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TV Review: The Comedians 1.5 “Go For Gad”
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The Comedians
Season 1 Episode 5 “Go For Gad”
Directed by Larry Charles
Written by Laura Krafft
Starring Billy Crystal, Josh Gad, Megan Ferguson, Larry Charles, Stephnie Weir, Denis O’Hare
FX
Air Date: Thursday, May 7th, 2015 10pm

The big news this week on The Comedians is that Josh (Josh Gad) is apparently up for a role in the new Scorsese movie as the “Jew lawyer” to DiCaprio’s mobster. Josh has taken to accepting phone calls during shooting and is on a juice cleanse to slim down for Marty. Billy (Billy Crystal) tries to prepare Josh for the possibility of the role falling through, which many on set believe to be a sign of Billy’s jealousy, his wife included.

I start to imagine the realities of being an actor, even hugely successful ones like The Comedians. It must be hell in the modern twitter/social media age to be rumored for parts, prep for parts, only for another actor to get the role instead. Billy appears sincere, but jealousy does start to overwhelm him in spots. He discusses how he was a “shoo in” for Forrest Gump (!). My favorite back-and-forth is when he tells Josh he met with Spielberg five times for Jaws:

Josh: “Which role?”
Billy: “Uh, the Robert Shaw part.”
Josh: “That’s a MUCH different version of that movie.”

Billy also tries to transition back to feature films and has a hilarious meeting with McG (the shortest-named director in Hollywood). Josh meanwhile is convinced that all he needs to do to get his part is cry on command with Scorsese acting coach, the late great Taylor Negron. Negron, like most of the guests on the show quickly loses his patience with Gad and suggest to just watch and emulate Lucy. His juice cleanse dieting is meeting constant struggle at the staff lunch stations, especially when Billy caters a fresh pastrami lunch.

The scene stealer this week though was Kristen (Stephnie Weir). When Josh asks for help learning, she goes for the “dead grandmother” line. When Josh pushes her to be more convincing, well let’s just say she goes ultra morbid and gives all the gory details. Check the awkward, but proud look on her face as Josh walks out confused and disgusted.

While not as laugh at loud funny as the previous episodes, Josh and Billy are building undeniable chemistry. Billy isn’t too good at hiding his jealousy about Josh’s exploding fame, but there’s also an empathy there. As the elder statesmen, Billy Crystal has been through this before… maybe not with Jaws and Forrest Gump, but he knows the grind that Hollywood life is. There’s a realness to their relationship, even with all the silliness. Plus I got a kick out the sketch where they’re killing time during their crucifixions…

Josh: “Does your nose itch?”
Billy: “Well it does NOW!”

The Comedians Episode 5: “Go For Gad” debuts tonight at 10:00 pm EST on FX.

Video


When Josh is rumored to be up for a movie role, it goes to his head… and Billy isn’t happy.

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