Sure, comedians have been touring since the invention of the spotlight and the plastic stool, but could it be that whole TV shows will start hitting the road as well?
A novel occurrence of a comedy-based show traveling from city to city can be found in The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Usually a late-night circus of non sequitur spoofs that lasts 11 minutes (and usually plays behind college water bongs), the show is currently busing it around the country. The idea of touring isn’t particularly foreign to stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, comedians who also have stage experience playing as a band.
In the Tim and Eric tour, the stars brought along a few other mainstays on the show, like puppeteer and singer David Liebe Hart and had a selection of old scenes and new scenes prepared on a screen to entertain audiences while changing costumes. Fans of the show sipped Guinness and sang along with the skits they’d long-since memorized. It was clear that the transition from late night cable to stage was relatively bump free.
With the economy in a downturn that’s slowing the momentum of advertising’s ability to fund media, it might not be a bad idea for television shows to take note and make like the music biz. No stranger to constantly dwindling funds, musicians and labels have found some respite in the knowledge that touring still produces cash. Not that Grey’s Anatomy should immediately hit the stage anytime soon, but shows with casts of comedians and multi-talented entertainers like 30 Rock might just lend themselves to touring.