Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The format streaming services need to invest in (Ava and C.I.)


Music, comedy, it requires a certain kind of talent.

Masters of the format would be Carol Burnett, Tracey Ullman, Flip Wilson and Dean Martin.


Others who did well would include Cher, Johnny Cash, Barbara McNair, Glen Campbell, Helen Reddy,  Bobby Darin, Andy Williams, Mac Davis, Joey Bishop, Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, Julie Andrews, Andy Williams, Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Dinah Shore, Garry Moore, Milton Berle, Richard Pryor, the Smothers Brothers, Jonathan Winters, Smokey Robinson  . . .

Hell, even Donny and Marie managed to pull it off.

More recently, the format has been declared dead.

This is due to three high profile failures.


There was nothing special about this outing that was supposed to serve as a pilot for Rosie O'Donnell's variety show.

Rosie sunk it with her own apathy.  There was nothing special -- not the sets, not the writing, not the so-called humor, not her wardrobe, not her guests.

She appeared to mistake the practice of hosting for euthanasia.


It was as though neither Neil Patrick Harris nor NBC could let Rosie O'Donnell be the lone gunman responsible for killing variety.  So this garbage was served up.  It was neither fresh nor interesting and, in fact, seemed to rip off Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HITRECORD ON TV.

When this on the cheap show failed, no one was surprised.


This should have been the triumphant return of the variety show.  But they decided they wanted to be 'political.'  Yet they were so stupid, so uninformed, so uneducated, that they mistook partisan for political.  The country could have forgiven attacking both sides but instead the show decided they were an election tool for Hillary Clinton.  A show about a bunch of dumb asses who mistake themselves for politically informed and back a crooked politician with decades of scandals and whoring out to corporations might have been funny.  Sadly, the dumb asses here played it straight because they were too dumb to grasp how ridiculous they looked.  Or how racist.  Bi-racial Maya may end up as a historical footnote as a result of her racist attack on the way a foreigner speaks. 

And that was one, two, three strikes and you're out.

And maybe NBC should be.  It clearly doesn't know the first thing about a variety show.

But there's no reason HULU or NETFLIX shouldn't get into the act.  (AMAZON?  They take too long to air anything -- meaning musical guests would be less eager to appear to promote new songs that would be old by the time AMAZON got around to streaming.)

They would do well to avoid no talents (Nick and Jessica come to mind).

They should go with someone musical or someone comedic.

Sandra Bernhard is both.

Plus, when she used to host movies on a Turner station, she would pull out the full glamour treatment.

She'd make a great host and would probably be wise enough to grasp that she was making a show to stand for decades -- meaning her only source of humor would not be political.

She loves movies, she loves TV, she loves music.

She could do parodies and send ups, she could do original sketches and introduce new songs.

That's what would make her a great host.

If Sandra's not interested or not available?

They should consider a music artist.

Someone talented.

Dolly Parton's seventies variety show, for example, features many classic duets.

HULU and NETFLIX should grasp that variety is not dead.  And revitalizing the format could change the way the industry looks at them.


* (THE MOTOWN REVUE STARRING SMOKEY ROBINSON aired on NBC in the summer of 1985 -- we're noting the show's title specifically because when fact checking us -- Ava and C.I. -- Jim said Smokey was not listed anywhere on CRAPAPEDIA as a host of a variety show -- this was produced by our friend Suzanne de Passe)

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