The lucrative but increasingly crowded late-night talk show lineup gets even more populated tonight as The Pete Holmes Show joins the TBS schedule in the Monday-Thursday half-hour timeslot immediately following Conan (Conan O’Brien is an executive producer on the series).
The new series, which reportedly combines comedy sketches and video pieces with celebrity interviews, premieres with a filmed visit with Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show as well as an in-studio chat with Kumail Nanjiani, the Pakistani-American stand-up comic and actor who co-stars as agoraphobic sci-fi nerd Pindar Singh on the TBS sitcom Franklin & Bash. Additional guests scheduled to appear during this first week include actress Allison Williams of HBO’s Girls, comic Jim Jefferies, NBA All-Star James Harden of the Houston Rockets and actress Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
Based on a clips reel TBS sent of sketches that may or may not make it into the show, Holmes, 34, looks to be a good fit with O’Brien, as both comics are tall, gangly guy-next-door types who exude an air of bewilderment with the show-biz nuttiness around them. I’ve never caught Holmes’ stand-up act or podcast, but some of the comedy bits included on the screener made me laugh out loud, such as a very high-concept sketch purporting to be previews from a new revised and remastered Criterion Collection DVD release of Good Will Hunting, in which we see actual footage from that film with Matt Damon and Robin Williams, with Holmes edited in as co-star Ben Affleck … except it’s Ben Affleck playing Batman.
Another bit finds Holmes auditioning for the role of James Bond and becoming increasingly hammered during multiple takes from the very real vodka that, due to a promotional deal with Smirnoff, is being used on-camera (that one doesn’t really lend itself to summarizing, but Holmes lands all the slurry jokes).
I’ll wait until I see tonight’s premiere before I decide whether to add another late-night entry to my DVR, but Holmes is very likable and funny. I wish him well.