If you see Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Madsen and Keith David on a cast listing, you’d be perfectly within your right as an entertainment fan to assume the project was a straight-to-DVD thriller about a murderous husband. But that’s not the case here at all, as the three actors have all signed on for recurring roles on the upcoming Comedy Central series Big Time in Hollywood, FL, which is coming to TV through Ben Stiller’s Red Hour and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Written by actor Alex Anfanger (Burning Love) and his Next Time on Lonny director Dan Schimpf, Big Time in Hollywood, FL stars Anfanger and Lenny Jacobson (Nurse Jackie) as Jack and Ben, two filmmaker-wannabe brothers who get kicked out of their parents’ house and must then figure out how to make it on their own in the outside world. I’m guessing they’re going to try to make movies about their trials and tribulations. Kathy Baker (Picket Fences) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Californication) play the brothers’ parents Diana and Alan, respectively.
It takes a certain kind of celebrity to pull off playing a heightened version of his- or herself on a comedy series, but it seems like a skill centered squarely in Gooding Jr.’s acting wheelhouse. (Find your inner Rod Tidwell, Cuba!) The Oscar-winning actor will play himself for six of Big Time’s ten episodes.
David, meanwhile, will also star in six episodes, but as a federal agent sent to Hollywood, Florida to investigate Cartel activity. I love when David gets involved with comedy, as he’s much funnier than his intimidating presence might convey. He’ll never utter a line funnier to me than his Requiem for a Dream line when he tells Jennifer Connelly’s character, “I know it’s pretty, baby, but I didn’t take it out for air.” I guess that isn't a comedy though.
And then there’s Mr. Blonde, Michael Madsen, who will appear in four episodes. Deadline describes his character exactly as you’d expect him to be. He’s a “grizzled, alcoholic private detective hired by the family to track their sons’ criminal activity.” Given David’s character will be around for six episodes, it seems likely that Jack and Ben’s illegal dealings involve Cartel figures in some way.
Gooding Jr. has seen something of a career resurgence, with recent roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Don Jon and Machete Kills. He’s currently filming Ava DuVernay’s historical drama Selma. David, whose Fox series Enlisted was unfairly cancelled, voices the Flame King on Adventure Time and he’ll be playing Don King in Jesse Vaughan’s upcoming boxing drama The Last Punch. Madsen, who’s in about 300 films a year it seems, voiced the heinous Carver for Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game and is set for a role in Quentin Tarentino’s The Hateful Eight.
Big Time in Hollywood, FL is currently filming and will hit Comedy Central in 2015.