Do y’all remember back in the 90’s when Keenan Ivory Wayans left Fox’s groundbreaking sketch comedy “In Living Color” over a contract dispute? Fox decided to continue with the show and added a bunch of new faces to the cast which included future Oscar winner Jamie Foxx and the terribly unfunny Ali Wentworth? Well she’s back with Nightcap on the POP Network. I liked Ali Wentworth best when she was an Oprah correspondent or serving as a guest co-host on The View. On Nightcap, Wentworth portrays Staci, a talent booker for the fictional late night talk show “Nightcap with Jimmy”. The focus is on how Staci manages her staff, while dealing with booking celebrities for the show. I saw the promo for the show while watching The Tonight Show and excitedly set my DVR. I sat through 3 episodes and I was more annoyed than amused. Begging Denis Leary not to cancel last minute? Yawn…(and I LOVE Denis Leary) interview with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos who were looking for a surrogate to carry a child for them? C’mon! you know they ain’t havin’ no mo’ kids! That episode centered around Wentworth convincing her assistant to interview for the job and how annoying and difficult Ripa and Consuelos were as they interviewed her. Zzzzzzzz. I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like this show and then I realized…It’s a poor imitation of one of my all-time favorite shows…30 Rock. Check out Nightcap on the POP Network and see for yourself.
What does mainstream America see in Amy Schumer? Lately, I’ve seen her commercials for Bud Light and Old Navy and I just don’t get it. I watched a few sketches of hers on YouTube and I enjoyed “The Last “F–able day” and “My Dream Breakup”. But they weren’t gut busting hilarious. Chris Rock directed her last HBO special at the Apollo Theatre and said he thought she was hilarious. I respect Chris Rock as a comedian but I can’t relate to Amy Schumer’s crude, crass and cringe inducing comedy.
One comedian I think is killing the game right now is fellow Chicagoan Deon Cole. He’s absolutely hilarious as Charlie on ABC’s Blackish and as Officer DJ Tanner on TBS’s “Angie Tribeca“. Cole was a part of the Emmy nominated writing staff for Conan O’Brien and recently released his first stand-up special Cole Blooded seminar. I am looking forward to what he does next.
I also want to give special shout outs to Constance Wu and Randall Park of “ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat”. Wu makes me laugh out loud with her portrayal of competitive mom Jessica Huang and Park as her husband Eddie, is the perfect straight man. When I first watched the show last year, I was turned off by the writing and what I perceived as cultural tourism. I gave it another chance this year because it comes on after American Housewife and I cannot stomach its competition, CBS’s Bull.
It’s time for CBS to cancel “Two Broke Girls”. I LOVED the original premise. A privileged daughter of a jailed Wall Street businessman with no where to go, gets taken in by a working class waitress who is trying to start a cupcake business. The humor is sexualized and stereotypical especially between the characters Oleg and Sophie, and I loved the fact that SNL’s Garrett Morris is a part of the cast. Now it’s 5 years later and the focus has shifted from the girls struggling to start their business to the wacky dynamics of the people they work with at the diner. Watching it is like eating the same chicken dinner with different side dishes for five years. I’m fed up.
Finally, there are two new late night shows that are attempting to build on the legacy Arsenio Hall built. TV One’s “Donnie After Dark” is a slick hour of former BET Video Soul Host Donnie Simpson interviewing celebrities and musical guests. I don’t know if it’s a weekly or bi-weekly show, but it is a great showcase for R&B artists and actors of color you wouldn’t see on traditional late night TV. When’s the last time you saw Tisha Campbell Martin, being interviewed with her husband Duane and Kenny Lattimore as the musical guest? Deuces and Mero on Viceland are newcomers to late night TV and if you like non-traditional comedy featuring guys who remind you of your friends…this show is for you. The show is basically two guys from the Bronx, talking pop culture, interviewing musicians, athletes and anybody else they find interesting. They remind me of guys you see sitting around talking at the barbershop or in front of the local convenience store. They are funny and fresh. Definitely worth a look.
Next time…we talk holiday specials.