Ben Stiller’s TV days have taken a back seat to his film history, but they’re worth remembering. The Ben Stiller Show was pretty valiant in its film and commercial parodies, and Heat Vision and Jack is the glorious game-changer that sadly never came to be. But will the Ben Stiller of the present return to the small screen with the same creativity and imagination that his ’90s self embodied?
Stiller is writing, directing and producing an HBO comedy pilot titled All Talk. The show comes from a novel written by Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Everything Is Illuminated author Jonathan Safran Foer, and focuses on a Jewish family based in Washinton D.C., and the daily lives and troubles of its members. Alan Alda, Stiller’s costar in Tower Heist, is in negotiations for a leading role (presumably as the family patriarch).
America’s vision of Stiller has changed a good deal since he got into show business. Around the time of his television work, Stiller was directing fresher and edgier films like Reality Bites and, to a lesser extent, The Cable Guy. Stiller has since become better associated with broad, goofy comedies, both as an actor and a writer/director.
So, we wonder what sort of vision Stiller will bring to All Talk, a project that seems to warrant the innovative and biting artist we used to know. And I’m sure many of us are pulling for the filmmaker to get back in touch with his Gen-X roots.