Tenderizing Tough Crowd

Filed Under Late Night

Tough Crowd might be back... sorta. The same producers from Tough Crowd have a new pilot at comedy central featuring discussion on the day’s events. Rather than Colin Quinn hosting, Greg Giraldo will be helming the show… his second show as he still a part of the Hollywood newsmag parody Gone Hollywood, which is also at consideration at Comedy Central. Instead of four panelists, three. And the format: discussion, discussion and man on the street bit. Oh, and a new name. But still, it’s Tough Crowd... sorta. (As Tough Crowd was Politically Incorrect... sorta.)

The real test for this will be if the fans on cringehumor.net (who organized a Save Tough Crowd campaign which I now suppose kinda succeeded) embrace it. The site’s operator, Patrick Milligan attended and reviewed one of the pilot tapings. He mentions Greg Giraldo’s audience warmup request to not hear that the show’s just “a second rate Tough Crowd.” Patrick promptly calls it “Tough Crowd lite.” He waxes quite a bit about the show is pretty tight and rehearsed as opposed to the anything-could-happen nature of Quinn’s show. (He also curiously mentions that many of Colin’s old regulars want to have nothing to do with the new show.) But he admits there’s lot of “smooth comedy” there and hopes it makes it on the air, but in an hour format on Friday rather than paired with The Daily Show.

As for what should follow The Daily Show? Appealing to the political/socially interested viewer is a good instinct. Tough Crowd itself became too much about watching the comedians crack on each other rather than the day’s events. Having a comedic discussion with substance has still only been done well by Bill Maher. Even if you think the man is smug, he still can be funny and hold an intelligent conversation about an issue at the same time. Maybe Giraldo can too. The Daily Show stature has gotten so strong, it’s hard imagining any show following it could escape its shadow. Doubly so anything political. So personally, I’m hoping “Gone Hollywood” is something equally satirical about our mind-numbing celebrity culture.

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