James Downey

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Updated: 8 years 34 weeks ago

So You Want to Write Comics: Influences

Tue, 2008-11-11 15:27
by Josh Flanagan When I was learning to play guitar, I remember reading something to the effect of "listen to every piece of music and melody you hear, and try to play it on your guitar."  This included commercial jingles and bad pop music and TV theme songs.  The idea was to be able to understand all forms of music, and what worked and what didn't work.  The same goes for writing, and it's one of the better pieces of advice I've come across for aspiring writers.  Stephen King, in his book On Wr

Iran, Afghanistan, Russia Top Foreign Policy Priorities For President Obama

Sun, 2008-11-09 22:24
Sure, the economic and financial crisis will be the unrivaled number one priority for President Barack Obama after taking office, and as some argue, even now. But as exemplified by Russia's special way of congratulating the newly elected president, and by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's lengthy message of congratulation, caution and advice to the President elect, Obama will simply not have the luxury to focus only on financial and economic turmoil at home. So what are the most pr

New Yorker Festival video, recaps and a new comedy blog

Tue, 2008-10-14 23:42
Not to be undone by New York mag's fete, and actually even before that and bigger, the New Yorker did it up earlier this month with a series of big-time panel discussions, and we can now start seeing some full video from this year's New Yorker Festival. Here is a link to the 84-minute talk on political comedy (what, no embed?) with Andy Borowitz, Samantha Bee, James Downey, Todd Hanson and Allison Silverman, introduced by Sara Benincasa as Gov. Sarah Palin with sidekick Diana Saez. You can als

Political Humor

Mon, 2008-10-13 07:00
Video on political humor from the New Yorker Festival, which I attended with Rachel. Panelists were Samantha Bee (Daily Show), Andy Borowitz (Borowitz Report), James Downey (SNL), Todd Hanson (The Onion), and Allison Silverman (Colbert Report).

New Yorker Festival Videos Already Online

Thu, 2008-10-09 22:28
The New Yorker has put up several videos from the New Yorker Festival: Elizabeth Edwards, hosted by Atul Gawande Political Humor, with Samantha Bee, Andy Borowitz, James Downey, John Oliver, and Allison Silverman, hosted by Susan Morrison If I Were Running This Campaign, with Donna Brazile, Alex Castellanos, Edward J. Rollins, and Joe Trippi, hosted by Jeffrey Toobin Young Shakespeareans, with Lauren Ambrose, Ethan Hawke, Kristen Johnson, Martha Plimpton, and Liev Schreiber, moderated by Ad

unique new york: thrash metal horror, reunion brunching and stephen colbert

Wed, 2008-10-08 23:58
as you may have surmised from yesterday’s entry,  henri and i were in NYC over the weekend to attend the new yorker festival. well, that was our official reason. really, we were in NYC to see our friends. ok, well, yeah, and really we were there to eat some tasty business, like THIS! it’s difficult to tell from the picture, but this is a sushi roll made with an outer layer of banana. BANANA. it is called the paradise roll, which, my friends, is not just a clever name. after henri and i a

The history of politics on SNL

Tue, 2008-10-07 00:48
Saturday Night Live creator/executive producer/guru Lorne Michaels and a panel including longtime politically-minded SNL writer James Downey, current head writer Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler recently discussed the funny and sometimes very influential nature of presidential politics parodied on the show, from the beginnings of Chevy Chase tripping up Gerald Ford through Dana Carvey's George H.W. Bush to the various Bill Clintons and George W. Bush's, Al Gore, John Kerry (played by Meyers), Poehle

Debating Comedy (The Brian Lehrer Show: Friday, 03 October 2008)

Fri, 2008-10-03 16:07
James Downey, veteran writer for Saturday Night Live, and Andy Borowitz, humorist and columnist for The New Yorker magazine, find the humor in last night's debate.

The Ghostbusters @ 25 and the lost Dan Aykroyd interview

Thu, 2008-10-02 13:00
Next June is the 25th anniversary of the release of Ghostbusters and the 20th anniversary of Ghostbusters II. Both were a big part of my movie-watching childhood. And now Ghostbusters 3 appears to really be in the works, and set for a release in 2010. Two guys from "The Office" are writing it for the original cast. As it should be. The last thing I'd want to see is Ghostbusters 3 headlined by Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Jay Baruchel, Nick Cannon and Megan Fox. Can you imagine? Yech. Let's take a l

60th Annual Emmy Award Winners

Mon, 2008-09-22 14:10
On Sunday, September 21, the winners of the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced an presented with their statues. The Emmy is the the top prize for television presented and hosted by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. For the first time in television history a cable show one top honor and walked away with a majority of the winnings in its nominated categories. The other big winner of the night was the HBO miniseries “John Adams”. Here is your full list of winners and nominees. SF

60th Primetime Emmy award winners announced

Mon, 2008-09-22 12:02
COMEDY SERIES WINNER: "30 Rock" (NBC) "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO) "Entourage" (HBO) "The Office" (NBC) "Two and a Half Men" (CBS) DRAMA SERIES "Boston Legal" (ABC) "Damages" (FX) "Dexter" (Showtime) "House" (Fox) "Lost" (ABC) WINNER: "Mad Men" (AMC) MINISERIES "The Andromeda Strain" (A&E) "Cranford" (Masterpiece Theatre) WINNER: "John Adams" (HBO) "Tin Man" (Sci Fi Channel) ACTOR IN A COMEDY WINNER: Alec Baldwin - "30 Rock" (NBC) Steve Carell - "The Office" (NBC)

Vencedores do Emmy 2008

Mon, 2008-09-22 05:35
Fonte: G1 Os seriados de televis??o “30 Rock” e “Mad Men” ganharam as premia????es mais cobi??adas do Emmy 2008 neste domingo (21). “30 Rock” venceu na categoria “melhor s??rie de com??dia” e “Mad Men” foi o premiado como “melhor s??rie de drama”. A premia????o ?? considerada o Oscar da televis??o americana. Alec Baldwin ganhou o Emmy de melhor ator em s??rie de com??dia por seu papel em “30 Rock”, em que interpreta um executivo de uma rede de televis??o. O pr??mio de “melhor ator de s??ri

SNL Cast: Even Sarah Palin Likes Tina Fey Playing Sarah Palin

Tue, 2008-09-16 21:15
SNL Cast: Even Sarah Palin Likes Tina Fey Playing Sarah Palin By Brian Stelter For a comedy show, the minds behind “Saturday Night Live” sure care a lot about fairness. Speaking at an event sponsored by the Museum of the Moving Image on Monday, cast members Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler discussed Saturday’s influential sketch featuring Ms. Poehler as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. “The trick with all of these people is to try to come out as fair and evenhanded as possib

Pencil This In

Mon, 2008-09-15 18:43
EVENT: The Museum of Moving Image looks at Saturday Night Live and Presidential Politics tonight with Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and James Downey, in part to celebrate the launch of the 2008 edition of The Living Room Candidate at The Times Center. SNL "has been an irreverent and influential commentator on American presidential politics since its debut season in 1975. The show has played an undeniable role in shaping and reflecting the public perception of our leaders and would-b

seth meyers

Sun, 2008-09-14 07:40
seth meyers Posted by freempthreemusic on September 14th, 2008 Saturday Night Live s quot strategery quot for the new season is simple an ample dose of political humor NBC s late night comedy sketch show launches its 34th year Saturday 11 30 ET PT capitalizing on what it often does best satirizing and 0133 Television viewers have seen a lot of Barack Obama and John McCain lately but very little of the other guys crucial to modern campaigning comedians who dress up like the candidates and mak

The 34th Season of SNL Starts Tomorrow

Fri, 2008-09-12 22:51
RELATED Athletes as hosts: YESSSS! or NOOOO! Obama to play president of SNL; Fey might run for VP Pregnant Poehler to pop soon Al Franken clinches Democratic nomination for Senator of Minnesota Lorne Michaels, Amy Poehler, James Downey, and Seth Meyers are speaking THIS MONDAY at the Museum of the Moving Image

SNL Premiere: Obama Will Play Obama. Who Will Play Palin?

Fri, 2008-09-12 16:09
SNL Premiere: Obama Will Play Obama. Who Will Play Palin? By Brian Stelter Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, may be played by the former “SNL” cast member Tina Fey, right. (left, J. Scott Applewhite/AP; right, Mark Lennihan/AP) The most-talked-about premiere of the fall may be… a 34-year-old series. Leading up to its season premiere tomorrow, “Saturday Night Live” is earning the kind of buzz that new shows always strive for. It has guest stars: Michael Phelps and Barack Obama. It has a fres

If It's Mid-September, It Must Be New Yorker Festival Schedule Time!

Thu, 2008-09-11 00:18
As we were excited to report recently, it's New Yorker Festival season! And here's the lineup for your browsing and ticket-buying pleasure. Oh, and Calvin Trillin's walk--you can try, but don't be crushed if it doesn't work out. It so rarely does, but then again, it could be your year for the golden ticket! Tickets go on sale Friday, September 12, and you can find them at the Festival website. Quoting from the press release: "Tickets will also be sold during the weekend at Festival Headquarters

NEW YORKER FESTIVAL | 2008 LIne-Up Announced

Mon, 2008-09-08 19:09
The complete line-up for the 2008 New Yorker Festival has been announced and it's pretty weak. Tickets go onsale on Friday, September 12th, at noon. The festival takes place from October 3rd through 5th throughout New York City. (Thanks Bumpershine) Here are some highlights: The New Yorker Town Hall Meeting "Race and Class in America" - With Barbara Ehrenreich, Thomas Frank, John McWhorter, Leslie Sanchez, and Cornel West. Moderated by David Remnick - Friday, October 3 - Town Hall ($20) Chuck Ha

New Yorker Festival Schedule Released

Sun, 2008-09-07 19:09
I mean sure it’s better than anything I’ve ever put together, but in my opinion, this is one of the weakest New Yorker Festival lineups in recent memory. Highlight of the festival, Stephen Colbert talks with Ariel Levy. See the whole schedule after the jump, it should be on newsstands tomorrow. UPDATE: OK, on second look, Clint Eastwood with Lillian Ross also pops. FRIDAY | October 3 Fiction Night | Discussions Among Writers Writing About Home With Sana Krasikov, Yiyun Li, and Manil Su