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TV Review: The Pete Holmes Show

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The pre-premiere promo for the Pete Holmes Show ran for what seemed like two months before the long-awaited moment finally arrived. It’s an interview-skit-silliness show, and it now follows Conan on TBS. A full half-hour with, as someone quipped, a “little known,” interviewing “little knowns.” 

pete-holmes-showI wondered, watching the promos, if Pete, unpleasantly fat — but very tall! — would ever become a “well known.”

In his first monologue, Holmes set me back by mentioning he was the “only white man” at an Enrique Iglesias concert. He went on to say that everyone else at the Iglesias gig was a young Latino girl.  Forgive me; I thought Latinos and Latinas were basically white. I could be wrong. Myself I even think black people are white. But as I was growing to find, Holmes is out of another place.

He does interviews. The feeling is, he is trying hard to shock the guests, not the audience, and to shake them up a bit.  He asked one fellow, no script, off the cuff, “At what age did you stop kissing your father on the mouth?” The guest, nonplussed, made some non-committal remarks. Then Holmes clarified the issue; he told viewers in all seriousness, that he, Holmes, kissed his particular father, well on the mouth, until he was about 10 years old. He seemed to feel that that insight was quite fascinating.  In the interview, with fellow stand-up comedian Kumail Nanijiane, he asked as off-topic as you please, “So, what do you think happens after we die?”  Remember, this is supposed to be a funny show, and to that point, it wasn’t entirely clear Nanijiane, from Pakistan, comes from an Islamic background. Nanijiane stated the correct Islamic answer, which wasn’t particularly funny. Nanijiane took the exchange in stride. I found it a little awkward.

Here’s another thing. Holmes laughs at everything he says. He doesn’t laugh like Tim Conway, or Harvey Korman, who made a great success of the “crack-up laugh” in every skit. No. He laughs as if he can’t believe he’s actually on television. He laughs as if he really has no control. He covers his mouth, and sometimes his entire face, and seems like a kid who just swallowed your pet frog and is afraid it might come back up. . If you see the show, you’ll see what I mean. And you definitely have to see it. Again, it makes me feel just a little awkward.  

Holmes mentions he was for a short time an “audience warm-up” comic for Jon Stewart, on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. By the time that bit of information came to my attention, I was already well  up on why the “short time” applied.

There is something positive to say! Pete Holmes is not only a stand-up comedian, but also a cartoonist, whose work is sometimes seen in the New Yorker. In truth, some of his drawings are funny. Not timely, not world shaking; but funny. Here’s one: tumblr_m2703n7tdi1rsoa3co1_500

I suspect we have here a young man from a wealthy background who managed to spend enough to get the Turner network to let him tie up a half hour each night. Maybe he hasn’t yet caught his breath. I think he might lose his shirt. And that segues nicely to one final anecdote. In one skit, he seems, and he really does seem, to be exposing himself fully and frontally naked to a young miss in his cast. He appears to be fairly comfortable; the young lady does not. I could be wrong; maybe it was funny.

I wish the man the best of luck. He thinks he’s John Ritter; unfortunately, he isn’t!

Photo:Splitsider.com   Cartoon:Tumblr


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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • lazy

    If you have an issue with a comedian not seeing everyone as white, you might have a problem with just about every comedian currently making anything on TV.

  • oregonian87

    All these comments about this review are so poor. This review has hit the nail on the head for me. It seems like anyone who thinks the Pete Holmes show is funny is someone who has a very poor taste in comedy. Pete Holmes laughs at himself as if he can’t believe he actually got his own show still. He’s a BIG goober. I’ve only been able to watch the show a few times for about 5 minutes because it’s comedy is very dull and Holmes is a HORRIBLE host. I will give it credit for trying to pull me in because it is a train wreck of a show that I just can’t seem to not check out each time Conan gets over…. PLEASE get off the air Pete Holmes show….

  • luifer

    John Laeki is a tireless crusader of blogs. He makes contributions to the wide world web of empirical science. John Lakke takes not only on life, but also on humor. John Laki is the closest thing to John Ritter out there. John Laki is thinner than Pete Holmes. There may or may not be any money behind this blog.

  • Roydo

    Wow this is one uniformed review….and reviewer for that matter.

  • toby

    lol at the “managed to spend enough to get the Turner network to let him tie up a half hour each night”. The lack of research or any amount of insight into Pete Holmes or the show is incredible for someone trying to write a review for public consumption. Keep this in your diary, not online, because whether intentional on your part or not, you’re obviously trying to pass along an unbiased review that is clearly supported by a foundation of personal distate and an obvious dislike of Pete Holmes.

  • Nik

    This has to be the most poorly written review of anything I have ever read. Is English your second language? I have no idea what the hell you’re trying to say with the third paragraph above. Also, you seem to be going out of your way to be offended, not to mention totally missing the jokes altogether. You do realize Kumail Nanjiani and him are friends and that whole dialogue was more or less a bit, right? If you genuinely didn’t like the show then that is one thing, I agree it’s been a bit hit or miss for me so far. But you obviously set out to dislike this before you even reviewed it, which is pretty much the number one indicator that you have no business writing reviews for anything.

  • Feet Holmes

    Pete Cracks me up. That’s it. He makes me laugh. His laugh makes me laugh. Even if it’s at his own jokes. Nothing wrong with that actually in his time slot, and style of show. I wish him the best. Late night is good with variety.

  • Dave

    Pete Holmes is a very well know comic who has been doing stand up for over ten years. He got this show from doing Connan (who’s company produces the show) and a very popular podcast. Not from daddy’s money. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but you should really do your research first.

  • BPAR

    I guess it’s just not for you.

  • Andrew

    This is a really bad review. Not well written, got Kumail Nanjiani’s name wrong, and it goes out of its way to be negative. Calling someone fat in your second paragraph doesn’t speak well for your integrity as a writer. I’m glad you didn’t like the Pete Holmes show, because I find it delightful, which is something I would have questioned had you agreed with me. I don’t know about your background as a reviewer but stay away from comedy. Your cynicism has no place in art.

  • John Lake

    Man calls me a ‘fucking idiot’ and criticizes my grammar. He may or may not have been wearing flesh colored shorts, and the young lady was miserable about the pointless bit. This is the only case I suspect of some rich mans son buying up a half hour. We agree on Korman and Conway; see, positive feedback! My bio is just fine, and I never use anything but great grammar. In short, keep those cards and letters coming!

    • oregonian87

      Your review is perfect!

  • Siphus

    you’re a fucking idiot. You’ve never heard of flesh-colored shorts under pixelation? Do you know that the female member of his “cast” was an actress hired to look uncomfortable? Have you ever heard of ANYONE ever “buying” themselves a talk-show that wasn’t an infomercial? You misspelled “Nanjiani”, and you used two examples of good comedians: Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. Congratulations on being completely irrelevant. Your bio is full of inaccuracies and bad grammar, and you should use natural light in your profile pic because you look horrible there, too. In short: I hate you.