Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Am A TV Junkie: Emmy Winning Tracey Ullman Returns to Showtime Jan. 25 (and so do Arianna, Chanel, Ruth Madoff and Rachel Maddow)

Okay, I already don't like this post. I don't like it because I just realized that Arianna Huffington is identifiable by only her first name. Not that I don't like HuffPo or still hold a grudge that she tried to launch a closeted gay Republican (the very worst kind of Republican) into the CA governor's office, I guess I'm just tired of her omnipresence.

Apparently Tracey Ullman feels similarly, you'll see Arianna in the season opener of Tracey Ullman's State Of The Union on January 25 at 10:30, right after the third series premiere of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl on Showtime.

You can see a taste of Tracey's Arianna by clicking this link but it won't be til the premiere that you catch in one sketch Tracey playing the blogger/pundit in the makeup chair at The Rachel Maddow Show, the show's glam-averse host, Meghan McCain and Barney Frank.

Then Christiane Amanpour shows up in the wrong studio and it's all Rachel can do to stay inside her own skin.

Best Rachel Maddow impression I have seen yet, but then Tracey seems to manage to find ways to actually change her face to pull this off. And she must be awfully good at it because she's been doing this for years now and it still feels fresh with each new character. It's not even just makeup that makes it happen, there's a concerted effort on every level down to the way she holds her face that turns her into other people.

Those other people include a constant phoner/texter/Tweeter who becomes an unwitting guest on an Intervention-type series, Penelope Cruz at a junket for a film that has her starring as Salma Hayek called Dos Chichis Con Leche ... and TSA security screener Chanel, who leads those under her charge in a dance medley tribute to Michael Jackson.

Besides SNL and the odd sketch on one of the late night shows there's not much of it happening on US television. Of course back in the UK where Tracey's from (though she's been living in Calfornia now for years) there's always a hot sketch show on the air (and a few that aren't so hot, like the Corden and Horne series from this past year on BBC Three) .

Wish we had more of them, not that they'd all be of this quality. Tracey and partner/husband Allan McKeown have been doing this kind of thing for years and the loss of Gail Parent this season should be filled nicely by Bruce Wagner, who you might know from his screenplays including the upcoming Map To The Stars but also his print work in mags like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Details and The New York Times magazine.

And in the first two episodes of this season you'll also see from Tracey's old Fox series Sam McMurray and Joseph Malone.

Good stuff, very sharp political humor, biting commentary on life and how we're doing with it, you would be foolish not to check it out.

And you can right now. Click this link and watch the season two premiere that's posted on the Showtime website.

More as we get closer to the Jan. 25 premiere, because then hopefully I'll have clips.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, season three -- An early look

British female comedy impressionists like Catherine Tate should pay royalties to Tracey Ullman for copying her schtick. Ullman was the original and still remains one of the best, if not THE best, at what she does.

As with the first two seasons of her Showtime series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, she pretends to be, or rather becomes, different personalities across the United States over a single day with an ubiquitous announcer informing us of who she is and where in the country she is located. She even impersonates various celebrities on the way, and sometimes she is more than one of them at the same time.

Like most of America, I was first introduced to Tracey Ullman the comedian from her old Fox show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which also introduced the world to The Simpsons (and before that she was a singer in the 80's with several hit singles in the U.S. and U.K.). I also managed to catch a few episodes of her HBO series Tracey Takes On... While Ullman remains perpetually young and incredibly talented in this series, her humor has gotten a little more subtle and acerbic.

Ullman's humor has always been situational rather than the simple set-up and punchline, although that sort of humor certainly exists within the series. An example includes showing a group taking a tour of a Holocaust Museum and speaking of those who have perpetrated horrible crimes against the Jews, then having a likeness of Bernie Madoff in the center of it. It's more about the character and what the character says about America and society, in general.

Unlike Ullman's other works, she rarely shares the stage with any co-stars, possibly because very few can keep up with her as she plays her characters. Highlights include Tracey playing Penélope Cruz playing Salma Hayak, Ruth Madoff (Bernie's wife) and one woman who can't live without being on the cell phone or Internet (and nearly causing several traffic accidents on the way).

At this stage in her career, Tracey Ullman probably doesn't need to work. However, not giving her a show would be tantamount to treason since it takes an outsider (albeit one who is now a U.S. citizen) to best show America its own warts and failings. At least it's shown with love.

Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, the third season, premieres Jan. 25 at 10:30 PM on Showtime.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

"State of the Union" Season 3 Completed!!!

tracey shows set for showtime, Dec. 3, 2009

Tracey put the finishing touches late last night to the new series of her State of the Union series, at Point 360 post production in Santa Monica. The new series was produced by Melanie Patterson and directed by Tracey Ullman.

This new series is the most ambitious to date with Tracey appearing in one sketch as 5 differant people all set in the make up room at MSNBC. A Micheal Jackson tribute choreographed by Joe Malone a dancer on the original Beat It video

The series will be delivered to Showtime for airing January 25th 2010. World wide distribution will be via Portman DRG , dvd released again by Eagle Rock . The series is copyright to Allan McKeown presents who financed and produced the series.

Source: Allan Mckeown

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Funnyman Paul Reiser Launches Music Career With Julia Fordham

U.S. funnyman Paul Reiser has launched his music career by teaming up with British singer Julia Fordham.
The Mad About You and Beverly Hills Cop star is in the studio with Happy Ever After singer Fordham. As per the reports, they will release the first album next year.
Fordham tells the media, "Along with being an actor and comedian, Paul is also a classically trained pianist and studied composing and arranging at college."
In the meantime, the Brit actress is launching an acting career with her long time friend Tracey Ullman's forthcoming sketch show State of The Union.
Fordham says, "Tracey is a blinding talent and the only hard part of being in a scene with her is to try and remember to keep your jaw from dropping to the floor as you marvel at her all round splendidness."


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Downloads: A Kick Up The Eighties!

We've tracked down 10 episodes of "A Kick Up The Eighties", one of the hardest British sketch comedy series to find. Tracey was a starring cast member. We
have all of Season 1, and four episodes of Season 2.

Hopefully, you will enjoy them. Many of today's most famous British
comedians found their start on this series.

If we track down any additional episodes, we'll upload and post them.

If you get a "temporarily unavailable" message when you try to access your download, wait a minute or so, and try the link again.


Season 1

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6

Season 2

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4


Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Multi-Character Series To Follow "Union" In 2010

[11.06.09 - 10:15 AM]
Released by Showtime
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]



SHOWTIME has announced the air dates for some its highly-anticipated programming for first and second quarter 2010. Highlighting the new schedule will be a Monday comedy block pairing of the second season of SHOWTIME's acclaimed Nurse Jackie starring Emmy award-winner Edie Falco leading into the second season of United States of Tara showcasing Toni Collette in her Emmy award-winning title role. Nurse Jackie will premiere on Monday, March 22 at 10:00 PM ET/PT followed by United States of Tara at 10:30 PM ET/PT.

Additionally, the fourth and final season of SHOWTIME's award-winning period drama The Tudors starring Golden Globe award-winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers will premiere on Sunday, April 11 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

The movie event of the New Year will be the television premiere of blockbuster feature film TWILIGHT on Saturday, January 23. Original comedy series will also populate the network from January through March with Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and the debut of British comedy sensation Marc Wootton's new La La Land -- in which he plays three different characters in real situations with unsuspecting real Los Angelenos all premiering Monday, January 25.

Here's what Showtime looks like in the months ahead:



Saturday, January 23rd TBD Twilight Film

Monday, January 25th 10:00 PM ET/PT Secret Diary of a Call Girl 3rd

Monday, January 25th 10:30 PM ET/PT Tracey Ullman's State of the Union 3rd

Monday, January 25th 11:00 PM ET/PT La La Land 1st

Monday, March 22nd 10:00 PM ET/PT Nurse Jackie 2nd

Monday, March 22nd 10:30 PM ET/PT United States of Tara 2nd

Sunday, April 11th 9:00 PM ET/PT The Tudors 4th

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Brief Review of "State of the Union" Series 1 and 2 DVDs

Australia has the second season DVD already. The set also comes with season

Season 2 has a nice documentary and interview with Tracey and Bruce Wagner. The
DVD also comes with outtakes and deleted scenes -- Celine Dion's singing went on and
on and on. 4 sing-alongs are also included. It's a really nice set, including

ABC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, put out the DVD, so I don't know how
much the American DVD, once released, will differ from the Australian. I doubt
it'll be much.

If you're in Australia and would like to purchase the set, or you own a region-less DVD player that can play a DVD from any territory, buy it here!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dress For Success!

If you have $450.00 laying around, and perhaps need something to wear, you may want to consider purchasing Tracey's costume from the 2004 John Waters classic, A Dirty Shame. The outfit is being sold on eBay through Estate Sale Raider.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Wait Is Almost Over!

We now have official confirmation that Season 3 of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" is now in editing, and will air on Showtime earlier than the previous two seasons. The official launch date is January 25, 2010! As previously reported, the new season has been directed by Tracey herself! Season 3 consists of another 7 brand new episodes. For those non-Americans out there, "State of the Union" may also be showing up on your screens as well! The show has been sold around the world. If we can get air dates for the other territories, we'll add it to the blog!

Also coming is the Season 2 DVD set for "State of the Union" released by Eagle Rock Entertainment. The second season will also be made available through iTunes. Any additional info we can get, we'll be sure to post it!

Here is a behind-the-scenes pic from the set of "State of the Union". You can see the pharmacist character, Padma Perkesh's Bollywood pharmacy set.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Lots Sells Tracey

We're being told that the store, Big Lots in America is selling (at least) Season 1 of Tracey Takes On... DVD released by HBO back in 2005 for $3. So, if you're a new fan and want to see what all the fuss is about, or you didn't get it the first time, OR you simply want another copy, head over to their store!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"State"''s Returning Guest Stars

Singer, Vonda Shepard, has revealed that she will be returning to film more "State of the Union" this year. You'll remember Vonda as one of the polygamist compound women from last season.

Also returning, actor,
Adam Cagley. You'll remember him from last season as the student being seduced by his teacher.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Girls Talk, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Back in 2001-2002, Tracey hosted a fashion talk show, Visible Panty Lines, for the Oxygen network. She interviewed a long list of female celebrities. The series was a tie-in to Tracey's own fashion web site,

Tracey's car was featured in a few of the episodes, driving to some of the locations where she would experience the world of fashion. We own the license plate and decide to share it up close. It's of course a prop. We won't be able to use it in any way. ;)

Here is a full episode with Nell Campbell as the interviewee:


Today's The Day!!!!

The new season of "State of the Union" Season 3 kicks off production today! Good luck to Tracey who will act not only as star, but also as director. Good luck to the cast and crew! We're sure it'll be just as amazing as the previous two seasons!

Stay tuned for updates...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tracey's Directing Again!

Shooting starts on SOTU, Sept. 11, 2009

Tracey Ullmans STATE of the UNION starts shooting on Monday September 14th at CBS Radford Studios in Studio City Hollywood Ca. The 7 part EMMY nominated series will be produced by Melanie Patterson and directed by Tracey Ullman. Rob Sweeney will be the DP

Allan McKeown, Tracey Ullman and Bruce Wagner are Executive Producers.

Andy Defoe is the asssociate producer, and Eric Fors the co-ordinator. The third season has been pre bought in a number of territories around the world.

The last time Tracey directed
, it was the Ruby Romaine HBO 2003 special, Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales. Tracey also directed portions of the fourth season of Tracey Takes On... This is exciting!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Tracey Ullman Show" Writer, Marc Flanagan Blogs About Mel Brooks

Years later, I was working in Los Angeles as a writer on "The Tracey Ullman Show" that was shot on the 20th Century lot on Pico. Mel had an office there and I would see him in the Commissary oftentimes, never daring to interrupt his meal (I was older, less stupid -- thought now, a lot older and back to stupid).

James L Brooks, one of the creators of the Tracey show and the man who imported me from New York, offered Mel a role on the show. Mel, who was a great admirer of Tracey, accepted and somehow or another I got the nod to write the segment. I went over to his office and sat down with him, choosing not to reveal that we had met once before when I trespassed on his property.

Mel had an idea about a guy who gets a new chair for his office and just keeps sliding out of it ever time he sits down (he was probably in his 60s at the time … physical humor, a staple of comedy), and then I pitched him an idea, incorporating the "chair bit" about a movie director who was down on his luck and had to convince an A-list" movie goddess (Tracey doing a dead on impersonation of Kathleen Turner) to appear in his film.

Mel responded favorably to the story line and sent me off to write it. As I was leaving his office he asked me what he was going to get paid. I informed him that all of our guest stars recieved the SAG minuimum. He made a face and said he wanted a dollar more.

Funny. I wrote the piece over the next few days with great trepidation, for this was Mel Brooks, I was writing for the man who defined " funny.”

Finally done, I walked it over to Mel's office and left it with his secretary and then waited; waited like a man who is about to be hung and is hoping the Governor will commune his sentence.

Silence. I tried not to think the worst (You stink!). I went to lunch and when I returned there were two phone messages, one said "Fabian called" the other "Mel Brooks called.”

I called Mel back first (sorry, Fabian). Mel loved the sketch, which I titled, "Due Dilligence." Mel's character was Buzz Schlanger … he thought it was funny and sharp and was looking forward to doing it.

After I got off the phone with him, I walked around the lot thinking that I was hallucinating from my tuna melt -- Mel Brooks liked my sketch.


When we were in rehearsal for the show, he came over to me and suggested a change. One of the punch lines was, "Yeah, he's going up Thursday." Mel asked if he could change "Thursday" to "Tuesday.” Of course, I responded. Mel instructs, "Tuesday is a lot funnier then Thursday.” Now, I was hardly going to argue with Mel about the comic validity of switching days of the week -- that would have been like me arguing with YoYo Ma about how to play the Prelude from Bach's Cello suite No.1 (YoYo Ma -- funnier reference then Joshua Bell or Midori -- Mel would approve.)

On the night of the filming, I stopped by Mel's trailer, to wish him well. He asked me to step inside. I joined him in his camper and he confessed that he was very nervous about the shoot. We had an audience and he told me that he had not played a role in front of a crowd in a very long time. He did not want to screw up. I ran lines with him and reassured him that he was going to be "tops in taps.” He was showing a seldom-seen vulnerable side, and I felt honored that he was willing to share that with me.

He was Mel Brooks, but even Mel can get stage fright. Amazing.

Mel was great in the sketch, and his stage fright seemed to evaporate the moment he hit the studio floor. (And by the way he did the "chair bit" about seven times -- big laughs every time.) After we wrapped for the night, I walked the maestro back to his camper and told him that working with him and getting to know him was a high water mark in my life; he suggested a solution of bleach and water might make it go away.

I then told him the story about how we had met on Fire Island in the early ‘70s and although he didn't exactly recall it, he was curious if he had been nice. "Yes Mel you were incrediby nice to me."

"Hmmmnnn, he said, maybe I sensed that one day we would be working together and I shouldn't piss on you.” Funny.

I came to know Mel as the Thousand Year Old Man ... I hope he lives that long.

Read more!


Friday, July 31, 2009

Bits: Week of July 26, 2009

Dr. Mary Lee Amerian’s skin care line is fabulous. Recently I finished filming a show and found my skin to be tired and dull looking. After two days of using Mary Lee Amerian’s skin are products, I felt the glow return. The products made my skin feel clean and firm. Now Dr. Amerian can reach out to others with her new skin care line, which I highly recommend.”—Tracey Ullman

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tracey Attends The Premiere Of Julie & Julia!

by Marc Malkin

Last night's red carpet screening of Julie & Julia attracted a bevy of celebs, including the movie's costars Meryl Streep, Amy Adams (who, by the way, looked fetching in a white Roland Mouret dress and Tiffany jewels) and Chris Messina, T.R. Knight, Tracey Ullman, Ashley Greene, Kate Flannery, Giada De Laurentiis, and also from the film Jane Lynch and Mary Lynn Rajskub.

Streep stars as the late world-famous chef, Julia Child, while Adams plays a New York City government worker who decides to spend a year making every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Childs' book first published in 1961.

With the movie centered so much around food, we gotta admit we were famished by the time the end credits started rolling. Thankfully, we found an In-N-Out burger just steps away from the theater.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mel Brooks: History of his world, part 1

Friday night's tribute to Mel Brooks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was as heartfelt as it was hilarious.

Leonard Maltin was, as ever, a fantastic host. The tributers were extremely qualified to talk about Mel and his impact on the biz, his unique genius and the crazy-funny stuff like how Brooks squeezed an extra $300,000 out of MGM/UA's David Begelman (tip: always hit up a studio chief up after lunch, not before) so that Richard Benjamin and Brooks' Brooksfilms banner could do right by "My Favorite Year" (thank goodness they did).

Carl Reiner revealed that it was Burns and Allen -- George Burns and Steve Allen -- who ensured that "The 2000-Year-Old Man" routine -- something Reiner and Brooks had done for fun at parties for years (as Reiner put it, "for Jews and for non-antisemitic gentiles") -- was put down on wax and mass marketed as a comedy album(s). Burns told them after one party perf that if they didn't record it "he would steal it," Reiner recalled. And then Allen went a step further and booked studio time for them to record a few routines.

Everyone on the stage made a concerted effort to convey love and admiration for Brooks, as an auteur and as a human being. But I submit that nobody made quite as much of an effort as Teri Garr. She demonstrated incredible grace and resilience in walking on stage to join Lesley Ann Warren and Tracey Ullman in a discussion of performing opposite Mel.

Multiple sclerosis has taken a physical toll on Garr, but the neurological disorder has not claimed the exuberant spirit that caught Brooks' eye way back when. After a clip of "Young Frankenstein" was shown, Garr deadpanned, "I haven't changed a bit."

(Pictured above, from left: Richard Benjamin, Lesley Ann Warren, Mel Brooks, Leonard Maltin, Teri Garr, AMPAS' Sid Ganis and Tracey Ullman.)


Another emotional moment in a night of big, big, can't-catch-my-breath laughs came when Brooks himself noted during the Q&A with Maltin how deeply he was moved by the clips of his late wife, Anne Bancroft, from "Silent Movie" and "To Be or Not To Be." They were married for 40 years and had a son, Max, who sat next to his father during Friday night's fete. As my husband observed, Bancroft was immensely talented, and she was a babe.

-Cynthia Littleton

Saturday, July 25, 2009

State of the Union: A Very Funny Show

JULY 24, 2009


Women don’t watch The Simpson’s .....

or at least, we don’t admit to it. We sigh and roll our eyes at the crassness of animation, and shake our heads at the men and children parked in front of the set. Come late night TV, however, we grab that pint of mint chocolate chip and sneak off to the guest bedroom to laugh our heads off at the person behind it all. Tracey Ullman was FOX Network’s first real star. She could act, sing and dance – and her impersonations would bring the house down. Ullman rocked the house with the Tracey Ullman Show for years, inspiring the the Simpson family and spawning a series of Ullman shows. She made it big as Britain’s most wealthy comedienne – then became an American citizen and shifted gears. She appeared in the wildly popular Ally McBeal as the self absorbed lawyer’s therapist, made plenty of Ullman specials on HBO, and most recently made the move to Showtime. Tracey is everything women have to secretly admire in another woman. She made it in the old boys club – comedy 25 years ago wasn’t kind to the fairer sex, but Ullman blasted her way in. In her State of the Union (which has been received with thunderous acclaim) Tracey takes full advantage of her citizenship to poke fun at her chosen country – and we can’t help but laugh along. Quietly. So as not to wake our husbands. She was the inspiration for the Simpson’s, after all! Blush!!! Check out Tracey Ullman and catch up on State of the Union.

Thursday, July 23, 2009