When considering a network that honestly thought it was a good idea to give David Spade his own show (anyone actually remember “The Showbiz Show with David Spade?”) it isn’t hard to find a couple of Comedy Central shows that aren’t funny. Featuring tired ethnic humor from Carlos Mencia and some of the most insulting jokes a ventriloquist like Jeff Dunham can possibly muster, these shows prove that even a network that has cornered the market on all things comedy is prone to horrible lapses in judgment.
“Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire” Only Comedy Central would think it a good idea to create a sword and sorcery comedy show some 25 years after “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The result, not surprisingly, became the best example of Comedy Central shows that aren’t funny— something Comedy Central realized after only six episodes. The show featured some of the worst acting and saddest comedy ever shown on a network that has been known to stoop low enough to air entire hours of standup from the likes of Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia (see below). “Krod Mandoon” could have easily been used as an anesthetic for surgery patients. Who would have thought that people would be turned off by characters like the blatantly stereotypical character of Bruce, the show’s flamboyant homosexual, or female warrior Aneka, who dressed like a dominatrix and had already had more sex than
“Mind of Mencia” Like George Lopez, Carlos Mencia has the uncanny ability to turn everything he sees or hears into a “beaner” joke while somehow making each new joke more contrived and insulting than the last. After Dave Chapelle’s “Chapelle’s Show” proved just how rich the shareholders could get from a half-hour sketch comedy show, Comedy Central hoped to get fat off the Latino comic’s stereotypical depiction of a Hindu storekeeper, sad attempt to parody “Judge Judy,” and last but not least, his tired portrayal of Barney the Dinosaur rip-off, Carlosaurus Rex. The joke stealing hack’s time in the spotlight ended as ratings plummeted, with the network finally cluing in to the fact that the only person laughing at jokes that mocked Latinos and the Special Olympics was Mencia himself.
“The Jeff Dunham Show” Take an otherwise talented and hilarious ventriloquist, have him write sketches that are not only offensive, but also completely ignorant, while placing his dummies in the real world and what do you have? “The Jeff Dunham Show,” a half hour comedy with the highest premiere ratings in the history of Comedy Central, only to become one of the most predictable examples of Comedy Central shows that aren’t funny. Realizing that there were sweaty wads of crash to be made from the best ventriloquist since Edgar Bergen, Comedy Central decided to give Dunham his own show in 2009, only to have him churn out jokes that insulted gays and blacks and even featured a skit in which Dunham not-so-subtly tries to hide his homosexual feelings towards his elderly, crotchety dummy, Walter. The only one laughing, literally, was Dunham who burst into laughter after every joke. The only thing about the show that was actually funny was the fact that it lasted a single season.
“I’m with Busey” While the idea of a struggling writer befriending his mentally unbalanced childhood idol, Gary Gary Busey in front of a camera once a week was far more frightening than anyone might have predicted. What’s worse, Busey’s character functioned as a sagely mentor to co-star Adam de la Pena, offering up the kind of wit and wisdom that could only come from Hollywood’s favorite bipolar lunatic. The dialogue of the show as completely improvised, with his “Buseyisms” covering everything from love (“Tell the girl you have a Loch Ness monster in your pants”) to driver’s safety tips (“It’s good to yell at people and tell them you’re from Tennessee, that way you’ll be safe.”) The only funny points in the show were when the camera panned to the real-life expressions of fear and confusion on de la Pena’s face.