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 Posted:   May 20, 2020 - 11:22 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A MIGHTY WIND was a Christopher Guest-Eugene Levy mockumentary on the folk music scene. In the film, “Irving Steinbloom” (Stuart Luce), the man who put folk music on the map, has died, and his children: “Jonathan” (Bob Balaban), “Naomi” (Deborah Theaker), and “Elliott” (Don Lake), feel the best way to pay tribute to their late father is to stage a memorial concert, one that will reunite some of the acts the senior Mr. Steinbloom nurtured back in the 1960s.

Among those invited to perform are “Jerry Palter” (Michael McKean), “Alan Barrows” (Christopher Guest) and “Mark Shubb” (Harry Shearer), also known as The Folksmen; The New Mainstreet Singers, fronted by husband and wife team “Terry and Laurie Bohner” (John Michael Higgins and Jane Lynch) and featuring “Sissy Knox” (Parker Posey); and, of course, the highlight of the show, “Mitch” (Eugene Levy) and “Mickey” (Catherine O’Hara), whose love song “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” became one of the biggest hits in folk music history. Fred Willard appears as “Mike LaFontaine,” the blowhard manager of The Folksmen.

Fred Willard in A MIGHTY WIND

Christopher Guest directed the 2003 release. Most of the songs were composed and sung by the on-screen actors. Columbia released the soundtrack CD.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 12:28 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

AMERICAN WEDDING was the second sequel to 1999’s AMERICAN PIE, following AMERICAN PIE 2 (2001). The films followed teenager “Jim Levenstein” (Jason Biggs) and his friends. Throughout the first film, Jim tries to develop a relationship with his school classmate “Nadia” (Shannon Elizabeth). Jim and his best friends “Kevin Myers” (Thomas Ian Nicholas), “Paul Finch” (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and “Chris Ostreicher” (Chris Klein) make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. In the second film, the four friends host a summer party with Finch's frenemy, “Steve Stifler” (Seann William Scott), and Jim becomes interested in his friend, “Michelle Flaherty” (Alyson Hannigan). In the third film, Jim and Michelle plan to marry, although the forced invitation of Stifler could ruin everything. The third film introduced Michelle’s parents, “Harold” (Fred Willard) and “Mary Flaherty” (Deborah Rush). Jim’s parents were played by Eugene Levy and Molly Cheek.

Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Deborah Rush, and Molly Cheek, in AMERICAN WEDDING

Jesse Dylan directed the 2003 film. None of Christophe Beck’s score appeared on the Universal Records song-track CD.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

NOBODY KNOWS ANTHING was a comedy about Hollywood. "Sarah" (Alanna Ubach) thinks that making a movie is easy. With the guidance of her screenwriter uncle, she goes on a wild journey into the world of Hollywood where she meets crazy studio execs, insane producers, and a gangster who agrees to finance her film - for a price. Fred Willard and Mary Kay place played “Mr. and Mrs. McClintock” in the film.

Fred Willard and Mary Kay Place in NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING

The picture was the last feature film project for television stars Wayne Rogers and Mike Connors. William Tannen directed the 2003 film, which went directly to video. The film has no credited score.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 1:50 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:59 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

A Korean-American office worker (John Cho) and his Indian-American friend (Kal Penn) get high on marijuana one day. That’s when HAROLD & KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE on a quest to satisfy their desire for burgers. When they get lost on the way, their adventures begin. Fred Willard has a small part as college dean “Dr. Willoughby” who is interviewing Kumar for possible admission to his school.

Danny Leiner directed this 2004 comedy. None of David Kitay’s score appears on the song-track CD released by Bulletproof/Razor & Tie Records.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY, “Ron Burgundy” (Will Ferrell) is San Diego's top-rated newsman in the male-dominated broadcasting world of the 1970s. But that's all about to change for Ron and his cronies when an ambitious woman (Christina Applegate) is hired as a new anchor. Fred Willard plays station manager “Ed Harken.”

Fred Willard and Will Ferrell in ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY

Adam McKay directed the 2004 comedy and co-wrote it with Will Ferrell. None of Alex Wurman’s score appeared on the Universal Records song-track CD.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the sitcom “A Minute With Stan Hooper”, Norm MacDonald starred as “Stan Hooper,” a famous newspaper columnist turned television commentator, who moves his family from their New York home to a small Wisconsin town, Waterford Falls, where he hopes to better get in touch with Middle America in an attempt to make his weekly minute-long television commentaries more appealing to a larger audience. While there, he interacts with the folksy, and largely strange, townspeople of Waterford Falls.

There are the Petersons, “Lou” (Garret Dillahunt) and “Pete” (Daniel Roebuck), who run the local diner, and whom Stan initially assumes to be brothers. “Ryan Hawkins” (Eric Lively) is eager to be his cameraman. “Chelsea” (Reagan Dale Neis) is Ryan’s girlfriend. “Fred Hawkins” (Fred Willard) is unhappy that his son Ryan is leaving the family's local cheese conglomerate. Stan rents a home cheap and finds it comes with “Gary Jamison” (Brian Howe) as its butler.

The series premiered on the Fox Network on Wednesday, 29 October 2003, at 8:30 PM. The show was against the new sitcom “It’s All Relative” on ABC, “60 Minutes II” on CBS, and the comedy-drama “Ed” on NBC. Although none of the competitive shows made it to another season, “A Minute With Stan Hooper” didn’t even make it past mid-season. It was cancelled after 13 episodes.

Fred Willard (upper left) and the cast of “A Minute With Stan Hooper”

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Fred Willard had a recurring role as “Hank MacDougall” on the later seasons of CBS's sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”, which brought him Emmy Award nominations as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2003, he lost to Gene Wilder in “Will & Grace”; in 2004 he lost to John Turturro in “Monk”; and in 2005 he lost to Bobby Cannavale in “Will & Grace”.

Georgia Engel and Fred Willard in “Everybody Loves Raymond”

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 6:09 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After ruining his reputation with the town, CHICKEN LITTLE (Zach Braff) must come to the rescue of his fellow citizens when aliens start an invasion. Among the aliens are Fred Willard as “Melvin”, the alien Dad, and Catherine O’Hara as “Tina”, the alien Mom. Mark Dindal directed this 2005 animated film. John Debney’s score had about a third of the soundtrack CD issued by Walt Disney Records.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 7:56 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

DATE MOVIE is a stringing together of a series of spoofs into an 80 minute movie, drawing its material, and this list is not exhaustive, from movies like BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, KILL BILL, MEET THE PARENTS, DODGEBALL, MEET THE FOCKERS, PRETTY WOMAN, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, KING KONG, HITCH, etc. Some celebrities also get ribbed, like Mr. and Mrs. Britney Spears, and Michael Jackson.

But basically, it's about a fat girl, “Julia Jones” (Alyson Hannigan), working in a Greek diner, having extremely mixed parentage, who falls in love with a Jude Law lookalike –"Grant Funkyerdoder” (Adam Campbell). She enlists the help of guru “Hitch” (Tony Cox), and gets herself trimmed down in a car workshop (don't ask). Struggling with constant insecurities, and extremely huge zits, of course don't help. And to make things worse, Grant's ex-fiancée “Andy” (Sophie Monk), turns up the heat and tries to wreck Julia's and Grant's upcoming marriage. Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge play Grant’s parents, “Bernie and Roz Funkyerdoder.”

Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge in DATE MOVIE

Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg wrote and directed the 2006 comedy. David Kitay’s score had one track on the Lakeshore Records soundtrack CD.

 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 11:45 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

You know that scary old house down the street? Turns out, it's a real live MONSTER HOUSE! This animated family horror movie centers around three kids who discover that a neighbor's house is actually a living, breathing monster. It all begins when “DJ” (Mitchel Musso) looks out his window at the creepy house across the street. It's old. It's run-down. And it's owned by "Old Man Nebbercracker" (Steve Buscemi), the meanest guy in town who loves terrorizing the neighborhood kids. And heaven forbid any toys should land on his lawn or he'll snatch 'em away forever. DJ starts keeping track of all the lost items, so much so that he becomes a bit of an outcast. Right before Halloween, DJ's parents (Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard) head to a convention and leave him home with a Goth babysitter, “Zee” (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Zee's slacker boyfriend, “Bones” (Jason Lee), knows all about the house. DJ's friend, “Chowder” (Sam Lerner) and neighbor “Jenny” join in the house observations.

Fred Willard at an event for MONSTER HOUSE

Gil Kenan directed the 2006 release. Douglas Pipes’ score was released by Varese Sarabande.

 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 11:28 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Like their 2006 comedy DATE MOVIE, Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg’s 2007 offering, EPIC MOVIE, is a jumbled-up spoof of many then-current action-adventure films, from the X-MEN to CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to THE CHRONICLES OF NARIA.

In EPIC MOVIE’s take on the latter, Gnarnia is ruled by the cold-hearted “White Bitch” (Jennifer Coolidge). She lives in a White Castle (cue the inevitable Kal Penn / Kumar joke) and drives around in a sleigh-like snowmobile terrorizing the peoples of Gnarnia. The four children, guided by “Mr. Tumnus” (Héctor Jiménez) and his life partner “Harry Beaver” must find the half-man, half-lion “Aslo” (Fred Willard) and join forces with him to save Gnarnia.

Aslo says that his father, named Siegfried, sired him with a lion, but "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," this being a reference to the famed Las Vegas showmen Siegfried and Roy, who were known for their entertaining stunts and magical acts involving lions and tigers.

Edward Shearmur’s score was released by Lakeshore Records.

 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth-Class) is a trash-compacting robot on an unpopulated waste-filled Earth. The human race has moved to the Axiom, a spaceship that sustains life and provides everything they need to be happy. Back on the ground, WALL-E's job is to compress trash into cubes and build new skyscrapers. WALL-E is actually one of many WALL-E units made by a corporation called BnL (Buy N Large), whose mission is to clean up the Earth and to keep the Axiom running.

But WALL-E is a curious little robot, examining the objects he picks up and collecting them for his little home. One of his favorite possessions is a copy of the 1969 film HELLO, DOLLY!, which he watches frequently for a specific song and dance scene. (HELLO, DOLLY! is presented as real live-action footage, a first for Pixar. There is also live-action mixed with CGI in two scenes with Fred Willard as “Shelby Forthright,” the CEO of BnL.)

Fred Willard in WALL-E

Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote the film. The scenes shot with Fred Willard were the first live shots ever directed by Stanton. Thomas Newman’s score was released by Walt Disney Records.

 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After the end of “Frazier” in 2004, Kelsey Grammer returned to regular series television with the 2007 sitcom “Back To You.”. “Chuck Darling” (Grammer) and “Kelly Carr” (Patricia Heaton) were co-anchors of Pittsburgh’s WURG News 9. They had great on-screen chemistry, despite constant quarreling off-screen. However, Chuck left to take a job elsewhere. After an embarrassing comment he makes results in his dismissal from a large market L.A. newscast, Chuck returns to Pittsburgh after 10 years to become an anchor on the newscast he originally left. Chuck also learns that he is the father of Carr's 10-year-old daughter, “Gracie.”

Fred Willard is “Marsh McGinley,” WURG's fairly dim-witted sports anchor. He throws up before the beginning of each show. He also breaks down while reading Casey at the Bat, because his father used that poem to break his stutter.

Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, and Fred Willard in “Back To You”

The Fox Network premiered “Back To You” on Wednesday, 19 September 2007 at 8 PM. The show’s competition was the new sitcom “Pushing Daisies” on ABC, the reality show “Kid Nation” on CBS, and the game show “Deal or No Deal” on NBC. None of the shows broke into the top 30 shows for the year.

Unfortunately, production on “Back To You” was halted on November 6, 2007, due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The show went on hiatus on November 14, after seven episodes had aired. It returned on Tuesday February 26, 2008, at 9:30 PM. The show aired the remainder of its 17 episodes through the spring and into the summer.

After the show was cancelled by Fox, the comedy was shopped around for a new home, at Grammer's request, and CBS was interested in picking up the comedy for a second season. However, Grammer was already searching for a new show, and ABC had given him some new projects. (One was an overseas remake of “Roman's Empire,” which failed to be picked up, and another was “Hank”: which premiered fall 2009, but was cancelled after five episodes). Patricia Heaton also was interested in an ABC project (“The Middle,” which also premiered in fall 2009 and lasted for nine seasons, until May 2018). As a result, “Back to You” was never renewed.

 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE was a sequel to 2013’s PLANES, which was about an air race. In the new film, when “Dusty Crophopper” (Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins a forest fire and rescue unit to be trained as a firefighter, or else his air strip will be shut down. Fred Willard provided the voice of the Secretary of the Interior, a character modeled after an International Scout SUV.

Fred Willard in PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

Roberts Gannaway directed and co-wrote the Disney film. Mark Mancina’s score was released by Walt Disney Records.

 Posted:   May 22, 2020 - 10:44 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Over the 11-season run of the television sitcom “Modern Family” (2009-2020), Fred Willard made 14 appearances as “Frank Dunphy,” the father of Ty Burrell’s character “Phil Dunphy.”

Ty Burrell had also been a co-star on the “Back To You” television series along with Fred Willard. (Burrell had played “Gary Crezyzewski,” one of the television station’s field reporters.) The creators of “Back To You”, Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, also created “Modern Family.” So, when it came time to cast “Phil Dunphy”’s father, Fred Willard was one of the first people they considered.

In 2010, Willard received an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. He lost to Neil Patrick Harris in “Glee.”

Ty Burrell, Sarah Hyland, Julie Bowen, Fred Willard, Rico Rodriguez, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill, and Eric Stonestreet in “Modern Family”

 Posted:   May 23, 2020 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Fred Willard’s final performance will be in the Netflix series “Space Force”, the first ten episodes of which are tentatively scheduled for release on May 29. The series is a comedic look at the creation of this sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Steve Carrell stars as “General Mark R. Naird,” with Fred Willard playing his father, “Fred Naird.”
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While rarely a lead, Fred Willard was certainly one of the premier comedic character actors of the last half-century. His joyous humor will be missed.

John Belushi, Fred Willard, Dan Aykroyd, and Gilda Radner on “Saturday Night Live” (1978)

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