The Comedians

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Comedians TV Poster Image
Two generations of comics try to get along in fun mock doc.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Shows the egos and competitive nature of the business. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Billy doesn't mentor; Josh doesn't always respect Billy's work. 

Violence

Angry outbursts lead to pushing, throwing, insult hurling, threats; some moments more comical than violent.

Sex

Contains some strong references to sex acts, pedophilia. Nudity blurred.

Language

"Ass," "s--t," "c--k."

 

Consumerism

Apple computers, BMWs, Tesla. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, cocktails shown. Drinking discussed.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Comedians is a comic (surprise, surprise!) mockumentary starring old-school star Billy Crystal and up-and-coming funnyman Josh Gad. The odd couple play themselves as they star in a sketch comedy show that's supposed to be good for both their careers. The show contains cursing ("s--t," "c--k"), strong sexual innuendo, and blurred nudity. Angry outbursts result in yelling, pushing, and insult hurling. There's some drinking, too. Older teens might be able to handle it, but it's not meant for kids. 

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What's the story?

THE COMEDIANS is a mock documentary-style comedy show that chronicles the (fictional) filming of a series starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as themselves.  After FX exec Denis Grant (Denis O'Hare) refuses to pick up Crystal's show, he's paired with the up-and-coming Gad in a sketch-comedy show titled Billy & Josh. But tensions between the two mount as the comedians, clearly from very different generations, try to find a common comic and personal ground. Doing their best to help the awkwardly matched pair become a TV hit are producer Kristen (Mad TV star Stephnie Weir), lead writer Mitch (Matt Obery), and Esme (Megan Ferguson), the team's no-nonsense but lazy production assistant. Performing together isn't easy, but the two have to find a way to work together or risk being canceled.

Is it any good?

The series, based on the Swedish TV hit Ulveson & Herngren, combines the behind-the-scenes drama of Extras with The Office's mock-doc humor. The result is a show that allows the two comedians, who play heightened versions of themselves, to be self-deprecating while poking fun at each other and the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, the pairing of Crystal's patented schtick with Gad's younger, more risqué comic style purposely creates awkward and uncomfortable scenes designed to underscore their professional differences as well as their individually big egos. 

The funny factor also often is fueled by Stephnie Weir and Megan Ferguson's strong supporting performances. Guest appearances by famous folks such as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and comedy legends such as Mel Brooks and Rob Reiner also help round out the show. Whether you're a Billy Crystal fan or lean toward Josh Gad's style, you might be surprised by the fact that, although it's a comedy, a dramatic heart holds the show together. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about humor. How does time change what we think is funny? What other things impact the way we think about humor? 

  • When does something go from being funny to going too far? ​Who decides?

  • What exactly is a mock documentary or "mockumentary"? When did this style of comedy TV start? Why is it so popular today? Do you think this kind of comedy series will be popular 20 years from now?

TV details

For kids who love buddy comedies

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