IFC’s New Sketch Comedy, ‘The Birthday Boys’ to Premiere Friday, October 18
via press release:
IFC’S NEW SKETCH COMEDY SERIES
THE BIRTHDAY BOYS
PREMIERES FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 AT 10:30 PM
Executive Produced by Bob Odenkirk and Ben Stiller
NEW YORK, NY – August 13, 2013 – IFC’s new original sketch comedy series The Birthday Boys, which showcases the silly-meets-smart humor from the popular comedy troupe of the same name, will premiere on IFC Friday, October 18 at 10:30pm ET/PT with ten half-hour episodes. A look at what to expect from the debut season is available now at http://www.ifc.com/the-birthday-boys/videos/the-birthday-boys-inside-the-writers-room.
Executive producers Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show) and Ben Stiller (the upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander) bring viewers the genius of the Los Angeles comedy team that made a name for themselves at UCB LA and the Just For Laughs Festival. Along with honorary eighth member Odenkirk, The Birthday Boys ensemble includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen whose collective credits include Conan, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Portlandia, Funny or Die, Comedy Bang! Bang! and more.
With a nod to absurd yet intelligent legacy sketch shows Monty Python, Mr. Show and Kids in the Hall, the series appropriates familiar scenarios and classic TV, film and sketch archetypes with a fresh take. Drawing from the unique collaboration between Odenkirk and The Birthday Boys as writers, directors and performers, The Birthday Boys features both stand-alone and multi-act sketches that poke fun at real-life moments and cultural touchstones. From Steve Jobs and the rise of the personal computer, Lance Armstrong and the prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs, to the hardships of trying to keep up with too many shows on your DVR — the series takes a hilariously skewed perspective on everyone’s shared experiences.
“We’re happy to finally give Bob Odenkirk and Ben Stiller the platform for their big break,” The Birthday Boys collectively said.
“The Birthday Boys are funny fellows and I intend to learn all their names by the end of the first season!,” Bob Odenkirk added.
While all but one of The Birthday Boys graduated from Ithaca College in New York, it wasn’t until separately moving to Los Angeles that they began to embrace their comedic talent by joining the Upright Citizens Brigade. The Birthday Boys officially formed in 2007, quickly finding a local fan base and drawing the attention of emerging comedy purveyor Bob Odenkirk. As the Los Angeles Times stated, “[The Birthday Boys] material is refreshingly lighthearted …and is grounded in their own kind of silliness.” With Odenkirk appearing in every episode this season, The Birthday Boys will most certainly continue to “favor the ridiculous” (Los Angeles Times).
Bob Odenkirk, Ben Stiller, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Mike Rosenstein and Dave Kneebone will executive produce. Abso Lutely and Red Hour will produce the series for IFC. The series is written by The Birthday Boys and Bob Odenkirk and co-directed by The Birthday Boys’ Chris VanArtsdalen, Jefferson Dutton and Odenkirk.
For updates on The Birthday Boys:
About RED HOUR
Founded by Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld, Red Hour is a production company dedicated to discovering new writers and filmmakers while developing projects with a mainstream sensibility across multiple media platforms.
Red Hour Films recently completed production on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” which Stiller directed, produced and stars in alongside Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, and Sean Penn. 20th Century Fox will release the film on December 25, 2013.
Red Hour credits include “Zoolander,” “Dodgeball,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Blades of Glory,” “The Big Year,” “30 Minutes or Less,” “Submarine,” “Megamind,” and “Tropic Thunder” which garnered several award nominations including an Academy Award®, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe ®for Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Kirk Lazarus’, as well as a Golden Globe® nomination for Tom Cruise’s performance as Les Grossman’. “Tropic Thunder” also won the Broadcast Film Critics Award and Hollywood Film Festival Award for Comedy of the Year.
In 2012, veteran executive, Debbie Liebling joined Red Hour to head the company’s newest division, Red Hour Television. Under her direction, the company has two series ordered and is in production on a 3rd pilot for Comedy Central. Red Hour Television has also sold eight scripts to networks and currently has two projects in development for HBO. Upcoming, the company is set to begin production on the new Comedy Central series, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which is based on the live Los Angeles standup show “The Meltdown” and will feature a notable lineup of comedic talents.
And on the even smaller screen, Red Hour’s Digital arm run by Mike Rosenstein, has a first look deal at Paramount’s Insurge Pictures. RHD develops and produces comedy projects for digital distribution. RHD produces the recently Emmy nominated Bachelor-parody “Burning Love.” The series, originally released on Yahoo!, was picked up by E! Television last season, with seasons 2 and 3 airing this fall. Upcoming projects include a “Zoolander” animated web series, as well as the second season of the You Tube series “Next Time On Lonny”.
IFC creates and champions authentic, original comedies that are “Always On. Slightly Off,” which air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and comedic cult TV shows. IFC.com features exclusive video, web series, podcasts, blogs and additional content that engages fans with IFC originals. The network’s On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives viewers the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. Established in 1994, IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and is available in nearly 70 million homes on every major cable, satellite and telco provider.