In anticipation of the pop culture nuclear winter to come, actor/writer/comic/former Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry has begun stockpiling episodes of his new web series Children's Hospital, and lining them like cans of government-issue creamed corn on the shelves of the fallout bunker known as TheWB.com. The first ten episodes of the Grey's Anatomy parody premiered yesterday, and more than delivered on all the taboo-buggering promise of the trailer. Against his handlers' frantic protests, Rob agreed to chat with Defamer, answering all our probing questions about his Daily Show legacy, what it's like being directed by Oliver Stone, and who in the Grey's cast he thinks is a total cunt.
When we heard the news that MTV mainstay TRL was headed for that great cancellation box in the sky, we decided to get some inside scoop from one of the people who knew it best: former MTV VJ Dave Holmes. The music buff first appeared on the channel as the runner-up to Jesse Camp on MTV's 1998 Wanna Be a VJ contest, but he outlasted the offbeat Camp and hosted multiple shows on MTV, eventually ascending to his own major place in the TRL firmament. So what does Holmes make of the cancellation — and the current state of MTV in general? Lauren Conrad, you've been warned:DEFAMER: How did you hear that TRL was going off the air? DAVE: I think I saw it on, like, Huffington Post or something. There wasn't a 3am phone call or anything like that. DEFAMER: How did you feel when you heard the news? DAVE: I hadn't watched [TRL] in a long time, but it was kind of a bummer, you know? It was a funny show where a lot of people who I still work with got their start. It'll be missed. DEFAMER: Had you heard any rumors about its demise? Did you see this coming? DAVE: I'm a little bit out of their demographic right now, so I hadn't heard anything. I check in every now and then, but I don't recognize a soul who's on it anymore. Damien [Fahey] does an awesome job, but I have no idea who the artists are at all. Like, I don't get Tokio Hotel. I don't understand why they're trying so hard to get them into them in the running. But yeah, I kind of thought that it might be coming. In 1999, 2000, there were a few huge stars. Now, there are a ton of semi-big stars. There's nobody that every thirteen-year-old girl can agree that they love, that they'd skip school and hop on the train and stand in Times Square to look at through a window. DEFAMER: But what about a show like 106 & Park, which I think is still BET's highest-rated show? How can a music video show like that succeed while TRL is cancelled? DAVE: Yeah, I don't understand how it doesn't make sense to at least keep it on. I mean, it's MTV's last music show, it's like their little clubhouse. It seems like the kind of thing they would want to keep going on forever, but then, what do I know? I mean, I just saw my first episode of The Hills last night, so what the fuck do I know?
While conducting interviews at the VMAs yesterday, the nearby booth advertising Rock Band 2 was the cacophonous bane of our existence — though no one was more unhappy to see it than director Brett Ratner. As you may recall, the Defamer-beloved auteur (and big penis enthusiast) aspires to direct a film adaptation based on Rock Band's rival video game franchise, Guitar Hero. Since the idea continues to boggle our minds, we knew we had to venture a question, even if the resulting Defamer-on-Ratner interaction threatened to spin the world off its axis. Fortunately, the Rush Hour 3 helmer was every bit the gentleman. We blame the heatstroke. [MTV]
It was the Entertainment Weekly cover that forever scarred Livejournal: a vivid tableau of Twilight actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, the former barechested enough to expose millions of teenage girls to their first confusing glimpse of chest hair. Though excitement for the cinematic adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's vampire novel had been building to a crescendo, one actor's decision not to wax could have destroyed everything; fortunately, the audience's distaste for even more hirsute werewolves kept fans firmly on Pattinson's side. Still, when we spied the actor on the red carpet for the VMAs yesterday, we knew we had to settle Chesthairgate (part two!) once and for all. Also, two bonus bits: Pattinson's thoughts on the latest, controversial Twilight installment and messy vampire babies! What more do you need to sink your teeth into? [MTV]
Though it's only been a scant ten days since John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, it's hard to find anyone on earth immune to the media onslaught that followed. Oh, for the halcyon days of mid-August, when our nation was more consumed with the abdominals of Michael Phelps than the baby-making, celebrity-stifling, Liz Lemon-resembling Palin name! To meet the rare creature who still knows nothing about the controversial candidate would be like staring into the windows of our pre-RNC innocence, and reader, we found such a transcendent experience on the carpet of the VMAs last night:Sure, Brooke Hogan's political ignorance may be easy to pillory (though her dark horse candidate would certainly win endorsements from the bulk of last night's Moonman-accepting crowd). After all, this is the same reality star who came under fire for her belief that female menstruation should be an instant DQ for the presidency (so get cracking on that change of life, ladies!). Still, after the events of the past ten days, we can't help but see in Brooke the sort of happy optimism that remains unchanged by frightening new political polls. Sometimes, after reading about the new person Palin had fired or the books she wanted banned from the public library, all we want to do is don a low-cut dress, toss our hair from side to side, and shimmy, shimmy down the red carpet until political doom is just a bad dream on a channel far, far away from VH1. [MTV]
When you think of opera, be honest, you start to nod off a little bit. Well, David Cronenberg is about to change all that. The director who made the more watchable of the two Crash movies has turned his 1987 cult classic, The Fly, into a full-blown opera. It's getting its US premiere this weekend at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and, for some reason, Cronenberg agreed to tell Defamer all about it. Join us after the jump as the notoriously oddball auteur opines on everything from the Oscar race to who's freakier, him or David Lynch.
Take a good look at that Tropic Thunder poster. Go past the glossy, airbrushed photos of the film's many stars, past the lush jungle setting, past the fiery explosions, and you might notice something. See there? Down at the bottom? It says "Screenplay by Ben Stiller & Justin Theroux, and Etan Cohen." Sure, other more "legitimate" media outlets may give all the ink to those first two dudes, but here at Defamer we like to dig a little deeper. Just who is this Etan Cohen fellow and how did he get roped in to working on the biggest comedy of the summer? Stick around after the jump to hear one of Hollywood's newest writing stars dish the dirt about meeting Tom Cruise for the first time, what it feels like to suddenly have people kissing your ass, and why you shouldn't be offended by all that Simple Jack stuff.
If the recent VMAs promo made you wonder "Who's the Brit next to Brit-Brit?", then meet Russell Brand. We asked the British funnyman (and Forgetting Sarah Marshall star) to sit down with us in an effort to prove his pop culture bona fides before hosting the VMAs on September 7. Already a famous ladykiller in the U.K., can Brand prove equally charming as the emcee of MTV's biggest event? We solicited his thoughts on Miley Cyrus, Christian Bale, and hermaphrodite presidents in a bid to find out. DEFAMER: Russell, since American audiences are still becoming familiar with you, we wanted to see how familiar you are with the tastes of the American audience. RUSSELL: Right. DEFAMER: So we're going to give you the Defamer American Pop Culture Literacy Test. I'm just going to throw out famous names and you tell me whether you know them and what your take is on each. RUSSELL: OK!
Accosted recently by a Defamer correspondent moments after receiving the first ever Just For Laughs Comedy Person of the Year Award in Montreal, Hollywood comedy baron Judd Apatow somehow agreed to commit to a short interview. Later that night, he'd appear before a rowdy crowd at Club Metropolis, hosting an all-stars comedy event billed as Apatow for Destruction. Judd opened the show by launching into a funny set that explored the not-always-tidy-side of family life and getting older. Soon after came Seth Rogen—basically Judd minus 15-or-so grounding years—with a raunchier act that included a riff on frequent self-pleasuring ("I forgot you could use hand lotion for something other than jerking off..."), and a notable preoccupation with all things gay. (On late-in-life movie star Ian McKellen: "As soon as Magneto lifted those cars, the guys sucking his dick dropped 50 years in age.") Newly announced VMAs host Russell Brand closed out the show. A deeply charismatic stage presence with an indelibly dirty mind, he's as comfortable dropping psychoanalytical insights as he is being a horny goofball (a hilarious bit about the gulping sound that means your oral sex partner really cares) or flippantly self-deprecating ("I use homeless people as scabby wishing wells. Vending machines for good karma..."). We caught up with Apatow shortly after the show, where he talked to us about what it felt like to stand in the live-comedy spotlight after all these years, gave us a little taste of what to expect in his upcoming movie, Funny People, and submitted to a round of Desert Island DVDs that you might find surprising. It's after the jump.DEFAMER: Congratulations on what we'd call a very successful return to your stand-up roots. What spurred this on? Was it research for Funny People, or did Funny People come out of a desire to revisit the world of stand-up? APATOW: I figured if I was going to make a movie about stand-up comedy I, unfortunately, needed to start doing it again. Mainly, because I have to start writing jokes for the stand up sequences in the movie, but also so I can remind myself how it makes you feel great and like crap, almost simultaneously. DEFAMER: Is that how it feels? APATOW: You get a high, but I always feel ashamed afterwards. Embarrassed about what I said. Embarrassed about the ego it takes to think anyone would want to listen to you talk. The instant need to do it again. It's like comic crack. DEFAMER: So Funny People is going to be like Punchline, only with Seth Rogen in the Sally Field role? APATOW: The movie isn't about stand-up comedy. It's about a few characters who are having a crisis, but what makes it different is that they are people who make comedy. DEFAMER: Your willingness to collaborate and promote lesser-known talents is probably one of the first things people think of when they think of the "Apatow" brand: You're not just getting one vision, your getting a bunch of complimentary sensibilities. APATOW: It was an easy show for me because I knew that no matter how well or badly I did, I had Seth Rogen, Charlene Yi, Million Dollar Strong, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader and Russell Brand coming on after me. No matter what the show would be fun. The idea was to put on a show that starred all of the people who have acted in our films. So many of them are great comics so it made for a great, raucous show. DEFAMER: Now onto the hardballs: You're stranded on a desert island with no one but a naked Jason Segel. Miraculously, you happen to have your three favorite L.A. takeout meals, and five favorite movies or TV series on DVD (excluding your own) with you. What are they? APATOW: My five DVDs would be Mad Men, Season Three of The Wire, Broadcast News, Being There, and Punch Drunk Love. My three take-out meals would be PF Changs, Vitorrio’s Pizza, and A Votre Sante chicken and asparagus—so I don’t feel unhealthy. DEFAMER: Seth Rogen did a bit in his act about being considered a bear by the gay community, and how he wished there was a straight equivalent. Have you ever been pegged as a bear? Ever thought about making the first mainstream bear comedy—or, failing that, a movie with a prominent gay character? APATOW: I almost wrote a movie which was about gay characters but I ultimately realized I didn’t know enough about the subject. That may have been the moment when I first realized I had heterosexual tendencies. DEFAMER: And finally, what can you tell us about this mysterious Sacha Baron Cohen project about Sherlock Holmes that you're producing? APATOW: Sherlock Holmes is being written by Etan Cohen, one of the writers of Tropic Thunder. DEFAMER: Hmm. Mysterious. Thanks, Judd!