truTV has been throwing comedic haymakers at the established comedy world for the past few years now with hilarious hit show after hilarious hit show (Impractical Jokers, Those Who Can’t, The Carbonaro Effect, Fameless, Billy on the Street), and now they are channeling that underdog, fighting spirit into one aptly named show, Comedy Knockout.

In front of an audience filled with people who seem like they were just explained what comedy was minutes before the show started, three of the most hardened, stage tested New York comics go head-to-head-to-head in a battle of wit, ingenuity, and roasting ability. Nothing is off limits as they go hard at each other, at the audience, and just generally do whatever they can to be funny. The show is broken down into 3 rounds, and after each round the audience votes via the highly scientific crowd noise method for which comic they liked the best. The host, Damien Lemon, then pretends to detect who got the loudest cheers, and anoints a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each round. The winner at the end of the show gets a plastic trophy, and the loser has to read an embarrassing, prewritten (not by them) apology for sucking at comedy.

The show is still a little rough around the edges, but when the comedians really get into it and are on their game, it can be hysterical. Episode 2 with Kurt Metzger, Matt Kirshen, and Yamaneika Saunders was straight gut-busting and hilariously vicious. It is a perfect representation of what this show is at its best. In episode 3, Kerry Coddett and Dave Hill had a classic head-to-head showdown, with both of them literally fighting over the mic to get their jokes in. I became an instant fan of all of them. Veteran, fan favorite comedian Jim Norton also killed it in the episode he appeared in, of course.

Comedy Knockout might not be as refined as some of truTV’s other hit shows, but it perfectly represents the comedic energy that has brought truTV to the top of the comedy world. The voting audience stuff seems a little out of place, and the show is still trying to find its footing in general, but there are moments of greatness when everything comes together. At the very least, it is a great show to watch if you want to discover under the radar comics or just expose yourself to a bunch of names you may have never heard of before. Season 1 is currently airing right now, and there is a new episode on tonight, Thursday, May 26, after Impractical Jokers.

By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

10 thoughts on “truTV, Comedy Knockout Review

  1. This was my thoughts exactly! I love that it’s comics that I don’t know and that they are put on the spot instead of having written jokes. This show is the test of a TRU comedian (pun intended.)

  2. None of these type of shows (@midnight) are ever fully improvised. They know a little bit about what they’re getting into beforehand. I personally think the show is a weaker and less funny version of @midnight, which is an accomplishment in itself. Some of the jokes really are pretty funny, but the ones that fall flat really fall flat, like a cringeworthy level of flat, especially when we get a view of the audience members forcing awkward laughter. The bad jokes are so bad that the good ones can’t make up for them. Maybe it’s just not my sense of humor. On Comedy Knockout the good jokes are ok, and the bad jokes honestly make me a) change the channel, and b) wonder how these people could make money as comedians. The older white woman who talked about being on a lot of xanax proceeded to just ramble on incoherently,which you could tell the audience wasn’t amused by. Bad jokes and fake and awkward audience laughter? I’ll pass, but if you enjoy it, hell yeah!

    1. haha … I think your criticisms are fair. Some of the shows/comedians/jokes are so bad that it is a turn off to the entire show. I really want to like @midnight more than I do too, but I just can’t get into the show, even though it should be right up my alley.

      I think what it comes down to, is that I like stand up comedy more than these panel comedian shows, personally. I always want to like them more than I actually do.

  3. I’m fairly picky when it comes to TV shows. BUT I HOPE THIS IS RENEWED despite the artificially low ratings on IMDB.

    Their “1.7” rating there is beyond absurd. That would make it the worst show in history. In truth, I gave it an “8” to try and help out. In reality it’s a “6” and maybe a “7.” I guess I’m not trendy or cool. 🙂

    Here’s a quote for tonight’s episode “It’s Damien’s House” was the best ever: “Megan Neuringer has a surefire sexy way to get out of picking up the check, Julian McCullough takes a lot of heat for his “drug dealer” shirt, and Tone Bell has harsh words for Karaoke goers!” This show really was an “8.”

    The show has a “Comedy Roast” format, so if you like that, this is for you.

    And Damien Lemon should be commended for having a laid back, no BS, balanced sense of humor – all without begin gratuitously racist. Kudos to Damien!

    And the “contestants” (writers) are invariably clever and even refreshingly charming. H*LL, it’s a low budget production and still funnier than what SNL has turned into.

    I honestly don’t understand the extremely low reviews and negative comments on IMDB. To those I’d say, you go try and get on stage and be funny without totally losing your cool. I’ve been there; it’s much more difficult than it looks.

    It seems some Posters have a bandwagon mentality; they see bad ratings, and want to be cool and trendy, so they dis it too. – So maybe I’m just not a sheeple; I really like this show. If it were “shined up” a bit, it could be cutting edge.

    1. Hey Alixander, I actually echoed those same sentiments to a commenter on my Flaked review. Some shows just seem “safe” to dislike these days. My taste is very different from the mainstream TV crowd too. And a 6-7 seems about right for this show. Aside from cracking up multiple times a show, I discovered some new comedians that I’m a big fan of now. Appreciate the comment and keep on having a mind of your own! ha

      1. Thanks, Michael. Maybe it’s just that “great minds think alike.” hahah – But seriously, if this gets cancelled over other garbage out there, it’ll be an entertainment injustice.

  4. Comedy knock out sucks, please pass this on! People right there in the audience don’t even laugh, they just clap for compassion because it is so bad! Please tru tv get this unbelievably boring and stupid shit off your channel! PLEASE!!! Really everyone I talk to will not watch this show after seeing it one time!!

    1. Consider it passed on, ha. It is more about the individual comedians for me than anything else. Some I like, some I don’t. Noah Gardenswartz become one of my favorites. And while Kurt Metzger was already on my radar, he definitely went up a notch or two in my book after watching his episodes.

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