HBO Has Celebrities and Space Aliens in ‘The Gorburger Show’


HBO is bringing another web series to the small screen. The network has ordered a pilot for a half-hour show, based on the Funny or Die online comedy talkshow, The Gorburger Show.

The Gorburger Show is hosted by a giant English-speaking blue space monster, voiced and puppeteered by T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley). The series originated on YouTube in 2012, following as Gorburger invades a Japanese morning talkshow and holds the staff hostage while he conducts his own interviews with celebrities, musicians, and other cultural icons in an effort to understand what it means to be human. The digital show ran for two seasons online and featured notable namesm like Jack Black, Carson Daly, and Tegan and Sara, before recently getting picked up by HBO.

According to Deadline, the upcoming pilot project is part of Funny or Die’s deal with the network, which was previously home to the company’s sketch comedy series Funny or Die Presents. Josh Martin and Ryan McNeely (aka The Director Brothers) created and directed the pilot and also penned the script with Miller. All three will serve as executive producers alongside 3 Arts’ Dave Becky, Funny or Die’s Sean Boyle and Mike Farah and The Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone.

As Deadline reports, Ed Helms, Johnny Knoxville, and Moby have all already been booked for the HBO pilot. The episode will also feature a music collaboration between Danny Brown and HEALTH. Eagles of Death Metal will perform a new song from their upcoming LP as well.

If the combination of a giant alien and all those names sounds insane, that’s because it is. Miller himself has described the project to Entertainment Weekly as “batsh– absurd and an overall good time.” So what exactly can viewers expect?  “Interviews that can’t be found elsewhere,” according to Miller, as well as “gorecore and plenty of blood and Magic Castle visits and a pants cannon.”

But as over-the-top as that may sound, that’s apparently only the beginning. If The Gorburger Show is eventually ordered to series at HBO, Miller promises audiences that they can expect things to get even crazier. Some potential ideas he threw out for future episodes? “Bigger guests, larger cinderblocks and an interview with Cindy Crawford,” he told EW. Plus, viewers will learn that “Gorburger may or may not hold humanity’s fate in either his hands or the hands of his good friend and cousin, Norburger.”

The Gorburger Show is the second digital series that HBO has recently adapted to the small screen. Earlier this spring, the premium cable network picked up six new episodes of High Maintenance, the popular pot-themed series that debuted online in 2012 and later continued on Vimeo on Demand.

While both shows mark a couple of the rare web series to jump from online to premium cable, they’re far from the only ones to make the transition to television. Showtime has previously successfully adapted the Internet comedy Web Therapy, starring Lisa Kudrow. Meanwhile, basic cable channels have also found hits with their Web series-inspired shows, such as Comedy Central’s Broad City (which recently earned a third season renewal) and Drunk History (which is set kick off its third season later this year).

The Gorburger Show is the latest to join HBO’s slate of developing comedy pilots. The network also has three other pilots in the works, toplined by Issa Rae, Sarah Silverman and Whitney Cummings, respectively.

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