The Break with Michelle WolfLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 11/28/18 at 8:50PM EST
Michelle Wolf: “There’s so much on Netflix right now that it’s like it’s almost become a tomb"
Wolf tells GQ she pretty much knew her new talk show The Break was doomed from the start. “There’s so much on Netflix right now that it’s like it’s almost become a tomb,” says Wolf. When she told Netflix the show was too hard to find, she says, “they were like, ‘What’s your e-mail? We’ll just make sure it shows up.’ And I was like, ‘No! That’s not what I want! I can’t give you a million e-mails!’" But knowing that her show wasn't likely to survive freed her up to do her best work. “That’s when we really tapped in to be like, ‘We’re not gonna do what (Netflix) wants us to do," she says. "We’re gonna do the show that we want, and we’re gonna make it silly and fun.” Wolf adds: "I mean, our episode order was for 10 episodes. I just always knew 10 wasn’t going to be enough. You know they were either gonna see it and immediately be like, “We wanna invest in this—we’ll give you 30 more,” or they were just gonna let it play out. And they let it play out. At Seth Meyers, it took us a year and a half to two years to kind of figure it out. When Trevor took over The Daily Show, it took at least two years to figure that one out. The original Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it took him at least a year and a half." Wolf was also asked about Louis CK, her mentor, and whether he should perform at comedy clubs. Last month, Wolf's name was spotted on the same Comedy Cellar bill as Louis CK. "I think it’s for the audience to decide," she says. "I mean, if he’s gonna do shows and people wanna pay to see him, people wanna pay to see him. I have no control whether he goes up onstage or not."
Posted Wednesday 9/19/18 at 10:06PM EDT
How Netflix could fix its talk show problem
After the failures of Joel McHale, Michelle Wolf's and Chelsea Handler's talk shows, Netflix maybe should combine the binge model with the weekly release model.
Posted Monday 9/17/18 at 7:37AM EDT
It's hard not to think of Michelle Wolf's cancelation in wake of Norm Macdonald Has a Show
Source: The Daily Beast
The Break with Michelle Wolf and Norm Macdonald Has a Show only have the Netflix connection in common. Otherwise, they're not connected at all. Yet Macdonald's "sh*tty show" feels like a taunt coming so soon after Wolf's cancelation, says Kevin Fallon. "Norm Macdonald has a show and Michelle Wolf does not. That’s aggravating," he says. "It’s aggravating because of what Wolf’s show and her material contributed to the national discourse, and the utter pointlessness of what’s happening on Macdonald’s series. And it’s aggravating that this is the show we’re given in the wake of Macdonald’s controversial comments (last) week. All that... for this?" Fallon says Wolf's The Break "was a sharply written, carefully planned, high-production gem, a valuable and critically valued descendant of The Daily Show with a necessary point of view. (A woman’s!)" Meanwhile, Fallon adds, "Norm Macdonald Has a Show doesn’t even approach anything arguably valuable. In the first episode, David Spade gamely tells stories from the start of his career, but Macdonald barely seems to be paying attention. Everyone is maniacally laughing through the whole thing, but you can’t shake the notion that you just walked in on your uncles having beers in the garage cracking themselves up, but you’re just not in on the joke."
Posted Friday 8/24/18 at 10:43PM EDT
Is snark dead in late-night?
"The era of the Late Night Meanie is over," says Bethy Squires, in reaction to the cancelations of Netflix's The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale and The Break with Michelle Wolf. "Gone are the days when we’d line up for our nightly hate f*ck from David Letterman. Maybe the world is too cruel to sustain nightly acerbic wit, but the acid-tongued comic is no longer the prototypical late-night host. The format is dominated by happy, smiling Jameses. And next fall will see several actors known for their cheery dispositions take over the late-night scene. Hasan Minhaj, Busy Philipps, Jerry O’Connell, and Niecy Nash (with a pilot in the works) are in; Michelle Wolf, Joel McHale, and Robin Thede are out. And Conan O’Brien is stuck in the middle." Squires adds: "Back in the day, late-night TV was dominated by somewhat detached father figures who knew magic tricks, then, thanks to Letterman laying the groundwork, Jon Stewart and Conan opened the door for the snarky and smart. But now snark feels mean and smart feels pyrrhic. News commentary shows abound, but I hear more people talk about the impassioned pleas of Rachel Maddow than the somewhat removed perspective of Trevor Noah."
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 10:26PM EDT
Netflix didn't give Michelle Wolf and Joel McHale the constant promotion that talk shows require
The streaming service may have promoted The Break with Michelle Wolf and The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale on its YouTube channel, but both shows were noticeably absent from Netflix's famous recommendation engines, according to Kayla Cobb. She points out that Wolf and McHale's shows appeared fully developed from the get-go, which made their cancelation even more dumbfounding. "More than any other type of programming, talk shows require constant promotion," she says. "Their value comes from their ability to quickly react to the news, something that allows them to transition into a trusted household name over time. And that can never happen if a company buries its talk shows and cuts them down before they ever gain traction."
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 5:47PM EDT
Samantha Bee finds Michelle Wolf and Robin Thede cancelations "very disheartening"
Source: The Daily Beast
“I’m really, really sad about it,” the Full Frontal host says of BET canceling The Rundown with Robin Thede and Netflix axing The Break with Michelle Wolf over the past month. Bee tells The Daily Beast: “You have to take time as a network to develop things. If it’s not working for you in the time slot or whatever, you have to give a show more than 10 episodes to find its legs. It’s brutal. Shows need time to find their audience and they need adequate advertising. They need adequate promotional pushes to make that happen.”
Posted Monday 8/20/18 at 7:59AM EDT
Netflix accused of acting "classlessly" in canceling The Break with Michelle Wolf
Source: The Daily Beast
Netflix saved the news that it had canceled Michelle Wolf's The Break and The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale for the time of the week when bad news is usually dumped: at the end of the workday on a Friday. According to the Daily Beast, the news came as a shock to Wolf's writing staff and showrunners, who learned of the cancelation on Twitter. “None of us can believe how classlessly Netflix has handled this,” a source tells The Daily Beast's Matt Wilstein. It's unknown how many people watched The Break, but her clips did generate headlines. "Wolf, whose HBO special Nice Lady was recently nominated for an Emmy Award, will almost certainly land on her feet somewhere," says Wilstein. "But the fact that Netflix didn’t give her more of a chance, especially given its massive content budget and general willingness to renew mediocre shows, is a shame." Meanwhile, neither Wolf nor McHale reacted to the cancelation news on their social media accounts. ALSO: Late-night's bull market might be nearing its cyclical end.
Posted Friday 8/17/18 at 7:29PM EDT
Netflix cancels Michelle Wolf and Joel McHale's talk shows
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Netflix has decided to cancel both comedian-fronted talk shows after they each completed their first season. The Break With Michelle Wolf premiered May 27, one month after Wolf generated headlines with her White House Correspondents' Dinner performance, running for 10 weekly episodes. The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale premiered on Feb. 18 with a 13-episode weekly order that was expanded to 19 episodes, with the final six released on the same day in July. "Despite plentiful buzz following her controversial turn as this year’s White House Correspondents' Dinner emcee, Wolf's late-night entry failed to garner the kind of viewership that warrants a second season at the streaming giant," reports The Hollywood Reporter. "The same can be said for McHale's Soup-esque talker, which offered a mix of green-screen commentary and pre-taped sketches." McHale's talk show was Netflix's first talk show follow-up to Chelsea Handler's Chelsea, which was canceled last year after two seasons.
Posted Saturday 8/04/18 at 2:51AM EDT
Michelle Wolf's The Break hit a new gear when it took on the staleness of late-night's Trump jokes
Source: Entertainment Weekly
"I guess you could look at this segment as an inevitable evolution," Darren Franich says of Wolf's July 15 segment. "We had TV news, then we had TV shows making fun of TV news, and now we have a TV show making fun of TV shows making fun of TV news. I interpreted it, mainly, as a reflexive statement, a comedian steeped in late night pondering a new direction in late night comedy."
Posted Friday 7/27/18 at 6:05PM EDT
Michelle Wolf sends up The Staircase and other true-crime shows
Watch Wolf's The Break sketch proposing a new show called "The Husband Did It."
Posted Friday 7/20/18 at 5:13PM EDT
Michelle Wolf portrays Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on The Break
Source: The Hill
Watch as Wolf compares ICE to ISIS on her Netflix talk show.
Posted Tuesday 7/17/18 at 1:20PM EDT
Netflix non-subscribers can watch The Break with Michelle Wolf
Full episodes of Wolf's half-hour Netflix talk show are now available on Netflix's YouTube channel.
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 7:14AM EDT
Michelle Wolf goes after late-night talk show hosts and their Trump jokes
“I know we make a lot of jokes on this show,” she said on The Break. “But writing jokes is hard. You know what’s easier? An earnest plea. So I’m going to throw my pen down on the desk, I’m going to shake my head in crestfallen bewilderment, and I’m going to tell you that Trump is bad. The news is bad. Which means that I, a comedian, have to do you, the news’, job!” Wolf then proceeded to list a catchphrases and buzzwords, which she says comedians use to go viral, from "nevertheless I persisted" to "children in cages."
Posted Saturday 7/07/18 at 10:36AM EDT
Seth Meyers visits Michelle Wolf on Netflix's The Break
Meyers and former Late Night writer Wolf taped a segment in which they complained about the World Cup and each other.
Posted Friday 6/29/18 at 10:56PM EDT
Michelle Wolf fires back at GOP ad calling her "unhinged"
Source: The Daily Beast
The Republican National Committee used edited clips of Wolf, Samantha Bee, Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher and other left-leaning celebrities to bash the Democrats in the ad, titled “The Left in 2018: Unhinged.” In a segment from this week's The Break, Wolf responded to the ad: "Yeah, like a screen door installed by a blind lesbian, I am unhinged!” she joked. “Expecting people not to be unhinged right now is like expecting someone whose house is on fire to just keep calmly rearranging their bookshelf.” She added: “Right now, there are two things that should be unhinged,” she added. “People and those doors to the child cages.”