Over the past decade, a multitude of reality competition shows revolving around every profession and hobby imaginable have come and gone. Titans of the industry like “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice” have managed to stay strong, though many others have disappeared. This year has seen two new reality shows attempt to capture the nation’s attention: “Songland,” a show about the process of creating hit songs, and “Bring the Funny,” a comedy competition.
During a particularly lackluster year for “America’s Got Talent,” “Bring the Funny” has been a breath of fresh air.
Usually, my favorite acts have always been comedians and magicians versus the surplus of singers “Talent” tends to provide. With the number of singers in this year’s lineup, it’s hard for me to get very invested. Honestly, I find most of the acts pretty dry and stale.
“Bring the Funny” takes the comedic aspect that I love from “Talent” and places it front and center. Not only is it nonstop laughs and entertainment, but the variety of performers also adds another level of fun to a format that could quickly get stale. Instead of only having standup acts, it keeps things fresh with all different types of comedic performances.
One of the most unique acts was a comedy magician named Jarred Fell. With a high-energy style, he was able to impress both the judges and audiences with his quick tricks and quips. It was probably one of the acts that made me laugh the hardest since it was just so wild and out there.
Watching Fell swipe a belt right off an audience member’s pants was the point where it became clear just how funny and talented he really was. Both his audition and second act were spot on and kept the bar high.
Another really interesting act was a puppet act known as Randy Feltface. Feltface’s act was formatted like a traditional standup but with the simple twist that all the jokes were told by a puppet. Not only that but the actual man controlling the puppet remained anonymous, leaving the audience and judges to get to know the character he had created.
One of his most hilarious jokes was just him asking the audience if they were tired of doing surveys then mocking them by saying that they had just participated in one. It’s such a simple joke and punchline but it just works so well at showcasing his comedic talent.
There are also many different sketch comedy acts that throw their many hands into the ring. These acts tend to either really hit it out of the park or fall pretty flat. It all comes down to the strength of the premise.
The best of these was performed by The Chris and Paul Show. The two guys had a simple setup of one friend pranking another with a whoopie cushion, not realizing the other is about to tell him one of their friends died. The entire situation is so simple yet so ridiculously dark and awkward that it feels like it was ripped straight out of “The Office.”
Of course, the traditional standup acts certainly bring their game. From jokes about Vegas, married life, children, The South and relationships, comedians from all different places and backgrounds bring a unique outlook. It helps to give every act a special feel as there’s something there that everyone can relate to. Even during a night with a lot of standups, the variety of acts keeps the show from feeling stale.
One of my personal favorite standup acts was Matt Rife. Everything about his act was spot on from his pace to his tone to the jokes themselves — everything. Most of the jokes involve relationships but he was always able to take a tired topic and create fresh material with it. Rife also has winning charisma and a charming personality that makes him hard to dislike.
While the acts are the main source of laughs and entertainment, what would a competition be without judges? “Bring the Funny” has a fun, unique panel with Jeff Foxworthy, Chrissy Teigen and Kenan Thompson. Each judge brings a different perspective. Foxworthy knows standup, Thompson is an “Saturday Night Live” cast member and Teigen acts as the people’s voice. But ultimately, it is the judges’ chemistry that brings about the most laughs.
“Bring the Funny” is one of the most fun shows on television today. With a litany of interesting and hilarious acts, it is almost impossible to lose interest. Even if one act is less-than-stellar, the next one might have you in tears with laughter. Hopefully, “Bring the Funny” will be renewed for another season, but, for now, you can enjoy the show as they bring in live audience votes and attempt to crown the new face of TV comedy.