Comedy Central On A Role With New Original Shows
Comedy Central, the basic cable channel that has been making a name for itself with original programming, has lately been on a role with its newest slate of shows. In particular, sketch and panel shows that revolve around specific comedians’ voice and style. These stand-up comics and comedy writers/performers have for years been working to build up an audience with their unique sense of humor. These shows have allowed them to freely express what they want to do in order to make audiences laugh. The following is a rundown of new programming on Comedy Central and clips that highlight what the shows offer.
The Burn with Jeff Ross
Stand up comedian and insult comic Jeff Ross, who made a name for himself on The Friars Club and Comedy Central celebrity roast specials, delves into contemporary pop culture news with his own sharp yet darkly witty sense of humor. Each episode includes a panel of friends and fellow comedians as they bring in their own take of what’s going on in the world.
What’s great about Ross and his fellow panelists are that they are not afraid to hold back any insults towards one another to each of their faces as well as play along and include some of their own self-deprecating observations on themselves. Ross has developed such a reputation and fan base that many audience members willfully allow Ross and the other comedians to do some “speed-roasting” and make some quick jabs just based upon their appearance or responses about their personal lives.
The last segment of each show is “Too Soon?” whereby Ross does a roast / eulogy for recently passed celebrities or someone anonymous who died in a humorous or idiotic way such as a man who suffocated by his girlfriend’s breasts. “The Burn with Jeff Ross” has wrapped up its first season of 12 episodes split into two runs over the past year and has been renewed for a second season.
The Jeselnik Offensive
Comedy Central’s second latest panel show stars comedian Anthony Jeselnik, who like Ross, began making a name for himself with mainstream audiences from the annual Comedy Central Roast specials. Also considered an insult comic, Jeselnik has developed an on-stage persona of a young handsome guy with a completely confident delivery but with a dark comedic style that revolves around sociopathic non-sequiturs.
In a similar format to Jeff Ross’s show, Jeselnik discusses various contemporary pop culture and world event stories but with a dark twist. What can be off-putting for many audiences is Jeselnik’s ability to make an insulting joke with a serious and often emotionless facial expression. Much of the jokes that surround his material is unabashedly politically incorrect and jabs at cultural stereotypes. The second segment of each episode includes two fellow comedians to riff on various stories, like Patton Oswalt, Aziz Ansari, and Jeselnik’s on-and-off again girlfriend Amy Shumer. With each guest, “Jeselnik has a segment called “Defending Your Tweet” where he puts them on the spot about a past tweet made on Twitter and asks them to publicly defend their joke.
From stand-up comedian and actor Nick Kroll, “Kroll Show” is a sketch show that brings his own brand of humor and cadre of characters he has developed over the years. Best known for playing Ruxin on FX’s “The League,” Kroll is able to branch out with and let his comedic abilities fly. Over the course of the first season, recurring characters and storylines overlapped, in particular his satirical take of the Bravo cable channel’s endless amount of reality-based television shows that attempts to glamorize various professions and families. In “PubLIZcity,” Kroll goes drag alongside Jenny Slate as close friends both named Liz who run their own public relations consulting agency as cameras follow them around various projects.
“Armond Of The House” centers around Dr. Armond, California’s premier “pet plastic surgeon” and his family. However, over the course of the season and the break-up of his family, the reality show evolves into various spin-offs that pokes fun at how cable television reality shows endlessly produce unnecessary programming that idolizes materialistic and self-centered people of particular wealth.
For those who have been fans of Kroll over the last several years are aware of his various characters he’s created for internet videos and comedy podcasts, like flamboyant Mexican radio DJ “El Chupacabra” and the smooth talking Ed Hardy enthusiast Bobby Bottleservice with his own ghost hunting reality show.
After wrapping up its first season, Comedy Central announced the renewal for a second season of “Kroll Show” after only the first two episodes had aired.
Nathan For You
Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder originally studied business in college and decided to put his degree to good use by consulting struggling small businesses in California to help expand their customer base. His unorthodox ideas may sound controversial or risky, but the business owners he sincerely wants to help out just can’t say “no.” In this quasi-reality show, Nathan works with real businesses and real people but implements absurd promotional campaigns in the hopes of drawing awareness of the businesses to boost sales. In the premiere episode, Nathan helps out a frozen yogurt store by creating a unique flavor to draw in customers. Unfortunately, the flavor he suggests that would hopefully create buzz for the business does not sound very tempting:
What makes “Nathan For You” interesting and funny is Fielder’s un-ironic and genuine efforts to help small businesses but the humor is found in his suggestions and the reactions by both the business owners and the consumers who participate in the campaign. In another episode, Nathan’s idea to stage an animal rescue caught on video at a petting zoo goes above and beyond when it becomes a viral video.
The Ben Show with Ben Hoffman
Comedian Ben Hoffman created a sketch show that also revolves around Ben’s personal life and the “life journeys” he is pursuing in each episode. The common theme for each episode revolves around Ben’s attempts to achieve a certain goal while receiving advice from the real people in his lives like his father through web video chats, his therapist, and former girlfriends. In addition, Ben reaches out to real professionals that assist him in achieving his goal. For example, in the premiere episode, Ben sets out to buy a gun for the first time. While a novice, Ben believes buying a gun will help with his lack of confidence because of his admission to having a small penis. He meets with a gun store employee and seeks out advice from others over the course of his background check waiting period.
Meanwhile, the show is littered with numerous sketches that showcase Hoffman’s sense of humor:
A recurring sketch involves Ben talking with former child actor Todd Bridges who’s had a history of drug abuse and hitting rock bottom. Set to animation, Bridges recalls some strange and surreal events when being with fellow substance abusers.