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The Saga of Jon Stewart's Baseball Sitcom
2007-05-01 20:50
by Scott Long

I recently became aware of a sitcom produced by Jon Stewart that was turned down this year by Comedy Central. The show was titled "Three Strikes" and the pilot was put up on YouTube by the show's creators, Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, after they were told that the Comedy Central had red-lighted it.

Sitcom pilots are the hardest thing to write, as trying to explain a whole group of new characters to the audience, while trying to be funny at the same time is next to impossible. Considering this, I think "3 Strikes" is pretty funny. I mean any show that casts the brilliant Phil Hendrie as a bible-thumping, independent baseball league owner, has got me interested from the beginning. Check the episode out yourself, but I think "3 Strikes" is definitely more consistent than your typical Reno 911 and as I said, this was just the pilot.


My favorite storyline in the pilot is the steroid popping Korean outfielder, who has been kicked out of his country in disgrace. I hate how TV always makes its Asian characters calm and wise. The only 3-dimensional Asian character I can think of in television history is Hank Hill's Laotian neighbor, Khan. I mean what is more American than someone chasing their dream and being willing to cut any corners to make it happen?

A friend of mine had told me to check this pilot out and I'm glad I did. After seeing "Three Strikes", I wanted to find out more backstory on the project. The best article I could find was written by the LA Times', Patrick Goldstein. Goldsten discusses the bigger idea of how networks react to having a pilot being leaked onto their newest competition, video web sites.


On a big positive note for Comedy Central, the Sarah Silverman Show they debuted in 2007 is the best new comedy of this season's lineups, network or cable. Silverman's standup has always been hit or miss with me, but when she interacts with other people who have a trace of humanity to them, her sick jokes seem more plausible. The cast is great and the way the show is a parody of sitcoms from the 70's and 80's is really inspired.


Here is a clip I enjoyed of George W. Bush being interviewed by David Letterman. As Frank Caliendo says it so well, The Buick Stops Here.

Now who would have guessed that Bon Jovi night on American Idol would be one of the best of the season? Not me, but the rock theme really pushed some of the remaining contestants to sing something besides dance music or standards. While Jon Bon Jovi ain't exactly Springsteen or Costello, his songs still have more life than most of what appears on Top 40 radio.

  • While I've been touting Jordin since the beginning, this week she really showed her age, as she couldn't make the genre her own.
  • Melinda impressed me more than she had during any other week. Sure she has sung consistently well every time she has hit the mic, but this was the first week where I saw someone who could actually headline live shows.
  • Lakisha showed more personality this week than at any time during the competition, but she is still too much of a R&B queen to win the whole thing.
  • Whle I'm not a fan of Blake's 311-style, I am impressed with how big of chance he took by completely changing the structure of the Jersey's greatest Hair Band.
  • Phil has a lot of range and a really clear tone, but he just doesn't have that special something that makes you want to buy a record from him. He would be great on Broadway, though.
  • Chris has gone as far as he can. The guy is a boy-band wannabe, who unfortunately for him was born 5 years too late to nab a Simpson sister.

Since 2 are being sent home on Wednesday, I predict that Chris will go for sure. I'm nervous for Jordin, since this was by far her worst performance, but I think Phil will be sent home, instead. Now I need to pull my balls out my taint and watch some baseball to counteract this American Idol sissy talk.


2007-05-02 00:37:55
1.   Cliff Corcoran
Bush isn't Caliendo's best, but he's got the facial expressions down. The face (and moving hair) is the best part of that impression by far.
2007-05-02 00:53:21
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Come to think of it, the face is so good the rest almost doesn't matter. I take it back.
2007-05-02 01:56:39
3.   Voxter
I've never quite grasped what was supposed to be funny about Sarah Silverman. But I'll always be rooting for her.
2007-05-02 10:20:44
4.   joejoejoe
I think Jack Soo as Det. Nick Yamana in the Barney Miller show was a good role. Det. Nick was kind of pre-slacker with a wry sense of humor and not the industrious, brainy Asian stereotype. Det. Nick Yamana was calm and a wiseass, not calm and wise.
2007-05-03 06:08:21
5.   Vishal
man, i hate viacom. they took it down on youtube.

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