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Joel McHale and Seth MacFarlane join comedy forces

NEWS - MOVIE NEWS

The king of pop-culture snark meets politically incorrect animation genius? Genius!

Joel McHale

Joel McHale, best known as the snarky lawyer-student Jeff Winger on TV's Community, has been cast in Seth MacFarlane's latest project, Ted. Seth MacFarlane, the genius behind the hit shows Family Guy and American Dad,  is writing and directing the bizarre and hilarious-sounding Ted, which centers on a man's relationship with an anthropomorphic womanizing teddy bear who is ruining his life. MacFarlane will provide the voice of the bear, Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) will play the lead, with Mila Kunis (Black Swan, Family Guy) and Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) rounding out the cast.

According to Deadline, Joel McHale will play Mila Kunis' sleazy boss who hits on her repeatedly. McHale is great on Community, and even better on E's The Soup, as the host and also as a writer. McHale has three other movies coming out this year and just hosted the Spirit awards, and is set to continue with both TV shows as well as continuing his stand-up career. It's good to see some comedy ringers associated with the project: Seth MacFarlane is off-color and awesome; McHale is always fun to watch, and Kunis and Ribisi have comedy chops as well. The troubling moment, for me was in the casting of Mark Wahlberg as the lead; he was undeniably weak in The Other Guys last year. However, he was one of the high points in Date Night, playing Tina Fey (and Steve Carell's?) secret crush. Hopefully under MacFarlane's guidance, and opposite MacFarlane's personification of the teddy bear, his comedic performance can carry the movie.

While this is MacFarlane's first foray into screenwriting, and one of his first attempts at live-action writing and directing (as opposed to animation), it promises to be well-received. With a quirky and well-rounded group of actors in central and supporting roles, and a strange and appealing premise, Ted is one of next year's films that will be really interesting to see.


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