64:07); JOANNA FRANK – ZZZZZ – Full TNT Interview; TNT Interview with Casting Director Meryl O’Loughlin; ANTHONY LAWRENCE Interview; CREATURE FEATURES with DAVID J. SCHOW; The Museum of Television & Radio’s William S. Paley Television Festival – The Outer Limits – March 10, 2000 – with guests David M. Schow, Robert H. Justman, Lou Morheim, Conrad L. Hall, Martin Landau, Joseph Stefano (73:09); PROJECT UNLIMITED – Commentary by David J. Schow; WHAT’S NEW ON ABC? – 1963 Promo with Edie Adams; 5 TV SPOTS; and THERE IS STILL NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR TELEVISION SET – Booklet Essay by David J. Schow.

Alice: The Complete Eighth Season Alice’s eighth season starts with a bang as a distant relative of Jolene’s (Celia Alice the Complete Eighth Season DVD coverWeston) comes visiting, straight from Hazzard County! Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) himself arrives, with Enos (Sonny Shroyer) in tow, and faster than you can say “Beau and Luke Duke,” he’s tricked Mel (Vic Tayback) out of his beloved diner. Good thing “good ol’ gal” Alice (Linda Lavin) has a plan to get it back. Florence Henderson stops by as Sarah James, the singing-star girl of Mel’s dreams, who stuns the staff when she sweeps him off his feet. Martha Raye makes a number of return visits as Mel’s mom, Carrie, while the staff gears up for a big event – Vera (Beth Howland) gets hitched to her boy in blue, local cop Elliot (Charles Levin)! This 3-disc, 24-episode collection contains the entire eighth season, including the seventh-season-produced episodes Jolene Lets the Cat Out of the Bag and Vera’s Secret Lover, which aired in season eight.

Hey Arnold the Complete Collection DVD coverHey Arnold!: The Ultimate Collection Keeping your feelings a secret is so last decade! Now, for the first time ever, you can shout your love from the rooftop of the nearest boarding home with Hey Arnold!:The Ultimate Collection, featuring all 99 stories from the show, Hey Arnold: The Movie and Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie!
What are you waiting for? Move it, Football Head! Bonus Content Includes: Hey Arnold! The Pilot; Original Claymation Short: Arnold Escapes from Church; Drawing Arnold; The Jungle Movie: Table Read; and Unboxing the Original Jungle Movie Development Art.

The Time Tunnel: The Complete Series Blu-ray All region BR release for the 1st time. New 5. 1 surround soundTime Tunnel Complete Series Blu-ray DVD cover mixes provide an extraordinary new depth to the audio. A 1080 HD 1:33:1 spec. Digitally enhanced to significantly improve the picture quality & increase depth of field, making it far superior to the existing DVD. All 30 episodes to be restored to their original uncut format & broadcast order. Packed full of bonus material including the original unaired pilot, interviews with the cast, the TV movie from 1976, the unaired 2002 TV pilot and more… Will contain a brand new booklet, written in association with the world s most prominent & knowledgeable Irwin Allen devotees, The Irwin Allen News Network. Special Features: Original Unaired Pilot Episode (HD Version) 2002 Unaired TV Pilot Time Travelers TV Movie Cast Interviews Irwin Allen s Behind-The-Scenes Home Movies UK Edit (No Audio) Promotional TV & Radio Spots Visual Effects Camera Test (No Audio) Stills Galleries. Tech Info: VIDEO*: 1080P HIGH DEFINITION 16×9 1:33 / COLOUR AUDIO*: ORIGINAL MFahrenheit 11/9 DVD coverONO + NEW 5. 1 / ENGLISH *FEATURE EPISODES ONLYTech Info: VIDEO*: 1080P HIGH DEFINITION 16×9 1:33 / COLOUR AUDIO*: ORIGINAL MONO + NEW 5. 1 / ENGLISH *FEATURE EPISODES ONLY

Fahrenheit 11/9 Hailed as “Michael Moore’s most powerful film yet” (Sophia A. McClennen, Salon), Fahrenheit 11/9 is a provocative and comedic look at the times in which we live. It will explore the two most important questions of the Trump Era: How the f**k did we get here, aShakespeare Uncovered Series 3 DVD covernd how the f**k do we get out?

Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3 Series 3 includes six films with new hosts as they weave their personal passions with history and analysis to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s famous works.: Much Ado About Nothing (Helen Hunt); The Merchant of Venice (F. Murray Abraham); Measure for Measure (Romola Garai); Julius Caesar (Brian Cox); The Winter s Tale (Simon Russell Beale); Richard III (Antony Sher).

The Invaders Complete Series DVD coverThe Invaders: The Complete Series Architect David Vincent (Roy Thinnes) has stumbled upon a terrifying secret…aliens from a doomed planet are infiltrating the Earth! After witnessing their spaceship land, Vincent tries to warn the authorities, who believe he’s crazy or have already been compromised by the Invaders, who take on human form. As Vincent learns more about the aliens and their plans to take over the earth, he becomes their greatest threat. Now a target of the aliens, our hero, along with believer and millionaire Edgar Scoville (Ken Smith), races to stop the invasion and save the human race. From the producers of The Fugitive, Cannon and Streets of San Francisco, The Invaders, The Complete Series, features all 43 episodes of the The Jackie Gleason Show: In Color DVD coveroriginal, suspense-filled series, plus special features and commentary by the series creator.

The Jackie Gleason Show: In Color From 1966-1970, Gleason, everyone’s favorite working-class hero, entertained enthralled audiences across the country with his eponymous TV Variety Show featuring hilarious sketches, celebrity guest stars and much more. Taped in beautiful Miami Beach, The Jackie Gleason Show delivered an unforgettable gallery of characters Gleason himself created and fine-tuned, including his most indelible and legendary creation — Ralph Kramden — as he and Art Carney revived their Honeymooners roles (with Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean added as the new Alice and Trixie), all presented in glorious color for the first time.

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TV Comedies DVD Guide

Page 3 – TV Comedies

Click on the title to get information about the DVD and to buy it from Amazon. com!

These make great gifts for your favorite TV or movie fan and helps out our site!

Family Guy Season 16 DVDFamily Guy “Family Guy” Season Sixteen Comes to DVD December 4. In its 16th season, “Family Guy” continues to entertain its die-hard fans with razor-sharp humor, spot-on parodies, awesome animation and orchestra-backed original music. Guest voices this season include Sir Ian McKellen, Ryan Reynolds, Amanda Seyfried, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell and Danny Trejo. The season also includes the long-running series’ 300th episode and an Emmy® winning performance from Alex Borstein* for the episode “Nanny Goats.” *2018: Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance; “Family Guy”
SPECIAL FEATURES Extended episode animatic with commentary and deleted scenes
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Screen Format:Widescreen 1:78:1; Audio: English Dobly Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Subtitles:English SDH, Spanish, French
Total Run Time:Approx. 448 minutes U.S. Rating: TV-MA

The Orville Season 1 From Emmy®* Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (“Family The Orville Season One DVD coverGuy,” Ted, “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey”), “The Orville” is a live-action, one-hour space adventure series set 400 years in the future that follows The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life. The ensemble series stars MacFarlane as the ship’s Captain, Ed Mercer, and Adrianne Palicki (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”) as his ex-wife, who’s assigned as his First Officer. Additional cast members include Penny Johnson Jerald (“24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), Scott Grimes (“American Dad!,” “Justified”), Peter Macon (“Shameless,” “Bosch”), Halston Sage (Neighbors, Goosebumps), J Lee (“American Dad!,” “The Cleveland Show”), Mark Jackson (“That Royal Today”) and Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”).
*2002, 2016, 2017: Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance; “Family Guy” 2002: Outstanding Music and Lyrics; “Family Guy”
SPECIAL FEATURES “The Orville” at PaleyFest 2018; Inside Look; Directed By; The First Six Missions; Designing the Future; “The Orville” Takes Flight; The Science of “The Orville:” Quantum Drive; The Science of “The Orville:” Alien Life; Crafting Aliens; A Better Tomorrow
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Street Date: December 11, 2018 Screen Format: Widescreen 1.78:1 Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French Total Run Time: Approx. 526 minutes; U.S. Rating: TV-14

The Big Bang Theory Season 11 DVD coverThe Big Bang Theory: Season 11 Leonard and Sheldon are brilliant physicists – geniuses in the laboratory but socially challenged everywhere else. Enter beautiful, street-smart neighbor Penny, who aims to teach them a thing or two about life. Despite their on-again, off-again relationship in the past, Leonard and Penny have finally gotten married. Even Sheldon has found a female companion, entering into a “relationship agreement” with neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, and he recently took their relationship to the next level by proposing marriage. In their free time, Leonard and Sheldon enjoy fantasy role-playing games with their ever-expanding universe of friends, including fellow scientists Raj, Howard and Howard’s adorable microbiologist wife, Bernadette, who is adjusting to life Modern Family Season 9 DVD coverwith their new baby girl.

Modern Family: Season 9  Telling the story of three generations of the Pritchett clan, centered around Jay (Ed O’Neill) and his kids Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), and their respective families, Modern Family was, for all intents and purposes, an instant hit with critics and viewers (earning five Best Comedy Emmys in its first five seasons.) A single-camera sitcom without a laugh track, this mockumentary series (complete with talking head interviews with the family) blends together three types of relationships and the good times and struggles that come with them, with a heaping helping of heart, to create a genuine feel-good show with a good amount of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphis Season 12 DVD coverlaughs.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Complete Season 12 FXX’s original comedy series IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA is back for a 12th season featuring everyone’s favorite bar owners! The Gang returns to Paddy’s Pub with Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Frank (Danny DeVito). This season, the gang goes to a waterpark, deals with a Wolf Cola PR nightmare, and actually spends a whole day tending bar!IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA was created by Rob McElhenney. He also serves as Executive Producer along with Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Michael Rotenberg, Nick Frenkel, Tom Lofaro, Scott Marder and David Hornsby. The show is produced by FX Productions.IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA is distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

Community – The Complete SeriesCommunity The Complete Series DVD cover Community is a smart, exuberant comedy that was consistently ranked as one of the most inventive and original half hours on television. This ensemble comedy centers on a tight-knit group of friends who all met at what is possibly the world’s worst educational institution – Greendale Community College.
Recently disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger enrolls to get a legit degree the quickest and easiest way possible, but when he starts a fake Spanish study group solely for the purpose of hooking up with a sexy classmate, he doesn t expect to be joined by a random group of misfit fellow students. Over the course of the next 6 years, this group finds themselves involved in epic paintball battles, chicken finger conspiracies, sci-fi conventions, campus-wide pillow wars, and everything in-between. In the process, they become so much more than just a study group…they become a family.
“Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming” – Alessandra Stanley, The New York TimesAmerican Dad Vol. 13 DVD cover
Starring: Joel McHale (The Happytime Murders), Gillian Jacobs (Netflix’s Love), Danny Pudi (Star Trek: Beyond), Alison Brie (Netflix’s GLOW), Ken Jeong (The Hangover Trilogy), Yvette Nicole Brown (ABC’s The Mayor), Jim Rash (The Way Way Back), Donald Glover (FX’s Atlanta), and Chevy Chase (SNL, Caddyshack).

American Dad! Volume 13 Celebrate the wit, wisdom and wild absurdity of your favorite all-American family with this all-new collection of American Dad! Episodes. Crammed with celebrity guest voices including Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Coolidge, Alfred Molina, Allison Janney, and Danny Trejo, this sidesplitting assortment finds Stan shooting his mouth off in the Old West, Francine transformed into a sexy super-spy, Steve spellbound by a book of witchcraft, Jeff reborn as a full human, and Roger having a very fishy affair…with Klaus!

Better Things Season 2 DVD coverBetter Things: The Complete 2nd Season BETTER THINGS centers on Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a single, working actor with no filter raising her three daughters, Max (Mikey Madison), Frankie (Hannah Alligood) and Duke (Olivia Edward) in Los Angeles.She’s mom, dad, referee and the cops. Sam also watches out for her mother, Phil (Celia Imrie), an English expatriate, who lives across the street. Sam is flawed and fierce with her love for her daughters, and her own mother as well, sometimes heaping the love on when Seinfeld Complete Festivusshe feels guilty. Sam’s just trying to earn a living, navigate her daughters’ lives, have fun with a friend or two and also – just maybe – squeeze in some private time once in a while. Adlon directed all 10 episodes of the second season. BETTER THINGS won a Peabody Award in 2016 for its first season.

Seinfeld Complete Series: Limited Festivus Celebration Edition w/ Party Pack It’s a Festivus Miracle! This Complete Series Limited Edition DVD set includes all 180 episodes, over 104 hours of amazing extras, plus everything you need to throw your own Festivus party! Start planning now for Festivus on December 23rd!

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