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Tag Archive: comedy


It was last year’s funniest new comedy.  In the crazy modern world where a television series can have two seasons in one year, Angie Tribeca returns to TBS tonight with the first episode of its third season.  Season One and Two were full of cameos, including Bill Murray, Heather Graham, and James Franco, and this season is no exception.  In the next ten episodes of the half-hour police procedural comedy, you’ll find Star Trek star Chris Pine as a Hannibal Lecter-inspired criminal and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman (Star Wars prequels, Marvel Cinematic Universe) as a NASA scientist who doesn’t quite fit any of the squad members’ expectations.

Rashida Jones is back as the show’s lead Tribeca, the Leslie Nielsen of the latest incarnation of a Police Squad!-level spoof of gritty dramas.  She has fantastic comedic timing and would also fit right in as the lead of any serious show.  The entire cast is a well-choreographed sight-gag machine, including Tribeca’s partner J. Geils, played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the loud-mouthed lieutenant, Chet Atkins, with comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls, and Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-man 2, Justice League Dark) as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.

It’s the series comedy queen Carol Burnett referred to as “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show”.  Check out these previews for Season 3 of Angie Tribeca:

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Angie Tribeca Season One DVD

When we first reviewed Season One of TBS’s new hot comedy Angie Tribeca back in January here at borg.com we could hardly wait for Season Two to arrive.  Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  The first ten episodes provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! and re-watching the episodes and the special features on the soon-to-be-released DVD release this week made us believers all over again.  The series is laugh-out-loud funny like no other show on television.

The special features on the DVD, which is being released May 17, 2016, give viewers an idea of how difficult this kind of comedy is to create.  We figured the secret to the show’s unique humor was the writing by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, but it may be more than that.  Star Rashida Jones explains that as easy as it is to watch and laugh at the comedy on the show, the technical requirements to get the comedy right takes plenty of planning and coordination.  The features also include a sneak peek at Season Two.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

You know something funny is going on when you read ad copy for the series, like “Finally!  A show about cops!”  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast, including Jere Burns (Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, Justified) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins), Tribeca’s partner J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole as cop DJ Tanner, partner Officer David Hoffman played by Jagger the shepherd dog, with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss.  As Burns says in interviews on the DVD, playing the characters with earnest–like Molina performing with the seriousness you might see by a Shakespearean actor–makes the humor work.

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Angie Tribeca clip

TBS’s new comedy series Angie Tribeca was released Netflix-style Sunday, January 17, 2016, with an all-at-once binge watch marathon.  Season One provided the flavor of nonstop laughs that we haven’t seen since Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! was yucking up the airwaves back in 1982.  That same “I can’t believe this is so funny,” laugh-out-loud, Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker-inspired comedy is back.

Streaming online for each episode of Season One expires today so put aside three or four hours and check it out now at the TBS website here.  Carol Burnett, who called in to the live marathon hosted by the show’s stars in between episodes, surprised the cast, and nailed it, calling the show “the best, most wonderful, stupid hysterical show I’ve seen in a while”.  What was the secret to the show’s success?  As usual it’s the writing.  Top writing, in fact, by the funny husband-wife duo of Steve Carell and Nancy (ex-Saturday Night Live’s Nancy Walls) Carell and their staff, who tapped into something else we haven’t seen in a while–humor that isn’t mean and ugly, just well-paced and all-out fun.

David Hoffman and DJ Tanner

Fans of Peggy Lipton from The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks might not be able to help making comparisons of Lipton to her daughter, series star Rashida Jones, who plays the title character.  Jones makes a great cop–she could easily fold into a dramatic role on any TV police procedural.  But she also has great comedic timing and is a solid series lead.  Plenty can also be said for the rest of the cast.  We already know Jere Burns from his role as the nasty villain Anson Fullerton on Burn Notice (and dozens of appearances on other popular series from Breaking Bad to Justified).  But who would have thought he’d be so endearing (and, yes, funny) as the textbook, loud-mouthed lieutenant (named Chet Atkins)?  Tribeca’s partner is J. Geils (yes, there’s a theme here with the names), played by Hayes MacArthur (How I Met Your Mother, Medium), comedian Deon Cole is cop DJ Tanner (and his partner Officer David Hoffman is played by Jagger the shepherd dog, who Cole communicates with in a very Han Solo and Chewbacca way), with Andree Vermeulen as the medical examiner, Dr. Scholls.  Gravitas and legitimacy is provided by none other than Alfred Molina as coroner Dr. Edelweiss, always in a state of physical torment–or not.

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David Brenner Tonight Show

Comedian David Brenner was said to have been Johnny Carson’s favorite guest on The Tonight Show, showing up on 157 episodes.  He passed away this weekend at age 78.  Watching clips decades later reminds you how easy Carson and Brenner could fill air time with a quick chat and be able to make others laugh so effortlessly, and how much of a good guy Brenner seemed to be.  When I was a kid, I’d try to get my parents to “let me stay up to watch Carson” and they often let me, to my sleepless glee.  But I was disappointed if the show didn’t have David Brenner as a guest or as guest host.  I liked to watch him laugh as he told his jokes, and his humor, whether I understood it all or not, made me laugh.  I learned of Brenner’s passing via a nice comment by Jimmy Fallon on Monday night’s episode of The Tonight Show, where Fallon has returned to the kind of humor as the new host of the long-lived show, the kind of humor that kept audiences rolling back in the 1970s and 1980s with Brenner’s brilliant monologues.

I liked Brenner so much that when his autobiography came out before I was a teenager I nabbed it up, maybe the only autobiography I read until adulthood.  Again, some of it was outside of my understanding back then.  And here’s a strange thing.  My personal sleep habits spring from staying up late to watch Carson and Saturday Night Live, but even more so to Brenner’s own sleep clock.  I latched onto the fact that Brenner said he would only sleep about four hours each night, nothing close to the eight hours most people aim to get.  He figured if he kept it up he could live–be awake–something like 20 years longer than everyone else.  People say you need 8 hours of sleep per day, yet Brenner made it to 78.  Bravo.  It makes me wonder if he kept up that 4-hour sleep plan.  Because of Brenner I have never bought into the need for the eight-hour nightly sleep.  My own strange takeaway from this funny funnyman.

Called Soft Pretzels with Mustard, Brenner’s autobiography is a story of a kid growing up in Philly and how he picked up his sense of humor along the way.  The book became a bestseller and I count it as one of my favorites.

Soft Pretzels with Mustard

My favorite clip of The Tonight Show with Brenner is one of the funniest pieces of television you’ll ever see and I last saw it on a Johnny Carson anniversary show.  I scanned the Web for it to no avail, but found Brenner’s own recollection of the episode:

“Johnny loved to catch someone NOT watching the “Tonight Show,” especially when they were on it.  So one night I was on the show and I did my act and I came over and sat on the couch and, if you remember, sometimes the last guest would be the author of a book.

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