Fox & Steve Carrell's 'Riot' Isn't a Game Show, It's An Improv Comedy Explosion
Tuesday, Fox’s new improv comedy series Riot will premiere thanks to creator Steve Carell. The hour-long show will feature a rotation of comics and celebrity guests performing various sketches. Improv shows though often hilarious have a knack for not lasting very long. Will Riot avoid the pitfalls of many of its predecessors and finally connect with viewers? Here are five reasons it has at least a fighting chance to make it five episodes before Fox realizes that sketch shows are over. (Seriously, why do networks keep accepting these pitches?)
Riot marks Carell’s first return to television since he left The Office. His new role may be a little more behind-the-scenes than we were hoping, but we’ll take it. He will step into the limelight as a guest team captain during the series however, and will appear in the season opener on Tuesday.
Third Time's the Charm
The series is an American remake of an Australian remake of a show that originated in France. Did you get all that? So, the show takes its inspiration from Australia’s Slide Show series and pays homage to that show by naming its signature sketch after the show. Slide Show, in turn, was based off of a French series called Anything Goes.
Performers Will Be Off Balance, Literally
Riot will be completely unscripted, but the need for guests to think on their toes won’t be the only thing keeping them on their game. The stage itself will be titled at a 22-degree angle for some sketches. The change won’t be evident to viewers and the performers will attempt to maintain the sketch while struggling to keep their footing and their hold on props. This shtick could get old fast and with a full 60-minutes to fill it could be overused. Let’s hope against history and that little voice inside that just knows they’re going to run this into the ground.
A Solid Home Team
All the guests in the world won’t help if the regular actors can’t pull their weight. Riot has assembled a talented ensemble, many of whom you’ve probably seen before. Jordan Black has appeared in Community (RIP), Enlisted, and Key and Peele. Jamie Denbo has appeared in comedy skits on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Happy Endings, and the ridiculously underrated Terriers (yes, I’m still mad). They’ll be joined by the equally talented Brian Palmermo (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), Rob Gleeson (House of Lies), Meryl Hathaway (Single Siblings), Jessica McKenna (Comedy Bang! Bang!), John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory), and host Rove McManus.
The Guest Stars Are Impressive
Speaking of guests, Riot has quite the line-up. Thus far, The Middle’s Chris Kattan, The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik, and Sleepy Hollow’s Orlando Jones have been confirmed as participating as guest celebrities, along with D.L. Hughley, Tom Green, David Arquette, Oscar Nunez, Cheryl Hines, Jason Alexander, Nicole Sullivan, Michael Ian Black, Will Sasso, and Rob Delaney.
The first guest will be Carell’s former costar from The Office, Andy Buckley who memorably played Dunder Mifflin exec David Wallace (or as Michael liked to say, "DAVID WALLACE!"). Riot airs on Fox on Tuesdays at 9 PM.
Images: Fox (2)