Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Roundup: The Improv attack; TV news and picks for the week and more

"Real Time With Bill Maher"

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HBO has renewed "Real Time with Bill Maher for 2 more seasons - Sam Jones/HBO

 

News In Comedy We were lucky enough to be at the Comedy Store's 40th anniversary party on Saturday, with performances from the likes of Louie Anderson, Dom Irrera, Garry Shandling, Bill Burr, John Caparulo, Natasha Leggero, Brody Stevens, Tony Clifton, Iliza Schlesinger, and countless others paying homage to impressario Mitzi Shore's comedy Mecca. Legendary managers like Barry Katz were in the audience along with countless TV writers, producers, and other comedians. Tony Clifton sang REM's "Man On The Moon" backed by a live band of lingerie clad musicians while a video "In Memorium" montage played. Nearly half a century of pop culture has been directly influenced by peformers who went through the hallowed/terrifying doors of the Comedy Store. Hopefully there will be a 50th anniversary.

There are reports of an incident last Friday night at the Hollywood Improv that are a bit disturbing: a comedian was attacked onstage by a spectator, with a couple of reports that don't necessarily conflict but provide more info about what happened. Over at CBS Local, comedian Randy Kagan says he was doing a bit on California, while the LA Weekly says that the attack was committed by a boyfriend unhappy about a comment made about his girlfriend's eating habits. The fact is that comedians should be able make any statements they like, as a comedy routine is a performance, and nobody should be physically attacked for anything they say. Assaulting anybody on stage is a big no-no, as the performer is blinded by the lights and therefore defenseless. Regardless of the cause, it's apparent that there was a huge lapse of security both at the time of the attack as well as when they released the attacker before LAPD arrived at the scene. People who attack performers on stage need to be booked and arraigned immediately to send a clear message to the public that this is unacceptable behavior. If somebody has a problem with the performer, they can simply get up and leave the venue, complain to the manager, and ask for their money back (a request that may or may not be granted). That's called civilization. I'm awaiting a statement from the NRA that the comedian should have been armed. The good news is that there are good people working at the Hollywood Improv who will be doing their best to make sure such an attack doesn't happen again.

TV News "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter launches a nonscripted documentary series on Discovery this May 14. "Outlaw Empires" explores the world of street gangs, biker gangs, and other underworld tribes, with Sutter himself appearing in each episode to provide commentary. | Good news for Bill Maher fans, "Real Time With Bill Maher" has been renewed for 2 more seasons by HBO. | TNT's "SouthLAnd," the best cop show on TV, has been honored for hiring and helping rehabilitate former gang members.

DVR This! Tonight Metta World "Elbow You In The Head" Peace is scheduled to be on "Conan." Notice that it's not in the listings below. Why is "Conan" participating in this guy's effort to immediately repair his image? He needs to serve a suspension (for the rest of the season, please) for his cowardly act on the court, pay a fine, and then, maybe then, put him on TV to apologize. In related news, Mel Gibson will be on the "Tonight Show" this Friday. Will Robert Downey Jr. come out and pre-apologize for Gibson? How many chances should Gibson be given to "explain" himself? This is another example of where a moratorium should be imposed but, clearly, ratings are more important to TBS and NBC than morality.

Tonight "Frontline" Money, Power and Wall Street (PBS SoCal/KOCE @ 9pm), "New Girl" (Fox @ 9pm), "Deadliest Catch" (Discovery @ 9pm), Chris Franjola & Heather McDonald on "Chelsea Lately" (E! @ 11pm), Amy Poehler and Tom Waits on Letterman, President Obama on Fallon.
Wednesday "Best Friends Forever" (NBC @ 8:30pm), "Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23" (ABC @ 9:30pm), "America Revealed" Electric Nation (PBS SoCal/KOCE @ 10pm), "Ugly Americans" (Comedy Central @ 10:30pm), Brad Wollack with Loni Love & Josh Wolf on "Chelsea Lately" roundtable (E! @ 11pm), Carol Burnett & TV host Phil Keoghan on Ferguson.
Thursday "Community" (NBC @ 8pm), "30 Rock" (NBC @ 8:30pm), "The Office" (NBC @ 9pm), "Parks and Recreation" (NBC @ 9:30pm), Alison Brie is guest and Jen Kirkman & Robert Braunger are on "Chelsea Lately" roundtable (E! @ 11pm), Jack White on "Colbert Report" (Comedy Central @ 11:30pm), Robin Williams on Letterman, "Eagleheart" (Adult Swim @ 12am), Jason Segel & Leelee Sobieski on Fallon.
Friday "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO @ 8pm), "SoCal Connected" The 1992 LA Riots (KCET @ 9pm), "The Ricky Gervais Show" (HBO @ 9pm), Patton Oswalt & Phoebe Tonkin on Ferguson.
Saturday Go enjoy some time with friends and family, read a book for chrissakes!
Sunday "Game of Thrones" (HBO @ 8pm), "Bob's Burgers" (Fox @ 8:30pm), "The Killing" (AMC @ 9pm), "Veep" (HBO @ 9pm), "Girls (HBO @ 9:30pm), "Mad Men" (AMC @ 10pm), "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime on late rerun)
Monday "Adventure Time" (Cartoon Network @ 7 & 7:30pm), "Regular Show" (Cartoon Network @ 8pm), "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" Lisbon (Travel @ 9pm), Don Rickles on Letterman, Jim Gaffigan on Ferguson.

Other Media Bob Zmuda talks about Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton on Thursday's WTFpod. | Comedian and TV-writer Dana Gould guests on FitzDogRadio. | KCRW's "The Treatment" talks to "Bob's Burgers" creators Loren Bouchard and Jim Dauterive (new "Bob's Burgers" this Sunday!).

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