Improvisational sketch comedy show featuring celebrities forced to perform a scene in which they have no idea what will happen. Based on the Australian series, Thank God You're Here (2006).
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Himself - Host (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Himself - Judge (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Ensemble (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Ensemble (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Ensemble (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Ensemble (7 episodes, 2007)
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 Ensemble (4 episodes, 2007)
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 Announcer (3 episodes, 2007)
Patrick Pinney ...
 Announcer (3 episodes, 2007)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
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 Game show contestant / ... (2 episodes, 2007)
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 Himself (2 episodes, 2007)
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Storyline

A weekly game show that showcases the improv skills of a group of four performers who walk into a live sketch without a script. The only thing they can count on is the greeting from a fellow actor in the skit, who proclaims upon their arrival, "Thank God You're Here!" Written by Anonymous

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9 April 2007 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Great premise, executed with a self-indulgent screech that is embarrassing to watch in an "America's Funniest Home Videos" sort of way
24 June 2007 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

Network: NBC; Genre: Remake; Reality, Comedy, Game; Content Rating: TV-PG (some suggestive adult content);

Season Reviewed: Series (1 season)

4 performers who walk through a door into a set they have never seen and are forced to bluff their way through a scene they know nothing about, all the while try to avoid being tripped up by the regular cast. With a premise imported from Australia, "Thank God You're Here" promises a free-for-all comedy playground. It could have easily been so much fun.

"Here" is, at best, only as funny as that segment's guest and given that most of them are actors and not comics that is more often than not, not very funny. Some of the players (or victims) are well known sitcom stars (Wayne Knight, Jason Alexander, Wendi Malik), some improv masters (Fred Willard disappoints but Jane Lynch steals the show) and some - like the receptionist in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" or George Takai - you've got to wonder what they're doing here. However, Takai is a real hoot as a doctor who walks through the door and gets a jump on the first line. Bryan Cranston proves he really is more talented than the final seasons of "Malcolm in the Middle" led on. Some, such as Lynch and Eddie Kaye Thomas, are almost able to create a character in the few minutes before Dave Foley hits the buzzer to put them out of their misery.

But then there are those performers that are grating to watch. Mo'Nique, "comedian" Shannon Elizabeth and set-destroying Tom Green do their usual tiresome lowest common denominator acts. "Here" never exactly hits comic brilliance, but with these questionable talents on the set treated just like everybody else the show becomes downright insufferable.

As always, Foley (fresh from celebrity poker commentary) is fun to listen to as judge while David Allen Grier is in look-away, full-blown family-friendly cartoon mode. Is Foley free to poke fun at this show or is he really exorcising frustration over a contractual obligation. I don't know and that's why Foley is so good. The regular players (including "Significant Others" Brian Palermo – God, I feel for him) are often funnier than the guests.

Some of the set pieces are clever in concept, some of them are not. Mostly it is set up like a theatrical Mad-Libs requiring the guest to complete sentences ("The three S's of success are…") or spontaneously make up a song and dance. Throw actors in a situation like this and (without Wayne Brady in sight) you are bound to get results that aren't always pretty, but most here are cringingly unfunny in an "America's Funniest Home Videos" sort of way. As "Videos" made notorious, "Here" uses frequent shots of an audience that is either euphoric to be in a real TV studio or lubed up on a great warm-up act to tell us that it is supposed to be funny. But for me is only mild amusement in seeing a celebrity sweat or stare out at the crowd blankly as they've just been tripped up by a line they didn't expect.

"Here" is one of those shows that exists in a Hollywood bubble; the bubble in which actors are patting each other on the back and assuming if they are enjoying themselves, than you out there in flyover country must be too. It is so amused with itself, so free to wink and nod at it's own camp and frivolousness that it never tries to be anything better. As I watched I just constantly wanted more. I wanted it pushed further. Edgier or funnier or more sophisticated. Just more on every level. It is Drew Carey in "Whose Line is it Anyway?" telling us that "the points don't matter" all over again. By God, why don't the points matter? Why is there nothing at stake? And if not, why should I watch?

½ / 4


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