Friday, March 14, 2014

Moron TV: The Man Show (1998)

Comedy Central's The Man Show was simultaneously a celebration and mockery of the average male's lifestyle. It lasted 5 years, or maybe 2 years too many.

Comics Adam Carolla (Loveline) and Jimmy Kimmel (who moved over from another Comedy Central show, Win Ben Stein's Money) were the initial hosts, and for Kimmel, it was just another step on the ladder leading to his current ABC talk show. Within a year, as we noted over at Saturday Morning Archives when reviewing the duo's follow-up for Comedy Central, Crank Yankers, Kimmel was adding a second gig, doing comedy skits and adding his expertise as a football handicapper on Fox NFL Sunday, a gig that lasted until he left for ABC.

Once that move took place, you'd think that would've been the end of The Man Show, since Carolla wasn't interested in doing the show without his pal Kimmel. Comedy Central had other ideas, and hired two more comics, Joe Rogan & Doug Stanhope, to replace Carolla & Kimmel. They got 2 years, but the quality of the show went downhill. I believe around the same time, Rogan was doing some moonlighting of his own, hosting NBC's Fear Factor, and today is a color commentator for the UFC. Stanhope? Who knows?

One of the signatures of the series was the "Juggy Squad", a group of scantily clad ladies whose primary function was to bounce on trampolines. One ex-Juggy would move into the wrestling business after leaving the show. Christy Hemme won the 2004 WWE Diva Search, but lasted a scant more than a year before moving to TNA, where an injury forced her to trade in her leotards and tights for a ring announcer's gig.

Right now, let's give you a sample from the Kimmel-Carolla era:

Carolla is back on the air, hosting a reality show for Spike, Catch That Contractor, which has him as a cross between Bob Vila and consumer advocate David Horowitz. Go figure. Well, he always was the more serious one anyway.......

The Man Show's target demo was college males. You'd think Comedy Central would dust off the reruns after all these years, but they sit in the vaults. Then again, the network executives might be too buzzed themselves if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Rating: C--.

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