This week on "The Good, The Bad, and the Deeply Strange," my exploration of Comedy Central's short-lived shows, I’m looking at the sketch shows that only lasted one season. In the last installment, I dove into the deep well of reality and mockumentary shows. In the sketch department, there was a huge variance in quality from show to show; the good, the bad, and the strange are each well represented here.
All of the shows with full write-ups below are available on Amazon Instant Video for the curious, and all the shows without write-ups aren’t available anywhere, for better or worse.
Comedy Central might be getting a comedy/variety/magic show. According to Deadline, the network has given a pilot order to Sleight of Mouth, a weekly show produced by Chris Hardwick and hosted by comedian/magician Justin Willman that will fuse magic, sketch comedy, and @midnight-style social media interaction. Each week, Willman — who has appeared on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Chelsea Lately, and more — will "tackle a thought-provoking topic with sketches, social experiments, guest comedians, and interactive content." Click through to watch Willman appear on The Tonight Show back in December.
Popularized by The Office in the early 2000s, the “mockumentary” format has become the common TV style choice to tell loose, location-based, low-concept, character-driven comedies. However, aside from the interview cutaways and the cheeky Jim Halpert camera looks, shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation never truly embrace the idea that their presentation format is documentary or that their characters are anything but fictional.
Nathan For You, created, written, and directed by Nathan Fielder and now in its second season, is much more dedicated to being a true parody of the documentary/reality form both visually and thematically. Set up like a workplace improvement show in the vein [...]
After learning about the ridiculous amount of money Kim Kardashian is making off her new celebrity-themed iPhone game, Colbert decided to create his own app last night called I'd Tap That!, which doesn't seem as addictive as Kardashian's app but at least is more up front about its money-grubbing.
Comedy Central cancels a lot of shows. Enough that Daniel Tosh was able to shout one out in every episode of the first five seasons of Tosh.0 (“We’ll be right back with more Michael and Michael Have Issues”). Tosh’s show has thrived, but what about the supposedly failed shows he mocked? Were any of them good? Why did so many of them only last one season? What if they were supposed to only last one season? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a look at all the Comedy Central shows that lasted just one season.
First up: the reality and mockumentary genre.