If you like biting comedy that doesn’t hold back, you’ll enjoy the new Showtime series called The Green Room with Paul Provenza. Read on to see how one little Q&A online with Paul Provenza made this show change from a “meh, sounds good but not something I’m gonna pursue” to “okay, this is genius and I have to make everyone watch!’ And “everyone” includes you!

the green room show

The Green room with Paul Provenza comes with the tagline “Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unsanitized.” If the show was a picture online it’d come with the NSFW tag. Episode one will feature Drew Carey and Eddie Izzard. But it’s not all about the big names, I think the concept of putting comedians up against each other to just chat  is cool and can stand on its own once it establishes an audience. In fact, each episode will feature an unknown comedian.

Provenza says, “I wanted people to see comedians they’ve never heard of presented as equals with some of the biggest names in comedy. Because to real comedians, funny is funny. Celebrity or star power is irrelevant when comedians start riffing. To see big comedy stars jamming with ‘unknowns,’ each respecting the other’s talents and ideas and working together to reach some perfect, spontaneous comedy moment… I think it’s inspiring.” In other words, this is kind of like an American Idol for comics – in some respects. If this is labeled as reality TV, then this is the kind of reality TV really worth watching and that we should bury in a time capsule for people to study 200 years from now.

Because using someone else’s words is easier…I mean, more accurate:

Paul Provenza on how he came up with this show:

Through all my years in comedy, more than anything else I’ve always enjoyed just hanging out with comedians in private. When comedians are just making each other laugh, when there are no rules to play by, when the jokes come out of genuine conversation – to me that is pure
‘art of comedy.’ There is no agenda, no script, no audience to please, just artists being funny just for the sake of being funny. I’ve always dreamed of creating a show that really captured that pure, free-form, comic jazz that few besides comedians themselves ever really get to

Paul Provenza on why you will be surprised by what the comedians say:

Not only will they be surprised by some of the comedians’ thoughts and ideas, they will be surprised to see just what deep thinkers many comedians are – and how much they think about things. And I think they will be moved by the affection they have for one another, even as they say the most hilariously ‘inappropriate’ things to each other.

I think some people will also be surprised to see how much real, honest communication takes place amidst all the jokes and laughter.

The Green Room episode guide:
Episode 101
Featuring Drew Carey, Eddie Izzard, Larry Miller and Reginald Hunter
Episode 102
Featuring Roseanne Barr, Bob Saget, Sandra Bernhard and Patrice O’Neal
Episode 103
Featuring Andy Dick, Dana Gould, Andy Kindler and Brendon Burns
Episode 104
Featuring Paul Mooney, Rain Pryor, Bobby Slayton and Jim Jefferies
Episode 105
Featuring Robert Klein, Jonathan Winters and Rick Overton
Episode 106
Featuring Tommy Smothers, Martin Mull and Penn Jillette

Previously: Christina Hendricks is the saddest space goddess