Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tracey Ullman Could ‘Get Away with Anything’ as Judi Dench

Tracey Ullman (left) and as Judi Dench (right). 

Photo: HBO 

Tracey Ullman’s Show 

Friday, 11 p.m., HBO

Tracey Ullman’s new six-episode sketch-comedy show is a master class in impersonation.

The comedienne calls on decades of experience to mimic celebrities — like Dame Judi Dench and German Chancellor Angela Merkel — as well as commoners in the series, which originally aired on the BBC in UK.

“Every seven years I seem to do these shows,” says Ullman, whose first sketch series, “The Tracey Ullman Show,” debuted on Fox in 1987. Over the next three decades, she created a string of successful programs in the genre, including “Tracey Takes On…” (HBO, 1996-99) and “Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union” (Showtime, 2008-10).

“I just impersonate the age group around me, thinking, ‘Wow, I can do this when I’m 80, hopefully,’ ” says Ullman, 56. “I’ll just impersonate other 80-year-olds.”

Ullman has that covered, delivering an uncanny likeness of Dench, who is 25 years her senior. Ullman skewers the Oscar winner’s reputation as a “national treasure” by portraying her as a kleptomaniac who gets away with stealing from corner stores and vandalizing public restrooms for kicks.

Ullman, who lives on the Upper East Side, recently spoke with The Post from London, where she was wrapping up Season 2.

As Judi Dench, you bring out equal parts innocence and mischief. 
Yes! That was the thing that made us laugh. There are a few people who are famous that could get away with anything. So we just thought it was a funny idea that Judi Dench does these really dreadful things and people don’t mind — they’re untouchables. It’s like Meryl Streep — I’m always making fun of her. When we did [the movie] “Into the Woods,” I did an interview and they said, “What’s Meryl like?” And I said, “You all thinks she’s wonderful — she’s just dreadful. It’s just all about her. She’s a cow!” And people were horrified! [laughs]

How has Dench reacted to your impersonation? 
She accepted an award in England and stood up and said, “Hello, I’m Tracey Ullman.” And somebody said she had a meeting at the BBC and as she left she pretended to steal stuff. [laughs] So she’s been a great sport about it.

Why did you decide to portray uptight German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a scat-singing “sex bomb” who thinks she has to fend off her male peers? 
Remember when George W. Bush hugged Angela Merkel from behind and she went completely rigid? [laughs] She was the only girl in the room, so how does she feel about being with all those world leaders mansplaining things to her? I just imagine that she thinks everyone thinks she’s incredibly sexy. You find an angle that sort of makes you laugh.

Previously you’ve played on stereotypes and worn dark makeup and prosthetics to depict black characters. Do you do things differently now?
My criteria is people like that exist — why can’t I impersonate them? Eddie Murphy played a white guy back when I was in “The Tracey Ullman Show,” and I said, “Oh, well, why can’t I be a black woman?” I got a great response from it and people loved it. I don’t know. They met the criteria. People talk like that, they sound like that. You know, I’m an actress. I like to decide when to try to be anyone I want to do. — Eric Hegedüs

NY Post

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Radio Times: Tracey Ullman Lines Up New Impressions of Nicola Sturgeon and Clare Balding

New show starting next year is expected to include more impressions, can reveal

Tracey Ullman is gearing up for the second series of her BBC comedy Tracey Ullman’s Show, which is likely to air this January.

And it may cause some gnashing of teeth north of the border.

Following her take-offs of the likes of a chain-smoking Duchess of Cornwall and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in series one, she has mastered other impressions of impressive and formidable women a little closer to home.

One of them is said to be an “eerily accurate” Clare Balding, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is also in the firing line, can reveal.

She will be played like a Bond villain, living in a Tartan Lair with a white Scottie dog on her lap….

The second series sees the legendary comic bring back more of her surreal and satirical comedy following her successful return to BBC1 at the beginning of this year, after a break of 30 years.

The series garnered critical acclaim and consolidated audiences of more than 4m viewers in a late-night slot.

Her impressions saw Dame Judi Dench (below) portrayed as a kleptomaniac hooligan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a vain sex kitten.

Maggie Smith also fell under Ullman's comedic gaze and was portrayed in a series of sketches auditioning for various roles.

Other comedy characters included drugs mule Karen, adjusting to modern life after 28 years in a Thai prison, and topless feminist MP Sally Preston.

Tracey Ullman's Show is scheduled to return to BBC1 early next year

HBO Press Release for Tracey Ullman's Show Season 1


Tracey Ullman as Angela Merkel in Tracey Ullman’s Show, season one, on HBO. (Photographer: Rory Lindsay)

A longtime HBO favorite returns to the network when TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW debuts FRIDAY, OCT. 28 (11:00–11:30 p.m. ET/PT). Emmy® winner Ullman stars as a wide array of everyday people and famous faces in the all-new sketch comedy series, which looks at modern life on the British side of the pond.

Over the course of the six-episode season, Ullman plays celebrities like Dame Judi Dench, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Dame Maggie Smith, as well as portraying everyone from an ex-dictator’s wife and an agent for fashion models to a drama teacher and an accident-prone massage therapist.

Tracey Ullman as Dame Judi Dench in Tracey Ullman’s Show, season one, on HBO. (Photographer: Rory Lindsay) 

Upcoming episodes:

Episode #1

Debut: FRIDAY, OCT. 28 (11:00–11:30 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: Oct. 28 (12:30 a.m.), 29 (5:45 p.m.) and 31 (10:35 p.m.), and Nov. 1 (midnight, 4:10 a.m.), 2 (6:55 p.m.) and 3 (2:50 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Oct. 29 (3:55 a.m.) and 31 (2:15 a.m.), and Nov. 12 (4:00 p.m.) and 27 (noon)

A delinquent Dame Judi Dench wriggles out of mischief; a woman returns home after 28 years in a far-East prison; German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Wales with her personal assistant; Dame Maggie Smith auditions for an atypical film role; a massage therapist is dangerously accident-prone; a job applicant has an unsavory past; a feminist MP makes a risqué election pledge; and a librarian orchestrates a musical ode to a royal library that’s about to be shuttered.

Written by Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Georgia Pritchett, Lucy Montgomery, Arthur Matthews, Laurence Rickard; directed by Dominic Brigstocke.

Episode #2

Debut: FRIDAY, NOV. 4 (11:00–11:30 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 4 (12:30 a.m.), 5 (1:20 a.m.), 7 (11:30 p.m.), 8 (4:30 a.m.), 9 (6:55 p.m.) and 10 (8:00 p.m., 4:40 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 5 (1:10 a.m.), 7 (4:10 a.m.), 12 (4:30 p.m.) and 27 (12:30 p.m.)

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, babysits Prince George; a man treats the local coffee shop as his personal office; a couple returns from vacation to find an illegal immigrant hiding under their motor home; Dame Judi Dench causes trouble in a five-star hotel; the tutor in a seniors’ computer class offers extraordinary tips; and Angela Merkel treats the embassy staff to a song.

Written by Georgia Pritchett, Jonathan Harvey, Jeremy Dyson, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Gemma Arrowsmith, Carrie Quinlan, Laurence Rickard; directed by Dominic Brigstocke.

Episode #3

Debut: FRIDAY, NOV. 11 (11:00–11:30 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 11 (12:30 a.m.), 14 (12:30 a.m.), 15 (3:10 a.m.) and 17 (5:05 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 12 (5:00 p.m., 12:45 a.m.), 14 (2:25 a.m.) and 27 (1:00 p.m.)

A pair of naive American tourists find their rose-tinted view of London put to the test; a member of Parliament holds her first constituency meeting topless; Dame Judi Dench breaks into a cinema; a man pitches his latest half-baked idea for a weather app from his coffee-shop “office”; and a model agent learns that her clumsy attempts to scout new faces aren’t helped by her unfortunate choice of an agency name.

Written by Jeremy Dyson, Georgia Pritchett, Laurence Rickard, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Bert Tyler Moore, George Jeffrie, Jonathan Harvey; directed by Dominic Brigstocke.

The series will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW has already garnered critical raves in the UK, with the Daily Mirror calling the show “pure joy,” and the Metro observing that “Ullman’s brilliant talent for impersonation is still spot-on,” adding, “If you’ve lost faith in the power of sketch shows to crack you up, this could make you a believer once again.”

Featuring the unique comic talent in multiple roles, Ullman’s HBO series “Tracey Takes On…” ran for four seasons, wrapping its 47-episode run in 1999, and receiving six Emmys®. Her other HBO credits include the specials “Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed” (2005), “Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales” (2003), “Tracey Ullman: Takes on New York” (1993) and “Tracey Ullman: A Class Act” (1993).

Ullman burst on the U.S. TV scene in 1987 with the broadcast series “The Tracey Ullman Show,” which brought her two Emmys®, and also gave birth to “The Simpsons.” She also won Emmys® for guest appearances on “Ally McBeal” and “Love & War.” Ullman’s film credits include “Into the Woods,” Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” John Waters’ “A Dirty Shame,” Woody Allen’s “Small Time Crooks” and “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Panic,” Robert Altman’s “Ready to Wear,” Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” “I Love You to Death,” “I’ll Do Anything,” “Household Saints” and “Plenty.”

TRACEY ULLMAN’S SHOW was devised by Tracey Ullman; executive producers, Tracey Ullman, Ben Farrell and Myfanwy Moore; producer, Caroline Norris.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Preview Screening of Tracey Ullman's Show Scheduled in New York with Tracey!

A special preview screening of Tracey's new HBO comedy series Tracey Ullman's Show will be held in New York on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 8PM at the Kaufmann Concert Hall. Tracey will also be in attendance and will be interviewed by Patricia Marx. Actor and good friend, Kevin Kline will be doing the introduction. Tickets are $40 and are on sale now!