Thursday, May 23, 2024

Comics Smoke A Joint on New Showtime Talk Show


Here’s a first: a bunch of comedians smoke a joint on stage during a new episode of the don’t miss talk show on Showtime. The show is “The Green Room with Paul Provenza,” a tremendously funny and philosophical half hour series of conversations Provenza has with different panels. This is the show’s second season. And in the second episode of this season, someone from the audience– “The Green Room” almost looks like it’s shot in the round — hands a quite a sizable joint up onto the stage. Partaking immediately and passing it around are Provenza, guests Greg Proops, Dana Gould and Franklyn Ajaye. Kathy Griffin, also on the freewheeling panel, stays above the fray.

Provenza tells me that Showtime considered taking the scene out of the show, but in the end concurred that there was nothing illegal going on. “We’re really going for authenticity,” Provenza says. “And spontaneity. That would happen in a real green room. It’s about freedom and personal dignity. Our laws are not reflecting the will of the people.”

The joint smoking is likely a first for any talk show. Zach Galifinakis seemed to smoke one on Bill Maher‘s HBO talk show last year, then recanted by saying it wasn’t pot.

Meantime, there’s more to that second episode including Franklyn Ajaye’s very astute observation that “Snooki and Sarah Palin are the same person.”

And in the premiere episode Provenza is almost overwhelmed by an all star line up of Ray Romano, Judd Apatow, Marc Maron, and a surprisingly insightful Garry Shandling.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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