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Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show

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The only way this crappy excuse for a comedy show makes it past a couple of episodes is if Fox has a legal commitment to Grammer. There’s almost nothing to recommend this show.

For starters, the creativity level of the show is evinced succintly in the title. It’s The Sketch Show. Would a more generic name be possible? Perhaps if someone made a show called The TV Show.

This may be the lamest excuse for a “comedy” series I’ve ever seen on television. Intellectually, this show would be an insult to Three’s Company or Benny Hill. You don’t even get the good looking women in hot pants with this show.

Two guys in armor suits approach a hotel desk. “We need a room for two knights.” Cue the canned laughter. End of “sketch.” The whole show was that bad. Hell, they used that bit for the promos. Laugh-In was far more cutting edge. It also had more personality.

But hey, we got a million of ‘em if you don’t like that one. Hardly any of the others are significantly better, though. I saw writing credits for a half dozen people here, and this was the best you could come up with for a big opening? Not promising.

The last sketch was the worst offender, stretched out for several weary minutes. It involved Grammer in a studio performing “California Dreaming,” and the entire joke repeated many numerous times was simply that the backing singers are too stupid to repeat his lines. Besides just not being any bit witty or funny or amusing, it was positively damned annoying to have to hear Grammer massacre the song six or eight times- not to comic effect, but simply by being poor singing, repeated again and again and again.

The cast was OK, but they didn’t have much to work with. Perhaps if they were given decent material, they could do alright. The one thing I would say positive about the show at all, is that I appreciate the presence of Mary Lynn Rajskub. She did some good acting and heart stealing as computer geek Chloe O’Brian on 24. It’s good to see that she’s got work. She’s really good.

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  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Too bad, I had somewhat high hopes. Kelsey Grammer isn’t stupid or unfunny. How about his compatriots here?

    By the way if anyone saw the original British version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with Clive Anderson hosting it blows the American version out of the water. John Sessions was the mainstay there, far more intriguing than Ryan ???.

    The American version has its moments (and thankfully they don’t make anyone rap too often). Drew Carey is a poor embarrassment to the show when he tries to step up and get involved.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Seems you didn’t pay a lot of attention to WLiiA? when you watched it. Ryan Stiles was the mainstay of both the British and American versions – the only regular castmember of both shows. John Sessions is funny, but a very troubled individual who wouldn’t have translated well for an American audience. I do wish they’d get some new blood in on the American version – are they still making new episodes?

    Oh, and the Sketch show was so tired it made my eyes hurt. Kelsey Grammer should just bite the bullet, find a nice black sidekick and start refilming episodes of the Jack Benny show, since he appears to be channeling Benny 24/7 now.

    Dave

  • Timmy Extreme

    Actually, I found the short, pithy skits to be a welcome departure from the drawn out sketches of SNL and MadTV, and though simple, some like the astronaut locking his keys inside the lunar module had me on the floor. The “Imaginary Friend” bit was my favorite last night. For me, life is serious, so once in awhile a little creative (or not so creative) silliness is OK.

  • Jason

    Yes, let’s can this and put another “Who wants to marry a moron” show on TV. The Sketch Show is actually very funny, with the exception of a few lame one-liner skits like those mentioned above. Unfortunately, because so many critics are quick to boot, this one probably won’t get the chance it deserves. But I will enjoy it while it is on the air. Good work Kelsey.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    Jason, I’d just as soon they bumped this crappy show and put up dead air. Or you could try something else, or just put up King of the Hill reruns.

    This show just sucked. Admitted, I based this review on the first episode. But if they couldn’t come up with anything good after however long they get to put up the first show, they’re not likely going to get anything in the next 7 days before the next show.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Al, any network show is going to have a large writing staff, so I don’t think that’s any indication of quality. Having not seen the show, I can’t comment on it, but as comedy is subjective, I’m willing to give it a shot.

    And I’m a little confused: isn’t Laugh In generally considered a brilliant (for its time) variety show and generally pretty damned funny? I watched reruns as a kid and enjoyed it, anyway (it came on before Battlestar Gallactica).

    Does anyone else think that MadTV is the worst sketch comedy show to plague television, perhaps ever? I find it a painful experience in every sense, and as far from funny as it is possible to get.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    I wouldn’t object to a large writing staff- if they were coming up with good material.

    Laugh In was before my time, but seems somewhat amusing to me on TVLand. A lot of people would knock it one way or another as being unhip, or not having any satirical bite. In other words, they weren’t the Smothers Brothers.

    Carol Burnett gets similarly mixed reviews. Many people think of her show as the height of tv comedy. Yet on the other hand, her name was constantly invoked during the creation of SNL as shorthand for every cheap, lame corporate tv crap that they wanted to definitely NOT be.

    MadTV seems intermittently amusing to me. It’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I don’t see why it would be a special object of loathing.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    The mostly terrible MadTV has one thing going for it. The fat guy, Frank Caliendo, does an unbelievably accurate Bush, something no one on the lamer-than-lame SNL has been able to do in 6 years of trying.

    That skecth show by Grammer is BRUTAL. Terrible. Every sketch should by rights end with a wah-wah trumpet, a drum and cymbal, or even a loud “boooooiiiing!” effect.

    Sucks.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Yes, but Down Periscope is so funny, it excuses lots of later boring unfunny Grammer stuff. Just imagine Kelsey’s tattoo (a major issue in the movie) whenever the action goes into the toilet…

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    I will give them some credit for a maybe 2 minute sketch this week featuring a bunch of picketers with “War is bad” signs, when someone comes to join them- and starts making a couple of exceptions. Which ends up with the peace protesters chanting “KILL KILL KILL.” That actually went somewhere. There was, like, an idea in there.

  • Arnold

    This show was so painful…I had to leave the room after 10 minutes.
    “Oh look, he’s rubbing bird-poo on her back and she thinks it’s suntan lotion. Ha-ha-hahhhhhhh! Now look, the astronaut is using a remote to lock the space capsule. Oh, stop – – you’re killing me. Hahhhhhhh-Hahhhhhhhhh!
    My 3-year-old has said funnier stuff than what this show has to offer.

    If this show makes it thru April, I’ll be looking for the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be approaching on the horizon.

    Excruciatingly bad.

  • http://district.hlgaming.com Ben

    This show is horrendous. Almost as annoying as Billy Mays yelling at you for 30 seconds about oxyclean, or Mathew Lesko shreiking about avoiding taxes, except that it’s actually the show.

    I’ve only seen the first episode, did they even make another? I wanted to give it a chance, but every single line made me cringe. It’s that bad. It’s embarassing to watch. Damn you Kelsey Grammar, for wasting 30 minutes of my life.

    I can’t believe the network even aired it to begin with. The only reasonable explantion would be that no one actually watched it before popping in the tape and hitting play on national TV.

    I give it an F, with an F-minus for effort. Go to hell Kelsey Grammar.

    Absolute garbage.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    What day is it? I’ve never even seen it advertised. I’ve got to watch this train wreck at least once. Or at least try.

  • eva barrett

    The show was brilliant – gave me LOTS of laughs and other folks as well. It’s healthy to have at least 7 laughs a day – I got my quota and more.

  • Raura

    The show is not that bad! I laughed many times when watching it.

  • http://www.explicitnews.com Kevin Breen

    This was my favorite show for the short period of time it was on. The rapid fire comedy is a welcome break from shows like SNL and MadTV that don’t seem to understand the anatomy of a joke. This was a genuinely funny show, and I’m sure it would have been huge if it was on Saturday nights during MadTV and SNL.

  • Hafthorarinsson

    I think The Sketch show is one of the funniest comedy I’ve ever seen and I want more episodes!!!

  • Calder

    The Sketch Show is the funniest show of its kind I’ve ever seen. It’s witty and ironic and makes me laugh uncontrollably until it actually hurts. On the VERY rare occasion a skit isn’t funny, at least it’s over quickly. Leave it to the British, I guess.
    SNL and MadTV, on the other hand, tend to draw out their uninspired sketches until they become excruciating. Consider for example SNL’s “What’s Up With That?” sketch. It’s absolutely unbearable.