Nicole Randall Johnson

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March 22, 2007: "Give Me a Deviled Egg"

Here we are, nine hours later, and Guy Halverson sprinting down the fairway, a hoagie bursting with "three kinds of ham" in his grasp, still haunts my noggin. What made the recurring image so damn funny, though, isn't its subject matter — large man plus flailing sandwich plus slow motion — but Andy Richter's expression of disbelief each time he went into and out of the flashback. "Ah, yes [his mistress was] jealous.... Ya think?" The theme song for Guy's last gallop didn't hurt either.And that, folks, brings us to a discussion of Week 2 (of 6) of NBC's Andy Barker, P.I.. As I said before, what makes this show sing is the casting. Clea Lewis is the supportive wife every guy wants (and, in this case, wants Guy). And Tony Hale opposite Nicole Randall Johnson shows seriously funny promise. I love how Nicole (as Nicole the self-hired assistant) "switches on" that perky, entirely false demeanor en route to making the person she's talking to feel like a fool.Perhaps my only recur... read more

March 15, 2007: "Watch Out, Fair Oaks, Here I Come!"

If you're a 30 Rock fan and know me from that show blog, it's good to see you joining me here. To everyone else, greetings, I will be your host for these six episodes of NBC's Andy Barker, P.I.Previously in the 30 Rock blog, I talked up Andy some, if only to assure fans of Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, et al, that their time slot would be in capable hands. Since then, it's been good to see the legit TV critics throw some praise Andy Richter's way, as this show certainly has sharp writing, but perhaps more importantly some very nice casting. I will admit, my exposure to Andy has been minimal (having never been a Conan fan). But I do like him in this role of a hapless "cheese and crackers"-cussing accountant resigned to a vanilla office in a vanilla strip mall, then seduced by the invitation — from the Wrigley's Orbit gum gal — to walk on the wild side as a private dick.Andy Barker ups the ante further by surrounding Richter with a winning ensemble. Clea Lewis (Ellen) is perfect a... read more

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