Senior stars keep the fun and fur flying in ‘reality comedy and travel’ show
What do comedy stars do when their careers taper off, and new offers to perform dry up?
Some work hard to effect the “revival” release of their old TV hit shows, or come up with specials to remind viewers of their past glory, and that they’re still very much around.
When those moves don’t pan out brightly or smartly enough, they come up with belated “tell-all” autobiographies that they publicize by resuscitating old scandals and conflicts with other stars that should be left old, cold and buried.
After these and other failed gambits to revive their lost glory, some stars finally realize that they have to accept their sad but inevitable lot, and just do the best they can with the few offers to perform that do come their way.
This more realistic view of present-day work prospects has worked well for the senior comics who have come together to topbill the new “reality comedy and travel” show, “Better Late Than Never” on Sony.
Its formerly high-flying and breezily wisecracking senior stars include Henry Winkler and William Shatner, plus former sports heroes Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman.
With a couple of younger comedians, they have banded together into a peripatetic and comedically kinetic barkada who sequentially goes on trips to Asian destinations, the better to sample their antic attractions, while keeping the fun and fur flying with their bemused or outraged reactions.
This is the sort of stellar showcase that works because it has the numbers: Its multiple approach to star value, and its flurry of briskly edited misencounters with local culture, all performed with brio and con molto gusto.
The show is done at a breakneck tempo, sweeping viewers along with its hectic enthusiasm and spirited sense of fun, fun, fun!
It’s as if the senior comics are afraid to stop for breath, for fear of allowing viewers to realize that the proceedings are sometimes not as exhilarating as they appear to be.
Still, the hectic ploy works for the most part, so its senior players should be credited for not allowing their generally advanced age to slow them down.
They should also be applauded for being readily able to poke fun at themselves, not just at the odd customs and traditions that they encounter and experience while on tour.
Thus far, we’ve caught the Hong Kong and Thailand “chapters” of “Better Late Than Never.”
In both destinations, the touring comics had a spicily satirical good time experiencing “bone-cracking” masseuses’ “sadistic” assaults, tattoo artists’ needling ministrations, superstitious beliefs, “fishy” pedicures, occult practices, “ladyboys,” weird potions and lotions, etc.
A constant source of laughs and shocks is the gauntlet of “gourmet” local cuisine that the comics are “forced” to ingest.
They’re forever about to throw up as a messy mix of wriggling and weird worms, snakes and other off-putting creatures are proffered for their dubious delectation.
The senior stars and “guinea pigs” protest loudly, of course, but they eventually slurp it all up—and, for the most part, keep it down. Anything to keep their loyal fans and viewers entertained—and their TV show profitably on the air!