Funniest Wins

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Funniest Wins TV Poster Image
Comedy competition features laughs and mature themes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Jokes are full of stereotypes and other politically incorrect commentary, often designed to point out a truth. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wayans and guest judges offer criticism and advice to help contestants improve their craft but also credit them for their talents. Not all contestants appreciate the feedback. 

Violence

Skits contain fake violence, as well as guns and other prop weapons. 

Sex

Lots of innuendo, including crude sexual references and comedic performances of sexual acts. Costumes include skimpy outfits and underwear.

Language

Words such as "ass," "damn," and other words audible; curses such as "mother f--ker," "a--hole" bleeped. Rude gestures are blurred. 

Consumerism

This is a promotional vehicle for WhattheFunny.com. Wayans drives a Porsche. Digital platforms such as YouTube and Vine are referred to. IPhones are visible, but the logo is not. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking (cigarettes, cigars) and alcohol (real and fake) visible. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Funniest Wins features comedians performing their acts on stage and on social media in hopes of winning money and an online comedy show. It features lots of strong language (curses bleeped), innuendo, and fake violence, as well as smoking and some staged drinking. It also offers interesting insight into what goes into the art of comedy and how it is to transition from stand-up to various digital forms. The overall series is a promotional vehicle for Marlon Wayans' digital channel, WhattheFunny.com. 

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What's the story?

Created by Marlon Wayans, FUNNIEST WINS is a competition series designed to find America's next big comedy superstar. Ten contestants, ranging from comics with 10 years of traditional stand-up experience to up-and-coming YouTube and Vine comedy performers, face off in a series of challenges designed to test them on different aspects of the craft of comedy. Their performances are judged by Wayans and fellow mentors such as Orlando Jones, David Alan Grier, and a few of the Wayans siblings. Elimination challenges send the least funny person home. The comic demonstrating that he or she can be successful in traditional venues and in the social media world wins $100,000 and his or her own show on Wayans' digital channel, WhattheFunny.com.

Is it any good?

From performing stand-up on the top of a moving double-decker bus throughout Los Angeles to coming up with good concepts for digital shorts (videos of short comedy skits), Funniest Wins gives folks a fun chance to see the kind of work and training that goes into being funny. It also highlights how the profession has changed from requiring comedians to spend years working on their craft and trying to be discovered to having no experience or training and starring in viral videos to become an instant comedy hit. 

There are lots of laughs, as well as awkward moments, especially when contestants fail to elicit chuckles from their audiences. But folks interested in comedy will find the advice and critiques offered by seasoned professionals helpful, especially when it comes to dealing with the challenges that come from going to and from traditional platforms to digital performances. You may not find everything here funny, but there are some interesting things to be learned.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the art of comedy. What kind of training does a comedian need to get audiences to laugh? Are people who are funny on stage or on videos just as funny in their day-to-day lives?

  • How has digital media transformed comedy? What kinds of things do comedians have to do differently when creating a video vs. going on stage to perform stand-up?

  • Should people who make funny online videos be considered comedians if they have no training or no experience giving live performances? Why?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 20, 2014
  • Cast: Marlon Wayans
  • Network: TBS
  • Genre: Comedy
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love comedy

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