Comics Watching Comics is a comedy reality TV show on Amazon Video in which rising comedians compete against one another and receive feedback, praise, and critique from more seasoned performers. The winner of the show, selected by the panelists, gets a showcase spot in a top comedy club in New York City. The show is also supposed to be interactive in that viewers on Twitter vote to keep a panelist on for the next season. Creator, Kevin Gootee, is the host.
The format of the show consists of the panelist of comedians watching a taped set from a comic at New York Comedy Club, and commenting on a variety of factors that make or don’t make the set go well. It’s a lot of roasting and joking around, but they ultimately decide if the comic goes through to the next round. At the end of each episode, one of the panelists does a talking heads interview.
Even though I found myself disagreeing at points with some of the panelists’ commentary, it was interesting to hear how working comedians base their judgments of other comics. Some of the criteria they focus on is punchlines, eye contact, mic stand position, wordiness, pausing, stage presence, and audience engagement. It’s a useful tool for beginner and intermediate comedians looking to understand what it takes to get to the next step. It’s also a good way to gauge the level of other comedians who’ve been performing as long as you. I’d definitely recommend it to people just starting out.
Seasons 7 and 8 of Comics Watching Comics airs this summer! To stay up to date, visit www.comicswatchingcomics.com.