The Comedians: Season 1 (2015)

Season 1
The Comedians

Critics Consensus

Though The Comedians' material doesn't break any TV molds, the stars' comic abilities push the show over the median with well-earned laughs.



Critic Ratings: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 104
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Air date: Apr 9, 2015
Air date: Apr 16, 2015
Air date: Apr 23, 2015
Air date: Apr 30, 2015
Air date: May 7, 2015
Air date: May 14, 2015
Air date: May 21, 2015
Air date: May 28, 2015
Air date: Jun 4, 2015
Air date: Jun 11, 2015
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The Comedians: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info


Josh Gad
as Josh
Stephnie Weir
as Kristen Laybourne
Matt Oberg
as Mitch Reed
Megan Ferguson
as Esme McCauley
Steven Weber
as Jamie Dobbs
Denis O'Hare
as Denis Grant
Dana Delany
as Julie Crystal
Sugar Ray Leonard
as Sugar Ray Leonard
Andrew Secunda
as Andy the cue card guy
Will Sasso
as Will Sasso
Matt Nix
as Car Dealer
Joe Torre
as Joe Torre
Larry Charles
as Larry Charles
Janice Crystal
as Julie Crystal
Dan Gregor
as Dan Gregor
Laura Krafft
as Laura Krafft
Doug Mand
as Doug Mand
Michael Tucci
as Billy's Agent
Cary Mizobe
as Security Guard
Jamila Webb
as Female Network Executive
Ben Wexler
as Josh's Agent
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Critic Reviews for The Comedians Season 1

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (21)

Maybe if we all ask very nicely, Larry David will just come back with another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That's where my thoughts kept returning as I watched The Comedians.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Gad and Crystal have yet to convincingly mesh or clash the way The Comedians needs them to.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Through it all, enough basic Hollywood phoniness shines through to make this a reasonable facsimile of how the sausage is really made.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Gad and Long Beach native Crystal are a couple of pros who are congenial and sometimes even amusing together. As a team, they are better than the shows -- both the real one and the fake one -- they're in.

Apr 8, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

By giving it their all, the old pro and the young pro generally make The Comedians funnier and more engaging than the premise would suggest. That's showbiz!

Apr 7, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Crystal and Gad have undeniably strong comic timing, but it's the material here that fails them.

Apr 7, 2015 | Full Review…

The Comedians is more likely to provoke mild, nervous laughter as the characters make what quickly become predictable faux pas.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…

The Comedians is mostly just scenes of each actor annoying the other.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…

My interest was held by the opportunity The Comedians provides to think about why there's such a widening gap between Crystal's kind of big-gestured, boisterous comedy style and Gad's quieter comedy of sweaty desperation.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…

A fun look into the "other lives" of Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, The Comedians borrows several story elements from series like The Comeback, Extras or even The Office, but it stands out through nuanced comedy and well-formed characters.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

The show gets funnier - and so does the show within the show - but four episodes in, the whole setup still felt more like work than it probably should.

Apr 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Beneath the played-out showbiz satire of The Comedians is the spark of something unique, but familiarity is what's on offer in the series premiere.

Apr 9, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Comedians: Season 1

  • Nov 09, 2016
    While there was some funny moments, I still struggle liking Josh Gad as an actor. Billy Crystal hasn't been in his prime in years and it kind of shows with old tired Jewish shtick. The show lacks the uniqueness we have expected from FX.
  • Oct 28, 2016
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  • Jun 20, 2016
    This embellished mockumentary about two very different comedians being paired together to make a sketch comedy series is pleasant, charming, meta and occasionally magic. Billy Crystal and Josh Gad play "hyper" versions of themselves, in the sense of their redeeming qualities and dickheadedness being fictionalized to make each funnier than they probably both are in day-to-day life. But it's done carefully and with craft. Gad plays himself as a man-child who is far from brilliant, or even conscious of common sense, except when dealing with Kristen: the neurotic, helpless, near-brainless producer; in which case he is fully aware of her nonsense and often calls her out. As in episode 2, when Gad gets invited to Crystal's home by his wife, and he asks Kristen for gift ideas when arriving, she suggests wine and a gift certificate, among other things, to which he replies, "There is literally a level of autism to some of these suggestions." It's funny, and the delivery is dynamite, but at times Gad's lines don't come off as believable based on the character the writers have created for him. I laugh almost everytime he lands a joke, but they don't always fit the level of intelligence or awareness they've given the audience with the expectations set from the get-go. Billy Crystal is funnier than he's been since the early '90s, and he's made himself relevant to a generation younger than Baby Boomers. Kudos to him for doing something different and attempting something other than his typical "silly Jewish schtick" (which is referenced time and again throughout the series). The fictional character of Billy Crystal in The Comedians is, like Gad's, embellished for richness; he's the "good guy" he's always appeared to be, but he makes sure people know that. In a scene in episode 8, the pathetic invertebrate head writer character for The Billy & Josh Show (show within the show) is showing Crystal the new desk chair he purchased for $1,700 out-of-pocket, and Billy can't help but try it out. He sits, admiring the lumbar support and raves about it with subtlety until the next cut of him wheeling the chair down the hallway to his dressing room, while the writer sadly looks on without a word. The supporting cast is brilliant. Stephnie Weir is hilarious and completely incompetent as the fictional show's on-set producer, with all of her interactions and direct-to-camera 'confessionals' being spot-on and believable. Denis O'Hare plays Denis Grant, the fictional president of FX Network who has waining faith in the production of the show, and pushes back the premiere date, inciting panic in Crystal, Gad and Kristen over the show even airing. Mel Brooks, Will Sasso, Rob Reiner and the duo who co-wrote award-winning songs for Disney's Frozen and Broadway's the Book of Mormon all guest star in episodes. As a whole, the show is fantastic. I could see how some viewers might not love the show; it's sometimes dry, a bit slow, the occasional joke feels forced, and when it comes down to it some people are just going to not like certain aspects. Some people simply don't like Billy Crystal (I've never been too fond). Some people find Josh Gad insufferable (I think he's mostly great). Some people are sick of the whole mockumentary style of comedy (it's starting to get old...), and some people might just not get what this show is doing (the whole meta thing; show about a show about comedians by comedians playing comedians who are versions of themselves). Critics generally shat upon this show, which unfortunately led to its demise after one season, and I can sort of see why they might have. I don't agree with them, but it's conceivable. I think it works and it's actually made me appreciate Billy Crystal more than I have since City Slickers. But for some, it might just be the perfect storm of things that annoy people, wrapped tightly in one 13 episode package.
  • Jun 11, 2016
    The best comedy comes from pain and the uncomfortable situations these guys created made for some funny bits. Sorry there won't be a season 2.
  • May 29, 2016
    This show got better and better as the season progressed. Watch it. Cancelling it was very ill-advised.
  • Dec 29, 2015
    I really liked this show. I automatically assumed that it was going to be a second season. I'm just know finding out it was cancelled 6 months after the fact. Hopefully it would get picked up somewhere else.
  • Jul 05, 2015
    It took some time but this show grew on us... hope it comes back
  • Jun 27, 2015
    Too bad the critics only watched the first episode. The show has fantastic character development and the story arc is truly one of the best I have seen in a while. PLEASE DO SEASON 2.
  • Jun 23, 2015
    This is a truly unique show. It's a unique show in that it does so many things wrong, and does them wrong in such complex and convoluted ways, that it's interesting to watch just to try and unpack what you're seeing. There are so many meta-levels happening, where the show is being knowingly bad, but simultaneously accidentally bad, that while watching it I sometimes feel like I'm traveling through time. Structurally, the show is 30 Rock-esque. Crystal and Gad play fictionalized versions of themselves having been cast to play off of one another in a 2 person sketch TV show. The show is them going about their lives, but also staging and executing the sketch show. The timing is off. the staging is off. Gad, Crystal and the supporting characters aren't just one dimensional, they're unconvincingly one dimensional. No one is likable, but not because they're unlikable, rather, because they're so poorly realized that they may as well be absent. The Comedians regularly tries to manufacture awkward situations, but those situations are so contrived that the discomfort doesn't come from the situation they're staging, but from your own understanding that you're watching a failed attempt at staging an awkward situation. It's some unintentionally next level stuff. The show makes jokes that intentionally fall flat, then comments on the fake bad jokes with worse jokes that are supposed to be the real jokes. The characters are playing fictionalized versions of themselves which are deeply self aware in unintentional ways. Peering through so many levels of characterization like this and, ultimately, hitting the motivations of the real-life actors playing the roles is strangely unnerving. And let's not leave out the sketch show that everyone is collaborating on that's so... The sketches are intended to be knowingly "wink-wink" bad, but also broadly funny, but they're not, not even a tiny bit. They're bafflingly bad, and that's where, again, this fascinating "meta-muddle" thing comes in. There's a phenomena that happens when you watch Billy Crystal pretending to be high, improvising a Sammy Davis Jr. Impression that would have been tired 30 years ago, being played for big laughs. Or seeing Gad knowingly make tasteless statements that are then treated like unintentional tasteless statements and, by extension, played as fraudulent commentary on his generation of comedians... It's incredibly surreal. Crystal's improvising. If he drops a couple bombs, it's not on him. He's putting himself out there, trying things out and trying to get a laugh. It's on the directors, editors and producers for keeping it in. I apologize for using the words intentional and unintentional so often here, but that's what's so fascinating. Much of what we see are intentional layers of irony, but unintentionally, they're all disastrously executed. There's no question that the cast is incredibly talented, so where does the blame lie? I believe it's in the writing, directing and editing. Directors aren't giving performers the feedback they need to make the correct adjustments. Writers aren't work-shopping their jokes enough to see that they won't land, and editors don't have the guts to cut what's not working. Frankly... everyone's probably afraid of pissing off Billy Crystal. I don't know what more I can say. If you love comedy, watch this show. It's a study on how to do literally everything wrong while maintaining excellent production values. I've never laughed once but I can't stop watching it. May god have mercy on our souls.
  • Jun 07, 2015
    This show is brilliant. It takes a few episodes to find it's stride… but by episode 6 "Orange is the new black guy" it is on FIRE. FINGERS CROSSED for a second season!!!

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