IFC has greenlit ten half-hour episodes of /shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys, a new scripted original sketch comedy to join the network's "Always on. Slightly off." line-up later this year. Executive produced by Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Mr. Show with Bob and David) and Ben Stiller (The upcoming The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander), /shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys features the Los Angeles comedy group of the same name (UCB Theatre Los Angeles, Just for Laughs Festival) along with Odenkirk.
Here's what Ben Stiller had to say in a brief statement.
"/shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys are too good to just be making viral videos. They are funny enough to fill time between episodes of Portlandia. I'm thrilled to be working with Bob Odenkirk again on a TV project. We try to do something every 20 years or so."
Bob Odenkirk also released his own statement about the new project.
"/shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys are a super funny and fresh new comic voice. I will try not to slow them down."
The series is in the classic vein of absurd/silly/smart/funny variety shows (Mr. Show, Monty Python), featuring sketches that twist real-life moments and cultural touchstones. An early episode tackles such issues as eggs, toilet paper and computers.
/shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys comedy group includes Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen - whose combined credits include Parks and Recreation, The Office, Conan, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and Portlandia.
Here's what IFC president Jennifer Caserta said about the show in a statement.
"Bob is iconic in the sketch world and we're thrilled to take him back to his roots with such an incredibly talented sketch troupe. We've received great recognition for airing Mr. Show and The Ben Stiller Show and are confident our audience will find /shows/the-birthday-boys/The Birthday Boys similarly fresh, smart and original."
Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Deborah Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld and Mike Rosenstein of Red Hour will executive produce with Abso Lutely producing the series for IFC. The series is written and co-directed by The Birthday Boys and Bob Odenkirk.