Tagged: Stephen Colbert

Letterman Settles With WGA

Letterman Settles With WGA

Next Wednesday, The Late Show With David Letterman will become the first television show back on the air with its full writing staff. Letterman’s Worldwide Pants company, producers of both The Late Show and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, successfully negotiated a new contract with the Writers Guild of America.

Whereas other talk shows will be returning to the air – Jay Leno the same day, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert the following Monday – Letterman and Ferguson will be allowed to use opening monologues and the continuing bits such as The Top 10 list that have constituted a large part of their appeal. Leno and the rest will not be able to use recurring segments and will have to ad-lib their shows until they, too, reach a settlement.

Letterman followed a strategy employed by his mentor (and, later, his writer) Johnny Carson back during the 1988 strike. The WGA is likely to use deal-points agreed to as a template for further negotiations.

To prove the studios still don’t understand a damn thing, they released a statement today that striking writers have "lost" the battle because they now lost more in salary and benefits than they hoped to gain from negotiations. In my opinion, with such a limited and asinine view of the situation the WGA strike will likely drag on for a while.

Stephen Colbert for President?

Stephen Colbert for President?

Finally, Stephen Colbert is throwing his hat into the ring and officially announcing his candidacy for President of the United States.  Colbert appeared on The Daily Show last night and suggested he might consider considering a run for the highest office in the land, but then said he would make his official announcement on a "more prestigious show."  Then appearing on his own show, he made the big announcement amid a waterfall of red, white and blue balloons.  He went on to say he plans to file and run in South Carolina, his home state, and only in South Carolina, and will file for both the Republican and Democratic parties.

We suspected it ever since he took over Maureen Dowd’s column.

JOHN OSTRANDER: That’s A TV Wrap, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I did a wrap-up of my opinions of some of the TV I watched this past season. I held back on two shows because they hadn’t yet ended their seasons or their runs and others were cut because the column was getting too blamed long. So I’m going to try to finish up and include some shows that finished their “seasons” a while back but are about to start new seasons this summer. Looking back is a way of looking forward. First, however, a quick look at two shows among my faves and that are linked.

The Daily Show/The Colbert Report. These two almost have to be discussed together. The “fake news show” and the fake news commentary show. I have to admit I watch the Daily Show more often than The Colbert Report. While I admire the latter, Colbert’s persona – a terrific send-up of right wing on air demagogues – gets a little hard for me to watch at times. It’s right on the money.

What I love about The Daily Show is there is a sense of moral outrage and while a lot of it is aimed at the Bush Administration – justifiably – a lot also goes right at the media itself. It’s a serious show that makes use of comedy and makes me laugh out loud more often than not. Jon Stewart is brilliant on a consistent basis and his gang of reporters – while not overall the best the series has had – has some truly shameless members like Samantha Bee.

Stephen Colbert was the “star reporter” for a long time on The Daily Show until they launched his spin-off show, The Colbert Report, a send-up of Bill O’Reilly and all the other right-wing, self-important blowhards doing commentary on TV and radio. I admire the show tremendously; so much of it falls on Colbert. Given the nature of the show, there isn’t a cast of “reporters” that he can fall back on. And there are truly gonzo moments that pop up, such as Colbert’s guitar showdown or the green screen challenge that featured Stephen with a lightsaber and invited viewers to finish it and submit their offerings. George Lucas himself came on the show as one of the two finalists – and lost. It’s just that some nights I’m just not in the mood. It’s me, Stephen, not you.

Doctor Who. This is no-brainer for me. I’m a long time fan and the new series brought me right in again. Christopher Eccleston did a fabulous job in Season One and now David Tennant is just as good in a different way as the latest incarnation of our time/space traveling hero. It’s not that every episode is brilliant or that every concept is the best; that was never the attraction. But for all the fact that the Doctor is a Time Lord from an alien planet, the show remains one of the most human of S/F shows and consistently celebrates humanity. I love it.

Eureka. I also love this show. The concept is that there is this small town in the Pacific Northwest which is the home for some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the country who live and work in a safe, supportive, small town environment. Rural weirdness ensues. Think The X-Files meets Mayberry RFD. The local garage mechanic also happens to be a genius-grade engineer. The new town sheriff is a regular guy, a U.S. Marshall who happened to come on the town and helped with one of their problems. The fact that he is just a normal Joe with no more scientific background than the rest of us makes him the perfect alter-ego for the audience who are also new to the place and, probably, not world class brains (I’m not). Colin Ferguson plays Sheriff Jack Carter; he has a deft comedic timing, along with being a good looking guy, that makes him not only a great lead but a solid anchor for the weirdness that goes on around him. The show combines humor, well thought out science fiction ideas, characterizations that take surprising twists and is, overall, terrifically well written. It attracted more viewers than anything other series on SciFi and the new season starts in July.


Harvey Birdman Gets Comic

Harvey Birdman Gets Comic

The third season of Adult Swim’s Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law will be released as a two-disc DVD set on July 24, 2007.  Included in the package is a comic book about The Origin of the X Eliminator.

The show stars Gary Cole (The West Wing, Family Guy, American Gothic) as the superhero-turned-inept lawyer and Stephen Colbert as both his boss and as the arch-villain, prosecutor Myron Reducto, and Lewis Black as the Deadly Duplicator.

Adult Swim announced last week that Harvey Birdman has been picked up for another season.

Viacom sues YouTube for $1 bil

Viacom sues YouTube for $1 bil

Looking for that video of Stephen Colbert accepting the mantle of Captain America last night (apparently Marvel has just discovered the shield missing), or decrying the death of Steve Rogers in his Word segment from last Thursday?  Don’t bother going to YouTube for ’em.  Comedy Central’s parent company Viacom announced today that it has sued YouTube and its parent company Google, seeking more than $1 billion in copyright infringement damages.

The lawsuit was not exactly unexpected — last month Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 unauthorized clips after several months of talks between the companies broke down.

Considering the fight is about who can make more money "out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works," so far it looks like, whoever wins, the fans might still be the losers.



Because Battlestar Galactica fans demanded it, and they didn’t even know it!  Also because hey, it provides the SciFi Channel with more airtime filler and they don’t have to work to get it.  In any case, the newest bit of viral interactive fun care of SciFi is the Battlestar Galactica Videomaker Toolkit, which allows viewers to insert sound, visual and music clips from the show in their own homemade four-minute masterpieces, which they can then upload to the site in a sort of contest where the winner will be shown during the airing of a future BSG episode. 

Maybe we’ll get to see a cool Starbuck resurrection scene, combined perhaps with a Stephen Colbert green screen kinda deal…

Letterman NYCC quiz

Letterman NYCC quiz

The CBS Late Show with David Letterman took a look last night at the New York Comic Con, offering the following bit:

Said Letterman, "We got some footage of the event. We then compiled this quiz. Some of my favorites:

(Heavy guy thumbing through comic books)

"Just an hour into the convention, this man has already gotten his hands on:

A) Superman #1

B) Green Lantern #3

C) Cheeseburger #6

(Character in giant head)

"The character on the right:

A) is from a Japanese cartoon

B) will soon be in his own movie

C) has been stumbling blindly through the city since the Thanksgiving Parade

(Girl in fluffy dress and orange wig):

"Looking at this scene, we’re reminded that:

A) all fantasy realms are welcome here

B) the convention is a great place to meet friends

C) it’s been a tough month for Britney Spears

(Alien with claws):

"You may remember this creature from:

A) "Lord of the Rings"

B) "Pan’s Labyrinth"

C) Your local Taco Bell"

Letterman’s competitor, Stephen Colbert, was a guest of the NYCC.

The clock is Tek-ing

The clock is Tek-ing

Oni Press is offering nifty prizes to New York Comic Con attendees who come to their booth dressed like the Stephen Colbert-created character Tek Jansen, including an opportunity to have their photo posted on Oni’s website.  Because, you know, there just aren’t enough ways to get one’s photo on a website.  Oh well, it’s better than a Boba Fettish.

And Tek Jansen co-writer Tom Peyer has been interviewed about the comic at the Colbert fan site No-Fact Zone, and offers the following advice to first-time comic buyers in the Colbert Nation: "Now, many of you have never set foot in a comic book store; it can be scary the first time. Just pretend you’re Tek, on a mission to establish first contact with some repellent extraterrestrial species. We’re betting everything that your fear of not being ‘hip’ to the latest Colbert ‘merchandise’ will override your completely understandable xenophobia."

We scream for Stephen Colbert

We scream for Stephen Colbert

It’s not up on their press release page yet, but Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t keep the lid on this one.  Ending days of rabid speculation on the interwebs, today they officially announced their newest ice cream flavor, named for Tek Jansen creator and NY Comic Con attendee Stephen Colbert.  "Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream" consists of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel.  Not exactly the red, white and blue melange the Colbert Nation had been expecting, but it should go down as easily as one of Jansen’s many alien conquests.  And that’s the Word!

Colbert to appear at NYCC

Colbert to appear at NYCC

Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert will be appearing at the New York Comic Con February 23rd at 4:30 PM. The Colbert Report host will be supporting his new Oni Press comic book miniseries, Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen. Based on Colbert’s undistributed science fiction epic Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure and the inspiration for the series of Tek Jansen animated shorts on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen is a five-issue miniseries set to arrive in comic shops this March.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Colbert as of press time, the television star also will be receiving his appropriate due in the first of the new series of Munden’s Bar adventures set to debut at the same time. Written by John Ostrander and drawn by underground comix legend Skip Williamson, this story is a tribute to the late Munden’s Bar contributor Del Close, who also served as a teacher-mentor to folks like Colbert, Ostrander, Williamson and this writer.