BB-8 Voice Featurette - Ben Schwartz Recording

By now all Star Wars fans have heard that development for the voice of the beloved ball droid BB-8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens started by using comedians Ben Schwartz and Bill Hader to record dialogue that would later be replaced by sound effects. However, this process has only been explained to us by those two actors, both in a Reddit AMA video and in a separate interview. Now a clip from one of the featurettes you’ll find on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D collector’s edition Blu-ray shows Ben Schwartz recording dialogue for BB-8, and it’s thoroughly entertaining.

Watch the BB-8 voice featurette clip after the jump. Read More »

Stranger Things Steve Jean-Ralphio video

Stranger Things has given way to a great many conspiracy theories, but perhaps none more convincing than “Steve is really the father of Jean-Ralphio from Parks & Recreation.” The evidence is incontrovertible: the two guys kind of look alike, and both characters hail from Indiana, and… actually, that’s about it. Okay, so maybe it’s not all that airtight after all. But Ben Schwartz (a.k.a. Jean-Ralphio) and Joe Keery (a.k.a. Steve) are more than happy to run with it, and that’s what matters.

Earlier this week we oohed and ahhed over a bunch of snapshots of father and son being reunited thanks to The Late Late Show With James Corden, and now there’s video footage of their special encounter — including the moment they realized that, yes, they are related after all.  Read More »

Stranger Things and Parks and Recreation - Ben Schwartz Meets Joe Keery

Fans of Stranger Things who also happen to be fans of the comedy series Parks and Recreation have noticed that Joe Keery (who plays Steve on Netflix’s sci-fi show) looks an awful lot like Ben Schwartz, who played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on the NBC comedy series. Fans hypothesized that since Stranger Things is set in the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins in the 1980s, it only made sense that he would turn out to be the father of Jean-Ralphio in Parks and Recreation‘s fictional Indiana town of Pawnee.

Thankfully, Ben Schwartz took the time to confirm this theory on The Late Late Show with James Corden back in August, and now we get to see father and son reunited in a series of photos posted to social media by the two actors.

Check out some of the Stranger Things and Parks and Recreation “reunion” photos after the jump. Read More »

Stranger Things Jean-Ralphio Theory

Netflix’s Stranger Things is exactly the kind of topsy-turvy sci-fi mystery that gives rise to endless fan theories big and small. In any corner of the internet where people are discussing Stranger Things — which seems to be every corner of the internet these days — you can find viewers arguing about what really happened to certain characters, how other characters are really related, or where all of this is really taking place.

But my favorite theory by far is “Jean-Ralphio Saperstein from Parks & Recreation is really the son of Steve Harrington from Stranger Things,” based on the remarkably astute observation that hey, these two idiots kind of look alike. And now we have definitive proof. Ben Schwartz, who played Jean-Ralphio, has “confirmed” that the two characters are in fact father and son, and even shared his thoughts on what Jean-Ralphio’s childhood might have been like. Some spoilers ahead for season 1.  Read More »

The Intervention Trailer

Several titles that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year are making their way to limited releases and VOD this summer. One of the more charming offerings is The Intervention, a relationship dramedy fueled by an incredible cast, some sharp writing, and one intervention that turns into multiple cries for help among a group of four couples on a weekend getaway.

Watch The Intervention trailer after the jump. Read More »

Jean-Ralphio as BB-8

Just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, we learned that Bill Hader helped bring BB-8 to life by providing real dialogue for the droid that eventually was just turned into various bleeps and bloops that the little ball droid made. Hader was credited as a vocal consultant along with Parks and Recreation‘s Ben Schwartz, who opened up about the process with a little more details in a Reddit AMA video back in February. And with that knowledge, one fan decided to have some fun with footage of BB-8 from The Force Awakens.

For those who may not know, Ben Schwartz played a hilarious character on Parks and Recreation named Jean-Ralphio. And friend of the site Jesse Carp has taken some of his dialogue and given it to BB-8 in the scene when Rey saves the droid from being turned into scarps by the scavenger Teedo. Believe it or not, it makes BB-8 even better. Read More »

Garry Shandling Basketball

Sadly, last week brought news that iconic comedian Garry Shandling had passed away suddenly at 66 years old. The longtime stand-up comedian  and creator/star of The Larry Sanders Show has influenced some of the top comedians working today, and he counts among his friends some of the best in the business.

As a way of saying goodbye, over three dozen of them gathered as Shandling’s house for one last game of pick-up basketball on the comedian’s home court, something he was very fond of doing while he was alive and well. See a photo of everyone gathered for the honorary Garry Shandling basketball game after the jump. Read More »

BB-8 Voice

Shortly after the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a cool little behind the scenes detail regarding the beloved ball droid BB-8 surfaced, specifically with regards to how the character’s voice was created. Sure, like R2-D2 and some of the other droids we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe, BB-8 communicates with a series of bleeps and bloops. But how those sounds were created for the movie is quite a fascinating story.

Thankfully, enough time has passed that comedian Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation, House of Lies) is now able to open up a bit about the creative process for giving BB-8 his voice. Bill Hader only briefly touched upon this behind the scenes information before, but Schwartz dives in and tells us exactly what kind of work he did for The Force Awakens. Read More »

forceawakens-dowutin-lady-cantina

JJ Abrams is one of those filmmakers who loves to hide easter eggs in his films and television shows. And we love to go on the easter egg hunt and find them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is packed with inside jokes, cameos, fun references to past films, as well as some things that pay homage to the inspiration and fandom of the series.

How many Game of Thrones cameos did you spot? Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be hidden in this movie somewhere? Find out this and over 50 other Star Wars: The Force Awakens easter eggs, after the jump.

Read More »

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Adam McKay and Seth Rogen Team for New Comedy

Seth Rogen

Some very funny people are about to join forces. Adam McKay is set to direct an untitled comedy written by Ben Schwartz for Will Ferrell‘s Gary Sanchez Productions, with Seth Rogen attached to star. Schwartz will also co-star. In addition to starring, Rogen will produce alongside his usual partner Evan Goldberg. Hit the jump for more details on the new Adam McKay Seth Rogen comedy. Read More »