by Ryan Meehan
Tuesday night brought us the long awaited premiere of “The Jeselnik Offensive”, starring rising comedian Anthony Jeselnik bringing light to some of the darker spots in our hideous daily news cycle. The show will air on Comedy Central every Tuesday night after Tosh.0, and possesses some similarities to Daniel’s show as well as Jeff Ross’ “The Burn”.
A month or so back, I reviewed Jeselnik’s record “Caligula” and found it to be one of the more violently brutal comedy albums I have heard in some time. I love the really heavy stuff, so while it’s not for everybody it’s definitely for me. I was eager to see what it had to offer, and there was definitely a lot of well deserved hype leading up to its premiere.
The show begins with Jeselnik drilling holes in a few recent stories until blood is drawn. This gets the audience to loosen up a bit, which probably won’t hurt because they’ll need that flexibility if they want to walk after the program is over. Then he went head first into his first segment “Who Wore it Better?” which I’m assuming is some kind of a parody of the fashioncentric garbage that passes for entertainment on that E! channel. While it’s not clear yet whether or not this will be a recurring bit, the bit that Jeselnik did next definitely will. The segment is called “Sacred Cow”, and what it basically consists of is Anthony taking shots at a topic in America that is considered to be “off limits”. This week’s segment was based on “cancer”, and featured Anthony interviewing a doctor that specialized in cancer treatment. It then shifted into a clip of him doing standup in front of what appeared to be real cancer patients, and when one patient had mentioned she had recently started chemotherapy he snapped back with “You know what they say: ‘Chemo’ money, chemo’ problems!’” I can only imagine what this segment will go after next week.
After returning from a break Jeselnik launched into his panel segment which featured his current girlfriend and comedian Amy Schumer as well as Aziz Ansari from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”. Although there is no official title for the panel itself, Anthony introduces his guests as “The Panel that’s better than Chelsea Lately because are you fucking kidding me?”. I found that to be quite entertaining because even though we’ve interviewed several of the panelists on that show here in 5 Questions, it’s about goddamn time somebody started taking shots at that show because it’s terrible. The three then began discussing the case of Christopher Dorner, the cop killer who committed suicide inside of a cabin in California earlier this week. They slowly transition into two other segments called “The worst worst thing of the week” and then my own personal favorite “The JonBenet Ramsey Memorial Parenting Segment”. The panel portion of the show is wrapped up with “Latino Voices” (which features Schumer and Ansari simply talking like Hispanics) and “Defend Your Tweet” in which Jeselnik goes through the archives of each guests tweets and asks them to defend their 140 character statements.
The show ends with a highlight reel called “Best moments from tonight’s show” that consists entirely of outtakes not shown on the original broadcast. His sign off is “Good Night, kids…go read a book…” which is sound advice for a generation that probably watches too much television to begin with.
About a month or so back, Anthony was on “The Burn with Jeff Ross” alongside Bobby Lee and Lisa Lampanelli. Before they got into the topics that were about to be roasted, they were are taking some pot shots at each other, and Lee said “I just want to say Anthony, I think you’re great…You’re tall, you’re funny, you’re handsome…you’re going to be really original once Daniel Tosh dies.” Of course that was just a joke, but there might be something there. Although I believe that at the moment Jeselnik is working heavier and darker than Tosh is, it will be interesting to see how much available space in the average comedy fan’s attention will be allotted for this type of humor. What I mean by this is the show Lee was referencing and the show that he mentioned it on are going to be two of Jeselnik’s biggest competitors, even though they will never run in his time slot on the same night. That said, people are loving the dark nature of the roast style of humor at the moment so it’s possible there will be plenty of room for Comedy Central to have three weeknight vehicles for this program. Give it a shot, unless of course you have a weak stomach in which case you probably shouldn’t be watching comedy in the first place.
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