Three of our favorite people have a new home on Comedy Central, with two exciting shows.
The New Negroes brings a new slant to the stand-up showcase, bringing social awareness, music, and even poetry to the mix. Described by The New York Times as a show that “wants to do more than simply provoke laughter…Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle want to challenge ideas about what constitutes black entertainment and expand the discussion about black life in America.” We caught them at the LA Riot Comedy Festival a few years back, and recently talked with Vaughn about the show and some other projects he’s been working on. Vaughn told Amma Marfo that the show aims to create a space where there’s a shared vulnerability, between artists sharing their work on the show and the audience readjusting to what they thought they’d see. And we’ve been following Eagle’s fast rising music and comedy career even before that since we first heard him as a caller on SiriusXM’s Ron and Fez show. He’s gotten love from major publications including Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, and Pitchfork and has been called “Indie Rap’s Sharpest, Funniest Social Critic.”
Reggie Watts will star in another new series, Taskmaster, that puts Watts in the title role. According to Comedy Central, Watts will judge five unwitting comedians competing with each other in a series of stupefying tasks. This is our first time hearing anything about the series, so we’ll have to wait and find out what all of that actually means, but if Watts is on board, so are we. Although competition shows involving comedians are everywhere these days, we’re confident that anything involving Watts is going to stretch some boundaries. He is one of the most original voices in the genre, and also crosses genres between music and comedy.
A third series also grabbed a greenlight from the network– Corporate takes a dark look at life as a Junior-Exec-in-Training at a typical soulless multi-national corporation. Matt Ingebretson, and Jake Weisman navigate an ever-revolving series of disasters with an HR rep played by rising talent Aparna Nancherla as their only ally.
Comedy Central also announced nine pilots in development, with the most exciting news being that the Delco boys, who got to create a few episodes of their Philly character-based series Delco Proper for Comedy Central Digital, are creating a pilot for television. The series is written by John McKeever and Tommy Pope. Sketch series Alternatino is another Comedy Central digital series getting a pilot. Also on the slate, is a Neal Brennan created mockumentary show, Home for the Weekend, an Austin, Texas based scripted series starring Noël Wells called Power Couple, a workplace comedy set in the South Side of Chicago, an underground stand-up show from Jak Knight, and projects from Awkwafina, Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, and Franchesca Ramsey. You can read more about the pilots below.
- Alternatino – based on the Comedy Central digital series, a half-hour sketch show hosted and performed by Arturo Castro (“Broad City”) as he attempts to navigate life as a modern Latino millennial – whatever that means. Executive produced by Castro and Avalon’s David Martin, Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner and Sam Saifer.
- Delco Proper – based on the Comedy Central digital series, centers around a group of buddies from Delaware County, PA, who’ve worked together in the same lumberyard for years. In that time, they’ve learned one thing for sure: It’s hard to change in a town that doesn’t. Written by John McKeever and Tommy Pope, with McKeever set to direct. Executive produced by McKeever, Pope, Eric Abrams, and Sam Saifer of Avalon.
- Home for the Weekend – created, executive produced and hosted by comedian Neal Brennan, this mockumentary-style half-hour follows Neal and a celebrity guest as they take a weekend trip back to the guest’s hometown. In each episode, things veer off the rails and pleasant strolls down memory lane take unexpected turns which reveal surprising backstories and hidden details about high-profile stars. Executive produced by Brennan, Party Over Here’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, along with Lindsay Hannon.
- Power Couple – created, written and executive produced by Noël Wells (who is attached to star) and Flint Wainess, Power Couple is the story of Flint and Noel, a neurotic 20-something couple in Austin, Texas navigating the existential horrors of the Internet age while constantly clashing with friends, neighbors, and the absurdity of the world around them.
- Untitled Awkwafina Project – written by Nora Lum and Teresa Hsiao, executive produced by
Itay Reiss of Principato-Young Entertainment and Lum and co-executive produced by Hsiao, this
half-hour scripted narrative focuses on a heightened version of Nora Lum, better known as rapper Awkwafina, as she navigates the underground hip-hop community in Queens.
- Untitled Chris Kelly And Sarah Schneider Project – written by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, features two struggling siblings who are forced to reevaluate their lives when their much younger 12-year-old brother becomes instantly famous without trying. Chris Kelly (Other People) is set to direct. Executive produced by Kelly, Schneider, Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer of Broadway Video.
- Untitled Franchesca Ramsey Project – led by Franchesca Ramsey, the most diverse set of comedians on TV will heal America through brutal comedy, surprising guests, and breakdowns of the most pressing cultural issues you never knew you cared about. Who knew the awful truth was so hilarious? Executive produced by Ramsey, Eric Brown and Andrew Kornhaber and Kara Welker of Generate.
- Untitled Jak Knight Stand-Up Project – Jak Knight hosts an underground stand-up show featuring three comedians from different genres and a unique performance from an emerging musical artist. Produced by Den of Thieves, executive produced by Knight, Molly Mandel, Lisa Mierke, Jared Morell, Jordan Barrow, Evan Prager, and Jesse Ignjatovic and directed by Chris Storer.
- Untitled South Side Project – Written by Bashir Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Sultan Salahuddin, this workplace comedy is set in and around a rent-to-own business on the South Side of Chicago (where the Salahuddins grew up). All three writers will have roles on the show. The show will be executive produced by Bashir Salahuddin and Riddle as well as executive produced and directed by Michael Blieden.