Tag Archives: Cory Monteith

Bill Engvall’s Latest Comedy Series Efforts Yield Mixed Results

bounty hunters animatedBill Engvall is enjoying the positive response he’s getting to his fun new CMT “Bounty Hunters” animated series with Blue Collar Comedy cohorts Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy – but he isn’t holding out much hope for his latest live action sitcom effort.   That’s Engvall’s “Do It Yourself” TBS pilot, and he says, “I’m counting it as out, because I haven’t heard anything.”  Adds the comic and actor, whose “Bill Engvall Show” ran on TBS for three years, “It’s kind of sad because it was a really fun pilot, and it came out really well.”

The pilot, shot this spring, could still get picked up elsewhere, he acknowledges, “which would be great.  It has a great cast and storyline, and I think it could really be successful.”  The premise has him and Ben Rappaport (“Outsourced”) playing a one-time Circuit City executive and a laid-off math teacher, respectively, who find themselves working side-by-side at a big box store – certainly a relatable situation for all too many in this downsized, post-recession economy.

“That’s what I thought, and everybody seemed to like it,” he says.  “But that’s just business.  You never know.  I never count the check until it’s in the bank.”

Bill EngvallMeanwhile, he’s got plenty on his plate.  There’s his ongoing string of stand-up commitments.  There’s another project he has in the works at TNT.  And there’s “Bounty Hunters,” which allowed him and Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy to work together again, despite the fact Jeff’s in Atlanta and Dan’s in Lincoln.”  (Larry the Cable Guy’s given name is Daniel Whitney.)  “We recorded them separately, but you’d never know it.  It would have been nice to have done it with all of us in the same room.  Maybe we can if we do more,” he says, and laughs.  “Try to get those guys out of their comfort zone.  It’s a fun little cartoon.  It came out funny.  You always worry about that – if the script is going to come across.  I think it did.”

Engvall would like to see “Bounty Hunters” springboard him into more voiceover work.  He’s done episodes of shows including “Family Guy” and says, “I enjoy the process.”

He’d really enjoy being back in the live action sitcom game.  “I love doing the stand-up but TV allows me to be home,” he says.  And as for whether he needed time away to recharge after “The Bill Engvall Show” ended, he says flatly, “No.  If they’d have said, ‘We’ve got another one for you starting next week,’ I’d have been there.  I love acting.”

SAD STORY:  As the “Glee” company struggles to come to grips with the heroin death of 31-year-old Cory Monteith, we can’t help remembering just four years ago when the charismatic young performer was new to fame and awash in excitement over his big break.  He could hardly believe he was getting the chance to sing on television, since, as he told this column, “I’ve had zero training whatsoever.  This is the first thing I ever did with singing.  I’ve been a drummer all my life, so I have played music,” he added.  Monteith admitted that the demands of his role – which included more acting than he had originally thought – were a little intimidating at first.  However, even a few weeks in, he said he could tell a big difference with his performing.  “What you feed grows.  What you work on improves,” he noted.  “It’s just gotten better and better….

“For me to now have this platform and to have the opportunities that this show is presenting me is a dream come true.”  What a tragedy that his dreams have been cut short.

janine turnerHELLO, AGAIN:  Janine Turner has wrapped work as Sir Anthony Hopkins’ wife in the 2014 supernatural thriller, “Solace” with Colin Farrell.  The actress, who rose to fame on “Northern Exposure,” has been pouring her energies into writing and political activities in recent years, so it’s nice to see her back before the cameras.  She loved working with Hopkins, whom she found “a brilliant and generous actor as well as a man of great character.”  He plays a retired civilian analyst for the FBI who has psychic abilities and who – of course – gets drawn back into his old world when called upon to help solve a string of murders.  Sharon Lawrence, Abbie Cornish and Jeffrey Dean Morgan also star.

‘Glee’s’ Romy Rosemont Would Like to be Kurt’s Mom

Romy Rosemont

Among the dramas to be played out in upcoming episodes of “Glee” is that of the relationship between Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Finn (Cory Monteith) – who made derogatory remarks about gay teens last season, rebuffing Kurt’s crush on him.   So what’s ahead for Finn and his widowed mom Carole (Romy Rosemont), who now share the house of Kurt and his widowed dad (Mike O’Malley)?

Rosemont tells us she’s also dying to find out what series creator Ryan Murphy has up his sleeve.  “It seems like Finn and Kurt have worked things out; now it’s time for the parents to work their stuff out.  I’m sure it will be really interesting.  One of the things I love so much about the show is that they tackle such difficult issues,” she says.

As for herself, “I would love for Kurt to have a potential mother.”

Rosemont is in the tricky position of putting herself out there for other work assignments while staying ready and free whenever she gets the “Glee” call.  “I really like being part of this family, and I’m going to show up to dinner whenever I’m invited.  You hope there aren’t conflicts, or that if there are, people will accommodate and work things out.  That’s the life of a character actor, you kind of go on a wing and a prayer hoping things fall into place.”

‘Glee’ Hit Life-Changing for Cast

(originally published November, 2009)

"Glee" cast photo, Fox

With Fox’s ‘Glee’ turning into an outright phenomenon, will stories of runaway egos and cast discord be far behind? Not if you ask Mark Salling, who plays Puck, the bad boy who’s been hard trying to be good — and winning over viewers’ hearts, if not the heart of his beloved Quinn (Dianna Agron).

He makes it clear, ‘It’s a good group of people.  No one does drugs.  Everybody’s really solid.  I can only speak for myself, though, and being that I’m 27, I think I’m a little too old to be so foolish as to squander everything away.’

Chris Colfer, who plays the flamboyant gay singer Kurt, is only 19, but he isn’t likely to lose his head over the sudden fame, either. He has too deep a sense of responsibility to his character, who’s quickly taking on iconic status. Chris does tell us he feels the show has already been life-changing, though, with thousands of fans showing up for public appearances these days, in addition to a flood of fan mail. The troupe even found themselves singing the national anthem at the World Series. ‘What an honor, to sing an American classic for an American classic,’ he says.

The show’s viewership is more than 8 and a half million and climbing. Sales of ‘Glee’ recordings on iTunes and traditional stores are so brisk that Reuters called them something for the beleaguered recording industry to feel joyful about this holiday season.

Cory Monteith is feeling joyful as well. The handsome 27-year-old plays football star-turned Glee club stalwart Finn Hudson (also the presumed baby daddy of his girlfriend, Quinn’s, gestating offspring). Monteith still can hardly believe he’s getting the chance to sing on television at all , considering he had never sung before getting cast on the Fox show.  ‘I’ve had zero training whatsoever.  This is the first thing I ever did with singing,’ admits the Canadian actor.

‘I’ve been a drummer all of my life so I have played music,’ he adds. ‘For me to now have this platform and to have the opportunities that this show is presenting me is a dream come true.’

Monteith admits that the musical demands of his role were a little intimidating at first. However, even a few weeks in he could tell a big difference with his performing.  ‘What you feed grows.  What you work on improves,’ he notes.  ‘It’s just gotten better and better.’

He also admits, ‘There’s a lot more acting than I thought was required originally with this character,’ as former best friends Finn and Puck literally came to blows on this week’s episode.

He goes on, ‘Finn’s got a certain naivety about him.  I really get the humor that the naivety creates.’

The older generation of ‘Glee’ stars is certainly benefiting from the show at least as much as the newcomers. At this year’s Emmy Awards, Best Supporting Actress winner Kristen Chenoweth predicted that ‘Glee’s’ Jane Lynch will be accepting an Emmy statuette next year, for her portrayal of the tough, mean, manipulating, mercurial, unpredictable and — just possibly — loveable underneath it all Coach Sue. Scores of critics and fans agree. As much as the ultra-talented actress-writer-comedian-singer has impressed audiences with her work in the past — especially in such Christopher Guest and Judd Apatow comedies as ‘Best in Show’ and ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ — Coach Sue is a landmark in her career.

And then there’s the lynchpin of the entire ‘Glee’ machine, Matthew Morrison—a.k.a. Spanish teacher cum Glee club leader, Will Shuester. Hard as it may be to believe now, Morrison says there was a moment he wasn’t sure whether it was going to happen.

‘I wanted the part, but I was kind of scared of it.  TV musicals haven’t really done well in the past.  I knew it was going to be really, really bad or wildly successful. There was no middle road for this kind of show.’

Fortunately for him, the series took that latter track. Morrison, who previously starred in the Broadway productions of ‘Footloose,’ ‘Hairspray,’ and ‘South Pacific,’ to name a few, now has a way to bring all his performing skills to TV.

As he puts it, ‘I’m doing everything in this show that I do well.  I get to showcase my singing, my dancing — it’s like the perfect show for me.  If I could have written the perfect vehicle for myself, this would be it.’

As for the future, they’re all hoping ‘Glee’ continues on its present path with creator Ryan Murphy for a good long run.

And after that?

‘I’d love, love, love to do Broadway,’ says Chris Colfer. ‘I grew up doing community theater. I love doing show tunes, or theatrical anything — moving set pieces. I’m like a circus type. I’ve also always wanted to get into writing and screenwriting. I’m not sure where I’ll find myself in the future.’

It would seem the sky’s the limit.

(“Glee” returns April 13, 2010)

Emily-Fortune Feimster and Stacy Jenel Smith