TV Review: The Comedians 1.11 “Red, White, And Working Blue”
By Dr. Zaius
Friday, June 19th, 2015 at 11:00 am
The Comedians Season 1 Episode 11 “Red, White, And Working Blue”
Directed by Richie Keen
Written by Ben Wexler
Starring Billy Crystal, Josh Gad, Larry Charles, Stephnie Weir, Max Oberg, Megan Ferguson FX
Air Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2015 10pm
The Comedians celebrated the 4th of July tonight, doing so with the same awkwardness they’ve approached the majority of this first season. The show centers around a particular sketch written by Josh Gad, in which he is a herpes-laden porn star and Billy Crystal is a dad walking his daughter to her first day… as a porn star. Billy ponders why he must “always play the dad.” A theme of the season is the relationship between two comedians of different ages and eras, and that plays heavy in tonight’s episode.
As per usual, Billy attempts to pawn his problems off on the underlings, particularly producer Kristen (Stephnie Weir) and head writer Mitch (Matt Oberg). Billy appeases Josh to continue their budding chemistry, and thus goes to Kristen to “kill” the sketch. Billy and Kristen have a great tit-for-tat revolving around Josh’s proclivities for sketches involving the naughtier stuff:
Billy – “It’s the dick, it’s the herpes, all that schmutz… the constant references to balls.”
Kristen – “We do work the balls a lot”
This somehow segues into a 4th of July discussion where we find out Kristen’s dad was decapitated in a boating accident, as Billy stares into the camera with a look that silently screams, “Why did I ask?” The whole sketch business gets more complicated when a young Billy Crystal fan shows up on set with his mom and a Fernando wig (“You look marvelous!”). The implication is he’s a Make-A-Wish kid there to spend time with his idol, Billy. You can’t do a porn sketch with an impressionable young, albeit dying mind on set, can you? Naturally, Josh tries to flirt with the mom and finds out that the kid just won an auction and has no life threatening illnesses of any kind.
Everyone’s plans for the 4th are forced to be altered by the sketch replacements, especially Mitch’s. Mitch describes his tradition of going home to the Midwest for a huge family picnic barbecue complete with fireworks. Of course Mitch is now forced indoors as an epic fireworks show is going on outside the studio. I like the side characters. Mitch is a great pansy for Josh and Billy to play off of. Esme (Megan Ferguson) gets some background to her character, and Kristen is just so weird. Stephnie Weir’s facial expressions are hilarious, as she constantly looks confused, worried, and excited at the same time. It makes her lines seem totally off the wall as a result.
The show is very up and down, but this was an up episode. I continue to love the budding bro-mance between Billy and Josh. Their side conversations seem totally legit and real. There’s a 20-second scene where they discuss Susan Sarandon nude scenes in the make-up chair that feels like the camera just caught two actors shooting the breeze between takes. The sketches they do show continue to be really funny. The Siamese twins on the airplane had me laughing, and I would love a compilation of just the uninterrupted sketches from the Billy & Josh Show.
The Comedians has two episodes left in their first season. The show returns with a new episode next week on Thursday, June 25th at 10:00pm ET on FX.
The Comedians – Next On: Red, White & Working Blue
When a sketch gets thrown out at the last minute, the crew has to work over the 4th of July.