[1997 Spelling Bee - a guy in a bee costume is consoling a runner-up in the "comfort room"]
Spelly The Bee:
It's OK, kid. Spelly The Bee says, not everyone can win. Someone has got to lose, and that someone just happens to be you.
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The Sklar brothers are enormously, uproariously funny and usually show it unequivocally several times an episode. Their spelling-bee-bell montage is hysterical, I've recounted it several times to people who blink at me, uncomprehending of the humor. I discovered the show in a dinghy hotel room on a dull business trip; laughing that hard saved my sanity. It's testament to their acumen and humor when people as funny as Jon Benjamin or Ed Helms will work with them. Those guys crack me up.
They have a good thing going, but there are a few big obstacles. ESPN Classic isn't exactly a ratings draw, so they won't get a lot of new viewers unless people stumble across it. It's too irreverent for a Disney network... The source material, too, can be so dull that they can't primp it enough to keep me interested. Steve Garvey made me a bit ill. I also think the genre of running-commentary-over-video is of limited appeal, which is too bad -- I love it. MST3K never really took off, although it stands its ground as a comedy great. Beavis and Butthead, while also enormously funny, had a lot of marketing weight and, let's face it, a bunch of schtick that struck a chord at the time it was out. Far be it from me to question Mike Judge's genius.
This has a sweet spot for viewership that's thirties, educated, geeky sports fans. For those of us in the demo, it's (probably short-lived) heaven. It may have a broader appeal, but I certainly don't hear people talking. I'm interested to see what Randy & Jason do with it, but I think they'll do their best work after it. There is certainly room for the slapdash comedy repartee they get going in mainstream television comedy.
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