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November 27, 2014

Short-Lived Shows: Crossballs

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 10th 2005 10:43AM

crossballsCrossballs, as its name suggests, was a comedic take on shows like Crossfire, Hardball, and any other news analysis show where experts and pundits yell at each other but nothing is really said nor learned.

The show, aired on Comedy Central and hosted by Chris Tallman, would invite people to come on and debate a specific topic. What these people didn't know was that the people they were debating were actually comedians just pretending to be experts. The series was co-created by Matt Besser of Upright Citizens Brigade, who also played various "experts" on the show. Besides the fact that those who came on the show thought it was a real news show, what really made it work was that it was just as inane as the obnoxious pontificating that went on during the more "legitimate" programs it spoofed. It was funny, but then, so is Hannity and Colmes, just unintentionally so. Despite the fact that those who were invited on the show weren't in on the joke, the comedians made themselves the element of ridicule. A funny show based on a kind of "one note" concept, it's no surprise it only lasted a few episodes, as it would have been difficult to stretch the idea much further than that. 

 

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I always thought Comedy Central just sold the show to CNN. You mean to tell me that Tucker Carlson wasn't a comedian doing a bit? He was serious?

December 10 2005 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lampbane

This show would have been much, much better if they switched out the comedians every episode. I enjoyed it at first because I had to guess who was the real "expert" and who was a fake. After a few episodes I knew who the comedians were and suddenly the show was just not as funny.

December 10 2005 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C R

Yeah, I didn't find it so funny when they canceled "Tough Crowd" to make room for this stinker. In yet another example of how poorly Comedy Central markets their shows, I saw commercials for this program dozens of times and it was never made clear that there was a real expert that wasn't in on the gag. I would have watched it for that, but I figured it was like a 30 minute version of a Darrell Hammond sketch on SNL. No thanks. Bring back "Tough Crowd."

December 10 2005 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Allen

As "The Colbert Report" has proven, it is possible to spoof self-important cable crapulence on a long-term basis. It's not just the idea (and "Crossballs" was a great one), but the talent and execution that make a show fly. Shame "Crossballs" didn't have what it took.

December 10 2005 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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