Joining FOX’s late-night comedy line-up is ‘Talkshow With Spike Feresten.’ Hosted by Emmy-nominated writer Feresten, ‘Talkshow’ runs on Saturday nights at midnight (right after ‘MADtv’), and follows the usual format of a late-night show: the host’s monologue, a variety of comedy sketches and one-on-one interviews with celebrity guests.
If you’re a fan of Seinfeld’s famous ‘Soup Nazi’ episode, then you’ll probably enjoy the antics of Feresten, who wrote that particular piece, for which he earned an Emmy nomination.
Though only the first episode of his ‘Talkshow’ has aired, Spike Feresten is already a veteran of the late-night comedy scene. After realizing that his dreams of becoming the next Jimi Hendrix at Berklee College of Music in Boston were not about to come true, he left for New York, where network television would appreciate the humor of his act in which he dropped four-foot fluorescent light bulbs out the window of his dorm room, a stunt that was later performed on ‘Late Night with David Letterman,’ igniting Feresten’s ambition to land a career in TV comedy.
Starting as an intern at NBC New York, Feresten jumped at the opportunity to work for ‘Saturday Night Live’ as a receptionist. By passing jokes that he had written to Dennis Miller of ‘Weekend Update,’ Feresten eventually landed a writing position in 1990 on ‘Late Night with David Letterman.’ During his five-year tenure there, Feresten accrued five Emmy nominations but decided to jump ship to ‘Seinfeld,’ where he worked for three years. Feresten also penned episodes of ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Space Ghost Coast to Coast’ and ‘The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,’ and co-wrote the screenplay for ‘Beehive,’ which will be released by Dreamworks in 2007.
Though a talented writer, Feresten should remain behind the scenes and let the cameras focus on a real performer. Only when Feresten is interacting with others are there moments when he is able to shine through his usually lackluster presence.
In his sketch, ‘Man on the Street,’ in which he prances around The Kodak Theatre acting like an asshole to people on the streets (which every late-night show host does), he manages to throw in a few good one-liners. However, skits with him as a one-man show may force you to press the power button on your remote.
To be fair, the show is brand new and Feresten may have the ability to turn the show into a success, as seen with a few of his funny zingers in the first episode. So while ‘Talkshow’ is still in its early stages and you are ‘chronically unemployed or recently dumped,’ as Feresten so pompously put it, then check out ‘Talkshow With Spike Feresten’ if you truly must.
‘Talkshow’ debuted on Sept. 16 with Andy Richter as the special guest. Feresten’s second episode will air on Sept. 23 with actress/comedienne Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays Chloe O’Brien in Fox’s ’24.’