Two Minutes to Late Night

2 out of 5

Hosted by: Gwarsenio Hall

Swing and a way, way miss.

The first filming of this live show had a particular drunken revelry to it which made it not exactly funny, but amusing and promising – like the alcohol was holding them on the precipe of something pretty inspired, that they may be able to balance better on when sober.  But subsequent shows expand the ‘loose’ format to more characters and more ‘tightly’ scripted bits, which unfortunately just expose that the modern crop of humorists out there are, more often than not, too self aware; the humor falls flat, and Two Minutes to Late Night’s cool concept never truly comes to fruition.

That concept: shot live at Saint Vitus, a heavy metal bar in Brooklyn, Two Minutes is a talk show hosted by ‘Gwarsenio Hall’ – a suited funnyman in face paint – with, initially, a similarly face-painted cohost, later replaced with the character ‘Hard Melissa,’ whose shtick is to be perpetually bitter and unsmiling.  Their band: Mutoid Man, who are awesome.  And there are bits – What’s the Weather at Danzig’s House? – for example, that play into (celebrating and poking fun at) the heavy metal / hardcore lifestyle, with guests from bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Baroness to back that up.  It should be fantastic: energized by beer, tongue-in-cheek, backed up by an actual appreciation for the genre its lampooning.

Instead, Gwarsenio and Melissa are constantly on point with their humor, but the house band has sort of lame timing, the skits fall incredibly flat, and the interviewees get interrupted by poor attempts to enliven the format.  The juxtaposition between funny hosts and an unfunny rest-of-the-show is somewhat embarrassing, leaving me constantly wishing that the series could fulfill that promise of those initial episodes…

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