Looks like the Birthday party is over: IFC has decided not to renew sketch comedy series The Birthday Boys, the network confirmed on Friday. READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Birthday Boys (1-5 of 5)
When Comedy Bang! Bang! debuted on IFC two years ago, transforming the free-form improv of its podcast sibling into a tight 22 minutes of television seemed like a tall order. That’s why creator Scott Aukerman didn’t try; his TV show is a much different beast from the podcast, and successfully so: The series kicks off its 40-episode fourth season next year.
Deeply silly and never afraid to go on a surreal tangent, Comedy Bang! Bang! is one of a kind, even on the crowded cable spectrum. That’s why we’re excited to debut a couple clips from upcoming episodes. The first comes from the episode that airs this Friday and features the Lonely Island. Explaining it more will just sound bizarre.
The second clip comes from the season 4 premiere, which airs January 9 and features Ty Burrell of Modern Family. And, naturally, sword-fighting.
Comedy Bang! Bang! airs Friday nights on IFC at 11 p.m. eastern, followed by The Birthday Boys, which you should also be watching.
When IFC ordered a series from Los Angeles sketch-comedy group the Birthday Boys, the septet wasn’t starting from scratch: Not only did it have eight years of performance experience under its belt, but it also had Bob Odenkirk—a man whose face belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of sketch comedy—as a collaborator, frequent star, and executive producer. That said, television remained a new frontier for the Birthday Boys, and the 10 episodes they made last year—now available on Netflix—provided a crash course in TV production for them.
Ahead of the season 2 premiere of The Birthday Boys tonight at 11:30 ET on IFC, EW sat down with Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Michael Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell, and Chris Vanartsdalen at IFC headquarters in Manhattan to talk about what they learned.
1. Standards & practices doesn’t do jokes about child molestation.
TIM KALPAKIS: There was a fun sex romp comedy movie trailer called Molesters. [Everyone laughs.] That one made it through the group, made it to IFC, and came right back. [Laughs.]
JEFFERSON DUTTON: When they rejected it, [they said] “We don’t even have to tell you why this won’t work.”
KALPAKIS: It was the only time ever that the note was “We can’t do this.”
DUTTON: It was “No, we can do no version of this.” [Laughs.]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the premise?
KALPAKIS: It was in the dog days of summer, and seven adult guys are hanging out in the cul de sac of a suburban neighborhood.
DUTTON: “Another bummer summer.”
KALPAKIS: “Man, this summer is boring.”
DUTTON: A van pulls up.
KALPAKIS: A cherubic new boy in town struts by [Laughs.] and everyone goes “Whoa!”
DAVE FERGUSON: Like Michael J. Fox when he sees the 4-by-4 [in Back to the Future].
KALPAKIS: With some cool music. And then it was just a hard cut to prison. They’re like, [dejected] “Man, this summer…”
FERGUSON: The only thing that’s unfair about shooting that down is they do get their comeuppance.
Maybe it hasn’t been put this way yet, but we’re living in the golden age of sketch comedy on television. When else has there been such a plethora of great options? Comedy Central has several of them—Key & Peele, Kroll Show, Inside Amy Schumer—but comedy nerds should also be watching The Birthday Boys on IFC.
Executive produced by sketch-comedy guru Bob Odenkirk (for Ben Stiller’s Red Hour) and starring the titular L.A.-based group, the series returns for its second season Oct. 17—which leaves plenty of time to binge the 10-episode first season on Netflix if you missed it. Fans of Odenkirk’s seminal sketch series Mr. Show will undoubtedly see its influence on the Birthday Boys’ sketches, which mostly eschew timely references (that quickly grow dated) in favor of a more whimsical goofiness.
In this exclusive clip from the show’s upcoming second season, the Boys star in a commercial for designer clothes too expensive to really wear. It features another comedy legend, Dana Carvey (on whose short-lived sketch show Odenkirk wrote).
The Birthday Boys airs Friday nights at 11:30 p.m. ET on IFC.
Yes, Breaking Bad is gone for good, and Better Call Saul is still just a glimmer in Vince Gilligan’s eye. But if there’s a Bob Odenkirk-shaped hole in your heart, fear not: The scene stealer will return to TV later this month with The Birthday Boys, a new IFC series. It’s the first sketch show Odenkirk has headlined since his Mr. Show days — and that fact, plus the presence of co-executive producer Ben Stiller, should be enough to excite any fan of ’90s cult comedy.
Though The Birthday Boys doesn’t premiere on TV until Oct. 18, IFC has already posted an episode online. Check it out here — then discuss whether you think it’ll be an effective Saul stopgap.
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