In this bizarre mélange of sitcom and variety show, Canadian porkpie-wearing comic Seán Cullen weaves musically-backed standup into especially absurd (and generally quite risqué) comedic ...
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In this bizarre mélange of sitcom and variety show, Canadian porkpie-wearing comic Seán Cullen weaves musically-backed standup into especially absurd (and generally quite risqué) comedic plots. Cullen shares his house with his Band who live in the living room, Betty and Sonny who live in the kitchen and Winston who dwells exclusively in the cellar. Each week Sean welcomes special guests into his home for a half hour to experience his own peculiar brand of comedy. Apparently not quite satisfied with that degree of unconventionality, Cullen has quite jarringly ripped down the fourth wall, adding studio audience participation to the mix as well as involving a pair of "critics" sitting in the crowd as an integral part of the cast. Written by
The Sean Cullen Show was pretty much an abomination. Here is supposed to be some of Toronto's best comedic talent and it fell flat on its face. I'm not sure why Canadian TV producers just can't produce a situation comedy like everyone else in the world. CTV seems to have it with Corner Gas, so where's everyone else?
If you look at every other sitcom based on a comic's standup (Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres) they have the comic play a character either themselves or someone close to themselves. Why couldn't' Sean Cullen be some blue collar dude, and here are his neighbors and his family and friends. A sitcom is about the writing and the characters, the backdrop doesn't really matter.
So the Sean Cullen Show decides it's going to be different. The CBC who is using tax payer's money, isn't going to go with a business model that works, instead they want to re-invent the wheel. Here's what you get. A show that is confusing, the whole 50's as deviant lifestyle is so played and unoriginal. Bring down the fourth wall didn't work either; it brought the momentum of the show down every time they had to cut to the audience. Giving away prizes was also pretty cheesy. Are you a comedy show or a game show? Make up your mind.
It's too bad that so many talented Canadian writers wind up in L.A. If you ask them, many will tell you the opportunities were better in the U.S. But many of them will also say that there weren't a lot of opportunities in Canada. Perhaps if Canadian networks like the CBC would create a sitcom and create a writing room with 20 talented available writers, then maybe one day they'll actually have a hit on their hands.
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