It’s time to further explore the exciting world of Web Series. Your tour guide today — as always — is Bwog Television Critic Rob Trump. For even more of Trump’s musings, direct your attention to his blog, which has been added to our blogroll for your convenience.
If you like to keep up on your Saturday Night Live news, you’ll be happy to know that fantastic New York stand-up comedian John Mulaney has been hired as a writer (as well as UCBT vet Bobby Moynihan as an actor) for the upcoming season. Besides getting me really excited for this year of the show — Mulaney is seriously hilarious, see him live if you can — that makes now a good time to muse on the subsequent careers of SNL non-cast writers, a legacy far less-examined than that of the performers. Because while a handful of them have gone on to more visible careers , they’re much more likely to end up writing for a sitcom or late night show and remain as invisible to you as they’ve always been.
Well then, thank God for the web, because otherwise we might never have seen performances from former SNL scribe Liz Cackowski. She takes the titular role in The Jeannie Tate Show, a mock talk show hosted by soccer mom Jeannie Tate. Over the course of each episode, Jeannie, busy woman that she is, manages to ferry around her children while conducting a talk show from her minivan with guests such as Bill Hader, Rashida Jones, Lonny Ross, and Rob Riggle. If it sounds like a bit of a one-joke pony based on that description: don’t worry, it isn’t — quite. Or rather: even if the characters of Jeannie (a mugging, cheesy one-liner-ing oblivious factory of smiles) and her daughter Tina (a rebellious teenager, played by that one girl on 30 Rock that always shows up as a page and never has any lines) are the only real jokes on the show, they’re certainly enough to sustain laughter through pretty much the entirety of each five-minute installment. The celebrity guests are mostly foils annoyed by Jeannie, but all you have to do is watch the first episode to find out that it’s a hell of a lot of fun to see someone who can go as broad as Bill Hader can be the convincingly uncomfortable straight man.
All 7 episodes are about as good, and short enough that you can continually convince yourself that you will watch just one more. The most recent one was put up in June after a five-month lull, so here’s hoping more are forthcoming!
(Oh, and if you recognize Cackowski, it’s because she apparently enjoyed acting in her show enough to take a supporting role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. And: to the dude that wanted Jake and Amir, I’m totally down and they’re way funny, but damn, they have a lot of videos! I feel like I must watch them all before I can accurately report! Next time!)