Friday, January 29, 2010

Article: Ullman : The Runaway Political Impersonator

By Betsy Rothstein on Jan 29, 2010 11:30 AM

What's it like meeting someone who has imitated you in the best and worst of ways?

Well last night MSNBC's Rachel Maddow found out when she invited comedian Tracey Ullman on her show. Ullman impersonated Maddow on her recent hilarious Showtime program, "Ullman's State of the Union," which airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. EST.

Maddow wanted to know how Ullman picks her subjects and how she went about creating her rendition of the lefty host.

"I'm a huge fan of yours and I found these glasses in a pharmacy, and I don't know I went, huh huh huh, you have a goofy laugh! I don't know, I just wanted to be you," the comedian told Maddow, adding, "You have a long face. ... As soon as I started impersonating you [with a prosthetic chin] I laughed and cracked my chin. ... I know, it's a tough one."

This is a must watch for anyone who hasn't seen clips of Ullman'srecent show in which she dresses up and imitates everyone from Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) -- she thinks he desperately needs dentures -- to HuffPost's Arianna Huffington, CNN's Christiane Amanpour and The Daily Beast's Meghan McCain.

Ullman explained her Huffington.
"Arianna's a cinch, because it's Eva Gabor from Green Acres," she said.

Who's next is a mystery, but Ullman's got thoughts on a lot of politicos: Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) is "glamorously bonkers", and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio)is "getting so sunburned. He's having trouble in the tanning salon."

Watch her appearance on Maddow's show here.

Watch more impersonations here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tracey On Rachel and Watch What Happens Live, Tonight

Via AfterElton:

The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) 9:00 PM EST
Rachel is scheduled to chat with her doppelganger (okay, as much as I hate to admit it, not really) Tracey Ullman tonight.

Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) Midnight EST
Andy's guests this week includes another chat show appearance by Tracey Ullman. Andy and Rachel's interviews with Tracey should make for an interesting contrast.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bloomberg (Minute): Ruth Madoff Gets Downsized in New Tracey Ullman Show: Review

Review by Dave Shiflett

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- There’s a major player missing from the third-season opener of Tracey Ullman’s “State of the Union”: Barack Obama.

Ullman, who wore out a pair of boots kicking George W. Bush, takes a pass on the new president in the first episode, which airs on Showtime tonight at 10:30 p.m. New York time.

You’d think getting a Nobel Peace Prize while escalating a war should be good for at least a laugh or two.

Bernie Madoff, however, gets pasted, as does his wife, Ruth, (played by Ullman) who has been downsized to a small apartment near Harlem, complete with a bare radiator and lots of street noise.

That’s paradise compared to Bernie’s new digs. Cut to a correctional facility in North Carolina, where the pope of Ponzi shares a narrow bunk with a burly black inmate who clearly has not taken a vow of chastity.

It gets worse. Madoff is also blamed for 9/11 and swine flu. His likeness stands in a Holocaust museum beside Albert Speer -- like a pair of pariahs.

It makes you wonder if Bernie might have stolen some of Tracey’s dough here in the real world.

The half-hour show is uneven. Some gags are top-drawer, others fall flat. Ullman is at her best in a terrific send-up of the political chattering class.

The skit unfolds in Rachel Maddow’s dressing room, where Ullman plays Maddow, Arianna Huffington (“I haven’t stopped talking since ‘Morning Joe’”), Meghan McCain and Rep. Barney Frank. Her Huffington imitation is especially tight: She looks like Huff, yaps like Huff and reminds some of us why we reach for the clicker when Huffington appears onscreen.

City Slickers

There’s also a whack at city slickers who pay big bucks for brushed-denim jeans that make it appear they’ve been out digging ditches or putting up houses for Habitat for Humanity, or maybe pack industrial-strength marriage tackle -- a new wrinkle on the old codpiece gag. Ullman also brings back her hybrid car, which gets 900 miles a gallon and is so small you could probably drive it with a three wood.

The funniest segment features a woman who suffers from severe Internet addiction. She’s monitoring a cyst with an ultrasound app and may post a pic on her Facebook page -- so weird and gross it’s easy to believe it has really happened.

After an intervention by friends and family, the patient goes off to a detox facility in Arizona and falls back in love with the pre-digital world. “I want to read books with pages again,” she said. “I don’t want to scroll through life anymore.”

There’s a message here: The U.S. is hooked on addiction and intervention programs. For every American, the show concludes, there’s a staff of four professionals ready to help us regain our footing.

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

To contact the writer of this story: Dave Shiflett at


Tracey Ullman Talks About How She Keeps Her Comedy Fresh

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" launches its third season tonight (1/25), with the multiple-Emmy-winning comedienne portraying characters ranging from Rachel Maddow to Barney Frank, Meghan McCain, Christiane Amanpour and Arianna Huffington — in one sketch alone.

How does she keep her comedy fresh after all these years? "I take years off," answers Ullman. "And there's always something new to do and someone new to impersonate. I've never thought, 'I'd like to impersonate that person' and not been able to do it.

Eventually, it comes to me. And I like writing stuff. I like directing stuff.

"I'm just glad that people are still giving me money to do it," she adds. "We keep it small, me and my husband. We write it and produce it. We distribute it. We own the show. It's our joy to do this."

Ullman's hubby, producer Allan McKeown, shows up on tonight's show, too, playing Bernie Madoff. She doesn't mind pointing out that her husband bears a strong resemblance to the former NASDAQ chairman who is now serving a 150-year prison sentence for defrauding clients of billions of dollars.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Showtime Promotes!

There are other similarities: Both are in low-rise buildings that have billboards on the roof. The advertiser atop No. 601 is Catholic Charities with the words “this is the face of hope.” Atop the other branch, at 615 Eighth Avenue, is the face of the actress Tracey Ullman. That billboard is promoting her new series on the Showtime cable network.

Read the article

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

Article: Tracey Ullman's State of the Union 'Edgier' Than Ever

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Jan 3, 2010

"Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" returns to Showtime Jan. 25, and look out! Fans of the multiple-Emmy-winning comedienne can expect plenty of bite in her humor along with the laughs. As one critic put it, she's been moving away from Carol Burnett territory and more toward Lenny Bruce. Ullman agrees that she has more edge.

She tells us, "I'm older and I'm an American citizen now. I think that, psychologically, that allows me to say a little bit more about society and politics -- without being afraid they're going to take my green card away." However, the southeast-England-born star adds, "I'm never mean-spirited. I love this country and I love these people and what goes on."

She also gives credit to her latest collaborator, Bruce Wagner, for making a change in what she does. Says Ullman, "He's a brilliantly funny, interesting person -- and a very good novelist. I think I owe him a lot."

Expect her to continue to take swipes at such social ills as the over-prescribing of medication. (Yes, her hilarious Padma, the Indian pharmacist who gives drug warnings in Bollywood-style production numbers, is coming back.) She'll also endeavor to make fun of today's financial problems. She claims, "It's not all gloom and doom. I'm trying to look at it in a positive way. It's certainly what's going on this year."

Ullman won't be doing an imitation of either President Obama or first lady Michelle. Though her dead-on Laura Bush imitation had jaws dropping a year ago, she hasn't added either Obama to her list of famous characters. She couldn't find any way to make either one "organic," as she puts it.

So, what are her latest favorite celebrities to impersonate at the moment? CNN's Christiane Amanpour and MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow. Because she has a goofy laugh," says Ullman, mimicking the liberal commentator perfectly. She adds, ala Maddow, "I just really admire her. I love her show, and I think she's an intelligent, fabulous woman. My whole family has a crush on her."


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010