Paramount via Everett Collection
After nine long seasons on The Office, Craig Robinson is getting a serious promotion. The actor's upcoming comedy project, tentatively titled Mr. Robinson, has received a six episode order from the network. Robinson will play a newly appointed music teacher who inspires kids with the wonders of music and also learns how to bend certain rules at his new place of employment.
Seeing Robinson rewarded with his own show after such a long stint as a supporting character has us wondering what other perennial supporting players are in dire need of their own starring comedy vehicle.
Judy GreerA supporting player on Arrested Development and in every romantic comedy movie ever, Greer is comedic dynamite and is long overdue for her own sitcom... one with a longer lifespan than the appropriately titled Miss Guided.
Paul ScheerScheer has guest starred in a bevy of comedies over the years, and has a supporting role on The League has us craving to see the actor front and center in his own comedy.
Patton OswaltPatton Oswalt spent years as a supporting character on King of Queens, and even though he has a wildly successful stand-up career, it would be great to see the comedian come back to to television (his Wonder Years-style voice-over on The Goldbergs doesn't count).
Damon Wayans Jr.Wayans put in great work in Happy Endings and as Coach on the current season of New Girl, but the actor has more than enough charm and comedic chops to carry his own sitcom.
John OliverThis British funnyman was an old standby for years on The Daily Show and is seriously underutilized Community. Imagine Professor Ian Duncan with his own show.
Chris ParnellThe fact that the world has gone this long without a Dr. Leo Spaceman spin-off shows that there's something seriously wrong with the the universe.
Mary Lynn RajskubRajskub appears in at least one episode of all your favorite TV shows. She has shown up as recurring characters on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, The King of Queens, Raising Hope, and Modern Family, not to mention her supporting role in 24. She's definitely deserves a steady gig at the head of a project.
Seth MorrisMorris was great as the wonderfully chipper Danny on NBC's short lived Go On. We can definitely see the actor starring in his own successful project.
Blink 182 frontman Tom Delonge is set to release a Christmas-themed children's book. The guitarist and father-of-two, who also fronts Angels and Airwaves, collaborated with illustrator Mike Henry to create The Lonely Astronaut On Christmas Eve.
Described as a "wistful story for the young and young at heart alike", the book tells of a spaceman spending a solitary Christmas Eve on the moon who is visited by extraterrestrial characters bearing gifts.
Pre-orders for a limited edition package containing a hardback first edition of the book with a certificate of authenticity signed by DeLonge, a digital version of the story, an etched acrylic ornament and a limited edition T-shirt are priced at $50 (£31).
DeLonge and Henry are also planning an auction of the book's original artwork on website CharityBuzz.com later this month (Nov13), with proceeds going to the Rady Children's Hospital Foundation in San Diego, California.
Bill Watterson via mpetrus001/Flickr
Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin & Hobbes comic, recently held an interview with the Mental Floss website. This was news in of itself because he's a noted recluse who rarely ventures out into the public eye since he shuttered his creation in late 1995. The most notable thing he said was that he wouldn't allow the strip to be adapted to the big screen.
But still, I say, if Watterson really exercised extreme caution and prudence, he could pick something like, oh say...Pixar (a company that even he admitted he loved). Imagine a whole CGI Calvin & Hobbes movie instead of that half-CGI, half-live action dreck that was Garfield and The Smurfs. To quote from Breaking Bad: No half-measures. Imagine a really well-done movie that managed to capture the whimsy of the comic. Watterson would still have enough pull even with a comic that last ran two decades ago. If I were the one choosing, I could see a Brad Bird-helmed movie being REALLY good.
I've always wondered what Spaceman Spiff would sound like on the big screen. If the people doing this, and I could see Bird not stepping outside the lines, it would be a really interesting vision. This would be a movie that practically wrote itself.
I can understand that he wants to protect his own intellectual property - and kudos to him for that, since the movie industry does not really have a great track record when it comes to lifting from the funny pages. For this purpose, I'm separating these comics from the ones in the Marvel and DC universe - aka the superhero genre. There have been good adaptations from those, like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, a couple of Batman movies and The Avengers. I'm thinking of comics like Garfield and Asterix.
The problem with those movies is that the creators didn't seem to care about what happens to their property. What did Jim Davis care that the Garfield movies were the equivalent of cat litter (yes, I know I've been picking on this movie, but it's such a huge punching bag) ? He was already a billionaire before the movies were made. Once the contracts have been signed, it's like the quality.
But keep Joss Whedon away from it...the last thing we need is to have a twist ending where an important member of the cast dies.
Sandra Bullock's new space movie Gravity has been given the seal of approval from a real-life astronaut. The actress plays a medical engineer on a space shuttle mission with a veteran astronaut, played by George Clooney, in filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's new sci-fi movie.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada on Sunday (08Sep13) and was given a thumbs up from Canadian spaceman Chris Hadfield, who was in the audience at the screening.
Hadfield said, "Fortunately, the five months I spent on the space station were way calmer. But the visuals were spectacularly good. I don't know how you did it. And if I ever fly in space again, I want to fly with Sandra."
Hadfield spent five months aboard the International Space Station before touching back down to Earth in May (13).
Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin cancelled a book signing in New York on Monday (24Jun13) after he was struck down with a bout of influenza. The spaceman was due to meet fans and autograph copies of his new tome, Mission To Mars, at the Book Revue in Huntington, but he pulled out of the appearance after falling sick.
In a post on his Twitter.com page, he writes, "Sorry! A flu bug caught me so had to cancel my NY trip & signing (at) BookRevueLI tonight. We will reschedule."
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's recent performance of David Bowie's Space Oddity high above the earth brought back bad memories for French musician Jean Michel Jarre, who had hoped to feature tragic spaceman Ron Mcnair playing a saxophone solo at a gig in 1986. Jarre had planned to link up with McNair on board space shuttle Challenger as part of a show in Houston, Texas, and watched in horror as his pal and his crewmates perished when the craft disintegrated just 73 seconds after lift-off.
And Jarre reveals Hadfield's out-of-this-world tribute to Bowie, performed 230 miles (370 kilometres) above the planet on the International Space Station and posted online on 12 May (13), took him back to one of the worst days of his life.
He tells CelebrityAccess contributor Larry LeBlanc, "When I heard about the astronaut wanting to play music, obviously, it reminded me of this quite hard time... I could write a book around this concert in Houston.
"For the first time in its history, NASA wanted to be part of a cultural event. We had this idea of having a live link in space, and a song performed, not just as an engineer and a scientist, but also an artist playing saxophone live. It was really moving. Writing a piece of saxophone for NASA is quite challenging for a musician.
"Then we did it, and Ron was rehearsing until the last minute. (I said), 'OK, I'll give you a rendezvous in space,' which was a time to play together, with me in Houston, onstage over the skyline, and him in outer space.
"He said, 'Watch me on television for the take-off...' and we saw the tragedy. We were all in tears. I wanted to cancel the whole thing (concert). The astronauts in Houston said, 'You have to go on. You have to do this concert as a tribute to the astronauts.'"
One lucky bidder has won an out-of-this world experience to join Leonardo DiCaprio onboard the Virgin Galactic voyage into orbit after laying down $1.5 million (£967,000) during an auction at the Cannes Film Festival. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein put the ticket for the once-in-a-lifetime trip under the hammer at the AmfAR Cinema Against AIDS charity dinner at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes on Thursday night (23May13).
The winning bidder will sit right next to DiCaprio on the first commercial flight into space.
A date for Richard Branson's expedition has not yet been set as the aircraft is still in the final stages of a safety test programme.
The identity of the wealthy 'spaceman' who won the auction item has not been revealed.
The AmfAR gala turned into a rare date night for singers Kylie Minogue and Ellie Goulding, who arrived with boyfriends Andres Velencoso and Jeremy Irvine.
Goulding, who performed at the fundraiser, ended weeks of speculation about her love life by cuddling the actor and posing with him for photos outside the bash, which was also attended by Janet Jackson, Sharon Stone, Milla Jovovich, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Goldie Hawn.
Ricky Gervais' repugnant comedy creation David Brent is heading online to teach YouTube.com users how to play the guitar. The cringeworthy antics of paper company manager Brent catapulted Gervais to international fame when his hit comedy The Office first aired on the BBC in 2000.
The show was adapted around the world, with the U.S. version coming to an end later this year (13) after eight years.
Gervais got back into the guise of his alter-ego for Britain's Comic Relief in March (13), and the sketch went down a storm with fans.
Now the funnyman has announced the comedy creation will be resurrected once again for a series of videos on YouTube.com, entitled Learn Guitar with David Brent.
The promos will include songs featured in the original U.K. programme, such as Spaceman Came Down. The series will hit the web in June (13).
Last week’s episode of 30 Rock was largely devoted to bidding a fond farewell to a handful of beloved recurring characters: Devon Banks, Dr. Spaceman, Len Wosniak, and (to a lesser degree) Kylie Hooper. But behind the showmanship of these oddballs’ sendoffs, a few key plot points were sneaked into the show’s chronology: Liz decided that she would opt for the adoption of an older child, and Jack came out on top in the battle for the position of KableTown CEO.
But this week, both of our main characters have their bright futures challenged: Jack, still plagued by his mother’s ostensibly manipulative last words (“I just want you to be happy”), heads down to Florida to settle her estate. Liz tags along at the last minute, taking to heart Tracy’s admonition of her as too uptight and unwilling to live in the moment. Once down in the Sunshine State, Jack meets his Colleen’s housekeeper Martha, who regales him with stories of how joyful and gentle she knew Jack’s mother to be. Jack is at first suspicious that Martha is making up stories about a woman she didn’t even know, plausibly to con her way into Colleen’s inheritance. But it is Liz’s energized snooping that allows the realization that Colleen and Martha were, in fact, lovers.
The revelation, which Jack resists furtively, sparks Liz to question the nature of her own relationship with her longtime boss and friend. After dismissing Jack’s insistence that Colleen and Martha could have shared a platonic relationship despite spending every waking second together and even sharing a bed, Liz wonders why she and Jack — who have cohabited the sky highs and deep lows of past seven years — never pushed their rapport to the romantic, even once.
Through Liz and Jack’s exchange (the heat of said conversation bolstered by the duo's obligation to share a bed while staying in the late Colleen's Florida home), 30 Rock explores the very will-they-won’t-they that fans have kept alive since the beginning of the series. As Jack confirms, the pair’s unique, complicated friendship — one free of any sweeps weeks flings — is far more interesting than the standard, unimaginative alternative. But springing from this meta commentary comes further insecurity from Liz. Does Jack’s consistent lack of interest in her (when considered in opposition to his promiscuous nature) indicate that she is not an appealing person? Too serious and uptight, as Tracy had insisted earlier?
And once Jack does indeed come to terms with his mother's romantic arrangement, thus accepting her as a genuinely happy person later in life and, in turn, sincere in her final words to him, he begins to engage in a few big questions of his own. Is he really happy? Does he know how to be? Is becoming the CEO of KableTown what will actually grant Colleen's dying wish, or has he only been driven by compulsion rather than a conscious effort to live the life that will satisfy him the most?
But these problems are small potatoes compared to what Liz and Jack are in for when they return home. See, while the two levelheaded higher ups are away, and Pete is off at some glossed over convention, Tracy and Jenna take charge of TGS, instituting complete anarchy. The real trouble sets in when Hazel (ugh, yes, her) files a lawsuit against TGS, highlighting the leviathan of inappropriate conduct enacted by each and every member of the staff. While Tracy, Jenna, Frank, Lutz, and the rest of the amoral loons have no problem denying their behavior in a signed deposition, Kenneth finds himself at an ethical crossroads, wanting to tell the truth but wishing not to betray his friends. Seeing how troubling the ordeal is to Kenneth (who dons a leather jacket and a new ambivalence towards hard work, as he might as well give up his standards entirely), Tracy and Jenna employ their soft spots for the ambiguously aged grunt worker and encourage him to tell the truth. The whole truth. Every detail about all of the horrendous misdoings he has witnessed since working at TGS. And he does.
As such, as Liz finds out upon returning home, the final deed of a retiring Hank Hooper is to cancel TGS. All this just when she has agreed (again, on a whim, to prove herself not the tightly wound by-the-book bore that people seem to think she is) to adopt a pair of twins, without even consulting Criss. Dramatic stings all around.
It's kind of a pain that Hazel is at all a perpetrator of any major plot points in this show's conclusion, considering the derision that character's existence warrants. But this week's episode does tackle the sort of ideals that 30 Rock needs to explore in its final weeks. What will Liz do without her show? And what's to come of her hope of a family life in light of this news? What can Jack do to be happy, if not devote himself entirely to work? And what about Subhas? WHAT ABOUT SUBHAS?
[Photo Credit: NBC]
'Parks and Recreation' Recap: Rules and Regulations for Throwing a Bachelor Party
'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: An Unsettling Settlement
'The Vampire Diaries' Recap: The Bexfast Club
You Might Also Like:
100 Hottest Women of the Century: Do You Agree?
Lance Armstrong’s Oprah Confession: 28 Revealing Quotes
If this week’s new episode is any indication, 30 Rock is going to be pretty bittersweet from hereon out. It’s not that the subject matter of this first rejoinder back from winter hiatus is at all dire or particularly sentimental — in fact, it keeps perfectly in step with the show’s usual brand of raucous absurdity. But the ep, titled “Game Over,” forced us to bid a solemn farewell to three recurring characters who have stood fast as fan favorites since first gracing the nutjob world of Liz Lemon and company: Dr. Leo Spaceman, Devon Banks, and Len Wosniak.
Goodbye, Dr. Spaceman!
That morally bankrupt, mortifyingly incompetent physician (and pretty good dentist) known as Dr. Leo Spaceman (Chris Parnell), who has been tending to the ailments of the NBC staff for the past seven seasons, treats America to an extravagant series wrap in the opening tag of the episode, barging in on Liz in the middle of her appointment with another, presumably more qualified, medical professional. After basking in an acerbic, long overdue tongue-lashing from Liz over his derelict sensibilities and scattered knowhow, Spaceman is actually apprehended by a pair of police officers… informing him that he has just been named the United States’ Surgeon General. And so, as Leo is dragged out the door, offering only a meta proclamation of his character’s 30 Rock conclusion (“That’s a series wrap for Leo Spaceman!”), we are forced to bid adieu to the man who has treated Jack to so many a colorful pill, who has chuckled so giddily at the hard “k” sound in “kidney,” and who has promoted the use of crystal meth as a viable weight loss option.
Meanwhile, Liz is grappling with her decision to become a mother — each of her options seems to present a roadblock. If she tries to induce fertility and have the baby herself, she runs the risk of health problems for her child, due to her age. If she waits to adopt a newborn, she’ll be almost 50 before becoming a mother. And she fears that the choice to adopt an older child at the present time will present a whole separate set of challenges in the realm of parenting. But we’ll get back to all hubbub that after we focus on the more important issue at hand: saying goodbye to Devon Banks.
Jack’s arch nemesis. The only man with a business sense, unquenchable thirst for power, and Batmanian voicebox on par with those of Donaghy himself. Devon (Will Arnett) resurfaces in this episode when Jack actually calls upon him for help: in an effort to squash his top competitor for the position of KableTown CEO, Hank Hooper’s granddaughter Kaylie (Chloe Moretz, also back for a final swing this week), Jack joins forces with Devon to form the ultimate duo of dirty tricks. First, a bit of context:
Old-fashioned Hooper (Ken Howard), retiring as of his forthcoming 70th birthday (an event he holds sacred, as with each of his birthdays), wants to keep KableTown a family business. But Devon feeds Jack the sordid secret that Kaylie is actually the illegitimate child of Hooper’s daughter-in-law and the family pool boy, thus recanting her KableTown birthright. Jack machinates a plan to apprehend Kaylie’s DNA to prove her not the true child of Hank’s son, whom Devon reveals to be gay… but everything seems to backfire when Kaylie reveals that she and Devon have been working together all along, planting tall tales in Jack’s head in order to sway him into sending false accusations the way of Hank against his own granddaughter… but everything then unbackfires (frontfires? backices? goes swimmingly?) when Jack discloses his cognizance of the pair’s plan all along. He, in fact, was playing them, conning Kaylie and Devon into putting so much time into their devious ploy that they would in fact forget all about Hank’s birthday, thus losing his favor, which would fall duly in the lap of Jack… who, instead of false accusations about Kaylie, actually sent ol’ Hank a thoughtful birthday card. Donaghy, you’ve done it again.
But back to our farewell to Devon. Throughout the game of double agency, Devon employs all his old goldmines for comedy: desperate greed, childish competitiveness, and an apparent incapability to avoid making sexual innuendos while facing off with his archenemy. As with every one of his descents back into the dark cavern from which he sprouted, the farewell we bid to Devon this time around is not one that sees him off to happier locale. Having failed miserably, once more, in his warfare with Jack, we know not what the future will hold for young Banks: is he still living happily as a husband and father of three in Brooklyn? Or has his personal life fallen apart in light of his egomania? We’ll never know. But we’ll always have cold pizza to remember him by.
The least prominent of this episode’s recurring characters but perhaps the most recognizable of its guest actors is Len Wosniak (Steve Buscemi), Jack Donaghy’s bungling private eye whose personal life is always straddling the gutter. Jack brings Len on to aid his quest of defeat over Kaylie and Devon, knowing not that he would actually be unleashing Len onto the next chapter in his life. See, in going undercover as Kaylie’s female substitute teacher, Len discovers a happiness in this new identity like none he’s ever known. He feels free, he loves teaching, and he even gets engaged to a fellow instructor! It’s all-smooth sailing from hereon out for our pal Len, and we’re glad to see him off with such a bright future. No more clinging to the joys of free ice from the GE Building cafeteria or hats from his gym, or giving his gun to his pastor in times of the gloomies — things are going to be different now.
But back to Liz, who, as we must remember, is the main character of the show. See, it is surprisingly a conversation with none other than Tracy that answers her question about which option to explore in the vein of child rearing. When Tracy, who is now producing a film about Harriet Tubman with Octavia Spencer as the star, laments the perils of dealing with a difficult actor (Spencer, playing a loony version of herself, is twice the nutjob that Tracy is), Grizz and Dot Com help him realize that Liz was always the one to straighten him out when he got out of hand. Tracy forwards this message to Liz, recalling how she shaped him from a maniacal man-child into some semblance of a reasonable human being… and if she can do that with Tracy, she can do that with any kid. Thus, Liz phones Bev at the adoption agency (hey, Megan Mullally’s back, too!) to declare that she wants to adopt an older child right away!
But wait, shouldn't Liz talk to Criss about any of this? No? James Marsden’s not available this week? Yeah, okay, fine, just focus on Dr. Spaceman.
[Photo Credit: Ali Goldstein/NBC (2)]
'1600 Penn' React: Attempting Old-School Charm in the Oval Office
'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: Bride and Gloom
'Hunger Games,' 'Glee,' Katy Perry Win Big at People's Choice Awards
From Our Partners:
Megan Fox’s 12 Hottest Moments (Moviefone)
Ryan Gosling’s ‘Airbrushed’ Abs: Plus 19 More Reasons We Love the Actor (Moviefone)