In Which My Brain Ends Up At NewsRadio


Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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33 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    Let’s not forget Milton (“I’m gonna put strychnine in the guacamole”) Waddams!

    He was also one of the few non-ridiculous (deeply sad, actually) bits of True Blood (what I saw of it, anyway – I only watched the first season, maybe some of the second).

    If you are looking for comic yellers, John Cleese is your prototype (or, I suppose, Gleason).Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    Dude, I quote that scene constantly. I’ve quoted it here (e.g.)!

    “I coughed up something that look like escargot this morning” is perfect.

    Also, one of my favorite shows ever. Man I miss Hartman.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      I was vaguely reminded of the scene in “Anchor Man” where they swap war stories after the party.

      “I pooped a squirrel.”
      “Champ, I ate your chocolate squirrel.”

      I wonder if that was a callback.

      And, yea, we all miss Hartman.Report

  3. Avatar Will Truman says:

    NewsRadio was pretty awesome. Holds up really well. Last season excepted.

    Which is kind of funny, because even though Hartmann was the “name” on the show, his character didn’t seem to hold it together as much as it apparently did.

    And Jimmy James was just a fantastic character.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      I think of Dave Foley as a very funny man. But he really mostly does “mild-mannered as funny” and that needs a comic foil, and Phil Hartman was perfect for him. And vice-versa.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        From what I understand, the cast was really devastated. Even if they’d been able to reasonably replace Hartman’s character from a comedy/ensemble POV on-camera, the people behind the characters and the show were supposedly really struggling to move forward.Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          It was Phil Hartman. Everyone who knew the guy was devastated.
          (comedians always hurt the people they love).Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

            This is phrased oddly, maybe – you’re not implying Hartman hurt the people he loved are you?Report

            • Avatar Kim says:

              Not… physically.
              Comedians have rather a talent for finding people’s weaknesses — the gift to see things accurately is at the heart of a lot of comedy.

              Hartman’s wife killed him — and the first person she told couldn’t believe it. He was, from the people who’ve worked with him (and I do know someone who has), a really amazingly great person.

              (was totally funny when Arnett mentioned his “pet name” for Poehler on air, though. “Blamey” — accurate too, from the tales I hear told)Report

        • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

          The episode “Bill Moves On” – – is heartbreaking, and contains by all accounts real and unplanned breakdowns from the cast.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        There are a lot of comedians that just can’t be main characters, no matter how good. Not living up to their potential.

        This was what TV never understood about Randy Quaid.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        Like Root, Foley also had an amazing part on Justified.

        I’ve always been disappointed that none of the KITH alumni never made it bigger than any of them did.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          I’ve been reading Nathan Rabin’s back catalogue on the AV club (Year of Flops/World of Flops). The story from him is that Foley – the only one with conventional ‘Hollywood’ skills – divorced right after News Radio was winding down, but his child support and alimony payments were based on News Radio money. Which of course, is no longer there. So he has to basically take any and all parts he can get just to dig himself out of a financial hole, and can’t go back to Canada because of the deliquency and associated court orders.Report

          • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

            Dave Foley’s appearance on WTF with Marc Maron details that situation and how bad it seems to be.

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              Yeah, that’s the source used by Rabin.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              Wow, I wonder why he wasn’t able to get his payments adjusted (he says he tried but the court denied him). I’d thought that sort of thing was somewhat automatic if someone is employed and making significantly less money. Perhaps it’s different in Canada, or with the ways entertainers make money?Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Ah, this might explain it:

                “Mr. Foley was ordered to provide details of his employment contracts. He has not done so, so we do not know what his income is.”


            • Avatar Chris says:

              Oh man, if what Foley says in that podcast is true, he and I have kids with the same woman!

              (My son’s mom is also BPD diagnosed.)

              Suddenly I empathize with him so much more.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            I’ve only ever heard Foley’s (and his friends’) side of the story, but it sounds like his ex-wife was not…mentally stable.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              You know, I want to walk this back. I don’t know anything about her, and people that have gone through nasty divorces say all kinds of nasty things about each other, and I have no way of knowing who is being truthful (or if either of them even are). And it’s not like there aren’t plenty of comedians and artists out there that appear to be nice guys but are in reality terrible people.

              I DO think that the amount of child support Foley was expected to pay seems excessive to me; but that’s presumably the law or whatever they negotiated in the settlement, not solely her choice.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Was such an odd cast that no one could possibly have expected it to work, but it did largely because the 4 main characters were well done.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Any mention of Stephen Root without mentioning Tripping The Rift is just incomplete.Report

  5. Avatar aarondavid says:

    I present Stephen Root in Super Karate Monkey Death Car!

    (This is the funniest scene to me from News Radio)Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

      My favorite part about that episode is that somebody in the background has made a paper mache Jimmy James head and is carrying it around in the background of the airport.Report

  6. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I have seen every single episode of this show when I was like 11. I don’t know why I liked it so much back then, but I still like it today. Brains are weird!Report

  7. What blows my mind is all the scenes with Andy Dick where the other characters don’t yell at him.Report