The Comedians Season 1 Episode 3 “The Red Carpet”
Directed by Larry Charles
Written by Ben Wexler, Larry Charles, Billy Crystal, Matt Nix
Starring Billy Crystal, Josh Gad, Megan Ferguson, Larry Charles, Stephnie Weir, Steven Weber FX
Air Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 10pm
YES! It took three episodes, but The Comedians has nailed it. The same irreverent and ridiculous humor that made Curb your Enthusiasm a staple on HBO has now found a home on FX. All it took was projectile vomit, a giant bong, and a supermarket. Sorry, but for some crazy reason projectile vomit has always had me dying; I still remember being in tears during Team America: World Police.
The Billy and Josh Show was off to a rocky start, firing two directors after two episodes. When the stars hear about a morning conference call with the FX rep (played by Denis O’Hare) they get nervous that the show is in jeopardy. Turns out the network wants to capitalize on both being nominated for a Kids’ Critics Award, and have them show up together on the red carpet. Both being nominated provides for some great exchanges as Josh obviously is having “award envy.” “What am I going to take off my mantle if I win it? My Tony? 6 Emmys? People’s Choice Award?”
When Billy arrives in his tux to pick up Josh for the awards show, Josh is not quite ready and is stoned out of his mind. Billy makes light of this; “I went through the ’60s and ’70s… you’re acting like your grandfather just walked in here.” When Billy asks the camera crew to step outside, I thought they’d go the route of Billy going crazy at Josh’s immaturity, and yet in the next scene they’re TOASTED in the back of the limo looking for a quick munchie stop.
This is where the show became brilliant. Two schmucks stoned in a supermarket is not funny. Billy Crystal and Josh Gad stoned in a supermarket and appearing to ad-lib an entire segment is PHENOMENAL! Billy’s slow walking with an old man was hysterical. Their re-enactment of Blackfish using an inflatable Shamu pool toy is great; “Do I look like one of those pussy trainers?” The scene lasts nearly 5 minutes and it felt real and genuine.
My favorite part of the episode was simply that Billy and Josh actually seemed to like each other. The first two episodes tried hard to establish a rivalry between them, a sort of old school vs. new school showdown. This episode showed their relationship’s evolution. They’re naturally competitive because it’s the nature of the business. But the wackiest odd couples usually make the best magic with each other, and it feels for the first time that The Comedians have a mutual admiration for each other… even if it was based on a few bong hits.
The Comedians airs Thursdays at 10:00pm ET on FX.
The Comedians – Next On: The Red Carpet
When Billy and Josh are both nominated for the same award, they decide to walk the red carpet together and end up making a bit of a detour.