Tag: Kristen Schaal

Winter 2011 TCA Press Tour: Top 10 Quotes from Day 7

American Idol

1. Q: Are you going to have to put Steve on a five second delay on (‘American Idol’)?
Steven Tyler: Fuck, no. (Pauses) I question whether I should have done that just now.

2. Q: So how does it feel to be a Latina on (‘American Idol’)?
Jennifer Lopez: I don’t know how it would feel to be anything else.

3. “Having done ‘The Shield’ and ‘The Chicago Code,’ I’d feel much more comfortable being pulled over by the Chicago PD than the LAPD at this point.” – Shawn Ryan, “The Chicago Code”

4. Q: Can you talk about how you find the voices for new characters like this? Do you work with the producers and they say, “We kind of want this sound,” or do you look at the character sketch and say, “Hey”? How does that work?
Eugene Mirman: We went on a year long walkabout, and then it came to us.
Kristen Schaal: Trying to go get in touch with our, like, spirit animals. Like mine’s a tiger, and I studied tigers for a year.
Eugene Mirman: That doesn’t answer your question at all. We played around in the studio over a period of probably year and a half or two recording and rerecording stuff for this pilot, and sort of, with both us and direction from Loren and FOX, sort of, I think, found the tone and voice, but also I have a spirit animal too.
Kristen Schaal: What is it?
Eugene Mirman: I’m not telling anybody. No one cares.
Kristen Schaal: Sounds like a turtle.
Eugene Mirman: It’s a “minx,” if that’s an animal.

Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal, “Bob’s Burgers”

Bob's Burgers

5. Q: For the showrunners (of ‘Terra Nova’), I have a time-paradox question.
Brannon Braga: Oh, dear God.
Q: Aren’t the people who sent them back, who aren’t going back with them, worried about being fixed out of existence? And what exactly are they hoping to achieve by doctoring the past, and why are the people in the present not worried about being unmade by them?
Brannon Braga: I feel like we’re at a “Star Trek” convention.

6. Q: I have a question about the timeline (of ‘Terra Nova’). 85 million years ago, it seems to me 20 million years from then, there’s a giant asteroid that destroys all life on Earth?
Alex Graves: Yes. The series will not go 20 million years.
Brannon Braga: Let’s just say that they’re acutely aware of that fact and have a plan in mind.
Rene Echevarria: And they have 20 million years to effect that plan.

7. “I take the subway all the time, and when I go on, the first thing I do is I say, ‘Don’t everybody get up. It’s me. It’s Colonel Quaritch from ‘Avatar,’ but keep your seats,’ you know, because I really don’t want to be recognized by people.” – Stephen Lang, “Terra Nova”

Stephen Lang

8. “I had this idea where it was basically like…I’m pretty responsibile. I work hard at what I do, but I sometimes forget to return DVDs…back when you actually returned DVDs…or I forget to pay parking tickets. Then I realized that, if I just budgeted like $300 a year for the cost of being Bob, like a Bob Tax, that I wouldn’t beat myself up about it or whatever.” – Bob Fisher, “Traffic Light”

9. “(With ‘Lone Star,’) we made a show that we really loved, and we thought that the creators were very talented, and they made an excellent show. I think, for the most part, you guys really believed in the show and liked the show as well. And we put the show on, and not enough people showed up to watch it. And we were very disappointed in that. And it’s the reality of the business that we’re in. It’s intensely competitive. It’s always more competitive year after year. And you make the show — the best shows that you can. The truth is that it failed. It failed to meet the expectations that we had. It doesn’t mean that that we don’t like the show, that we don’t respect the people who made it. Kevin (Reilly) and I talk about this a lot. I’d much prefer to fail with a show that we’re creatively proud of than fail with a show that we’re — I guess ’embarrassed of’ would be one word — that we don’t believe in, that we don’t think has a level of originality and creativity.” – Peter Rice

10. Odette Yustman: I have a love interest (on ‘Breaking In’). I have a boyfriend named Dutch, who is played by the genius Michael Rosenbaum. He’s a supercool guy, and I think that they are going to try to bring him in more throughout the series, but he’s a very interesting fellow. He sells clean urine on eBay. Enough said.
Q: I’ve got to ask because I think this needs to be known: what on earth does anyone do with clean urine? Who would buy it?
Christian Slater: Drug testing.
Bret Harrison: To pass a drug test, yes.
Christian Slater: Drug testing. See, what you do is…well, we can really do a whole lecture here.

Greetings to the New Series: “Bob’s Burgers”

It’s never a wise move to predict great things from a new animated series based solely on its pilot, nor is it generally safe to play the benefit-of-the-doubt game when it comes to a creative team, so feel free to call me stupid and dangerous for going out on a limb and hoping that I’m going to really enjoy “Bob’s Burgers.”

You will note, however, the use of italics…but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

First, let’s focus on the one thing about “Bob’s Burgers” that is absolutely undeniable: H. Jon Benjamin is a god amongst adult animation voiceover actors.

Bob's Burgers 1

As is the case with far too many voice actors, even if you don’t know Benjamin’s name, you most likely know his work. He’s Ben Katz on “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.” He’s Jason, Perry, and – yes! – Coach McGuirk on “Home Movies.” He was part of “O’Grady,” an underrated animated series that aired on The N, as well as the coulda-been-a-contender “Freak Show,” which David Cross still laments as one of the great missed opportunities of his career. Then there’s “Lucy: Daughter of the Devil,” “Assy McGee,” and, most recently, FX’s “Archer,” where he plays the title character.

Here, Benjamin is Bob, proprietor of a self-named burger joint that he runs with the help of his wife, Tina (Dan Mintz), and his kids Gene (Eugene Mirman), Linda (John Roberts), and Louise (Kristen Schaal). Even though he’s married with three children, Bob’s Burgers is really the end-all and be-all of Bob’s existence, with his intensity in keeping the restaurant rolling along such that he regularly forgets his wedding anniversary, his wife’s birthday…even his own birthday. Fortunately, Tina is so self-absorbed, not to mention slightly delusional, that they’ve managed to maintain their successfully dysfunctional relationship for many years now. As for the kids, Gene would seem to be a budding prop comedian (when outside the restaurant, wearing a giant burger costume and passing out samples, he regularly plays with a megaphone that makes fart noises), Linda’s destined for a life as a social outcast (she spends the pilot complaining about her nasty case of crotch itch), and Louise is disconcertingly cheery but seems to have no understanding of what’s socially acceptable (she changes the name of the Burger of the Day to “The Child Molester” and tells her class that Bob makes his burgers out of corpses from the funeral parlor next door)…but, of course, all of these character traits could change, since – as noted – all we’ve seen so far is the pilot.

And, say, how about that pilot?

Bob's Burgers 2

Family sitcoms may be a dime a dozen, particularly animated ones, but the concept of a family-owned restaurant is fun, and I like the idea that Bob’s so obsessed with his burger joint that his response to Linda’s question about her itchy crotch is, “Are you asking me as my daughter, or are you asking me as my cook? Because my cook wouldn’t ask me that.” But even though Louise’s antics are funny, you can’t help but think that any kid who’s smart enough to find humor in the idea of naming a burger “The Child Molester” is also smart enough to know the effect it could have on her father’s business.

All told, I wanted to like “Bob’s Burgers” decidedly more than I actually did, but thanks to the fact that it reunites Benjamin with series creator Loren Bouchard, his collaborator on two of his greatest creative successes (“Dr. Katz” and “Home Movies”), I still want to give it the benefit of the doubt that it’s salvageable. To be worth watching on a regular basis, Bouchard is going to have to lose the lowbrow that permeates way too much of “Bob’s Burgers,” embrace the uniqueness of the premise, and keep things grounded in reality rather than ridiculousness. Like I said at the beginning, I’m hoping the series will grow more appetizing in the weeks ahead, but I know it’s a tall order to fill, and my expectations are realistic: since I’m pretty sure the ingredients that leave the worst taste in my mouth are what led Fox to greenlight the series in the first place, I’m resigned to leaving “Bob’s Burgers” still hungry for laughs.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force 6

I don’t know what it is about “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” that causes me to be forever surprised at how funny it is, but I think perhaps it’s because the concept is so downright surreal. Nonetheless, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force 6” (which actually contains the whole of Season 5 of the series) contains just as many laughs as the previous collections. The first few episodes, however, feature little or no appearances from Frylock, Master Shake, and Meatwad, due to their being cocooned in the desert by their vampire-esque landlord Marcula; ever the caring neighbor, Carl immediately tries to rent out their place to a bunch of robots, but his greatest spotlight comes in the third episode, “Sirens,” when he meets another set of new neighbors, voiced by Kelly Hogan, Neko Case, and John Kruk. (Kruk plays himself; the other two do not.) Other guest voices during the season include David Cross, T-Pain, Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”), Jon Benjamin (a.k.a. Coach McGuirk on “Home Movies”), and Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Conchords”).

There are four previously-unaired episodes, the best of which is “Shake Like Me,” where Master Shake is bitten by a radioactive black man and becomes black himself. Scientifically implausible, you say? Surely no more so than an anthropomorphic Happy Meal. Of the special features, sports fans will particularly enjoy the “Carl’s Pissed” shorts, where the hairy undershirt-wearing gentleman moans and groans about various events in the world of sports, but there are also other oddities that fans of the show’s bizarre comedic sensibilities will enjoy. Those who do not belong to the Adult Swim cult, however, will almost certainly not…and that goes not just for the bonus material but also for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” as a whole.

Click to buy “Aqua Teen Hunger Force 6”

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