Alan Davies, the British comedian,
host sidekick of QI and star of Jonathan Creek, heads up a new chat show this evening across the pond in the U.K. that purposefully has no title until the end of each episode, when he asks his comedian guests to come up with one with him.
Everything before that on As Yet Untitled on the Dave channel, however, looks and sounds rather familiar to comedy fans who remember the recent two seasons of Showtime’s The Green Room with Paul Provenza. Here’s a look at Davies and his version:
And here is Davies describing his series, in his own words:
“It’s a conversation. This show is quite different from other shows in that you sit comedians around the table. You have them put their back to the audience and talk to each other. And it’s the collective conversation they have that makes it engaging and funny.”
From the UKTV press release: Filmed in front of an audience, each episode will feature an eclectic mix of ‘A list’ talent, alongside fresh ‘up and coming’ faces, in a unique and intimate way. Followed by this quote from UKTV Commissioning Editor, Iain Coyle: “Any comic will tell you the funniest place at a comedy club is not on stage, or in the audience, but in the green room or dressing room, where comics are totally relaxed. There you get a different type of funny, spontaneous and very Dave.”
Or very very very much The Green Room with Paul Provenza, now, doesn’t it?
Provenza was active on Twitter over the weekend asking people to judge for themselves, with a reminder of what his show looked like. Here:
There are and have been other chat shows that promise intimate opinion-sharing by comedians and funny people — heck, J.B. Smoove’s Four Courses does a very similar thing (without a studio audience) on MSG. And that, in turn, may remind you a bit of Jon Favreau’s old Dinner For Five series.
As Provenza noted over the weekend, regarding the Dave show with Davies: “What’s sad is it would have been so easy to do it in their own way – instead they CHOSE to make it look/feel identical.”
If only there were some evidence that Davies and Provenza had themselves crossed paths in between Provenza’s Green Room and the “birth” of Davies’ idea for As Yet Untitled.
Oh, here’s a podcast from Edinburgh: