Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts give you a reason to watch SPIKE with inspired improv in “Players” pilot

I have to admit that part of me worried that Players, the new sitcom from Upright Citizens Brigade leaders Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts, might not be very good. All of that part of me, it turns out, was worried simply because their series is airing on SPIKE.

Let's just say some of SPIKE's original programming seems like it's leftovers that got passed over from other networks. The "sitcom" that airs before Players, called Blue Mountain State, didn't appear to have any actual jokes in it — merely college football jock premises and the hilarity of compromising sexual positions with Cloris Leachman, in the episode broadcasted immediately prior to the debut of Players. The page for BMS calls it a "new original comedy," and yet the reality is the exact opposite. More BS than BMS, am I right? I bring all of that up because for all of the effort that seemingly goes into that series, knowing how Walsh, Roberts and their funny friends are able to take something as basic as an Arizona sports bar and a plot outline, then weave some inspired improvisational punchlines and moments out of it. It's really great. Don't want to take my word for it? You can watch the premiere episode, "Krista's Mom" (no, not "Grand Reopening," despite what The Onion seemed to think), again tonight on SPIKE. Or you can watch it right here, at your convenience. New episodes air at 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

WATCH: "Krista's Mom," featuring a great guest-starring turn from Paul Scheer. Uncensored.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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