For the past few months, I’ve been patiently awaiting for the duo’s new show to hit Comedy Central. The show is scheduled to debut July 15 at 10:30/9:30 Central. However, just minutes ago, I got the chance to watch an advanced screening of the pilot episode. Does the show deliver? Well, if you’re a long-time fan of Michael and Michael and their various projects, then it’s safe to say that you will love Michael and Michael Have Issues.
The show is structured as a hybrid sitcom/sketch show. The basic setup is that Michael and Michael are the stars of a television sketch show, and we get to see both the behind-the-scenes exploits and the “filmed before a live studio audience” sketches.
So, in a way it’s a bit like 30 Rock. And like 30 Rock, it seems like the show within the show is intentionally corny. If you look at the type of “bad” sketch ideas that 30 Rock incorporates into The Girly Show (Gay-braham Lincoln), then you’ll have a good idea of what Michael and Michael are going for.
Of course, bad doesn’t necessarily mean “not funny.” Quite the contrary. Michael and Michael have built their careers off their ability to make the stupidest ideas superiorly funny. And this is the case with the sketch portions of the show. In the pilot, we see the pair doing sketches about a teen girl applauding her boyfriend for his abstinence (the be-wigged Michael Ian Black is obviously gay), Michael and Michael attempt to create a super swear word, and a “Farting Butterfly.”
In between each sketch, the show switches from canned audience laughter to a more long-term single-camera storyline. The pilot episode, titled “Greg the Intern,” sees the show’s intern seeking out interviews from the duo for an article he is writing for the high school newspaper. In textbook Michael and Michael fashion, the article results in in-fighting and petty bickering between the two – each of which who try to convince Greg that he is the more talented and important half of the comedy duo.
All in all, I enjoyed the pilot episode. Michael and Michael throw in a ton of throwaway jokes and asides that really heighten the humor. In relation to their other projects, however, I’d have to say that I enjoyed their previous Comedy Central project, Stella, a bit more.
Still, for those who aren’t diehard fans of the two Michaels, I can see how a broader audience as a whole might enjoy this more. The show is less frenetic and off-the-wall.
Given that fact, let’s hope the show lasts more than one season. These two stalwart comedians are grossly underappreciated by the general public, and deserve the chance to helm a long-running show. For a taste, the Farting Butterfly sketch is below: