Tracey Takes On... Seasons 1 & 2 DVDs Discontinued

Thursday, April 30, 2009 expat 1 Comments

We have found that the sets released back in 2005, and 2006, have sadly been discontinued, meaning that no more copies will be pressed. You can still get new/used copies from other sellers on web sites like Amazon.com.

A reminder, the third and fourth series of "Tracey Takes On..." will be released on DVD officially on July 14, 2009.

Perhaps the first and second seasons will be re-released. Here's hoping!

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Article: United States of Tracey

Thursday, April 30, 2009 expat 0 Comments

United States of Tracey

Alex Strachan, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Tracey Ullman as Celine Dion in Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.


Tracey Ullman purely hates dramatic re-enactments. And that's odd -- in an offhand, almost ironic way -- because Ullman is a world-recognized performer who has made her career mimicking other people. A character actress, as she describes herself.

In Tracey Ullman's State of the Union's second season, which bowed earlier this month on The Movie Network and Movie Central, Ullman takes on Celine Dion, Heather Mills-(not)-McCartney, Jodie Foster, J.K. Rowling, Silda Spitzer (yes, Silda Spitzer!) and Tom Brokaw.

Dion, Mills-(not)-McCartney and J.K. Rowling join a character repertoire that, last season, included Dina Lohan, mom to You Know Who, Renee Zellweger and Tony Sirico-as-Paulie Walnuts, from The Sopranos.

And then there are the Ullman originals: Leslie Katz-Cohen, publicist for the Dalai Lama -- because, let's face it, every religious leader needs a pushy publicist -- Wendy Trenton, world-champion hog caller; Jillian Smart, an over-attentive and hyper-aggressive soccer mom; and Padma Perkesh, Bollywood musical pharmacist and slumcat millionaire.

Ullman's State of the Union tends toward short, scattershot sketches -- no more than 90 seconds, Ullman has vowed this season. The pace is swift, with celebrity impersonations and Everyman/woman characterizations racing by at a dizzying clip, like an ADD-afflicted outing of Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood.

Off-screen, Ullman's taste in TV leans toward historical documentaries. And not those history programs with loud, weepy music and crummy historical re-enactments, either, but the full Ken Burns.

"I've learned so much about America from Ken Burns' documentaries," Ullman explained. "The Civil War -- I feel like I've had a university education about all this. I love Ken Burns. But he can't keep doing the fiddle. It's like everyone's doing it now. Enough with the fiddle."

Ullman ascribes her longevity in part not to impersonating celebrities -- other comediennes do that, and better than she does, she insists -- but coming up with peripheral characters that perhaps nobody else has thought of.

"I'm not Rich Little," Ullman explained. "That's not what I do. I don't want to be Sarah Palin. I think Tina Fey just nailed that; it was pure genius. I want to be that lesbian that Sarah Palin kept talking about. You know, the one where she kept saying, 'She's my best friend and I've known her for years.' Where is this woman? In Juneau? What does she look like? That's what I do -- match it up, somehow. I try to be a little off-centre."

Ullman has impersonated a red-carpet parade of recognizable celebrities in her time, but these days, when she tackles a celebrity, she prefers one a little bit in left field. Like -- Seth Rogen.

"I wanted to be Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen, for some bizarre reason," Ullman said. "They were good fun, though. My poor 17-year-old son has to see me doing this stuff."

Another off-kilter impersonation? Len Goodman.

"(State of the Union writer) Bruce Wagner was, like, 'Who is Len Goodman?' And I said, 'It's a really big reality show, So You Think You Can Dance with a Celebrity, or something like that.' He just kills me. I love being Len Goodman."

Ullman finds personal inspiration not so much in other comedians as the great character actresses -- Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep.

"I don't class myself as a comedienne," Ullman said. "I've never done standup. I couldn't tell jokes in front of a crowd to save my life. I always wanted to be a character actress, and do it until I'm 95. I keep going back to Peter Sellers, again and again -- a genius."

"I really enjoy what I do. I love that I can get enthusiastic and come back and do something, and have it be relevant, and have people enjoy it. I'm in it for the long run."

Ullman and her producer-husband Allan McKeown recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary -- the old-fashioned way, with a trip to Paris.

Yes, it was tempting to pretend to be Carla Bruni at times, but somehow Ullman found the strength to resist.

"Silver wedding anniversary," Ullman said. "Our marriage is on the rocks, but we're staying together for the syndicated reruns."

"It's true," McKeown said, sadly.

Tracey Ullman's State of the Union airs Mondays on The Movie Network at 9 ET and Movie Central at 9:30 MT/8:30 PT.

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FLASHBACK: Download Tracey Ullman on "The Full Wax"

Sunday, April 26, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey appeared on Ruby Wax's variety/talk show series, "The Full Wax" on February 1, 1991. Ruby, along with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, starred along with Tracey in the comedy series, "Girls On Top".

Click to download.

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Huell Howser Twitters About Tracey's Impersonation Of Him on Travis Smiley!

Sunday, April 26, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Huell uses clips of when he was on Tracey Takes On... interviewing, Ruby Romaine. You'll see mini Twitter links (http://ow.ly/3QJB). Click on them.


Huell's Twitter
http://twitter.com/HuellHowser

Travis' Twitter
http://twitter.com/tavissmiley


Twitterland...


Tavis to Huell:

@HuellHowser Thanks for letting people know about Tracey Ullman on the show tonight. They'll want to see her impersonation of you!


Huell to Travis:

Tonight 7PM KCET @tavissmiley hosts Tracy Ullman hear what she says. We go way back: http://ow.ly/3QIf At 7:30 I do this http://ow.ly/3QJB

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Watch Full Travis Smiley Interview!

Saturday, April 25, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Click photo

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Tracey Ullman sees the Carpet Creature

Saturday, April 25, 2009 expat 2 Comments

We have no idea.

Tracey Ullman sees the Carpet Creature

2 comments:

New Article/Interview, Third Series Already In Production!

Friday, April 24, 2009 expat 0 Comments

From Women's Media Center

Tracey Ullman Examines the “State of the Union”

By Marcia G. Yerman


Sketch comedian extraordinaire Tracey Ullman found a comfortable niche on Showtime for her satiric probe of America’s psyche. But no viewer gets to remain complacent under her penetrating gaze.

April 24, 2009Back for a second season on Showtime’s Sunday lineup, in seven half-hour episodes that began airing this month, Tracey Ullman mixes over-the-top comedic entertainment with astute observation. As each segment opens to the strains of Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the viewer gets a bird’s eye look at the topography of the United States that feeds into a visual riff on American culture. A solemn voice over states, “Land of the free and home of the brave. Let’s visit its people for a day.”

Through her panoply of characters—some of them celebrity impersonations—Ullman tackles health care, the media, ageism, celebrity adoption, the financial crisis, gay marriage, and the demise of the honeybees among other topics. The accessible humor does nothing to hide her acerbic subtext in themes that recur throughout the series.

One of her vehicles, morning anchor “Linda Alvarez,” asks her staff about an upcoming story. “She hanged herself in rehab with the strap of her Marc Jacobs bag. Is that entertainment or obituary…or both?” To comment on members of the Supreme Court, Ullman disappears into the persona of fashion designer Donna Karan, who is on a mission to redesign the judicial robes. (“The robes haven’t been updated since the Taft administration.”)

Taking on groupthink and cults, Ullman interweaves praying nun “Mother Superior Rose Panatella” with featured characters from a fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) compound in Texas. As Panatella quizzically contemplates why women would want to live in a polygamous situation where they “all dress and look the same,” she begins to grasp some uncomfortable parallels.

Among her uncanny imitations, the Laura Bush portrayal stands out. The former First Lady asks her sleeping husband, “Do you ever wonder if you could have done things differently?” Ullman uses “Lisa Penning,” soldier and mother, to examine the stresses facing those serving long tours of duty. (Her husband is also deployed.) While home on an abbreviated leave, Penning is faced with foreclosure. Her response to the bank’s offer of $2,000 for a house valued at $200,000 is totally logical in an Ullmanian universe.

Wearing multiple hats of executive producer and writer as well as performer, Ullman had plenty of insights to share. A multiple Emmy recipient, who first impressed the critics in 1981 for her work at Britain’s Royal Court Theatre, Ullman has thoroughly traversed the show biz system. She made it clear at the start of her sketch comedy career that she would not play the “busty bar maid” (adding she was not the Benny Hill type anyway), looking to English character actresses Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith as role models. But it was American stars such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Lily Tomlin, and Gilda Radner who were her trailblazers. Radner was a particular inspiration because “she was as funny as the guys … and she wrote her own stuff.”

Regarding women in the field today, Ullman spoke of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. “Tina Fey’s been a wonderful breakthrough for us,” she said, adding that television is a much more welcoming medium, particularly as “film is just terrifying for women right now. There’s nothing if you’re over thirty-five—unless you’re Meryl Streep.” Ullman prefers cable for its artistic latitude. Yet television has its limits. She noted that in network “women get daytime,” quipping, “We can elect a black man, but we can’t get a woman in night time television!” Ullman acknowledged that Chelsea Handler had started to make a dent with her format on cable’s E! Networks.

While “interpreting America” in her series, Ullman zones in on one of her top concerns. “I care about women aging with dignity,” she said. So slipping in “under the guise of humor” are the travails of older flight attendant “Dee McNally,” who started her career at the time of “Fly Me” glamour. Ullman scrutinized how stewardesses from the Middle East and Singapore still have the “I Dream of Jeanie” outfits, reflecting the male corporate ideal. Ullman morphed into an American aviation executive when she exclaimed, “Goddamn it! We lost control of how we make the girls look.”

Work has already started on the third season. Ullman gathers her news and information from a range of sources that include both old and new media. Some of her previous incarnations will be back while new ones enter the pantheon. Plenty of material remains to be mined on her favorite targets—reality shows, the unaffordable cost of healthcare, teenage pregnancy. “You have to question your own beliefs,” Ullman tells me.

It is a sure thing that Ullman will continue pushing the envelope on the audience’s core value system, as well as her own.

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Tracey On Travis Smiley Tonight!

Friday, April 24, 2009 expat 0 Comments


Click on image to see clip!

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Wall Street Journal Raves About "State of the Union"!

Thursday, April 23, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Satire to Die For

By NANCY DEWOLF SMITH

Tracey Ullman is the best reason to subscribe to Showtime right now, and maybe ever. "State of the Union" -- the latest comedy sketch show in which she impersonates dozens of characters, real and imagined -- is also one of the best reasons to watch any TV at this point (Sundays 10-10:30 p.m. EST). As the second season began this month, Ms. Ullman was still making fun of the ways we live and think; more hilariously than ever but still without a shred of malice. Blessed with the insight of a transplant -- Ms. Ullman is British-born -- she knows that what is ridiculous or even lamentable in America is not evidence of evil or a fatal flaw. Not every joke will be to every taste. Yet Ms. Ullman and the other writers serve up so many that the greatest risk to the viewer here is of choking while laughing too hard.

Some of Ms. Ullman's most delicious parodies are of famous people: Céline Dion, Renée Zellweger, Arianna Huffington and Jodie Foster, to name only a few; and an especially delectable Heather Mills-McCartney.

First lady Laura Bush makes appearances, planning the No President Left Behind Foundation while she smashes a Dresden doll from that "Hausfrau, Angela Merkel" and chides an off-screen husband: "George, have you shot another genetically altered deer?"

Tracey Ullman, second from left, and co-stars in a sketch from "State of the Union."

Tough times call for Americans to adapt, and Ms. Ullman is full of fictional characters who can drive complex points home. A Bollywood routine sends an uninsured woman to India for bargain heart surgery and recuperation at the Two Seasons Hotel. We eavesdrop on stewardesses for an airline so chintzy that it charges passengers to respond to a call button, leaving the middle-aged attendants lots of time to chat among themselves: "You still trying to conceive with that gay steward from Lufthansa?"

In a nod to the ecological age, Buffalo local TV broadcaster Linda Alvarez tells us about an upcoming news feature: "How to convert your SUV to a guest room." More memorable still is the sight of a distressed driver pleading for help from On Star while crammed inside her 2009 Huzitzu Body Trap Hybrid. The tiny vehicle "gets 900 miles to the gallon" but requires her to drive in the fetal position.

There are satiric nods to national news. In an extended riff, the government has raided a polygamist compound. Various skits and characters then chart auditions and other events leading up to the smash Broadway polygamy musical: "Seven Brides for Every Brother."

Some set-ups we recognize from the world of glitz. There's Donna Karan redesigning Supreme Court robes, in "an organic cashmere-silk mix that draws moisture away from the body." We hear a song from Granny Cyrus -- while Miley and Billy Ray prepare to attend a "MTV father-daughter purity ball." We meet "child profiteer" Dina Lohan, lovingly sending her son to be managed by "David Archuleta's dad."

This week the chief target of Ms. Ullman's derision is J.K. Rowling, seen visiting the U.S. to terrorize people and organizations who are alleged to have breached her Harry Potter copyright. Among her targets for lawsuits: a burly homeless man charged for impersonating Hagrid.

Where else but on a Tracey Ullman show could we see the Dalai Lama as a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars," or watch a skewering of Oregon's euthanasia law ("proudly overdosing the terminally ill since 2001")? Any icon can fall. A mumbling Tom Brokaw reports from the White House, where the Obama girls "claimed to have seen the ghost of Sammy Davis Jr. outside the Lincoln bedroom." How about meeting the daughter of "Hawaii Five-O" actor Jack Lord? Can she be any hipper than dad?

And what about all those Cirque du Soleil performers, with their Frenchy accents and weird bird masks? Ever wonder what's really going on there? Ms. Ullman not only thought to lift the veil, years after the rest of us accepted Cirque as chic and impeccably avant-garde. By mocking Cirque, she liberates us all.

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Download Tracey's Recent Appearance On Jay Leno

Thursday, April 23, 2009 expat 0 Comments

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=P0OO5VOY

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Tracey on Chelsea Lately Last Night!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 expat 0 Comments

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Tracey Ullman in Hmonthy.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey Ullman - hmonthy.com
Tracey Ullman

words by Jason Dean, photo by Robert Todd Williamson, hair and makeup by Sally Crave

In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a country where reality just ain’t real enough anymore. The human experience has become so pedestrian that the TV gods create punched-up, staged versions of Type A personality train wrecks: a dysfunctional race of stupor-humans competing for airtime every night. With all the fakery masquerading as realism these days, it’s ironic and refreshing that Tracey Ullman – with her colorful palette of mind-blowing impersonations – captures modern American culture in a way the imposters can’t.

Ullman, whose career in American television blossomed in the late ‘80s with The Tracey Ullman Show, furthers her reputation as a comic savant with an uncanny ability to create characters that are alternately touching and hilarious. Ullman returns in April for the second season of her Showtime series, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union. I met up with the British comedienne on a recent afternoon at her Santa Monica office; she was genuine, warm, and entertaining as we discussed what makes her current show such an insightful commentary on society. But we also talked about her extensive career as an entertainer, her creative process, politics, shopping, and of course, reality television.

Each episode of State of the Union covers an entire day and bounces from character to character in short, attention-deficit-friendly bits. One calculated decision was adding celebrities to the mix. “I really enjoy playing real people,” Ullman says. Having personalities like Renee Zellweger, Cameron Diaz, David Beckham, and Arianna Huffington in the “cast” helped generate additional publicity for the show as well. “People want to see people they know. And [celebrities] are part of the fabric of America.”

Infusing the “commoners” she portrays with amusing quirks has always been a staple of Ullman’s work. “It’s the actress side of me that wants to go a little bit deeper,” she says. “I never wanted to be Cinderella. I wanted to be one of the ugly sisters.” At an early age, Ullman was already exploring the world of tragicomedy. “I used to imagine I was in a documentary and talk for hours in my mirror as a kid, smoke cigarettes, and just talk about my life being terrible. My husband beats me up and he’s in prison now…. I would create these worlds.”

Ullman’s father, a Polish immigrant, died when she was just 6-years-old. She remembers putting on shows for her mother and dancing to the Beatles. “That’s how we cheered ourselves up,” she says. “We’d put music on and have a laugh and imitate the neighbors. I had a very funny South London family.”

When she was 16, Ullman got her first job, as a dancer in Berlin. “It was an extraordinary experience, 24 strangers and me,” she recalls. Late at night after a show, she would entertain the troupe with her impersonations. “They said, ‘You shouldn’t be a dancer. You’re funny! Why don’t you go work for Benny Hill?’”

Such was the extent of sketch comedy options for women in England at the time. America was teeming with talented comediennes, including Gilda Radner, Lily Tomlin, and Carol Burnett. The choice was clear: Either dress up as a Little Bo Peep bimbo and get chased around by a creepy letch, or traverse the pond for more promising opportunities. She remembers thinking, “If you’re a bit quirky, a little bit different, you’ve got to chart your own path and write your
own stuff.”

Before making it to America, Ullman established herself as a versatile performer, achieving success on the BBC, in theatre, and as a pop singer. “There was nothing I wouldn’t try,” she says. With a sound that Melody Maker likened to “Minnie Mouse meets the Supremes,” Ullman scored an international hit in 1983 with a cover of Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know”. Her tongue-in-cheek, retro girl-group guise earned her an appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.

“Here I was, 20-years-old, on this show with these crusty old people, and I’d never sang live in my life,” she recounts. “I thought I’d be singing into my hairbrush, havin’ a laugh, and they said, ‘No, there’s this guy, Doc Severinsen, and he’s gonna play your song.’ It was like getting your great-grandparents to play your song. It was embarrassing.” Ullman was able to redeem herself on subsequent, non-singing, return visits to the show.

During its three-year run, The Tracey Ullman Show won three Emmy Awards, but it also achieved notoriety for spawning The Simpsons, which ran as short vignettes before and after commercial breaks. Ullman returned to television in 1996 with the HBO series, Tracey Takes On…,where she offered further proof that her range is not limited by age, race, gender, or body type. Her dedicated staff of prosthetics, hair, and make-up people continue to be invaluable enablers for Ullman’s metamorphoses. Sally, her make-up artist – who I met briefly after the photo shoot – has been with her since the BBC days.


Tracey Ullman as Tony Sirico from The Sopranos

Ullman believes the process of doing a show should be fun, or at least not wrought with stress. That’s partly why she prefers doing television to movies. “Sometimes I feel that big movies are so indulgent. They take forever to get done,” she explains. “Everyone’s fussing and making cappuccinos. I just want to get some spontaneity and fun in front of the camera.” On the set, Ullman stays in character even when cameras aren’t rolling. “It sounds wanky and actress-y, but the crew love it,” she says. Occasionally, a character won’t gel until the day a scene is being shot. “It scares the life out of me,” she admits, “but those are the most exciting.”

One of my favorites from the first season, I tell Ullman, is Dina Lohan. “She’s an amalgamation of a lot of mothers that seem to live vicariously through their kids,” says Ullman. “She’s glamorous and it’s quite fun to be her.” Still, the actress finds humanity in even the most vapid subjects. “There’s always something endearing about the characters. I can see why they live like that. I don’t do [impressions] because I hate people,” she continues. “I’ve never found any of my characters totally unpleasant.”

The key to staying fresh, Ullman believes, is to not hit things on the nose. “People say I should do Sarah Palin. Well, Tina Fey [does] her and it’s genius. During the campaign, Sarah Palin kept talking about her lesbian friend from Juneau; she didn’t agree with her lifestyle but she was her friend. I’d like to do a character on her. It’s like, how can you be friends with someone who disapproves of who you are?”

Reality television, Ullman notes, sums up everything that is false, inauthentic, and manufactured about how people interact with each other. “The whole reality thing started up as such a wonderful experiment,” she says. “It was so pure at first, then it got so corrupted and manipulated and written and produced.” Ullman’s response is to exaggerate her point with satire. She’s writing a bit about a reality-show producer who has to deal with people attempting to be spontaneous. “Then I’d be the character who’d go, ‘No, we don’t want you to fuck someone in the Jacuzzi today. Do it tomorrow though, that’d be great.’”

Because the financial crisis is front-and-center in the public’s consciousness, Ullman hints that the new season will deal with “this one big, extreme anxiety attack the nation is suffering.” Bernie Madoff, meet Tracey Ullman. “It’s a whole different feel this year,” she says. “It’s almost outrageous to talk about celebrities, the whole thing about being rich and showing any obvious consumption. It’s a shared experience. I like that people aren’t embarrassed to say they don’t go shopping anymore. Shopping was like a sport in the last few years, pretending to have all this money they didn’t have. That’s how our economy works. It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?”

Ullman’s husband of 25 years, Allan McKeown, serves as executive producer on State of the Union. The two enjoy a solid working relationship together. “He has my best interests at heart,” she explains. “When I’m happy, he’s happy.” Her daughter is grown up and living in England, and her son is active in school theater and pals around with Rob Reiner’s son. “I get the pleasure of them in my kitchen most weekends,” says Ullman.

“It’s a privilege to be able to make TV shows and have a laugh,” she continues. “It’s what I did as a kid. And as I get older, the characters can get older.” Clearly, Ullman’s relationship with herself has not been strained by the countless personalities that have mingled with her psyche. “I’m very happy being myself and who I am at the end of the day,” she says. But there is one area in her life in which Ullman freely admits duality. She became an American citizen in 2006 and is effusive in her excitement over the recent election. “I love America. I’m proud I’m American. I’m English and I’m American, and that’s bloody great.”

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"State of the Union" Promos For Finland!

Thursday, April 16, 2009 expat 0 Comments

"State of the Union" is on CHAN4 in Finland! Here are the promos.

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More From "The Early Show" Appearance!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 expat 1 Comments

Thanks again to traceyullmanfan!!!

1 comments:

"State of the Union" Season 2, Episode 1 Available On iTunes Podcast FREE!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Check it out!
(Warning: clicking on the link will open your iTunes program and go directly to the page)

0 comments:

Vancouver Sun: The State of The Union is Strong - For Tracey Ullman

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Special thanks to traceyullmanfan!


The State of The Union is Strong - For Tracey Ullman
The Vancouver Sun

By Alex Strachan, Canwest News Service
April 14, 2009 2:02 PM

Tracey Ullman as Spongebob Pantsuit in "State of the Union"

VANCOUVER - Tracey Ullman purely hates dramatic re-enactments. And that’s odd — in an offhand, almost ironic way — because Ullman is a world-recognized performer who has made her career mimicking other people. A character actress, as she describes herself.

In Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union’s second season, which bowed earlier this month on The Movie Network and Movie Central, Ullman takes on Celine Dion, Heather Mills-(not)-McCartney, Jodie Foster, J.K. Rowling, Silda Spitzer (yes, Silda Spitzer!) and Tom Brokaw.

Dion, Mills-(not)-McCartney and J.K. Rowling join a character repertoire that, last season, included Dina Lohan, mom to You Know Who, Renee Zellweger and Tony Sirico-as-Paulie Walnuts, from The Sopranos.

And then there are the Ullman originals: Leslie Katz-Cohen, publicist for the Dalai Lama — because, let’s face it, every religious leader needs a pushy publicist — Wendy Trenton, world-champion hog caller; Jillian Smart, an over-attentive and hyper-aggressive soccer mom; and Padma Perkesh, Bollywood musical pharmacist and slumcat millionaire.

Ullman’s State of the Union tends toward short, scattershot sketches — no more than 90 seconds, Ullman has vowed this season. The pace is swift, with celebrity impersonations and Everyman/woman characterizations racing by at a dizzying clip, like an ADD-afflicted outing of Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood.

Off-screen, Ullman’s taste in TV leans toward historical documentaries. And not those history programs with loud, weepy music and crummy historical re-enactments, either, but the full Ken Burns.

“Don’t you just hate that?” Ullman said recently while in Los Angeles to promote State of the Union’s second season. “All these historical shows with re-enactments that show a lot of stupid people running past the camera with Tevas (sandals) on or something. They can never afford the right shoes for these things. I hate them. Don’t do re-enactments. Let’s just imagine the real people.”

Ken Burns, on the other hand: That’s a different kettle of fish entirely.

“I’ve learned so much about America from Ken Burns’ documentaries,” Ullman explained. “The Civil War — I feel like I’ve had a university education about all this. I love Ken Burns. But he can’t keep doing the fiddle. It’s like everyone’s doing it now. Enough with the fiddle.”

Away from her TV show, Ullman leads a fairly normal life, she insisted. She’s a working mom with two grown sons and a devoted husband. They’re soon-to-be empty nesters.

“We’ve been married 25 years,” Ullman said of her producer-husband Allan McKeown, a fellow ex-pat Londoner who produces State of the Union in-between domestic chores.

Ullman leads a fairly normal, workaday life, with normal, workaday habits. She doesn’t stand in her bathroom mirror every morning, making like Norma Desmond.

And she likes her history programs in the evening, when it’s time to kick back and unwind. She would rather watch the History Channel than the prime time entertainment newsmagazines.

Just don’t get her started on dramatic re-enactments.

Ullman ascribes her longevity in part not to impersonating celebrities — other comediennes do that, and better than she does, insists — but coming up with peripheral characters that perhaps nobody else has thought of.

“I’m not Rich Little,” Ullman explained. “That’s not what I do. I don’t want to be Sarah Palin. I think Tina Fey just nailed that; it was pure genius. I want to be that lesbian that Sarah Palin kept talking about. You know, the one where she kept saying, ’She’s my best friend and I’ve known her for years.’ Where is this woman? In Juneau? What does she look like? That’s what I do — match it up, somehow. I try to be a little off-centre.”

Ullman has impersonated a red-carpet parade of recognizable celebrities in her time, but these days, when she tackles a celebrity, she prefers one a little bit in left field. Like — Seth Rogen.

“I wanted to be Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen, for some bizarre reason,” Ullman said. “They were good fun, though. My poor 17-year-old son has to see me doing this stuff.”

Another off-kilter impersonation? Len Goodman.

“(State of the Union writer) Bruce Wagner was, like, ’Who is Len Goodman?’ And I said, ‘It’s a really big reality show, So You Think You Can Dance with a Celebrity, or something like that.’ He just kills me. I love being Len Goodman.”

\Ullman finds personal inspiration not so much in other comedians as the great character actresses — Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep.

“I don’t class myself as a comedienne,” Ullman said. “I’ve never done standup. I couldn’t tell jokes in front of a crowd to save my life. I always wanted to be a character actress, and do it until I’m 95. I keep going back to Peter Sellers, again and again — a genius.”

“I really enjoy what I do. I love that I can get enthusiastic and come back and do something, and have it be relevant, and have people enjoy it. I’m in it for the long run.”

Ullman and McKeown recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary — the old-fashioned way, with a trip to Paris.

Yes, it was tempting to pretend to be Carla Bruni at times, but somehow Ullman found the strength to resist.

“Silver wedding anniversary,” Ullman said. “Our marriage is on the rocks, but we’re staying together for the syndicated reruns.”

“It’s true,” McKeown said, sadly.

“It’s true,” Ullman chimed. “Doesn’t Allan look like Bernie Madoff? Seriously, it just hit me. If he wore a hat and got a little quilted jacket and walked down Park Avenue, he would just get head-butted. It’s unfortunate.”

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Full Episode: "State of the Union" Season 2, Episode 1

Monday, April 13, 2009 expat 0 Comments

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Entertainment Weekly Scans

Sunday, April 12, 2009 expat 0 Comments


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courant.com TV Watch: "State of the Union"

Sunday, April 12, 2009 expat 0 Comments

On Today: Ullman's Return, Office Ads

By Roger Catlin on April 12, 2009 3:37 PM


Versatile and underrated comic actress Tracy Ullman returns with another big helping of myriad characters in a new season of "Tracy's Ullman's State of the Union" (Showtime, 10 and 10:30 p.m.). A number of her favorite characters from season one return, from TV anchor Linda Alvarez and blogger extraordinare Ariana Huffington (now angling for a job in the Obama administration), adding to them some new characters, chief of whom is Laura Bush, trying to adjust to living in Crawford, where the weather is hideously hot and she's anxious to unload all the gifts and nicknacks they collected in the White House.

It almost makes you stop missing the similarly named "United States of Tara," which ended its first season last week. But it's surrounded by a new episode of "The Tudors" (Showtime, 9 and 11 p.m.).

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Tracey Talks To The Fresno Bee

Sunday, April 12, 2009 expat 0 Comments

'Tracey Ullman's State of the Union' begins its second season on Showtime
Sunday, Apr. 12, 2009
by Rick Bentley / The Fresno Bee

HOLLYWOOD -- The grand architecture of the Roosevelt Hotel has been the backdrop for countless Hollywood events, including the first Academy Awards back in 1929.

On this January night, it is serving as the hot spot for a party thrown by the Showtime cable channel. The casts of "The L Word," "United States of Tara" and "The Tudors" drift between trays filled with hors d'oeuvres. The occasional flash from a camera marks the arrival of another party guest.

Even in this celebrity den, it is hard to miss the woman holding court at the center of it all. Her loud laugh and firecracker personality is enough to turn a few heads. Those who are lucky enough to get close to this belle of the ball are privy to words of wisdom and blistering humor from Tracey Ullman.

She's at the event to talk about the second season of her Showtime series "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union." The season opener is at 10 p.m. today.

As she did with the first season, the multi-Emmy-winning Ullman slips into a variety of characters to offer a satirical look at all corners of the United States, a country that has an overflowing cornucopia of comedy material for Ullman.

"I love England. But I love it here, too. You can be who you want to be here and not get held back by your class like I was in England. This is an exciting place to be," Ullman says.

The first season of the cable series opened up a new world to Ullman. She's always played a variety of offbeat characters -- both male and female -- but those characters tended to be everyday people. She spent years trying to avoid celebrity impersonations.

In other words, Ullman explains, she would prefer to impersonate the lesbian friend talked about on the campaign trail by Gov. Sarah Palin than Palin herself.

"I always felt that was 'Saturday Night Live's' domain. And they do it really well."

Ullman finally gave in to the idea of doing more celebrity impersonations as the shape of the Showtime series came together. Along with the everyday people she plays, Ullman says she knew that any look at the United States would have to include celebrities. That's certainly the image that the rest of the world sees.

A whole new stable of celebrity characters -- not all Americans -- are available for Ullman to impersonate in the seven episodes of the season. Look for Laura Bush, Heather Mills- McCartney, J.K. Rowling, Celine Dion and Tom Brokaw. She will mix those celebrity characters with the less famous, such as her characters of Leslie Katz-Coen, publicist for the Dalai Lama, and Padma Perkesh, the Bollywood musical pharmacist.

Ullman certainly is familiar with celebrity. She's been a focus of the American media from "The Tracey Ullman" show in 1987 to her work in such films as "Bullets Over Broadway." And it hasn't escaped her that America's passion for reality television has bred an entire generation of people who are celebrities for no reason.

"It is like the media needed to be fed with celebrities, and the real celebrities are like, 'I'm not going to talk to the media.' So the media created their own celebrities," Ullman says.

Reality television had some interest for Ullman at the start. That's only logical because it was an intense focus on real people being put in unrealistic situations. Many of her characters have followed that comedy flight plan.

Ullman not only can play multiple characters, she seems to have the energy of a crowd at a Red Bull sampling party. The 49-year-old Berkshire, England, native never seems to take a breath as she chats about how she came up with the format of the Showtime series once she decided to become an American citizen.

"After being here for 25 years, I wanted to vote, and I wanted to be a part of it. And I went through the whole procedure of becoming an American. And I felt a psychological barrier was gone. I felt I could really say stuff that we all say and I wasn't going to end up in Guantanamo Bay because there was a sort of an air of McCarthyism at the beginning of this century that was freaking me out a bit," Ullman says.

She changes gears abruptly and adds the series was inspired by a Peter Sellers radio show, "Down Your Way." He would travel across England to talk to different people.

Ullman continues to chat about her interest in Broadway, a tiff she had with Andrew Lloyd Webber over "Starlight Express" and her dual citizenship. Quietly standing next to Ullman is her husband of 25 years, Allan McKeown. He is also the executive producer of the series. The couple had just come back from Paris where they had their anniversary dinner. Even such a romantic moment proves to be fodder for Ullman's wicked sense of comedy.

In a sweet tone she looks at McKeown and rhetorically suggests, "We are just staying together for the syndication, aren't we?"

This season, Ullman does impersonations of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen for what she can only explain as "some bizarre reason."

A smiling McKeown adds, "I'm never keen to seeing Tracey dressed up like a guy, to be honest. She always tries to kiss me, and it always upsets me."

Family is her top priority. That's why she was willing to take time off to be with her two children. She calls her marriage "great."

"They're the most important things. It takes me seven years to ever come up with a new show. I've had plenty of years just wandering around, doing the shopping, not getting any attention. I don't have to be on all the time. He has to kick me out to go and do stuff," Ullman says, pointing at McKeown.

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Tracey To Be On Travis Smiley

Saturday, April 11, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tuned into PBS in the US on April 24, 2009 to "The Travis Smiley Show". Tracey will be a guest. Tracey appeared last year around the time of the premiere of Season 1 of "State of the Union".

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Tracey Does Leno!

Friday, April 10, 2009 expat 0 Comments


Tracey will guest on Jay Leno in America on April 20, 2009!

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Tracey On The Early Show Today!

Friday, April 10, 2009 expat 0 Comments

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Morrow TV Article: State of the Union

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Morrow TV: Tracey Ullman's back ... Other shows of interest

By TERRY MORROW, Scripps Howard News Service


Tracey Ullman is back with a new array of characters for the second season of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union."

She'll be doing her own spin on Renee Zellweger, Seth Rogan, Laura Bush and J.K. Rowling. Ullman also has an arsenal of characters she's created especially for the sketch show (returning 10 p.m. EDT Sunday, Showtime). Among them is Padma Perkesh, an East Indian pharmacist working in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Ullman doesn't profess to know much about Oak Ridge. "We just loved the name," Ullman says.

As Padma, she advises customers before breaking out into a Bollywood production number.

If the idea of placing a Bollywood singer and dancer in Oak Ridge sounds random, well, it is. "We looked at a map ... and said, 'Let's place (a character) there,' " Ullman says.

She had considered not bringing the character back for the second season, but had second thoughts.

"I had so much fun with her," she says. "I love the singing and dancing of it. I couldn't let it go. I have figured out a way for her to interact more with the local (characters) that comes into the pharmacy."

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USA Today Interview With Tracey For "State Of The Union"

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 0 Comments

By Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY
In three weeks of shooting the second season of her Showtime sketch comedy, Tracey Ullman became 52 characters


Just like 'State of the Union,' Ullman's ready and raring to go
Posted 4/9/2009 7:56 PM ET
LOS ANGELES — It doesn't take long for Tracey Ullman to name the thing she loves most about this country.

"America," says the British actress, pausing to let one of her two rescue dogs jump into her lap, "has this ability to reinvent itself. It's amazing."

The same can be said about Ullman, whose second season of State of the Union premieres Sunday on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT).

The show was hatched after Ullman, who has been married to producer Allan McKeown for 25 years, became an American citizen in December 2006. Now, she says, the gloves are off.

"After all these years of living here, it's like a psychological barrier went away in my brain. I feel like I can say anything now; I feel so much a part of this place now," says Ullman, 49. "I feel like I can say more than I ever said now without fear of losing my green card or ending up in Guantanamo Bay."

In the 1980s, Ullman showcased her natural ability to create relatable, hilarious characters via The Tracey Ullman Show and The Simpsons. In the '90s, she ventured to cable TV with Tracey Ullman: A Class Act, Tracey Ullman Takes On New York and Tracey Takes On ..., all award-winning sketch shows for HBO that allowed Ullman to let loose with her impersonations.

In State of the Union, she parodies American life with sketches no longer than a minute and a half each. She jumps around from location to location, Google map-style, delivering her take on American life.

"I like just doing character observations. It can be just a moment in time. It's not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny all the time. I've never done stand-up. I'm not a comedienne. I just love acting and submerging myself in characters."

The show, which she writes with satirist Bruce Wagner, lampoons politics, pop culture and everyday life. In three weeks of shooting, she became 52 characters. Among them: Dancing With the Stars' Len Goodman and actors Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill.

"That was hard for me. I was asking my teenage son how I should be, and he's thinking, 'Oh, God, my mom wants to be Jonah Hill. Why?' " she says, sliding in and out of character with each celebrity she ticks off. "I was a polygamist wife and had hair up to here. It was very interesting being a polygamist wife. I was very quiet and subservient. All the men on the crew quite liked me like that."

What excites Ullman the most isn't really that she's back on television. It's that other women are making their mark in television. She lights up talking about Tina Fey (who paid homage to Ullman in her acceptance speech at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards) and Fey's success ("She knows my name!").

"Suddenly, you're the elder in the group," she says, laughing. "I have been doing this a long time, 25 years now. It's nice to feel that you're still relevant. People like Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner and Lily Tomlin were my role models.

"America always had really good, strong women in comedy. I love that."

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UPDATED! Coverart and Retail Information Released For New Tracey Takes On... DVD Set!

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 1 Comments

We think that the "72 Minutes of Never-Before-Seen Shows", is simply the "Character comedies" that were featured on the first two season "Tracey Takes On..." DVD sets. We'll know more soon.

*Update* The set contains 3 24-minute character comedies: Virgina, Ruby, and Rayleen. There is unfortunately no DVD commentary.

Tracey Takes On... Seasons 3 & 4, hits stores, July 14, 2009.

This 4-DVD set contains the final two seasons of the HBO comedy series "Tracey Takes On..." based on characters created and performed by Tracey Ullman. Each episode focuses on a particular subject (Sports, Love, Agents, Loss, etc.) in a sequence of hilarious scenes involving a number of Ullman-created characters.

BONUS FEATURES Includes 72 Minutes of Never- Before-Seen Shows!

Special Guests include: Hugh Laurie (House), Julie Kavner (The Simpsons), Cheech Marin (Cars, Cheech & Chong), Michael McKean (Spinal Tap, Best In Show), Billy Connolly (Boondock Saints, The Aristocrats), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times At Ridgemont High), Corbin Bernsen (Psych, Major League)
Thanks to tvshowsondvd.com

1 comments:

Bloomberg Review's "State of the Union" Season 2

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey Ullman as Laura Bush in Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, season 2.
Photographer: Cliff Lipson/Showtime via Bloomberg News

Ullman Mocks Snoring Bush, Accented Arianna in ‘State of Union’

Review by Dave Shiflett

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- George W. Bush is gone but not forgotten, at least not by Tracey Ullman, who whacks the former president and his wife Laura in the season opener of “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union.”

The half-hour series, whose second season debuts April 12 on Showtime at 10 p.m. New York time, also features Ullman’s barbed impersonations of Arianna Huffington, Heather Mills and Celine Dion.

Nobody, however, gets busted like the Bushes.

Several skits are set at the family ranch in Crawford, Texas, where Laura is getting ready for a presidential garage sale. Ullman’s Laura is not quite as dead-on as Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, but it’s pretty dang good, as the Bushes might put it.

Her Laura is a chirpy, chain-smoking thief who pinched several White House treasures on the way out of town, including a longish fertility symbol from Zimbabwe boss Robert Mugabe, a family portrait of the Lincolns and a pair of French love seats. Also slated for sale: the presidential seal.

George is more heard than seen. He snores loudly in bed and drags a dead deer into the house. Though he’s no longer in office, he’s still the subject of ridicule, even from his own wife.

“Remember when you asked why there are no old buildings in Hiroshima?” she gibes.

Streep in Spandex

The Obamas come off far better, though their presence is restricted to phone conversations with Laura and Huffington, the liberal, heavily accented Greek-American multimedia star.

Huffington phones the new president in pursuit of patronage. She’d be a perfect envoy to Greece, she insists, and would even be willing to forgo a first-class ticket. Self- flattery gets her nowhere, however. The president apparently has his mind set on Meryl Streep (good eye, sir).

“She does look good in Spandex -- for her age,” snipes the jilted Arianna. After hanging up she adds, “Maybe I should have gone with Hillary.”

Ullman’s impersonations are not restricted to politicos. Mills, Paul McCartney’s ex, belts out “Baby, I’m gonna make it on my own,” then tosses away her artificial leg. Dion, looking somewhat like a lizard, does a Larry King interview from New Orleans and floods the set with phony tears.

Buffett, Manson

There’s also a production number hailing the “American spirit” that includes a paean to urban violence -- “Drive by shootings, yes we can!” -- and a line that links Warren Buffett and Charles Manson.

Less successful are skits featuring a pair of flight attendants who snarl at customers and gossip about the virility of male colleagues. Not the types you want around for an emergency river landing.

Ullman might be accused of kicking folks when they’re down: Mocking Bush and Mills isn’t exactly daring. But the bottom line for comedians is whether they’re funny, and she’s several cuts above most of our jesters almost all of the time.

By the way, a future episode includes a skit that compares the Catholic Church to a polygamist cult. Now that should really stir things up.

(Dave Shiflett is a critic for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this story: Dave Shiflett at dshifl@aol.com.

Last Updated: April 9, 2009 12:18 EDT

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CELEB INSIDER: Ullman Fans Take Her for Real

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 0 Comments

BECK/SMITH CELEBRITY GOSSIP

CELEB INSIDER: Ullman Fans Take Her for Real
Comedic actress Tracey Ullman tells us she's gotten so comfortable doing all kinds of far-out characters on her Showtime series that some fans have a hard time distinguishing between what's real and what's not.

"Sometimes, people don't realize I'm not crazy. I'm actually really sensible," claims Ullman, who is in her second season of "State of the Union." "The other day, this guy goes, 'You're crazy!' They always say to me, 'My cousin's crazy like you. She should have her own show.' I'll say, 'You try getting a show! It's bloody hard!'"

Indeed it is. But, luckily, the bigwigs at Showtime know a good thing when they see it and are giving the brilliant multiple Emmy winner the opportunity to do what she loves.

"I'm so thrilled to be doing what I'm doing. I've always thought of myself as sort of a Henry Higgins. I love different voices and imitating people," she says. "I had never really impersonated famous people before, though. I always thought that was of the vein of 'Saturday Night Live,' but it does attract a little attention to the show. I thought if I was going to cover the day in the life of America, it would be interesting to cover well-known people as well. It feeds into America's obsession into celebrities, which is quite exhausting."

However, not all of her show is based on celebrities. She has a number of original characters and sketches, which she says have definitely evolved from her days on "The Tracey Ullman Show."

"When I look back at the show that I did in the '90s, it was such long sketches. I did, like, 14-minute sketches on location," she recalls. "It was great for its time, but this is a much easier show to do, in that you can buy stock footage now instead of going out and shooting everything yourself. There's also this sort of YouTube mentality to have the pieces be two to three minutes long. It's fun, because you move on to the next thing very quickly."

Emily-Fortune Feimster

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Quote From Tracey From Ecollywood

Thursday, April 09, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey Ullman recycles and drives a hybrid, but she has her eye on a plug-in vehicle next. The chameleon-like comic, whose series State of the Union returns to Showtime Apr. 12, is glad that auto companies are -- even if belatedly -- making electrics. “Isn’t it funny how under pressure that Chrysler can come out with the most brilliant electric car and they couldn’t for all those years?” she muses. “I really want that.”

Ecollywood


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"Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" Podcast!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Showtime has now created an official "State of the Union" Podcast on iTunes. The Podcast is free!

Check it out!
(Warning: clicking on the link will open your iTunes program and go directly to the page)

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AfterElton.com, Names "The Tracey Ullman Show" As One Of The Seven Gay Shows That Are Overdue For DVD

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 expat 0 Comments

The Tracey Ullman Show (Fox, 1987)
When I started researching this list, The Tracey Ullman Show didn't quickly come to mind as a candidate. I figured such an amazing and well-regarded series must have had a DVD release that I just missed, but it turns out that the show that helped launched the Fox Network (which memorably included awkward teen Francesca and her two gay dads) isn't available on DVD. That's very sad to hear, considering the great sketches (like the time Francesca learns cynicism by working a shift at a Mexican fast food joint) that haven't been seen in years.

Complete list here.

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Seasons 3 & 4 Available On iTunes NOW!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 expat 0 Comments


Before the July 14, 2009 DVD release of "Tracey Takes On... Complete Seasons 3 & 4", all four seasons of the series are now available via iTunes in the US! Go get 'em now!

Just search "Tracey Takes On..." or "Tracey Ullman"at the iTunes store.

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New Interview: Tracey Ullman takes on L.A.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 expat 0 Comments

LA Times

THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

Tracey Ullman takes on L.A.
The comic-actress weighs in on the recession, Showtime and the bicontinental life.

By Choire Sicha
April 12, 2009



We were 30 minutes late to talk to Tracey Ullman, who was back in England for a spell. She didn't mind the tardiness a bit. The second season of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" returns to Showtime on Sunday.



What's big in England now?

The recession is pretty big. There's an abandoned house next door -- we were evicting squatters this morning. I live opposite a house: the Indian steel magnate [Lakshmi] Mittal. His house cost like 50 million pounds at the time and opposite there's a house he's supposed to be taking for his staff or, I don't know, it's a rundown house. And they stopped flipping it or anything. Oh, it's boring. Who'd have thought -- Mayfair! I've got hookers 'round the back. Mayfair's notorious for hookers. One hundred feet from my house there's a fully equipped dominatrix chamber. That's handy to know, isn't it? My neighbor, I told him, "God, blimey, I should tell my MP about it." He said go on in, he's probably in there. Mayfair. Spies and hookers! It's always been the same here. Yeah, you can sense everyone's in a bit of a panic. Suddenly everyone's embarrassed of this consumerism. The EU are hunkering down, and Eastern Europe's going broke. And the same old stuff in America. "The Apprentice" looks a bit tragic now. "Who will get the top job?" Driving limos with Champagne. It's stupid!



And now that you're an American, does London look foreign to you?

It's lovely to be a part of both countries. I just notice the differences lessen over the years. When I first lived in L.A., my God, I was miles away from London, another planet. Silver boots and Farrah Fawcett hair! The food was like Hilton Hotel room service. Iceburg lettuce! You know, you'd get the Observer newspaper from London once a week at a stand in Sherman Oaks. And, "You're so cute, your accent!" Now it's a cosmopolitan place. I just feel I have a country home 10 hours out of LAX -- just keep getting all the air miles. I love Virgin, I like those girls. You know, those girls, they go to L.A. and go to the pool for three days and they'll all have skin cancer by the time they're 42 and they say, "Champagne, orange juice, combination of both?" . . . I'm on a bit of a ramble, I'm jet-lagged. But there's a guy you see in the market behind my house and he takes photographs of the hookers. He takes all their pictures. He should do a book, all these girls over the years.



Hookers are big now. He'd make a killing.

Oh, they've always been big. Modeling and hooking, the only professions where women make more than men.



Even on Showtime?

Oh, gosh. Showtime. I like Showtime, it's great. They let me do what I want to do. I appreciate it. I had to give them an award recently. More people murdering monarchs, what else -- drug dealers, serial killers -- my kind of people. All these Showtime shows -- schizophrenics. Everyone has these severe problems.



It's nice to be treated right.

Well, you gotta do what you wanna do and not make too many compromises. Hopefully the audience will maintain. The recession -- we're just hunkered down at home and buying premium cable!



I can't imagine that you worry -- you've been on TV for some time now.

Mmm.



Heh, or maybe you always worry.

Eh, you get to do what you want to do when you want to do it. I really have a nice life, and my kids are really -- my daughter's here working. And my husband, we're always up to something or developing something or writing something. My audience has gotten older with me. I don't care about getting old and all that stuff. Especially women -- oy yoy yoy. At least over here you can age with dignity more. In America, women, it's just horrible.



Men too, uh, I hear.

I always listen to NPR all the time, and cosmetic surgery is down by a third. But hair transplants? Business is up. All these guys trying to get new jobs, one thing they will do is go and have their hair sewn in. So business is booming in that world. NPR is fantastic, it covers everything.



It must be phenomenal having grown up in the U.K.

The '80s, looking back, the music was great. The pubs were great. I'm glad I grew up here. And now I like L.A.: I like hiking in the mountains and tennis and there's things I appreciate. I love the KCRW radio station and music scene and art scene and food. People bitch about L.A., and it's like, oh, shut your Jacuzzi lid and go home. They're people from Chicago.

calendar@latimes.com

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TRACEY HONORED BY BAFTA!!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Hollywood Reporter:

Tracey Ullman honored by BAFTA
Comedian earns inaugural Charlie Chaplin award

Staff report
April 7, 2009, 04:58 PM ET

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles will honor Tracey Ullman with its first-ever BAFTA/LA Charlie Chaplin Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy. The award will be presented May 8 at the British Comedy Festival's awards ceremony at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

The festival and awards take place during Los Angeles' BritWeek 2009, which runs April 21-May 8.

"Our first British Comedy Festival last year was a major success, and we are very happy to continuously provide a platform for U.K. talent to an American audience in the realm of comedy," said BAFTA/LA chairman Peter Morris.

The BAFTA/LA Charlie Chaplin Award was designed by illustrator and graphic designer John Tribe.

Ullman's sketch series "State of the Union" begins its second season on HBO on Sunday.

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Zap2it.com Speaks To Tracey!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 expat 1 Comments

Tracey Ullman targets celebs in 'State of the Union'

11:53 AM EDT, April 7, 2009

'Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" launches its second season (Sunday at 10 p.m.) on Showtime. Each episode focuses on one day in America, with Ullman and a small cast demonstrating there is no such thing as a sacred cow. The comedian, British-born (but now an American citizen), recently spoke to Jacqueline Cutler of Zap2it.


Your Laura Bush is so on target, yet she does seem quite opposite to you. Why her?

She is an interesting person to do, the stillness and type-B personality. I felt very calm, felt very serene playing her. I think she is a beautiful woman.


Do you write your own material?

Yes, with Bruce Wagner, a terrific writer, and it's just the two of us.


There's a lot packed into each half hour. How many episodes and how did you work?

Seven episodes, and we were very aware, when we wrote the shows last year, we were trying to predict the outcome of the election. We had to try and imagine what was going on this year. I knew Laura Bush would be back in Texas.


How do you pick characters?

I just make a list of what appeals to me, and what is not too obvious and what hasn't been done. I had no interest in doing Sarah Palin, having seen Tina Fey nail her so beautifully. I have this genius makeup team who will transform my face and angles of it. I have masses of wigs. I never quite know what one piece will make the character doable or right. With Renée Zellweger, I'm wearing lips like I am Shari Lewis' Lamb Chop. In the tiny car, I look like a cross between my mother and Rick Moranis.


Do you know the people you parody?

I know Arianna Huffington pretty well. She loves the impersonation. I have seen Renee Zellweger around. I never used to impersonate famous people. I thought if I do America dawn to dusk, I thought I would have to do a few celebrities. I love that kind of stuff. I want to play a whole new part.


via Newsday.com

1 comments:

Review of "State of the Union" Season 2

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Austin360:

'Tracey Ullman's State of the Union,' 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Ullman has quite a knack for impersonations and accents in this show, which takes us around the nation, spoofing American archetypes.

She moves with ease from being a champion pig-caller in Illinois to a weary flight attendant on a trans-Atlantic flight. But one of her best new impersonations this year is as a chain-smoking Laura Bush, freshly transplanted to Crawford, where it's always 110 degrees.

Laura is in the midst of planning a presidential garage sale, and it appears that she might be getting a price tag ready for the Lincoln family portrait and other stolen property, which Michelle Obama thinks should be returned to the White House.

As her husband gets his daily 20-hour nap, Laura chats via phone with former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, even though he "did an et tu Brutus on my W."

Ullman also pokes fun at other recent Lone Star news while portraying the hymn-singing No. 1 wife at a recently raided polygamist compound in "Wildspunk, Texas." Ullman then goes on to impersonate Ren?e Zellweger, who's trying to capitalize on current events by staging a polygamist musical called "Seven Brides for Every Brother."

But Ullman's sharpest jabs, some of which push the boundaries of taste, are reserved for the reality TV craze. In one skit, she plays Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Paul McCartney, who's starting a reality show in Palm Beach, Fla. And to drum up enthusiasm as the opening credits roll, Ullman's Mills throws her prosthetic leg into the air, ? la the cap-throwing introduction to "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Then there's "So You Think You Can Die," where contestants vie for the ultimate prize: free euthanasia in Oregon.

The best reality show skit, however, focuses on a new celebrity dance show. And after watching, you'll agree with the judges: The Dalai Lama needs to swivel his hips a bit more if he's ever going to master the samba.

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Tracey Speaks: "Tracey Ullman: Hearing Voices"

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Via Hollywood Outbreak:

Premiering this week-end on Showtine is TRACEY ULLMAN’S STATE OF THE UNION where, as usual, the comedienne will bombard thr audience with outrageous impersonations. This time with a ‘topical’ bent. We spoke with ULLMAN (via satellite) at a recent press conference for the show and she talked about where her many voices come from. Listen here!

TRACEY ULLMAN’S STATE OF THE UNION premiers Sunday night on Showtime

0 comments:

Tracey on Chelsea Lately!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey will appear on Comedy Central's Chelsea Lately, hosted by Chelsea Handler, April 22, 2009.

Confirmed Appearances:
  • The Early Show, April 10, 2009
  • Chelsea Lately, April 22, 2009
  • Guest DJ spot on KCRW, April 22, 2009 (this will also appear in Podcast form)

Tracey has made last-minute appearances in the past on morning news shows. Keep a lookout and contact us if you see her and it wasn't reported!

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Scene From "State of the Union" Season 2

Monday, April 06, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Here is a scene from the first episode of "State of the Union" season two, which premieres this Sunday, on Showtime. We will be adding our review of season 2 soon, along with a special announcement.

Enjoy.

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Flashback: Early Tracey Interview, January 8, 1984

Sunday, April 05, 2009 expat 0 Comments

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HEADS UP! TRACEY ON "THE EARLY SHOW"!

Sunday, April 05, 2009 expat 0 Comments

Tracey will be interviewed on "The Early Show", this coming Friday, April 10, 2009. The show airs in America @ 7-9AM ET/PT. She will be promoting "State of the Union" which premieres, Sunday, April 12, 2009 @ 10PM ET/PT on SHOWTIME, after "The Tudors".

Tune in!

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New Tracey Event!

Friday, April 03, 2009 expat 1 Comments

FUNNY MONEY: Tracey Ullman has signed on as guest auctioneer for the Sundance Institute's L.A. benefit, May 5 at Craft restaurant.

eonline.com

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Tracey Ullman takes on America (again)

Friday, April 03, 2009 expat 0 Comments

By Bruce R. Miller
bmiller@siouxcityjournal.com | Posted: Friday, April 03, 2009
Link

LOS ANGELES -- Tracey Ullman never cared much for the opinions of New Yorkers or Californians.

She always wanted to hear from the heartland. "There are big differences," she told producers. So, whenever they'd send her on a promotional tour, she'd make sure she could stop somewhere in the middle.

What she discovered: "Everyone is so friendly. They're good people."

And, they're ripe for impersonation. In the second season of "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union," the Emmy winner spans the country and emerges with plenty of people to lampoon.

Among her favorites? Former first lady Laura Bush.

She pictured her living in Crawford, Texas -- a place where reporters didn't want to go -- surrounded by "a lot of objet d'art and doodads." The thought got her creative juices flowing and helped shape a season that includes everyone from Ariana Huffington to "Dancing with the Stars'" Len Goodman.

Sarah Palin? "Tina Fey just absolutely nailed her...it was the most genius thing," Ullman says "I wanted to be that lesbian that Sarah Palin kept talking about who was her best friend. Where is she? Juneau? What does she look like?"

The idea of doing a series that included offbeat impersonations came to Ullman while watching a PBS commercial that featured a tractor. It talked about a "farmer waking up in the Midwest to provide a high-quality breakfast to a child on the Pacific rim."

"I just thought, 'What a nice journey across America,'" Ullman says.

She adapted the same formula for her Showtime comedy series and found ways to include celebrities like Renee Zellweger who said Ullman looked like her twin brother in drag. Ullman smiles at the thought.

She knows what she does isn't going to please everyone -- or even be funny. But it has the potential to tap humor where others don't look.

She found the groove on her own Fox TV series (which gave birth to "The Simpsons" and provides her a nice little residual, thank you), honed it on HBO and now polishes it on Showtime.

"It's great fun...and a lot of freedom," she says. She and a writer will craft the vignettes, then turn to makeup and costuming to make them happen. Sometimes, they just miss.

"I like it when it's scarier, when I think this isn't going to work," Ullman says. "And I will just put on a pair of glasses or some plumpers and it works. That's the most exciting thing for me."

Because the bits are short, Ullman's husband (and producer) Allan McKeown suspects they'll have an after-life on the Internet. Ullman, though, isn't sure the Web is comedy's future home. "Sometimes you look at a site and 98 percent of it is still kind of the equivalent of dad getting hit in the (groin) with a baseball. There's 2 percent that are really trying to do something different."

Currently, she's high on Chris Lilley, the creator of "Summer Heights High." Ullman says he gets the idea of good comedy and is brilliant at stuff she wants to do. "I'd play any role if I could work with him," she says. "He puts me to shame."

"Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" airs at 9 p.m. April 12 on Showtime.

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