Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Show. Wake Up, World!

In late 2007, Daily Show with Jon Stewart co-creator Lizz Winstead, along with her "Shoot The Messenger" troupe of New York's best comic writers and performers, mounted Wake Up, World, a live stage show ostensibly bringing you America's first six-hour morning talkfest. (I was honored when the Shoot The Messenger people brought me on board, too, to help with publicity, and was thrilled to hear the few jokes I did contribute coming out of the mouths of these hilarious performers.)

The show became a downtown sensation, and in its one-year-plus run at the Green Room Theater on Bleecker St. (where the troupe just did a fabulous reunion Christmas performance a few weeks back), attracted high-profile guests like Rachel Maddow, Susie Essman, Roseanne, Sarah Silverman, Mo Rocca, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Kate Clinton, Michael Stipe, Ed Schultz, and Ed Begley, Jr.

Following the regular run of the show, Winstead and Co. shot a pilot for a TV version of Wake Up, World, which shows us not only the on-air antics of vapid hosts Hope Jean Paul (Winstead) and the Bryant Gumbel-esque Davis Miles (comic Baron Vaughn) and buxom newsreader Emily Rackcheck (Darbi Worley), but also the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of its crew and network execs. Think The Today Show meets The Colbert Report meets The Larry Sanders Show.

The pilot is available in four parts on youtube; the link to the first part is below. For the new year, I encourage you to check out Wake Up, World, and pass it around!

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