Sunday, April 24, 2016

Forgotten TV: Viva Variety (1997)

The success of MTV's sketch comedy series, The State, resulted in the troupe spinning off three of the cast into a series for sister network Comedy Central. Viva Variety, however, lasted just 2 seasons (1997-9), and has been shuffled off to the Viacom vaults.

Variety was, in fact, spun off from a specific State skit about a divorced couple (Thomas Lennon & Kerri Kenney) who reunite to do a variety show. Perhaps predictably, MTV had no room on the schedule for Viva Variety, so it was farmed out to Comedy Central instead. My memory is hazy on whether or not State reruns ended up there, as well, as CC had its own troupe, the Upright Citizens Brigade.

Here's a sample episode with musical guest Ric Ocasek, formerly of The Cars:

After Viva ended, Lennon & Kenney moved on to another, more successful CC series, Reno: 911!, which we'll discuss another time. Today, Lennon co-stars in the remake of The Odd Couple for CBS, now in its 2nd season as a spring replacement (blame it on football). Kenney, who also was the vocalist for the alternative band Cake Lite prior to Viva and in between seasons of The State, is married with one child. Should also point out that Kerri is a second generation actress. Her father is voice actor/game show host/radio personality Larry Kenney (ex-Bowling For Dollars, Thundercats).

Rating: B.

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