Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout Conan…including Conan himself!

First, Dave’s take…

…and then Craig’s:

Please note how both of them find the time to bash Carson Daly, proving once again that there’s no such thing as too easy a target. Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel, however, for figuring out a way to get a laugh out of Daly’s situation without being mean about it:

Bob linked to this in the comments section of my earlier post, but here’s what Patton Oswalt had to say on the matter:

And, of course, this post wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t offer Conan’s own take on the situation:

Gee, can you tell he’s pissed?

  

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TCA Tour – “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson”

When it comes to late-night hosts, I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but…I have almost reached the point where I prefer Craig Ferguson to David Letterman. When it comes to my all-time favorite, I don’t think I’ll ever see a day when Dave will be topped, but there’s just something about Ferguson that comes closer to matching my current sensibilities. In particular, I love the way the guy speaks off the cuff and from the heart. It’s not that other hosts can’t and don’t step outside of the standard talk-show mold to address specific issues of the day, but Ferguson does it every day of the week and throughout the majority of his show, creating a feel of spontaneity where you truly have no idea what he’s going to say next. Plus, he has such a “real person” vibe that you know that, when he does say something, it’ll sound like something that you might say.

Well, you know, if you had a Scottish brogue. And were funnier.

The TCA has had a long-standing relationship with Mr. Ferguson, but I swear to you that his ongoing gesture of buying us pizza whenever we hold our organization’s business meetings has nothing to do with my enjoyment of his show. With that said, however, I can’t say that the messages that he includes with the pizza – like the one below – haven’t made me respect him more. I mean, as someone who has an affinity to the printed word (as opposed to the online word), I have to give him props for this:

Craig stopped by the TCA tour for what was described as an “informal press conference,” which is no doubt why he started the proceedings by saying, “First of all, let me say my wife is standing by me through this very difficult time,” adding that “Buenos Aires is lovely at this time of year.” From there, he was willing to tackle any and all questions that were thrown at him, but before I offer up some of my favorite moments, I must drop this bombshell: he’s considering getting rid of the puppets.

Yes, I know: I’m as upset as you are. And so were many of the others in attendance, several of whom immediately gasped in horror.

“That reaction right there?” said Ferguson. “That’s what I’m looking for: controversy. ‘No puppets? That’s it! To the presses…that don’t exist anymore!’ I don’t know, I’m getting bored with puppets. If I can’t think of anything else to do with them, I’ll have to let them go the way of all flesh.”

As you can imagine, we did our best to pretend that he never made this comment…I don’t think I want to live in a world where “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” doesn’t provide me with my weekly puppet quota…and instead chose to focus on the funnier and more thoughtful bits of the “press conference.” Here, then, are ten of my favorites…

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Concession Stand: Stand Up and Drink

Welcome back to “Concession Stand,” where Premium Hollywood takes a look at DVDs while indulging in whatever food or beverage has recently been provided to us by a publicist…or, should there be a lapse in the free provisions, we’ll go find something from Dollar Tree, Big Lots, or Ollie’s Bargain Outlet that we’ve never heard of before but which screams to be tasted. Thankfully, however, there’ll be no need to leave the house this go-round, as we have a lovely bottle of spirits which was recently delivered to our front doorstep that will do the trick nicely. Why? Because we’ve decided to tackle a trio of stand-up comedy DVDs, and everyone knows that comedy is always funnier when you’ve got a few adult beverages in you.

The beverage: Three Olives Cherry Vodka. The idea of flavored vodka seems kind of lazy and cost-cutting, doesn’t it? It’s like saying, “Gosh, I’d like to mix my vodka with something to make it taste better, but then I’d have to walk two extra steps to the refrigerator to see what I can add to it, and if there’s nothing there, then I’ll just feel like I’ve wasted my time for nothing, so why don’t I just save myself the trouble and buy a bottle of vodka that already has a flavor to it?”

I’m not quite as lazy as all that, but I can still buy into the inherent concept…and based on the number of flavored vodkas being produced by Three Olives these days, it’s pretty clear that I’m not the only one. They offer – wait, let me take a breath first – berry, cherry, chocolate, citrus, grape, mango, orange, pomegranate, raspberry, root beer, vanilla, watermelon, and, triple shot espresso.

Oh, right, and they also have a plain vodka for you boring old purists out there.

The bottle they sent to me, as you may have guessed from the photograph hovering off to the right, was cherry-flavored. Seemed like the best possible flavor, really, given that A) I can manage to drag myself from the liquor cabinet to the refrigerator, and B) cherry blends well with just about any cola you might have in stock…which is exactly what I did blend it with when I sat down to enjoy the first of these three stand-up comedy DVDs. In truth, I actually had enough stand-up DVDs stockpiled to review more than three while under the influence of cherry vodka, but I figured, hey, why waste a perfectly good opportunity to do a sequel? Besides, three strong drinks could make even Harland Williams’s Har-Larious seem funny…and when you’ve reached that point, it’s clearly time to close the laptop and go to bed.

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A Chat With Comedian George Wallace

George Wallace has been doing stand-up comedy since the average Premium Hollywood reader was in elementary school…or possibly even longer than that. (You make the call: his first TV appearance as a stand-up was on “The Mike Douglas Show,” and it’s fair to suspect that he’d already been doing comedy for a few years before that.) Once in awhile, however, he takes time out of his residency at the Flamingo in Las Vegas to do a TV appearance or pop up in a movie. Wallace took a few minutes to talk to Premium Hollywood in connection with a guest spot on his buddy Byron Allen’s myNetworkTV series, “Comics Unleashed,” which airs tonight at 9 PM EST, and we asked him about his stand-up, his memorable appearance on “Seinfeld,” and several other topics of note. In return, he provided more than enough laughs to remind us why he placed in Comedy Central’s list of the Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.

Stay tuned for…

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Bullz-Eye’s TCA 2009 Winter Press Tour Recap

Wait, didn’t I just go to one of these press tours…?

Actually, that was back in July, when the networks were busy pimping their new fall schedules; this time, they were presenting us with an idea of what we can expect to see on our favorite broadcast and cable channels from now until they premiere their next fall schedule.

Going out to L.A. in January was a new thing for me, though. It was my first winter tour since becoming a member of the Television Critics Association in 2007 – last year’s was canceled due to the writers’ strike – and, if the rumblings throughout the ballrooms at the Universal Hilton were any indication, it may well prove to be my last January tour. I’m hopeful that this presumption turns out to be inaccurate, but given the current economic climate and an increasing tendency for newspapers and publications to only send their TV critics out for one tour per year, there’s every reason to suspect that the networks will join suit and only be willing to pamper those critics once per year.

Sorry, did I say “pamper”? Of course, I meant, “Treat with the utmost respect.”

It feels a bit odd to be doing a wrap-up of my experiences at the tour before I’ve even had a chance to write up all of the panels I attended while I was out there, but, hey, when you get a good spot on the calendar, you make it work however you can. So still keep your eyes open for my ongoing pieces on the various shows you can expect to find on the broadcast networks during the next few months, but in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the best and worst bits from the January ’09 tour as a whole.

Most enjoyable panel by a cable network: “Rescue Me,” FX.

I’ve been a big Denis Leary fan every since No Cure for Cancer, so I knew the guy was inevitably going to go off on a profanity-filled rant before the end of the panel. What I didn’t expect, however, was that Peter Tolan – who co-created the show with Leary – would start the proceedings by telling Leary to watch his mouth, adding, “If you were going to say ‘cunt,’ don’t.”

From there, the two of them seemingly battled each other in an attempt to offer up the most memorable line. Leary complained about his salary. (“I had a crazy idea of getting paid, like, $250,000 an episode. They put limits on that, let me tell you. That’s Kiefer Sutherland money right there.”) Then Tolan claimed that he was at fault for the show’s fourth-season slump, blaming it on a drug problem and that “I was heavy into a kazillion hookers that year.” Then Leary bitched about how Michael J. Fox was going to guest on “Rescue Me” and get the Emmy that Leary himself has yet to earn. (“Five fucking episodes, he comes in. God damn, $700 million from ‘Spin City.’ He never asked me to do the show. He’s going to walk away with the fucking Emmy. That son of a bitch.”) Then Tolan started mocking Hugh Laurie’s American accent by talking about how he could do a British accent. (“Aye, pip, pip, mate, aye! ‘Allo, Mary Poppins!”) And…well, as you can see, there was really no contest: this may well have been the greatest panel ever.

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