Monday, March 23, 2015

Forgotten TV: MTV Half Hour Comedy Hour (1988)

In the late 80's, MTV began experimenting with non-music programming. It got to the point where they would fill the 7-8 (ET) hour with such shows to allow the metalheads and other musically fanatic couch potatoes to catch their breath. With Remote Control a runaway hit, the network needed something to complement it. The answer, airing 4 nights a week, was the Half Hour Comedy Hour, which lasted a couple of years tops.

At first, the series didn't have a regular MC. They didn't think they really needed one, but after A & E's Evening At The Improv, airing in late night, took off, they hired actor-comic Mario Joyner to serve as host for the bulk of the run, though others would later fill in. Viewers got their first looks at Drew Carey, Brian Regan, Louis CK, and Pauly Shore, who would later land his own MTV series, and return to guest host. The late John Pinette was a frequent performer.

Clips available on YouTube are in such bad shape, it's a risk to put one on, so we'll go with the animated open that was used near the end of the series' run.

Too bad it ain't out on DVD, though it should be.

Rating: B.

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