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'Fake Steve Jobs,' 'Seinfeld' scribe team for Silicon Valley comedy

post #1 of 45
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Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."

The comedy, which will air on the premium cable network Epix, is being pitched by the network as a "riotous satire of Silicon Valley and its most powerful figures." Given that it will be written by Lyons, who created the "Fake Steve" persona, it's likely that the Apple co-founder will be an inevitable topic for the program, though plot details are not yet known.

Ben Kessler, spokesman for Epix, told AppleInsider that "iCon" is currently in pre-production and an air date for the pilot episode has not been determined.

Epix is the result of a collaboration between Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM -- a premium, HBO-style network that offers all of its content not only on cable, but via Internet and on mobile devices as well. Kessler said the tech-savvy business model corresponds well to the Silicon Valley satire, though the program will be geared towards a wide audience.

"It will also have that mainstream appeal because Larry Charles, who's produced a ton of amazing shows, is going to be behind it," Kessler said.

In addition to being a staff writer for "Seinfeld," Charles was also involved in the programs "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage." He also directed the films "Borat," "Religulous" and "Bruno," and will bring his directing experience to the pilot episode of "iCon."

"We are attempting to do nothing less than a modern 'Citizen Kane,'" Charles said in a press release. He will also oversee script development of the program. "We needed a bold environment to nurture such a vision. One that was free of pre-conceived ideas. And Epix made it clear they were that place. They asked us to make their home our home. And we have."

Epix launched its channel, video-on-demand and online service on Oct. 30, 2009. The network has access to more than 15,000 movies from its partners' libraries, including titles from Paramount, Lionsgate and United Artists.

"A comedy series by Larry Charles is the perfect complement to the original comedy specials being produced by Epix," Mark Greenberg, president of Epix, said in a press release. "His incomparable sense of humor, along with Dan’s insight will have hilarious results that we can’t wait to see."

Lyons, who is also the technology columnist for Newsweek, made headlines late last year when, as the satirical "Fake Steve Jobs," he promoted an "attack" on the AT&T network due to poor iPhone reception. Dubbed "Operation Chokehold," the coordinated effort suggested by Lyons asked users to run bandwidth intensive applications on their phone at a specific time in order to "overwhelm" the AT&T network. Though the event had no impact on the network, an AT&T spokesman said there was "nothing amusing" about the stunt.

Coincidentally, "iCon" was also the name of a 2005 unauthorized biography of Jobs by author Jeffrey S. Young. Its publication inspired Apple to pull all titles published by John Wiley & Sons from the company's stores. The reaction earned the book free publicity, and caused the publisher to double the title's initial press run and race it to stores a few weeks ahead of schedule.
post #2 of 45
Casting Call

Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.
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post #3 of 45
I am not sure that this one has legs outside of the geek-community.

My prediction: 15 minutes of fame.
post #4 of 45
I really do hope that it's not just a hatchet job on Steve. I'm all for satire and good humor, as long as it's even-handed. It would be a shame if Jobs is made to look like the villain, while Ballmer et al serve as foils. With Steve having cancer and a transplant they would be walking a fine line between humor and kicking a guy when he's down.
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post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."

Hope it's funnier than the book with the same name. Man what a pile of stolen material that was (it was nothing but a collection of "as was (sometimes) cited in this other book you've already read"). Banning the publisher from the Apple stores was too good for him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICon
post #6 of 45
Epix fail.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I really do hope that it's not just a hatchet job on Steve. I'm all for satire and good humor, as long as it's even-handed. It would be a shame if Jobs is made to look like the villain, while Ballmer et al serve as foils. With Steve having cancer and a transplant they would be walking a fine line between humor and kicking a guy when he's down.

I get the gist of what you are saying--some of the SJ bashers on AI can be really cruel and heartless in their comments about SJ. As a counter point SB hasn't faired well on comments either--balance.
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post

Hope it's funnier than the book with the same name. Man what a pile of stolen material that was (it was nothing but a collection of "as was (sometimes) cited in this other book you've already read"). Banning the publisher from the Apple stores was too good for him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICon

Is it available on Kindle? Or Google Books?
無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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無心 The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders., Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit__Edward Abbey
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post #9 of 45
This could be really, really funny. Looking forward to the slaughter or egos.

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post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Casting Call

Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.

Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle

Bill Gates: Rick Moranis

Google board: Do no evil
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Writer and satirical "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons will team with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Larry Charles to develop a new half-hour sitcom set in Silicon Valley with an Apple-inspired name: "iCon."...

Lame.

Fake Steve Jobs was never funny IMO and Seinfeld is pretty much the only credit for Charles worth mentioning. This is two bottom feeders doing what they do best. Sadly, the popularity of Apple and Steve Jobs will sell the show regardless of it's inevitable comedic failings and people will like it because it's a "thing" not because it's well written or funny.
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle

Bill Gates: Rick Moranis

Google board: Do no evil

Like the Peter Boyle suggestion -- somewhere some one put a pix of PB in young Frankenstein in comments about SB.
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post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

Steve Balmer: Peter Boyle

Bill Gates: Rick Moranis

Google board: Do no evil

Judging by the title, it's just going to be about Apple and basically a direct slam on Steve Jobs. Despite the talk about doing Silicon Valley as a whole, the book of the same name is just about Apple, so the show probably will be too. They make deals like this based on the script and the script is based on the written property they are buying the rights to (iCon).

Lyons is so obsessed with Steve Jobs he probably can't do anything else, and (sadly), despite the much greater opportunity for comedy afforded by focussing on Microsoft, it's more likely that it won't have anything to do with Balmer or Gates at all.

Kicking people when they are "up," seems to be what America is all about, and Dan Lyons is obsessed by Steve jobs' success and life. Those are your two biggest predictors of what the show will be like.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Like the Peter Boyle suggestion -- somewhere some one put a pix of PB in young Frankenstein in comments about SB.

I think that may have been me, but Peter Boyle is out of the running since he is dead.

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post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think that may have been me, but Peter Boyle is out of the running since he is dead.

I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.
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post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Casting Call

Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.

There are plenty of fat, loud mouthed people in the world. It should be simple to cast Balmer. Even Gates shouldn't be too hard. Just find an overtly unjustified egoist with a voice perpetually cracking as if he hasn't gone through puberty should do the trick.
post #17 of 45
Not that Steve Jobs needs protecting, I hope it fails because of Dan Lyons. He just wants to keep leveraging off the one "success" he's had. Larry Charles will move on and be fine after it tanks. It's about time Lyons moves on too.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.

He was terminal on Everybody loves Raymond--the main reason they wrapped up the series early. IMDB had his info the day of his passing. He was a great actor. He's irreplaceable like so many that are now gone from Hollywood.
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

I didn't know that--checked PB's movies to find Young Frankenstein and no mention of his death, but checking wiki see PB passed away December 12, 2006. allred with embarrassment, allblue should have checked to see if PB would be available.

I don't see why Peter Boyle's death need necessarily preclude him from playing the part.
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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post #20 of 45
Sounds real cool to me.
With all the pathetic reality TV crap out there - anything that has writers behind it will be an improvement to the TV format.

New 'Breaking Bad' and 'Weeds' soon... might actually turn on the TV again.

Reality TV - proof that a thousand monkeys behind typewriters can write a script.
post #21 of 45
Never heard of Epix.
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Like the Peter Boyle suggestion -- somewhere some one put a pix of PB in young Frankenstein in comments about SB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think that may have been me, but Peter Boyle is out of the running since he is dead.

I mentioned it too, back in November in this thread: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...67#post1523767 Post 33.
Too bad Peter Boyle has passed away.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Fake Steve Jobs was never funny IMO and Seinfeld is pretty much the only credit for Charles worth mentioning. T

Interesting thing - I thought Dan was writing for Newsweek. Fired already? A hacks life is so hard sometimes.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am not sure that this one has legs outside of the geek-community.

My prediction: 15 minutes of fame.

Just what I was thinking.
Enjoy the pilot cause that's all there will be.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Just what I was thinking.
Enjoy the pilot cause that's all there will be.

If its like what is on 9 to 5 then less than 15 minutes -- a 30 second commercial

http://www.9to5mac.com/

scroll down
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post #26 of 45
It could be like
"Big Bang Theory" meets "Entourage".

I wonder who is going to play Larry Ellison?





C.
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

Sounds real cool to me.
With all the pathetic reality TV crap out there - anything that has writers behind it will be an improvement to the TV format. ....

Agreed.

Unfortunately, Dan Lyons is not a very good writer, and Larry Charles is going to be the director of this thing, not the writer. Also, neither of these two have ever written a show by themselves. Dan Lyon is a business writer, and Larry Charles is like ... third assistant gag-writer on most of those shows mentioned in his CV.

People might be confusing Larry Charles with Larry David, who is the real genius behind a lot of those comedy shows.
post #28 of 45
Don't count this one out yet. Larry Charles is good and Lyons has some smarts to him.
The FSJ blog had some very funny stories in it. And he would only have to write, what? 8 a year. If this goes more 30 Rock it could succeed. The cast of characters is compelling. Especially if they show the goofy side of corporate execs. Besides Balmer and othe "Tech" guys. Just think of the fun they could have with a show lampooning "old Media" paper barons.
I know it'll get downloaded mroe than it will be watched on TV.

But will it be sold in the Itunes Store. Expect there to be a whole kerfuffle aout it not being allowed in, just for media awareness. MAybe a petition from "Grassroots fans". Operation iCon watch indeed"
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post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post

Casting Call

Who will play Steve Balmer, Bill Gates and lets not forget Google's cast of characters.

Brin has to be played by Ray Romano. Have you heard the two of them speak?
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by benny-boy View Post

Brin has to be played by Ray Romano. Have you heard the two of them speak?

Hmmmm..... for that kind of wealth, I'll take those vocal chords!
post #31 of 45
I read the Fake Steve blog for a while, and the guy has a comic gift -- up to a point. He's actually a real Jobs-obsessed hater. The tipoff here is the title: "iCon." This is about a cable chief, right? Why drag in the bio that Jobs had pulled from the Apple stores?

When you look at Lyons' overall output re Apple, he's had a real mean on against the company, and personally against Steve, for a long time.
post #32 of 45
iCon can be translated in French as iCunt (if you didn't know already)
You have to add " e", in French, to make it an "icone", in English: icon or ikon,
which certainly some Apple products are.

iCon, as a TV serial, would mean a story about idiots, bastards, fools....
using another meaning of the popular use in French of the word "con"!
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Agreed.

Unfortunately, Dan Lyons is not a very good writer, and Larry Charles is going to be the director of this thing, not the writer. Also, neither of these two have ever written a show by themselves. Dan Lyon is a business writer, and Larry Charles is like ... third assistant gag-writer on most of those shows mentioned in his CV.

People might be confusing Larry Charles with Larry David, who is the real genius behind a lot of those comedy shows.

re-watch some Seinfeld classics and note who gets the writing credits at the opening episode.

Many of the funny ones are Larry Charles.

Though, like you suggest, many are also Larry David.

Larry Charles is an extremely funny dude. This show could go either way.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

I read the Fake Steve blog for a while, and the guy has a comic gift -- up to a point. He's actually a real Jobs-obsessed hater. The tipoff here is the title: "iCon." This is about a cable chief, right? Why drag in the bio that Jobs had pulled from the Apple stores?

When you look at Lyons' overall output re Apple, he's had a real mean on against the company, and personally against Steve, for a long time.

I never took him to be a Jobs hater, just an author trying to plumb some humor from oft-humorless situations.

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post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by peb View Post

iCon can be translated in French as iCunt (if you didn't know already)
You have to add " e", in French, to make it an "icone", in English: icon or ikon,
which certainly some Apple products are.

iCon, as a TV serial, would mean a story about idiots, bastards, fools....
using another meaning of the popular use in French of the word "con"!



This show sounded stupid to begin with, but now it's funny in a "I'm laughing directly at you" kind of way. Thanks you.
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post #36 of 45
Just think...

It could be a show about....

wait for it....

nothing!
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

re-watch some Seinfeld classics and note who gets the writing credits at the opening episode.

Many of the funny ones are Larry Charles.

Though, like you suggest, many are also Larry David.

Larry Charles is an extremely funny dude. This show could go either way.

I realize that I must be one of very few, but I found Seinfeld to be a very mediocre, unfunny show.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I realize that I must be one of very few, but I found Seinfeld to be a very mediocre, unfunny show.

Yup, you're right there. You are one of the few. Seinfeld is one of the greatest sitcoms ever made.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Yup, you're right there. You are one of the few. Seinfeld is one of the greatest sitcoms ever made.

If you had the attention span of a severe ADD patient. Ooooo KITTIES! (runs from desk).
post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Yup, you're right there. You are one of the few. Seinfeld is one of the greatest sitcoms ever made.

Particularly in the context of other sit-coms up to that point. It was genius. Groundbreaking, narcissistic stuff.

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