Bill Lawrence joins his “Undateable” cast of comedians on a promotional comedy tour

NBC still hasn’t announced a premiere date for midseason sitcom Undateable, but by sending out its four stand-up comedian stars (Chris D’Elia, Ron Funches, Brent Morin, Rick Glassman) on a tour that starts Sunday in New York City and hits nine major TV markets through the end of March, you’d expect to hear a primetime slot for the series opening up by April!

“Since it’s so hard to launch a network comedy in this competitive landscape, we thought we would try a little grassroots marketing,” said co-creator and executive producer Adam Sztykiel. “Plus, it will be exciting to see Bill (Lawrence) travel around in a van.”

It’s becoming less unusual to see a TV sitcom packed with stand-up comedians. Less so, even, to then see that show pack the stand-ups together and send them out on the road. TBS has done this at least a couple of times with the guys from Sullivan & Son (Steve Byrne, Ahmed Ahmed, Owen Benjamin, Roy Wood Jr.). TBS also hyped up the acquisition of Conan O’Brien with the Team Coco tours.

For NBC and Undateable, this tour significantly also puts its co-creator and executive producer, Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City, Cougar Town, Clone High) front and center as its host. The Undateable comedy tour starts Sunday at Carolines on Broadway — where D’Elia already is headlining the Thursday-Saturday night shows.

Lawrence, writing to his fans/followers @VDOOZER on Twitter, already is poking fun at himself as the lone non-stand-up on the bill. Things such as quoting D’Elia’s Tweets and adding, “I’m okay with it being ‘his comedy tour.'” Followed a half-hour later with a query: “Does anyone have time to show me how to do stand-up comedy before the weekend?”

Last Friday (Feb. 21), Lawrence was similarly self-deprecating. And also deprecating by association.

  • “Other dates/venues announced this weekend or Monday. Come see me flail at stand up while 4 pros crush it.”
  • “Friends. Retweet this: … it shall be fun. And drink-y.”
  • ““@Wolf_six: @VDOOZER You’ll be at all the shows? Or just NYC?” Performing/dragging the gang down at all shows.”
  • “Wife, @ChristaBMiller does not seem confident about my upcoming stand-up tour. Making me nervous…”

Sounds like those Cougar Town wine meet-ups are no joke!

As for Undateable, the TV series, it’s based upon (or inspired by, whatever term is more in vogue) “Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex” by Ellen Rakieten and Anne Coyle. D’Elia, Morin, Funches and Glassman star as said “undateable” guys who meet up with D’Elia’s sister (played Bianca Kajlich). Here’s a video with D’Elia and Morin from the NBC Upfronts presentation last May announcing the show’s pick-up to series:

The Undateable stand-up comedy tour:

One more recently related missive from Lawrence: “I’m excited about the Undateable comedy tour finale being in LA, because I’m treating it like a massive ‘friend test.'”

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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