Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frank as in Stank

Thanks to an oppressive, eight-week ad campaign, I felt morally and spiritually obligated to catch tonight's premiere of Frank TV on TBS.

For those of you who haven't caught the commercials...oh, who am I kidding? You all already know that this is a 30-minute sketch comedy show starring super-impressionist Frank Caliendo. Unfortunately, the debut was D.O.A.

The "Seinfeld 2027" skit was impressive in that Caliendo does a killer Seinfeld, Costanza, Kramer and Newman. But, who does Seinfeld impressions, anymore? Satirizing a sitcom that's been off the air for almost a decade isn't "changing late night" - as this show's tagline promises - it's just lazy.

The same could be said about the Bill Clinton (He's horny! He likes fried foods!) and George W. Bush (He's not good with...uh, words!) skits. Both covered ground that's been travelled to death by everyone from the early '90s to today. Then, there was a running Thanksgiving-themed gag with Caliendo's John Madden impersonation. The payoff? Madden ate too much turducken.

Caliendo is a spot-on impressionist, but a little over his head as the one-man show here. The awful writing has nowhere to go but up, though, so that's something.

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