When TBS announced the lineups for its inaugural stand-up showcase series, The Very Funny Show, I looked at the list yesterday, posted it, then did a double- and triple-take wondering what was missing. What were missing were several of the comedians who performed sets for the show when it taped at Zanies in Chicago's North End during the TBS/Just For Laughs Chicago festival. I knew this — not only because I had posted the initial press release in May with a different set of stand-ups, but also because I was there to watch some of it in person. You can see me filming Godfrey behind Zanies during production (and also other comics in the background). Roll it, me!
What happened? When the 10-episode order went from production to reality, and TBS decided upon pairings of two per half-hour, that wasn't going to leave enough room for everyone. Network sources told me they made edits based upon who paired well. Those who didn't make the cut still could show up on TBS at a later date. Whether that's in a second "season" of the show, or in ads promoting the series, or other interstitials, is something TBS is going to have to figure out.
Sorry to be the messenger of this unlucky Friday the 13th news, my funny friends. One of the comics I contacted last night had no idea what was going on.
To wit. Here was the Just For Laughs Chicago taping list for The Very Funny Show, or how it appeared to us then:
Tim Meadows (TBS's The Bill Engvall Show, Saturday Night Live) hosts thirty of the freshest and funniest faces in stand-up as they take the stage at Chicago‚Äôs legendary Zanies comedy club. The Very Funny Show will be taped as part of a new series slated to air on TBS. Note: The Very Funny Show will have a different lineup of comedians each night. Please confirm the lineup before completing your ticket purchase.
SCHEDULE OF PERFORMERS
Friday, June 19 at 8:30pm: Sebastian, Henry Cho, Jeff Dye, Bob Oschack, Patti Vasquez, John Caparulo
Friday, June 19 at 10:30pm: Steve Byrne, Rachel Feinstein, Joe Matarese, Billy Gardell, John Mulaney, Hannibal Buress, Danny Bhoy
Saturday, June 20 at 7:00pm: John Roy, Dwayne Perkins, Andrew Kennedy, Godfrey, Wendy Liebman, Kyle Kinane, Dale Jones, Rocky LaPorte
Saturday, June 20 at 9:15pm: Al Madrigal, Erin Jackson, Dwight Slade, Roy Wood Jr., Matt Braunger, Mike Palascak, Bob Marley
Saturday, June 20 at 11:30pm: Tommy Johnagin, Ian Edwards, Pete Correale, Nick Thune, Whitney Cummings, TJ Miller, Louis Ramey
Actually, that list had 35 comedians. And here again is the list of 20 comedians appearing on The Very Funny Show when it's on TBS this winter:
Thursday, Nov. 19, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Henry Cho and Nick Thune
Thursday, Nov. 19, at 12:30 a.m. (ET/PT) Danny Bhoy and Whitney Cummings
Thursday, Nov. 26, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) John Roy and Louis Ramey
Thursday, Dec. 3, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Rocky LaPorte and Andrew Kennedy
Thursday, Dec. 10, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Jeff Dye and Wendy Liebman
Thursday, Dec. 17, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) John Caparulo and Kyle Kinane
Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Mike Palascak and Patti Vasquez
Thursday, Dec. 31, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Sebastian and Tommy Johnagin
Thursday, Jan. 7, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) John Mulaney and Pete Correale
Thursday, Jan. 14, at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) Al Madrigal and Billy Gardell
Oschack and Jeff Cesario are listed in the second TBS press release as contributing additional materials.
What's most likely is that TBS had planned to do 10 hours of programming for the series, only to decide later to go with half-hours, which then put the squeeze on for 15 unlucky stand-ups. I'm absolutely certain some of them will be just fine without this credit.