This week’s Channel Guide was originally going to be about the season premiere of Entourage, but then this news dropped and I had to re-think that decision.
Now, before I go any further (and before I get yelled at for “bad reporting”) I should say that Smith has pointed out that he is only “co-hosting” the show… but just like REGIS & Kelly, who do you think people are going to tune in for?
Now, onto the news. First came the announcement that two of Smith’s podcasting cohorts, Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, were going to be creating a Pawn Stars style reality show set in Smith’s comic book shop and it’s going to be called Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. It will air on AMC should it get picked up. Smith also began talking at length on his daily radio show about a “secret project over the hill” that was taking place in addition to the reality show. However, unlike the AMC project, he has been VERY tight lipped about the details (granted, he didn’t spill anything about the AMC bit until a casting call was put out from the production company), until now.
The new project (the details again of which were revealed as a result of a public call, this time for audience members) is apparently a 30min, daily, syndicated talk show that will feature Smith and an unnamed co-host, though based on the fact that Smith held a podcast event called SMaudition with three female comedians, which he stated was in relation to the project, I am going to assume the co-host is one of those three. The show is apparently LIVE! With Regis & Kelly except in the evening.
So the question becomes, is the world ready for a Kevin Smith talk show?
We all know the man LOVES to talk… a lot. He has proven that this year alone through all of his live stage shows as well as his online radio programs that deliver different content five days a week. But can we handle it?
Kevin Smith has built up something pretty remarkable (regardless of how ridiculed) in the last eight months. He created a place for his audience to get an abundant amount of him, all the time. And the best part, it’s an unfiltered Smith, the one his audience wants. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But this TV project, no matter how you slice it, will be targeted to more than just his audience. An entire demo that isn’t part of his audience as of now (12-35) is apparently the target for this show. And that audience will be getting a filtered Smith just by the nature of television.
This show isn’t going on Comedy Central or G4, it’s going to air in syndication after the television version on TMZ on local FOX affiliates at some point between 6 and 8pm. That’s broadcast folks. No matter what time it ends up being placed in, the restrictions are still high thanks to the good old (emphasis on old) people at the FCC. No shits, fucks, bitches or assholes allowed there. And that’s where I think the biggest fault lies.
Personally, I want a Kevin Smith talk show. Having seen the man live on stage at Carnegie Hall, I think he has a presence similar to some of my favorite stand-up (and sit-down) comics. But that presence works best raw and unfiltered or mildly filtered like he would be on cable. But I have my doubts on a syndicated broadcast before dinner time.
All that said, Smith has never been one to not surprise me in some way. I thought twenty hours of him a week would be bat shit, but it turns out (once the kinks got worked out), he is as fun to listen to as he’s been on all his podcasts. So I wouldn’t be shocked at all if this talk show ends up working, but at this juncture, without having seen anything from it yet, I have my doubts.
So I guess the only way to answer this question is to say to Smith directly: The sooner this pilot airs, the better.
Want to read more Channel Guide? Of course you do.
To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.