Let's face it, round-table talk shows have been done before and some have had far greater success that Tough Crowd had during its all-too-brief run on Comedy Central, but few can actually stand the test of time like it.
The topics may be very dated, but the humor is just as fresh as it was back then. To watch these comedians pick each other apart and roll with the punches makes you almost wish you could join in with them. Watching any episode can tell you that despite some of the meanest slams you've heard in a long time, the guests typically had a blast making each episode (show regulars Nick DiPaolo, Patrice Oneal, Jim Norton and Greg Giraldo being the most shining examples of this). Some guest stars would seem a little out of their element at times (Pauly Shore and Janeane Garofalo particularly, among others) while others (such as Greg Proops) seemed to flourish in this style of no-holds-barred comedic debate. Simply put: its a show that one has to see to fully appreciate it, and it's a shame that Comedy Central decided to pull the plug on this show, much less as suddenly as they did.
Also, to anyone who cries "Colin Quinn ripped it off of Bill Mahr!" I'd suggest you look up the Algonquin round table and realize that Bill Mahr ripped the idea off, too.
I liked this show the first time when it was called Poltically Incorrect. It seems that Colin waited for people to forget that show and decided to pitch show as his own. In fact that is what he tried to do on the Daily Show when he called Tough Crowd "a fresh idea.
You see Bill Mahr had his show with him and four other guest discussing topics ripped strait from the newpaper. The discussions were serious with an add humor. Now I would tell you what Though Crowd was about but you just reread what I just said in this paragraph.
It does not matter if this show was good or not, it get a poor rating because it is an out right stolen idea.
Not only that, but Colin's stand-up has always been weak too.
In each episode, Colin opened the show with a monologue. Afterwards, the four guest comedians and him would talk about current events and popular trends. In Act 3, the comedians got more creative with gameshow-like games and scripted scenes of comedy.
What can I say? This was a spectacular show. Colin took the Politically Incorrect model, and turned it into something unique and hilarious. The comedian interaction was often funnier than the topics they were talking about. Colin always did his best to get a good crop of comedians, and he had 5-8 regular comics who make about weekly appearances. The "regulars" were Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinson, Greg Giraldo, and Nick Dipaolo. Others who frequently appeared, but not part of the "regulars" were Judy Gold, Rich Vos, and Marc Maron. This is a great show if you want to see funny people speak the truth, without fear of reprisal. Colin, inspite of his flaws, was a great host and the perfect person for the job. His ability to write new material on a daily basis, and mentor young comics was essential for the show. It had a great run of two years, but I was hoping it would go for much, much longer. The show was right in it's prime when Comedy Central cancelled it. It's no secret that Colin supports president Bush, but he never used his show as a platform to for political purposes. In fact, he frequently had liberal comics on the show, who sometimes got on their soap box (missing the point that it's a comedy show, not a propoganda machine), and looked like an idiot for wasting time to bash Bush. The arguements that formed during those moments were hilarious because comics are great at diffusing a tense situation. The bottom line is this: Tough Crowd was a show unlike any other. It was original, cutting edge, and a great way to get exposure for comics. Without this show, I really think the stand-up community is going to suffer. Now there is no place to showcase new talent on a nationwide television show. I am hopeful, that somehow, someday, Colin will be able to get his aweful new Rat Pack together on television once again.
The thing that made this show work was not the scripted humour (actually, that was at times pretty pathetic), but the chemistry between the comedians and Colin, particularly between Colin and Jim Norton, Nick DiPaolo, Keith Robinson and Patrice O\'Neal.
This show was pretty good, and I don\'t see why it was canceled.
The only thing that really irritates me about the show is how long it took for Australia to get certain episodes.
Tough Crowd's charm lies in its no BS attitude. Taking five smart@$$ comedians and letting them yell at one another in a way similar to Hardball or Crossfire only with a little more humor and a lot more un-PC fun. The show also has fun with the standards of a round-table discussion show, sometimes randomly sending some people out of conversations or removing chairs and adding in random new segments never to be seen again. Tough Crowd managed to take serious topics and have fun with them while also managing to say some relatively important things. All it needed was a little bit more focus and the show could have been incredible.
Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was quite simply, hilarious. Consistantly funny and informative, I used to love watching this show every single night.
Despite the fact that it was an excellent show, its timeslot was its true death. Pitted against juggernauts Letterman and Leno, even with a Daily Show lead-in, spelled doom for the comedy news show.
Still, it was great when it was around. The true star of the show was not, however, Quinn. Instead, it was his panel of comedian guests. Containing some of the best comedians of today, it was a great way to showcase the talents of comedians who people might not normally see unless they make an effort to visit comedy clubs on a regular basis.
While a Tough Crowd DVD seems a longshot, the humor of the crew can be seen in the Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary. Filmed at the height of Tough Crowd's quality, the roast features many of the show's regulars, and is a great source for nostalgia for fans of the show.
Gone but not forgotten, Tough Crowd will be known as one of the great comedic news shows.
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!