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)