May 28, 2007
Thank God You’re Here started on NBC a few months ago. I was intrigued because I love improv/sketch comedy. They were going to have on some moderate celebrities. The idea was that a celebrity would be dressed in some sort of attire related to the skit they were about to do. They knew nothing about it. They would be sent through a door with the show’s cast prepared with a story. During the sketch the cast would set up the celebrities for jokes. The average performers only got creative when prompted by these queues. The solid performers would take over the scene, not waiting for their turn. It was surprising how few of them actually took control.
David Alan Grier is the host. I usually enjoy him. Dave Foley is the judge. I don’t mind Dave Foley, but was a judge needed? He was nice even when somebody was terrible. He apparently picked who was the best on the show and gave him or her a trophy.
I watched a the first few shows but it was nothing that I was going to watch during primetime. There are too many other options. I tried to DVR it, but I never had a desire to watch it. It would just sit there in my recorded list until I realized I was never going to watch it.
I do think the show could be a lot more successful. It should be on some cable channel at various times during the day. If I just caught it randomly during the day I’d be more likely to watch it. Each skit should be put on YouTube. Then have people vote on the best ones and direct people to the better ones. It may even be better to start online. Instead of a celebrity doing one scene have them do a couple when they come in. Make the TV show the best of these skits as voted online.
I do have the desire to try it out, to play the role of the celebrity. I think there are a lot of people that would enjoy this. Now its not good for TV, nobody cares what I do. I just think it would be a lot of fun. The cast is there to help me out a bit, if it turns out I’m terrible. If I was decent I’d want video of it to watch again and show people.
One issue I can see is that an audience is needed. The performance really plays off the crowd if its any good. How do you get an audience to see people they don’t have any relation to who might not be very good?
One way to do this is to have a tour. This could work going across the country taking people from the crowd. The cast would know how to play to the crowd, making it entertaining for everyone. A huge bonus is that when the cast realize that the crowd member is terrible they can just switch to making fun of this volunteer. Great fun. If popular enough it could stay in one place, be sort of a weekly/monthly event at a theater.
With the tour you have to get lucky in the crowd to get up on stage. There needs to be some way to be sure you’re going to get a shot. Perhaps pay a little extra. This removes the getting made fun of aspect, since you don’t want to pay to get made fun of. If you’re paying its likely you’re a little better than the average crowd member.
Either way this sounds like an entertaining idea. Really, for me, I just want to do some sort of improv. There must be a place where random people off the street can do improv.