Friday, October 30, 2020

Fri-Yay: The Best Sitcom Halloween Episodes; CBS All Access Renews No Activity for 4th Season

It's time for another edition of Fri-Yay! That means we will take a look back on some sitcom happenings in recent days or weeks or other fun sitcomy stuff. It's a sitcom lover's paradise! Happy Fri-Yay!

Community - Epidemiology

by Vincent

This weekend is Halloween, and whether you're spending the weekend participating in Halloween festivities or not, you can make the weekend a little more festive with these highlight sitcom Halloween episodes.

The Simpsons - Treehouse of Horror V (Available on Disney+)
Any Treehouse of Horror installment from the Simpsons' first 10 seasons is a genuine candidate for this list, but the very best is the entry from the show's 6th season, most notable for the show's classic Shining parody. It perfectly balances creepy and funny, and is still, in my mind, the gold standard of a horror episode of a sitcom, animated or not.

Bob's Burgers - Fort Night (Available on Hulu)
Bob's Burgers is another series that has made Halloween a special time of year, and nearly all of its Halloween episodes are delightful. But the very best Halloween episode is probably Season 4's Fort Night, which introduces the character of Millie. Similar to the Simpsons episode listed, Fort Night is actually genuinely creepy, as the childrens' fate is left up to the wildly unstable Millie character. It's also just a great time seeing all of the Belcher kids together in one place.

Parks and Recreation - Halloween Surprise (Available on Hulu and Peacock)
This Parks and Rec episode isn't quite like your typical Halloween episodes, as it centers around Ben proposing to Leslie, but it's nevertheless a sweet and surprising episode that makes great use of the holiday. It's rare to call a Halloween episode "sweet", but this episode definitely gets that honor. And it's no surprise that Parks and Rec would take the darkest holiday of the year and make it heartwarming.

Happy Endings - Spooky Endings (Available on Hulu)
Maybe the all-out funniest episode of the list, Happy Endings' sole Halloween episode is a hysterical laugh riot from start to finish. There is pretty much a joke every other second in this episode, which has a simple premise (the gang goes to a costume party while Jane and Brad house sit in the suburbs) but fills that premise with so many jokes that you'll find yourself endlessly laughing for the entire 22 minutes.

Boy Meets World - And Then There Was Shawn (Available on Disney+)
Technically this isn't a Halloween episode, but it's a horror movie send up that fits in perfectly with the season, as the show pokes fun at slasher films. It's a really funny episode and a fairly early example of a live action sitcom experimenting with its genre and form. You don't typically expect it from TGIF sitcoms, but Boy Meets World did a great job with it.

Community - Epidemiology (Available on Netflix and Hulu)
Community spoofed zombie films with its second season Halloween episode, and if you can get past the fact that parts of this episode is about the school being quarantined due to the outbreak of a "zombie" virus (yes, it hits a little close to home, minus the zombie part), this is an extremely funny parody of horror movies that's one of Community's most imaginative and fun concept episodes.


No Activity

CBS All Access, ViacomCBS' digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, announced the fourth season renewal for its original, half-hour comedy series No Activity. In a departure from previous seasons, the fourth season will feature all the fan favorite No Activity. characters in animated form. This season will find Special Agent Nick Cullen (Patrick Brammall) realizing his dream of joining the FBI, but he will soon discover that being an FBI agent isn’t that special after all. After being assigned to a seemingly dull observation detail, he finds a potential career case in the form of an emerging cult. A large scale operation soon takes aim at the cult but it's unclear which side will break first. Despite the promotion, Cullen's path continues to cross with former partner Judd Toldbeck's (Tim Meadows), who adjusts to life with a new partner of his own.

No Activity's third season found demoted detectives Cullen and Tolbeck back in uniform with a revolving door of quirky new partners and even quirkier criminals, while robots - and Dylan McDermott - tried to take over Janice and Fatima's jobs in dispatch. Season three starred Brammall, Meadows and a stellar guest cast, including Beth Behrs, Joe Keery, Keegan-Michael Key, Sunita Mani, Jason Mantzoukas, Dylan McDermott, Paula Pell, Amy Schumer, Amy Sedaris and J.K. Simmons. No Activity is produced by CBS Studios in association with Funny Or Die, Jungle, and Gary Sanchez Productions, and is based on the Stan original series produced by Jungle. The series is co-developed and executive produced by Brammall and Trent O'Donnell, alongside executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Joe Farrell, Mike Farah, Joe Hardesty and Jason Burrows. Nina Pedrad, Steve Toltz, and Becca Kinskey serve as co-executive producers. As in previous seasons, O'Donnell will direct all episodes. Flight School Studio serves as the animation studio for the upcoming season.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, July 22

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter

Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)

CBS announced a new Entertainment Tonight special, Bob Newhart: A Legacy of Laughter, to air Monday, July 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs)*.

Hosted by Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner, this one-hour tribute honors the late comedian with a look back at his 70-year career, featuring never-before-seen interviews, and his final interview from his home in Los Angeles. The special takes an in-depth look at his journey from accountant to comedian to Hollywood icon, with rare behind-the-scenes footage of Bob on the set of his sitcoms and feature films, from the Entertainment Tonight vault. Included are new and archival interviews with some of Bob’s closest friends and co-stars, including Jim Parsons, Will Ferrell, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Bateman and Michael Weatherly. The show takes an intimate look inside Bob’s personal life and his marriage to the love of his life, Ginnie, with newly revealed stories about how he changed American culture through comedy.

Bob starred as Chicago psychologist Robert Hartley on the CBS television series The Bob Newhart Show from 1972 to 1978, and then as Vermont innkeeper Dick Loudon on Newhart from 1982 to 1990, also on the Network. He had two other sitcoms on CBS in the 1990s, Bob and George and Leo. Bob played the recurring role of Professor Proton on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory from 2013 to 2018, for which he received his first Primetime Emmy Award.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 22)

Monday, July 22

  • Lamorne Morris (Woke/New Girl) - Lamorne guest hosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sebastian Maniscalco (Bookie) - Watch Sebastian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ryan Reynolds (Two Guys and a Girl) and Hugh Jackman (Human Resources) - Ryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC. E! News has interviews with Ryan and Hugh at 11pm on E!. They also talk about Deadpool & Wolverine on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am. Ryan appears on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Keanu Reeves (Swedish Dicks) - Keanu appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Plemons (No Activity/Bent) - Jesse is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joe Mantegna (The Simpsons/Soap) and Laci Mosley (iCarly/Single Parents/Florida Girls) - Joe and Laci are guests on a repeat of After Midnight at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken drops by Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 10:01pm on Bravo.
  • Elizabeth Gillies (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll/Victorious) - Elizabeth talks about Spread on CBS Mornings some time between 7-9am.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) and Michael Urie (Krapopolis/Partners) - Sutton and Michael talk about Once Upon a Mattress on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) - Rob talks about Deadpool & Wolverine on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band) - Nat and Lucy Hale are telling Drew all about their new rom-com Which Brings Me to You on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release) Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One
06/11 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
06/11 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
07/05 - Letterkenny - Season 12 (Final Season)
07/30 - Ted Lasso - The Richmond Way (The Complete Series) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
09/17 - Bewitched - The Complete Series - 60th Anniversary Special Edition (Blu-ray)
09/24 - Friends - The Complete Series (4K Ultra HD)
09/24 - Young Sheldon - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Series
10/08 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Twelfth Season / The Complete Series

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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