“Big Lake,” Comedy Central’s Funny or Die multi-cam sitcom, was screened before a live audience

Chris Gethard, Horatio Sanz presented an exclusive preview of their upcoming Comedy Central sitcom, Big Lake, that was more than just your basic sneak peek. For one thing, the audience last night at the UCB Theatre would be providing the live laugh track for two episodes that already were taped as a multi-camera sitcom (without an audience) at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City.

Well, I guess that one thing would be enough, wouldn't it? But Gethard and Sanz themselves acknowledged it was their first time seeing any of the footage themselves, too! Gethard joked for the packed audience — which also included fellow cast members Chris Parnell and Dylan Blue, others from Gary Sanchez Productions (Funny or Die) such as Owen Burke and Chris Henchy, and still others from UCB's L.A. branch who'd come "home" to catch a glimpse of FoD's first sitcom. We didn't get to see the pilot, but we did get to watch two of the other first 10 episodes ordered by Comedy Central (with the network holding an option to order 90 more).

In the lead role, Gethard told us that everyone in the supporting cast plays a different level of crazy, which is odd, because as he said: "My character singlehandedly brought down a bank. An institution. And I'm the straight-man."

"You say straight-man. I say Irish Woody Allen," Sanz added.

So Gethard's character, having squandered $200 million and losing all $385,000 of his parents' retirement fund, moves back in with them. I forgot to write down his TV mother's name, but Deborah Rush plays his TV mother, while his father is played by character actor James Rebhorn (whom I once saw at a comedy show at Rififi, so how's that for nerd cred), while 14-year-old Dylan Blue plays Gethard's younger brother who's operating a secret crime ring. Sanz plays Gethard's longtime friend who's also a lovable loser. And Parnell plays a burned-out high school teacher who hangs out with Sanz and Gethard. The second episode they screened for us, described as "Chris falls in love," was a stand-out. I don't want to give anything away, but I did write down one of the many laugh-out-loud lines from that episode, as Parnell's character answers a question thusly: "If I told you what was under it, that would defeat the purpose of the tarp."

Big Lake debuts Aug. 3 on Comedy Central.

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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