Earlier this week, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, Inc., announced that its late-night talker Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen had earned a two-season renewal for fall 2011 and fall 2012 (seasons six and seven) in the largest CBS markets of New York City (WCBS), Los Angeles (KCBS) and Chicago (WBBM). The show also airs in most of the rest of America’s TV markets, in addition to being distributed globally.
If you leave the TV on after watching Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the show (or commercials for it).
Allen gave out this quote: “We are thrilled Comics Unleashed is renewed on these premier CBS stations in America’s top three markets. We can never have enough comedy in this world.”
Here’s the thing.
Comics Unleashed hasn’t aired a new episode since 2007. 2007! Just see about getting tickets for a taping. The most recent show you could ask for: June 19, 2007. That means the jokes you’re hearing Allen set up like a T-ball manager in Little League for his assortment of stand-up comedian guests are so old, most of the comedians would rather you never heard them again. It’s a TV credit that many comics rib each other about including on their resumes. And yet you’ve been hearing those jokes over and over already for four years now. And that means that each weeknight, Byron Allen’s monologue is bound to contain at least one topical joke that’s past its fresh on date. The other night, he cracked about Anna Kournikova. I’ve also heard him joke recently about Paris Hilton having to go to jail. LOL.
No wonder Byron Allen is filthy rich. He’s managed to keep a topical joke show in circulation six years after it’s on the air.
Certainly, plenty of sitcoms run in syndication for decades. That’s how kids like me even knew about Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch, or how you maintain your Seinfeld fix.
But something about this just seems downright wrong, doesn’t it? Especially if you love comedy. The least Byron Allen could do is offer to tape new episodes. I wonder how many comedians would be clamoring to join him, though. Would you?