Sneak Peek! Meet NBC’s “Untitled Sketch Comedy Pilot” Primetime Players
Forty years ago, NBC assembled a group of "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" for a live televised sketch comedy show on Saturday nights.
Can they start from scratch again in 2014?
Now take a look at your -- well, what will we call them, ready for primetime? how about just Primetime Players -- for the 2014 NBC Untitled Sketch Comedy Pilot.
Much like the original SNL, this new crop of comedians takes more than a bit of its influence from Chicago and Toronto!
Assembled for a group shot last month during filming at Universal Studios with executive producers Lou Wallach and Mick Napier and more of the crew.
From left to right in the picture, they are:
Diona Reasonover (from Detroit) is a performer on UCB Los Angeles house sketch team Last Slice. She already has a role in the upcoming TBS sitcom, Buzzy's.
Here is Reasonover's character and impersonation reel from 2013:
Derek Miller (in L.A., from Chicago) lists his credits on Twitter: "As seen on TBS, Comedy Central, MTV and long running LA improv show Opening Night: The Improvised Musical! Nerdist teacher." His TBS appearances were in prank show Who Gets The Last Laugh? and the short-lived 2012-2013 winter sitcom, Wedding Band, co-starring with Brian Austin Green and Harold Perrineau. His Comedy Central credits include Secret Girlfriend.
Blaine Swen -- from California to Chicago, where he created and directs the wonderful Improvised Shakespeare Company. Swen also performs and has performed on several great iO teams both in Chicago and Los Angeles. In 2010, I spoke with him during the Del Close Marathon just after he performed a one-man improvised musical. Swen also played multiple roles on NBC's short-lived midseason series this year, Crisis.
Emma Hunter (from Toronto) co-starred this spring on CTV's new sitcom with Dave Foley in Canada, Spun Out, and was a frequent panelist on the Canadian reboot of Match Game. Here she was at Just For Laughs in 2012:
And a more proper comedy reel, perhaps?
Lou Wallach (center, in shades)
Laura Cilevitz (from Toronto), like Hunter, was a frequent panelist on the Canadian version of Match Game. Onstage, her experience includes work as a duo in 7 Minutes In Heaven, and in the Canadian Comedy Award-winning group, The Sketchersons. She's also served as a "juror" on Much Music's Video On Trial. Here she is being interviewed (skip ahead a few minutes past the show intro) of Quip Talk.
Alex Moffat (from Chicago) has taught teens and youth through The Second City, and hosted El Show with Alex Moffat. Here's a vintage clip of him doing stand-up at Zanies.
And Moffat working the crowd at Comic Con:
Mark Little (from Toronto, via Nova Scotia, via British Columbia) -- a stand-up comedian and sketch player, with extensive credits up north including a role in the CBC sitcom, Mr. D., and the sketch group Picnicface, which enjoyed a 13-episode run in 2011 on The Comedy Network. As a stand-up, Little won both the Just For Laughs Homegrown Competition and the Great Canadian Laugh Off.
Mick Napier (in cap)
Chris Redd (from Chicago via St. Louis) -- Redd has performed all over Chicago, both stand-up and sketch, plus several regional TV commercials in the Midwest. He joined The Second City's e.t.c. cast after training at iO and ComedySportz, and was a producer/performer in the sketch show, Jokes & Notes.
Jet Eveleth (Los Angeles, via Chicago) -- Eveleth teaches for The Second City, and made iO her home in Chicago for 12 years. In Los Angeles, improvises with The Reckoning in iOWest, performs sketch in Jet and Paul at UCB LA, and two-person improv with Scott Adsit.
The Stormchaser Twitter feed recently shared a quote of Eveleth's, too:
Below: The NBC Untitled Sketch Comedy Show at a table read.