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Conan gets animated, takes on mob in ‘Archer’ skit

- January 21st, 2015

After working on The Simpsons and creating one of the most beloved episodes in the series’ history (Monorail!), it only makes sense that Conan O’Brien would return to the world of animation.

Tossing grenades at the Russian mob while promoting Uber just wasn’t the way most would have pictured it.

On Tuesday night’s episode of Conan, the late-night host stepped out of his studio and into the cartoon world of Archer, one of FX’s most popular shows.

After getting into secret agent Sterling Archer’s car, Conan is handed a pistol and told to start shooting.

It’s all downhill from here for the two polar-opposite characters.

At first, Conan doesn’t even know where to point the gun, and when he finally does figure out, he spends the majority of time swinging it around in his hands and insulting Archer for not using Uber like, “everyone else.”

A few minutes of hilarious back-and-forth banter between the two breaks out before they’re targeted by another mobster filled jeep, leading them into the empty tunnels of Los Angeles.

This time around, Conan’s got to handle a grenade and the result is just slightly better than his first experience wielding a gun.

Usually stints like these aren’t overly funny and fail at pandering to either fan base, but the adorably obtuse Conan juxtaposed with the overwhelmingly confident Archer makes for a great five minutes of comedy.

‘Girls’ star Lena Dunham to guest star on ‘The Simpsons’

- January 9th, 2015

The Simpsons is about to get a whole lot snappier.

Girls star and creator Lena Dunham has recorded a part for the animated show’s 27th season premiere, Entertainment Weekly reported Friday.

The episode, entitled “Every Man’s Dream,” finds Homer and Marge in another one of their frivolous whirlwind marital disputes. Except unlike previous episodes that used the same confrontational narrative device, Simpsons creator Al Jean tells the magazine things get pretty heated between everyone’s favourite yellow couple.

“We wanted to take a real look at what it’s like to be Mrs. Simpson,” Jean said.

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Lena Dunham’s upcoming character on The Simpsons, Candace the pharmacist.
(Entertainment Weekly)

Enter Dunham’s character. After Homer is diagnosed for narcolepsy, he comes across a young and stunning twentysomething pharmacist who he’s immediately taken with. As the episode progresses, their conversations become deeper and deeper (or as deep as you can get in a 22 minute network comedy) and it’s apparent the two have romantic feelings for each other.

With numerous voice actors on staff, questions still circled as to why they went with Dunham for the role. Jean admitted when they were writing the part, the entire writing staff was writing it with Dunham’s voice in their heads.

“…it’s that funny, intellectual, slightly awkward, endearing tone that everybody’s familiar with, so we were just writing it with her voice in our heads.”

The 27th season of The Simpsons is set to debut later this year on Fox during the upcoming fall season.

‘Simpsons World’ is an unlimited pass into Springfield

- July 21st, 2014

UPDATE: FX has confirmed the Simpsons World app will only be available for U.S. subscribers. There are currently no plans to bring the app to Canada or other countries around the world at this time.

Homer Simpson once profoundly asked, “What’s the point in going out? We’re just going to end up back here anyways.”

I agree with you Homer, and it looks like FX does too.

During the TCA’s on Monday, an annual gathering of television critics and industry professionals in Los Angeles, FX president Chuck Saftler announced the creation of Simpsons World, a heaven for all Simpsons fanatics.

The multi-platform app will not only allow viewers to watch every episode of the series made to date, but will also give them ample access to trivia, character biographies, and an “ultimate” episode guide with actual scripts embedded into each episode summary.

Saftler confirmed the episodes would be partnered with commercials and in order to use the app, you must be an FX subscriber.

If that’s not a good enough reason to purchase cable, though, you probably won’t find one.

The Wrap also reported that subsequent to Simpsons World is a tool called Simpsons TV. Within Simpsons TV, users can bookmark their progress through a season, or personalize a viewing playlist based on specific characters or themes.

In order to prep for the launch of Simpsons World, FX will be carrying out a marathon of all 552 episodes –an event that will take a week a half of around the clock broadcasting. The marathon will kick off on Aug. 21 and run through Sept 1.

Personally, I think they’re missing the boat by not coordinating it to run over the Labour Day long weekend, but I’m not an executive at FX.

The Simpsons World app will be launching on all Apple and Android devices, as well as Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms in late October.

Jack is Back and The Simpsons go Lego; TV must-sees for the week

- May 4th, 2014

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Bill Harris’ top-10 must-sees for the week of May 4

1) 24: Live Another Day
Debut: Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) has been in hiding for four years, but suddenly he re-emerges in London, England. Is he there to do harm, to do good, or to take the Downton Abbey tour?
When: Monday on Fox, Global

2) Louie
Fourth-season debut with back-to-back episodes: Louis C.K returns with this funny, sad, depressing and uplifting series. Sarah Silverman guest-stars in the first episode, Jerry Seinfeld in the second.
When: Monday on FX Canada

3) The Simpsons
In the 550th episode of this series, Homer wakes up to find everyone in Springfield, include himself and his family, is made of Legos (that’s the family home pictured above). In the corporate toy world, this is what they call synergy.
When: Sunday on Fox, Global

4) Two and a Half Men
11th-season finale: With Kimberly Williams-Paisley continuing her role as Gretchen, the fiancee of Alan (Jon Cryer), her real-life husband – country singer Brad Paisley – makes a guest appearance.
When: Thursday on CBS, CTV

5) Resurrection
First-season finale: Arcadia is in a state of chaos with the return of the dead reaching a critical mass, so Bellamy (Omar Epps) feels he has no choice but to ask for outside help. Not everyone agrees with him.
When: Sunday on ABC, City

6) Veep
Dan (Reid Scott) and Amy (Anna Chlumsky) compete to become campaign manager for Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), but she is being advised that her wisest move might be to dump her entire team.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

7) 2 Broke Girls
Third-season finale: Caroline (Beth Behrs) encourages Max (Kat Dennings) to write the one exam she needs to complete her high school degree. Because if there’s one thing this series is about, it’s education.
When: Monday on CBS, City

8) CSI
14th-season finale: As the team investigates a current-day crime that is linked to a 25-year-old mob heist, Brass (Paul Guilfoyle) faces some tough choices when his daughter attempts suicide.
When: Wednesday on CBS, CTV

9) New Girl
Third-season finale: To make it less weird, Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) invite the whole gang to accompany them on a cruise that they booked when they still were together as a couple.
When: Tuesday on Fox, City

10) The Goldbergs
Adam (Sean Giambrone) convinces Erica (Hayley Orrantia) to take him to the premiere of Return of the Jedi. I wonder, if Star Wars movies didn’t exist, where would current sitcoms get most of their material?
When: Tuesday on ABC, CTV

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Hoser hottie Tim Warmels of The Bachelor Canada reminds me of Apu

- April 17th, 2014

Final capture copy

Wait, don’t all successful entrepreneurs have hot- and cold-running chicks anyway? Like a beverage counter at a Kwik-E-Mart?

OK, maybe I watch too much TV.

Point being, Citytv announced Thursday that Toronto entrepreneur Tim Warmels is the hoser hottie for season two of The Bachelor Canada. The series will air in the fall.

Warmels is a 28-year-old native of Campbellville, Ont., and a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. After moving to Toronto to prove himself as an investment banker, Warmels now has a number of tech ventures and his own boutique contracting business.

In his spare time, he enjoys writing, travelling, modelling and working with his hands building custom furniture and renovating his home.

My God, did you ever see that episode of The Simpsons when Apu gets dragged into participating at a “bachelor auction?” When, in his classic accent, Apu says, “In my spare time I like to build furniture and then to have a discussion about where to put it in a room,” all the women start to droll.

Maybe Tim Warmels’ REAL name is Tim Nahasapeemapetilon. It certainly will bring new meaning to Tim and one of his sexy ladies ducking out for a “Kwik-E.”

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv