July 28, 2012 10:55am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TCA 2012: FX's W. Kamau Bell, Chris Rock, Russell Brand on Sarah Palin, Chick-Fil-A, Charlie Sheen and Louis C.K.
FX touted its continued push into the late-night space Saturday with sessions at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, hosting sessions for Brand X With Russell Brand and its upcoming entry Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell.
From executive producers Chris Rock and Chuck Sklar, W. Kamau Bell stars in the weekly half-hour series that explores politics, pop culture, race, religion, media and sex. The vocal Russell Brand, meanwhile, fronts his series -- which earned an order for seven additional episodes early Saturday.
The first of the initial six installments of Brand X will air Thursday, Aug. 2 at 11 p.m., with the newly ordered episodes likely returning behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League in the fall.
In the vein of both series, here are 18 funny and informative quotes from the show's hosts and producers riffing on everything from sleeping with Sarah Palin, talk-show formats, Chick-fil-A and Dane Cook.
1. "It's like being situated in purgatory where you don't exactly know where the voices are coming from." -- Brand on returning to TCA.
2. "You should recall that they're a comedian." -- Brand on the often controversial comments from his fellow comics -- like Dane Cook's recent remarks on Aurora.
3. "The show will look a little more conventional, like a late-night show. We will have guests every week." -- Brand on the creative changes coming for the next seven episodes of Brand X, which will include tweaked set.
4. "They're at home, with their step-mom." -- The barefoot Brand on his missing shoes, noting he has a bit of "rug burn" caused by "kickyboxing." "The question is, why are you all wearing shoes?"
5. "Tiding up or something, probably. I don't know what their format of community service is. It doesn't seem like a punishment, it seems like a duty. Service is an honor, I'm happy to do it." -- Brand after being asked what his community service will entail. After further questioning from the same reporter: "You f---ing know more about it than me, I wish you'd have been there with me in court!"
6. "I watched that Opening Ceremony, the Queen was with James Bond, how could you not feel enthused." -- Brand on the Olympics, later joking that the Queen is "on a slippery slope" with film appearances.
7. "Cutting it down is a pain in the ass." -- Brand on the editing process.
8. "Didn't Chick-fil-A say that they're racist now? Or homophobic? I get mixed up with the prejudices." -- The vegan Brand on the Chick-fil-A flap, later adding that he also doesn't agree with eating chicken. "Just let it carry on with what it's doing."
9. "I know Charlie Sheen a bit, and I'm bullying him into it. … He can come every week with a different one of his personalities. By the time we get to the seventh show, he'll think he's arriving for the first show." -- Brand on bringing fellow FX star Charlie Sheen on as a guest on Brand X.
10. "People want to f--- her, that's why they tolerate the other stuff! … The dick don't lie!" -- Brand on Sarah Palin. Immediately afterward to FX head of PR John Solberg who was on stage to wrap up the session: "John, you could have had me out of here before I said that … now I just said I'd f--- Sarah Palin!"
11. "I also go the 90/10 deal." -- Bell, in a riff on FX's Anger Management, on the format of the show.
12. "That show was on HBO, it's like 20 million people have HBO, 90 million people have cable, more people will see this show -- even if it's not a hit." -- Rock on the influence The Chris Rock Show played on Totally Biased. Among the changes, Rock noted the pace is much quicker in the late-night space now than when his show was on the air.
13. "I call him foul-mouthed Yoda." -- Bell on Rock's role as his adviser.
14. "I don't feel like it's my job to take down Fox News." -- Bell on if he'll take on the FX sibling. "Evil is about, 'If it doesn't look like me, it's wrong.' And Fox News," he added.
15. "I've seen the Avid in his living room, it's pretty much the best deal for a guy with a show. If I ever do a show, that's how I'd do it … I'm here!" -- Rock on whether he'd follow the same business model Louis C.K. has on FX's newly renewed Louie: writing, producing, starring and editing.
16. "The biggest pushback I've gotten on the Internet is when I said there's no black Spider-Man." -- Bell on the title implying there will be content that people don't always agree with.
17. "The secret to being a good producer is to hire your boss. I chose to work with Kamau because I figured in three weeks, a month or what ever, he probably won't need me. If six months from now, he needs me to make a bunch of decisions, I picked the wrong guy." -- Rock on his producing role on the series.
18. "The news is a TV show. They need ratings. And in our lifetime, we will see boobs on the news." -- Rock, closing out the session on a high note.
Bell's series will be shot on Aug. 9 and will premiere the same night and feature a monologue, a remote bit and then a guest.