Kristen Wiig is one of my favorites. So, here are ten reasons why.
1. She began, like so many great comic actors today, at the Groundlings.
2. She appeared as Dr. Pat, the marriage counselor with multiple marriages, on THE JOE SCHMO SHOW. One of the funniest reality shows ever (no Youtube video).
3. The Target lady.
4. The inappropriate newly divorced reporter (no Youtube video).
6. Her KNOCKED UP character. (Can't find it online, sooooooo how about another Penelope video)
7. Her Nancy Pelosi.
8. With Alec Baldwin, she was part of the Bobby McFerrin car sketch (no Youtube video).
9. She appeared in not only the “**** in a box” digital short, but the “Dear Sister” short as well.
10. And, my favorite, as one of the “Two A-Holes”
EDIT (2-27-08) - Please note, this list was made before she gave the world "Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides", one of her greatest skits ever.
EDIT (4-7-08) Reason #12 The surprise party sketch
EDIT (4-13-08): Reason #13 why I love Kristen Wiig, Judy "Just Kidding" Grimes
EDIT (5-18-08): Reasons #14 and #15 why I love Kristen Wiig:
Starring as Pam in the real original version of THE OFFICE
"Bless This Child"
Kristen is featured in the Comedy Issue of GQ, on newsstands now.
EDIT (11-23-08): Another reason to love Kristen Wiig.
As the adult retainer spokesperson.
ADDED 1-4-09: A great profile of Kristen Wiig in the New York Times.
Here is Kristen Wiig as Gilly.
And as Judy Grimes again. How does she do this? How can she speak this fast?
Here is Kristen Wiig as Bjork
Here is Kristen Wiig as Barbie
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wendy Kilbourne may be the most obscure actress that I have profiled in the What Ever Happened to series. She only had a few credits, and all of them were on TV. I don’t believe she ever made a feature film.
Yet, some of her work was very memorable.
Wendy began in TV, appearing on TV series such as MATT HOUSTON (in two episodes), DYNASTY, KNIGHT RIDER, COVER UP, RIP TIDE, THE A-TEAM, HOTEL and MURDER SHE WROTE (it must have been a policy that every actress working in the 80’s had to appear on this).
She played a model in the 1984 film THE CALENDAR GIRL MURDERS. The film would probably be forgotten today if not for the fact that her co-star in the film was a then unknown Sharon Stone. Because of that, you can find the DVD in the budget bin at Wal-Mart.
In 1985 she had one of her biggest roles. She played Constance in the epic mini-series NORTH AND SOUTH. This is where I first noticed her (although I had seen CALENDAR). Playing the wife of James Read’s character, she appeared in all three parts of the Civil War mini-series, 1986’s BOOK 2 and 1994’s BOOK 3.
In 1988, she appeared as Devon King, the radio station manager in the Gary Cole series MIDNIGHT CALLER, another favorite show of mine at the time (“Good night America, wherever you are.”)
The late 80’s saw her appearing in a few more TV movies, the most notable being GOING TO THE CHAPEL.
Her final credit was a guest starring role in 1996’s Corbin Bernson series THE CAPE.
And that was it.
So, what ever happened to her?
It seems that in real life, this scene soon occurred.
In 1988, Wendy married her NORTH AND SOUTH husband, James Read. They have two children.
As I stated, I don’t know if you would have called her a big star. In searching around the internet, I could only find 2 photos of her online. But, she was a very good actress. I spent many hours in the 80’s watching all parts of the NORTH AND SOUTH mini-series. I think the first 2 Books of the film ran a total of 24 hours. So, to be part of that instantly made you a star to those that watched it. And, I never missed an episode of MIDNIGHT CALLER.
But, Wendy seems to be another case where family is more important than fame. And, since Wendy and James have been married for almost twenty years, that is a good thing.
EDIT 11-5-07: Wendy has been found! You can read our interview with her here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
On August 14, 1987, I went to the movie theatre with my sister. Somehow, I remember all the details of that day.
The multiplex was divided into three buildings. Screens 1-4 were in the first building, 5 and 6 in the second, and 7-10 were in a third.
My sister and her friend went into that third building to see the new Madonna film WHO’S THAT GIRL. And, I went into the second.
I bought my ticket and went to the concession stand where a mom was there with her kids, all excited about going to see another new movie, the Fat Boys feature DISORDERLIES. I went to the other screen, to see another new release.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.
I wasn’t really expecting a great film. I thought it was going to be a little comedy. My main reason for seeing it was the star, Amanda Peterson. Having loved her on the then recent mini-series A YEAR IN THE LIFE and in the film EXPLORERS, I really wanted to see the film. (You can read much more about Amanda in this piece I wrote).
The film began.
As it opens, we see the Touchstone logo, and then the movie production company logo, with some music that eventually segues into the Beatles’ song.
Ronald Miller (a pre-McDreamy Patrick Dempsey) is mowing a lawn. He stops and a VW pulls into the driveway. Out of the car comes Cindy Mancini (Amanda) and her friends. They have been shopping.
She meets her mother at the door, who is upset by her using her credit cards.
“Why can’t you be more responsible, like the Miller boy?”
She points to Ronald, who is in the process of getting grass clippings blown all over him, so Cindy laughs it off ("Get serious.") and walks inside.
If you’ve seen the film, you know what happens later. The unpopular Ronald pays head cheerleader Cindy to be his girlfriend for one month. He hopes to become popular and thinks this will improve his chances.
But despite the premise, the film manages to be a lot more than that.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE is the most honest and realistic look at teen life in the 1980’s. I was in high school at the time and the film felt like I was watching a documentary.
Unlike the John Hughes films, this wasn’t some sort of fairy tale, where everyone just had to be locked into a room together to become good friends. Not that I didn’t love some of the Hughes film, but they were not realistic.
LOVE takes a whole different approach.
Early on, there is a scene where Ronald has a discussion with his best friend Kenneth (Courtney Gains) asking why they weren’t friends with some of the athletes, even though they used to be.
Kenneth responds “That was because we were all forced to be in the same room together. But then came junior high, high school. Forget it. Jocks became jocks, cheerleaders became cheerleaders, we became us. I like us.”
That basically sums up the whole progression of friendships that most people had in school. As the grades advanced, people developed who they were to become, and they moved into different groups.
One thing that LOVE gets right, the people were just in different groups. They weren’t sworn enemies or anything. Ronald and his friends weren’t constantly being bullied by the popular groups. They just didn’t socialize.
After that first viewing, I saw the film twice more theatrically. I wanted to see it more, but it got to be difficult.
While it was still in theatres, I got a call from one of my friends wanting to go to the movies.
“How about CAN’T BUY ME LOVE?” I asked.
“Uhhh, no. That isn’t a movie two guys go to see together.” He replied.
We went to see some action film. But, I felt like I was cheating on LOVE, since it was still in theatres.
I saw the film countless more times on video, cable, network TV, laserdisc and DVD.
The film even aired as part of the DISNEY SUNDAY MOVIE, where it was introduced by then Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Donald Duck, where Eisner asked Donald “So, were you popular?”
The film was released a few years ago on DVD, with no extras, and not even a widescreen transfer. It is due for an upgrade.
I can honestly say that I could sit down and record a commentary for the film. I’ve seen it so often, analyzed the film so closely, followed everything about the release, that I’m probably more qualified than any other critic out there to talk about it.
A couple years ago, the film was remade as LOVE DON’T COST A THING. The resulting film was terrible. It is as different in quality to LOVE as the music they take the title from. It went from being based on a Beatles song, to a film based on a J. Lo song.
One scene that pretty much sums up the difference between the two happens early on.
Cindy’s boyfriend has graduated and gone off to play college football. He is being interviewed on TV and Cindy and her friends are watching. At one point, the announcer asks if there is anything he misses back home. The girls get excited that he is going to mention Cindy, but instead he mentions something about the locker room.
The girls are upset, but Cindy tells them it isn’t a big deal. That he has a lot going on. That gets them to calm down and they all leave.
Cindy goes to grab her jacket, her boyfriend’s varsity jacket, looks at it, and then puts it down.
That scene tells you all about Cindy’s character. She outwardly has the power over her friends, able to convince them about how she feels. Yet, inside, she is hurt by the comment. It is a very quick, yet essential scene to show her character, and how in control she is.
In the remake? The same setup happens, the boyfriend, now in the NBA, is interviewed on TV. But, when he doesn’t mention Cindy? All three start yelling at the screen. No depth. Nothing about her character. Just a cheap joke.
The remake goes downhill from there.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
While we all know what has happened to Patrick Dempsey, not everyone in the rest of the cast has had his career.
Seth Green, of ROBOT CHICKEN, BUFFY, and countless films like CAN'T HARDLY WAIT, played Ronald’s younger brother. What is funniest about his casting is that he is even closer in age to Peterson than Dempsey is.
For a while, one of the biggest stars from the film was Gerardo Mejia, who would record the early 90’s hit “Rico Suave”. He was one of the football players.
Max Perlich, as one of Ronald’s friends, is a popular independent film actor. He also starred in BEAUTIFUL GIRLS.
Courtney Gains (Kenneth) is still very active. He is probably best known for his role on SEINFELD as the video store clerk who rents ROCHELLE, ROCHELLE to George.
Dennis Dugan, who plays Ronald’s father, is a successful director, directing many of Adam Sandler’s films, including HAPPY GILMORE.
Director Steve Rash has done a lot of direct to video films, including some of the sequels to AMERICAN PIE and BRING IT ON (where he cast Big John, Eric Brosketter).
In only a couple scenes as a cheerleader, Ami Dolenz had a brief run as a direct to video star in the 90’s.
Writer Michael Swerdlick (who partially based the film on his life) went on to write for TV series such as WHO’S THE BOSS and DOOGIE HOWSER.
And then there is Amanda Peterson. I’ll refer you again to my “What Ever Happened to” story about her from a few months back, but she hasn’t made a film since the mid 90’s. Her whereabouts are unknown, and much speculated about.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE stands though as one of the best, smartest, and most realistic teen films of the 1980’s. Watching it is like going back to high school. I remember once sitting in a class looking around the room and seeing every “type” that was in the film.
It gets everything right, which is so rare in any film.
Posted by TALKING MOVIEzzz at 7:45 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
If you watch A&E on a regular basis, chances are you have seen SELL THIS HOUSE. Weekends are often devoted to marathon airings of it. Just this past Saturday, 8 episodes aired, including a new episode. It is one of those shows that, if I’m flipping around and see it is on, I put down the remote and watch.
The premise of the show has the SELL THIS HOUSE team arriving at a home that hasn’t sold. They hold an open house with hidden cameras, to see what people think of it. Then, designer Roger Hazard helps redesign and stage the house based on those comments. They then hold an open house again, and see the reaction to the changes.
One of the main reasons for the success of the show is the host, Tanya Memme. She and Roger have a natural chemistry that make it all look so easy. She is, I believe, the best host on TV.
And, she is one of the busiest. In addition to SELL THIS HOUSE, she recently hosted another show for A&E, MOVE THIS HOUSE, as well as being a correspondent for ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT CANADA. In addition to her TV work, she recently finished shooting a film, TERROR INSIDE, she recorded a CD called GEMINI, and is working on a book as well.
And if that isn’t enough, she even found time for an email interview with The Moviezzz Blog.
How did you get started with SELL THIS HOUSE?
I just finished 3 seasons of ROBOTICA on TLC and was the current Direct TV Spokesperson. I auditioned for the production company “Screaming Flea Productions” and A&E in LA about 5 years ago! It was probably one of the most difficult auditions I’ve ever had. They just showed me the audition tape recently… It was very funny!
You seem to be in a different part of the country every week. How much do you travel each year filming SELL?
Well I am on the road basically every second week. Each episode takes three days to shoot. We shoot two episodes per location with a day off in between. There are 26 episodes of Sell This House filmed a year. Move This House isn’t on my schedule anymore since A&E didn’t renew another season, so my travel schedule is still hectic but not half as crazy as last year!
Do you have a favorite part of the country?
I love the East Coast in the Summer and the West Coast in the winter. I absolutely LOVE Arizona, but nothing makes me happier than working in LA!
Do you have a favorite episode of SELL THIS HOUSE?
There are so many fun, wacky, great moments on Sell This House so it’s difficult to narrow it down to only one episode. I always love shooting in Hawaii. I loved the episode with the teenage boys in Hawaii. They had rats in the oven, toenail clippings on their coffee tables, mold growing all over their kitchen especially in and on the fridge, spider webs and grime all over everything in their bed rooms, dirty clothing all over the place!!!! The thing that astonished me most? They honestly had NO IDEA why they couldn’t get a girlfriend!!
In the now famous episode of SELL in Hawaii, with the tiki, and the movers breaking the table, did that get all straightened out off camera or were there lawsuits involved?
That was a crazy episode. Off camera we asked them a million times if the base of the table was attached to the tabletop. They said YES OF COURSE and they gave us permission to move it!! They also told us numerous times how they didn’t even like the table and that they would probably leave it with the house.
When it came to moving the table, the movers picked up the table top and of course to our surprise the BASE WAS STILL ATTACHED!!! The weight of the base cracked the table in half. Its AMAZING how people change their story once something breaks!! All of a sudden that table became the favourite piece of furniture in the house!!!
Well, lets just say that they were unfairly reimbursed for their table!!
What is your designer Roger Hazard like?
Ya never know what Roger is thinking. People are often intimidated by Roger, I mean look at the size of his biceps!!! Aside from the fact that he is enormously talented, Roger is just a big cuddly bear! The thing I like most about him is that when you least expect it he breaks out into the latest Broadway Musical number! Singing, dancing, the whole bit! It’s very funny!!!!
You have a spin off also starring Roger, called MOVE THIS HOUSE. Are you two trying to take over A&E?
Move This House unfortunately didn’t last past two seasons. But if it were up to me, I would host EVERY show on A&E if I could! HA! I love this network and love knowing I’m a part of their family!
And you have a new book in the works with Roger?
YUP!! I am really excited about it! We are in the middle of writing it right now actually. A&E is very excited about it too! Of course it will be graced with Roger’s staging magic on how to sell a house on a budget, but it will also have lots of fun pictures and behind the scenes secrets and moments we haven’t shared with the public yet.
Living in the US, I was not aware of this, but you are also a correspondent for ET in Canada? How is that going?
It is the same ET you see in the US except a certain part of the show is Canadian based and only seen in Canada. I was working for ET Canada on and off last year because of my crazy schedule. I love working for them whenever I get the chance.
And you also have a film called TERROR INSIDE in the works?
YES!! I finished filming the Lead Role (MARIA) opposite Corey Feldman. I had a blast on the film and with Corey.
It was a very challenging role which is why I loved it because it was an extremely dramatic role. I go from the girl next door to a virus ridden crazy person who loves to inflict pain on herself! It shows a whole other side to me that nobody has seen yet on TV.
I got into this business because I was an actor. I studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. I love acting as much as I do Hosting. I’m looking forward to doing another one! I loved the challenge the experience, I put my heart and soul into this role. So many of my fans only know me as the bubbly host of Sell This House. This will be quite the surprise for them!
You have a CD coming out. Can you tell us about that
Glad you asked because it is going to be released THIS WEEK on my website tanyamemme.com. I am really looking forward to its release. It is called “GEMINI”. I did the CD for my fans who wanted to see another side to me. It has 6 songs and a music video and the CD has a lot of color pictures that have not been seen yet. I put soooooo much passion into this CD. It was a passion project. I sang from my heart in every song. The music video was smply a blast!
Multiple TV shows, a film, a book, and a CD all in the works, do you have any free time?
I have more free time (which still isn’t much) now than I’ve had in 5 years. Last year alone I hosted THREE TV shows, Sell This House, Move This House and ET Canada, I recorded my CD GEMINI at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, as well as shot my music video at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Started writing a book on staging with Roger. I shot 5 TV pilots, was a motivational speaker at a bunch of events, traveled the US and Canada doing PR for Sell This House and my CD, AND Filmed a MOVIE in Florida! I had 33 days off total last year!
Right now I am only shooting Sell This House and concentrating on releasing my CD writing my book and finding more time for a personal life. I’m taking a breath and enjoying every minute of it!
What are your favorite films, musicians?
My all time two favorite films are GREMLINS and Somewhere In Time!! Musicians? I absolutely love Jazz music, Country Music and really great Dance music. From Coltrane and Ella, to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw to Madonna (who I still think is incredibly amazing!).
Do you have any DVD recommendations?
The entire season of South Park!! I am a huge fan!! I named my Persian cat Cartman!! Looks just like him!
What do you have on your Tivo (or what shows do you watch every week)?
SELL THIS HOUSE HA!
MOVE THIS HOUSE
HOUSE – just got into it!
SOUTH PARK! I think I have 86 episodes I need to watch!
For more information on Tanya, visit her website, TanyaMemme.com where you can order her CD. And be sure to check out SELL THIS HOUSE, Saturday’s on A&E.
A big thank you to Tanya Memme.