Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Conan's revenge may come sooner than you think, on screens big and small

You know, I love Conan O'Brien, but not nearly enough to pay $115 or so to see him on the closing night of his comedy tour at the Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta. Now, however, it seems he might be bringing the show directly to all kinds of cheapskates like me.

It seems that filmmaker Rodman Flender (who I had never heard of, but has apparently directed both "Idle Hands" and "Leprechaun 2" along with a lot of TV, in case that means anything to you), is about to sign on to make a feature film from the 30-city Legally Prohibited from Being Funny tour.

I'll certainly watch that, and in even better news, it seems likes Conan to Fox as soon as this fall is almost a done deal. According to the L.A. Times, key Fox executives, including Satan Murdoch, are on board with the plan and would like to finalize a deal the network could announce at its fall lineup unveiling on May 17.

Details are still being worked out, including that Fox would spend about $60 million annually on the show, as opposed to NBC's $90 million earmarked for Conan's "The Tonight Show," but at least one more really funny thing could come out of all this. Fox is apparently looking at leasing the old "Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" set for the new show, which NBC spent $50 million renovating. Now, I realize this would put more revenue in NBC's pockets, but if Conan were to somehow kick Jay Leno's ass sort of on his old turf, how frigging sweet would that be?

Conan is prohibited from being on TV until September, but that certainly doesn't keep him from plotting that return as soon as possible. Stay tuned ...

And, since it's almost all about funny here today, Amy Heckerling seems to be cooking up something that could really be so with "Vamps," even though, like much of the world over the age of 16, I really have just about had enough of the undead.

Remember Amy Heckerling? Among her very funny films are "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Clueless" (admit it, you like that silly little movie as much as I do.) For her return to writing and directing, Heckerling is reuniting with "Clueless" star Alicia Silverstone for "Vamps" and pairing her with Krysten Ritter, who was just as funny as Jay Baruchel in the surprisingly much better than awful "She's Out of My League" (yes, I watched that.)

The duo will play a pair of beautiful young (do they really have ages?) vampires who are living it up in NYC until, of course, love enters the picture and mucks things up. Sounds more than a little meh, but I'm still betting on pretty seriously funny, especially with this latest bit of casting news.

Sigourney Weaver, late of a little movie called "Avatar," has signed on to play a vampire queen who turned the two young ladies into creatures of the night. Filming will start in April, and with that cast, you can be pretty much sure I'll turn out to see what comes of all this.

And, speaking of funny that's going to come much, much sooner, was there ever any doubt that Tiger Woods would find himself the star of tonight's new season premiere of "South Park"? Of course not. Here's the premise:

The nation's top scientists come together to put a stop to the recent phenomenon of rich, successful men who suddenly want to have sex with many, many women. After extensive testing, some of the fourth grade boys in South Park Elementary are diagnosed as sex addicts.

I'm laughing at that already, and as you'll see from the brief preview below, they either simply obtained the audio tape from Tiger's "press conference" or found a dead voice ringer. Enjoy.

And finally, when it comes to stand-up comedians, they really don't get much better at all than Valdosta, Ga's own late, great Bill Hicks. If you've never seen him perform, get yourself caught up on Youtube and I guarantee you'll laugh. His most frequent targets are advertisers (he's known to open shows with "if you're in advertising or marketing, kill yourself"), but he really spares no one guilty of hypocrisy. And now, thankfully, directors Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas have made a documentary about his too-short life, "American: The Bill Hicks Story," which just played the SXSW fest and will hopefully be coming to a theater or DVD player near me very soon. Enjoy the trailer and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.


Amy said...

One of the reasons I went on a second date with my now husband is that we both owned VHS copies of "Clueless." I'm intrigued, even thought I'm vamped out (unless it's Vampire Weekend).

Reel Fanatic said...

That's the best reason for a second date I've heard in quite a while, Amy, 'cause any guy who's afraid to admit he loves "Clueless" clearly just has some issues left to work out!