It’s a new show, Mister, with Bob and David

13 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘With Bob and David’ reunites comedy duo David Cross and Bob Odenkirk.

Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and David Cross (Arrested Development), the team behind cult sketch-comedy series Mr. David Cross and Bob Odenkirk were friends and erstwhile colleagues on Ben Stiller’s short-lived sketch comedy series, both hanging around Montreal’s Just for Laughs comedy fest in the early ‘90s, sharing a hotel room. The future looks conspicuously unchanged: Same barely appointed stage, same two-drink-minimum crowd, same friends they had when they stepped into the machine 16 years ago. Show gang back in With Bob and David, even though their style seems less fresh now that 16 years have passed and so many other sketch comedians have built on their excellence, and even though it takes the better part of the first two episodes for the troupe to find its feet again.

Although the series garnered dismal ratings for its three-season run – likely due to its terrible time slots – its absurd sensibilities and unusual structure cultivated a frighteningly devoted fan base once it was released on DVD. In the years since, Bob Odenkirk has gone on to become an Emmy-nominee for his surprisingly heartfelt performance on the Breaking Bad-spinoff Better Call Saul. Showtime is reviving “Twin Peaks.” Netflix brought back “Arrested Development,” is making a sequel to the family comedy “Full House” and is reportedly planning the return of “Gilmore Girls.” Death, for a TV show, is an increasingly temporary state, as long as enough mourners are lighting the candles. “Mr. One of them featured “Fartin’ Gary (Cross),” a flatulist who, to his horror, discovers an audience member (Odenkirk) who can out-fart him. “We were there having fun. The first episode of their Neflix show is disappointingly weak, especially when judged against the likes of Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, and the recently concluded Key and Peele, all of which show traces of Mr.

I had this one s-—y thing I was hired to do onstage, but otherwise we were free,” Cross says in a dual phone interview. “So we came up with the sketch and said to whoever was booking The Danger Zone, ‘Let us do this thing.’ It was completely inspired by that guy and that moment.” The event became the seed of Mr. Upon arriving in the present and reuniting with some of their old cast mates, they realize that they didn’t actually travel through time at all — the machine was set to advance in real time, so they’d wasted the past 17 years living in a porta-potty on a soundstage.

On Friday, the pair reunite for a too-short four-episode run of a brand new sketch show on Netflix, slyly titled W/ Bob & David, that reminds viewers not only how influential the original Mr. Maybe that’s to be expected given the immense time gap (acknowledged in an opening sketch where Odenkirk and Cross arrive in a comedy club via a time machine that looks and smells like a portable toilet) but it’s still dispiriting. Show was on a generation of sketch comedy creators like Amy Schumer, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, but also how those newcomers have in turn changed the form in the intervening years. Show 2.0: Odenkirk says he’s happy to be free from some of the rules they imposed on themselves during the making of that show, like making sure each sketch in an episode is connected. “In the end, the thing that really stays with you is not that you were clever enough to connect a sketch to another sketch, but what really sticks with you is when you just have an incredible moment happen, or execute a really funny idea,” Odenkirk says. “The laugh is what trumps everything.” ODENKIRK: Wait a second.

When he heard there was a show with his name on it, he came out of retirement, and he was like, ‘I’m there.’ Odenkirk: Netflix was the third place we pitched it. We’re always bouncing ideas off each other,” adds Cross, on the other line. “People think that when creative groups break up, there’s a difficult fight there – ‘Oh, they don’t get along any more!’ But that’s not what happened,” Odenkirk says. “David wanted to live in New York, excitement for Mr.

Show before the recent world premiere of two of the four new episodes before an audience and friends and family at the Vista Theatre in Los Feliz. “What people don’t know about this is that we’ve had the theater wired, all the seats are wired, so if people aren’t laughing we have a kind of tickly, electrical current and if they continue to not laugh, that current will go up,” Cross jokes moments before it was time for the show to begin. “It’s kind of the like the Stanford Prison Experiment.” While Cross is quicker to make a joke and less inclined to exert energy dissecting the nature of his comedy, Odenkirk is the more analytical of the pair, eager to talk at length about the larger aims of their work, beyond just making people laugh. Show” was one of those ’90s artifacts that made alt the default. “W/ Bob & David,” all four episodes of which debut on Netflix on Friday, brings back the series’ hand-tooled comedy (and its title), abbreviated but still bizarrely funny. The format is largely unchanged as well, with brief on-stage bits framing a series of silly, absurdist, occasionally political sketches, connected by odd segues and an elaborate wraparound sequence. Fans included Judd Apatow and Vince Gilligan – the latter of whom would create the Breaking Bad character of Saul Goodman (now the centre-piece of Better Call Saul) for Odenkirk on the basis of that fandom. “The biggest influence Mr. Show premiered in 1995, sketch comedy was in a bad way: Saturday Night Live was enduring one of its worst seasons ever and MADtv’s debut was an unholy mix of grotesque caricatures and shock-value stunts (which would prove to be the template for the entire series).

A long, opening poker game revolving around the card players’ ridiculous resolutions segues nicely to one of the card players, a Jew who wants to be Pope, achieving his dream and doing “most of his Poping from home.” (“And you haaave myyyy blessing,” he types on a computer keyboard, mitre towering atop his head, speaking each word aloud.) This in turn becomes an ad for Herschel’s Kosher Goyim Delicacies that spotlights Turkey Jesus, a turkey loaf shaped like Jesus that is “pious and sits at the right hand of the father.” From there we get snippets of a People’s Court or Judge Judy type show starring Judge Sandy Whistleston (Cross) adjudicating a dispute between a man (Mr. We wanted complete frredom to write sketch comedy and let it be one minute long or 20 minutes long, whatever we wanted. (Netflix content chief) Ted Sarandos was a Mr.

The official title of the sketch is “Know Your Rights,” but Odenkirk remarks, “It should have been called ‘Reasonable Cop.’” Appearing in the show’s third episode, the bit features Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central’s recently-ended Key & Peele, as a police officer who is forced to deal with Cross’s Gilvin Daughtry, a self-righteous driver who aims to show his handful of YouTube followers how to contend with an overzealous cop. In our current age of “Peak TV,” where everything old is new again, Odenkirk (now best-known as Saul Goodman from the “Breaking Bad” universe) and Cross (whose credit-filled career includes “Arrested Development’s” beloved never-nude Tobias Fünke) can be like Bruce Campbell in the Starz series “Ash Vs. The series is often credited with popularizing alt-comedy, the kind of offbeat, ironic and unpredictable humor now commonplace on shows such as “Nathan For You,” “Comedy Bang! Show regular Brian Posehn) who got beaten up by another man (Odenkirk) in the Staples Center buying popcorn while pants-less (Odenkirk insists it was a fighting championship and the man knew full well what he was getting into when he entered the arena).

Cross (“Arrested Development”) are shown in 1998, finishing their previous show and climbing into a “real-time machine,” which transports them 17 years into the future (and takes 17 years to do it). To Odenkirk, the “worst nightmare” for a guy like that is a reasonable cop. “When you look at something like that, what we like to do, is not take a side, but take a narrative that everybody’s kicking around and sort of agreeing with or arguing for or against and just fuck with it. Show, and a long sketch wherein a TV director is interviewed about his epic answer to Roots is so half-baked that it offends out of incompetence; it seems to be poking fun at Confederate apologists, but it’s hard to be sure what the point is, and that makes its images of slavery feel as insensitive as the attitudes being made fun of.

Show” had its four-season run, from 1995 to 1998, HBO was virtually the only outlet possible for an offbeat, ratings-challenged half-hour that appealed to the passionate few. In the age of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and threatened boycotts against artists like Quentin Tarantino for his decision to speak out against police violence, Odenkirk knows he’s wading into divisive territory. Show” structure has survived — each sketch connects with the last through repeated themes or characters, and the end of an episode will sometimes cycle to the beginning, Moebius-strip-style. An early bit with Cross as a British-accented, hideously bewigged, fraudulent “visionary” giving a TED Talk is exactly what TED Talks deserve. (“The web allows us to be everywhere with our eyes, right?

But by finding an entirely new angle on the issue, he and Cross are able to subvert expectations. “What if the cop is reasonable and the guy is unreasonable?” he wonders. Show’s 20th anniversary and we were talking about doing a live tour, and then I thought, why don’t we just do some new episodes of a new show that’s sketch comedy? Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim even built an entire alt-comedy cottage industry (Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check It Out!, On Cinema etc.) on the back of Mr. But Cross, Odenkirk and company are not embarking on some alternative comedy reunion tour, where they soak middle-aged fans on dusted-off versions of the old hits. Show, gaining Odenkirk himself as an executive producer and mentor. “It’s pretty awesome now, really better than it’s even been,” says Odenkirk of the current comedy landscape – which of course leads you to wonder why the two decided now was the time to get back in the game.

It captures the feeling of their comedy, which is a throwback not just to the 1990s but to the 1960s and ’70s, a blend of surrealism and iconoclasm that resembles an American “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” Without spoiling the brief season, I found the new sketches polished, if unsurprisingly hit and miss. In the end, we ended up working with a lot of our friends from that old show but we never intended to, and we never thought … it was never a prerequisite, because we’re not celebrating Mr.

But this time, perhaps inspired by the work of guest stars like Key, they don’t hold back. “We do get a little bit have our cake and eat it too,” Cross said, noting that his character only gets beat up by a white cop once he returns to the checkpoint again, this time in blackface. Turns out they can’t even refer to a picture of the Prophet Mohammed, but can utter a garbled, “Proffer of the Pikmet Mohaffed.” (For what it’s worth, the sketch includes the best “72 virgins” gag ever).

For those keeping score, this is not the first time Cross has made that choice in the name of comedy. “He kind of deserves the beating, but not for reason we are all talking about cops and brutality,” Odenkirk admits. Show’s” original spirit, which rejected the topical humor and recurring characters of sketch-comedy behemoths like “Saturday Night Live.” Donald Trump’s hosting gig on last week’s SNL was a cultural moment that passed with yesterday’s thinkpieces, but “Mr. A sketch involving a derelict dry cleaner balloons into a treatise on modern musical theatre, before looping back to the aforementioned virgin-littered heaven. So we never felt like we had to use the old writers or the old cast, we just worked with everybody we loved, and as it turned out, it was quite a few of those people. Digital, yeah.”) He has two brothers, one played by Cross again, the other by Odenkirk, and the familial ridiculousness pays off nicely in a gag later on.

Show who attempted to defecate on the American flag in public but was thwarted by something as simple as constipation. “We’re not taking a side,” Odenkirk says. If the new series feels a bit less distinctive, it’s only in the way of so many ultimately vindicated pioneers: By now, it’s inspired many successors operating on many platforms. Midway through the episode there’s a terrific sketch about an irritating dudebro barfly (Cross) who’s trying to reclaim the c-word from “feminazis”; it takes several delightful and unexpected turns (including one that’s almost touching). A Richard Branson impersonator keeps showing up periodically in a hot-air balloon, which is pretty much exactly the sort of thing you want to see on a show like this one. That honor might just belong to yet another race-based sketch that packs the largest punch—and received the loudest laughs—of any piece shown at the premiere.

But, because nothing is ever truly perfect – the ironclad rule of comedy if there ever was one – this nostalgia trip to the heyday of alt-comedy lasts a mere four episodes. “We were incredibly lucky to just get everyone in one place for that amount of time,” Odenkirk says. Anybody who watched the HBO incarnation will tune in anyway, out of curiosity or a sense of nostalgia, and stick around for the moment when the gang seems to get its groove back.

Show and then go, ‘Hey, those guys used to be younger!’ (With Bob and David) It’s our sensibilities, it’s our personalities; our stink is all over it. Montcrief describes the film as something you can show in any classroom across the country, “and those kids are going to walk out of there feeling good about themselves, feeling good about their ancestors, feeling great about me and good about America.” Even more than the “reasonable cop” sketch, “Better Roots” is a bold move for a pair of white comedians. A poker game where buddies share their New Year’s resolutions is funny enough as a standalone segment, with Tompkins laughed off for the achievable goal of giving up red meat and his friends encouraged for such absurd dreams as running for Pope. Show,” which, along with predecessors like “Kids in the Hall” and “The State,” anticipated a wave of 21st century alt-comedy that has yet to crest.

And because viewers will be able to watch the entire new series in the span of just two hours on Netflix starting Friday, November 13, it will likely be experienced by many in one sitting. CROSS: I suspect that if we weren’t so severely limited by our schedules, which really determined that we could only do four of these episodes kind of properly with the time we had, if we had done eight or 10, you would have seen an episode that was, maybe made of three sketches and one was 14 minutes long.

We use a number of the same cast and a number of the same writers, but of course it’s going to feel similar and familiar but it’s really not, in part because of the examples Bob just gave and it’s a different thing and we’re older. I feel like without having to call it a spin-off or a continuation or anything, we should be allowed to just do a new round of material and, for us, maybe it’s really just for us, although I would say for the audience too … I just want everybody, our old fans and any new people to not feel like, how much is this like that other show and how much is it not? All of a sudden what is just supposed to be a random thing that nobody was supposed to go, “Oh, wow, man, you guys did it again!” It’s now a topical, relevant issue.

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