Are we really this hard up for mid-season replacements? In what seems like a last-minute rush job of a show, NBC had produced you -- its own version of the internationally copied and re-copied 'Thank God You're Here.' Your writing's cheesy, your cast's acting is marginal, and the guest improvisers are lackluster, to say the least.
Don't get me wrong -- I love improvisational comedy as much as the next guy (I even dug the watered-down American version of 'Whose Line is it Anyway?'), and the concept for the show has obviously done well in other countries, but were those the best guest actors you could find? I mean, really. Why put the questionable talents of B-list comedians such as Mo'Nique (who's only joke is that she's fat and proud of it) and Joel McHale (of E!'s 'The Soup', who should really be making fun of shows like this, not participating in them) along with obviously gifted comedic minds of Bryan Cranston, Edie McClurg, and Kevin Nealon?
Also, do we really need both a host and a judge? I love Dave Foley dearly for his work on 'The Kids in the Hall' and 'NewsRadio,' as well as his recent contributions to 'The Late Late Show w/ Craig Ferguson,' but he has nothing constructive to say when the skits are over, because he's not really supposed to judge or criticize. His sole purpose is just to push the button when the skit gets too long, or the punchline is delivered. The whole 'X wins the trophy' bit is just a lame justification for his presence. He either needs to grow some balls and use that snark of his, or find another project, because he's wasted there.
For those of you who missed it, here's the first episode. It had its moments, but most of it was painful to watch. For comparison, a sample of the original Australian version. (Seems much funnier to me - the quality of the performers and the originality of the situations make all the difference.) There are far more clips on YouTube, and I would recommend watching some more. Notice that the actors on the Aussie version are far less concerned with looking or sounding ridiculous than some of Americans.
Bottom line is, if you are going to reach the quality of the original version, you're going to have to take some chances, stop dumbing yourself down, invite only actors who have some improvisational experience, and come up with more ludicrous scenarios. As it stands now, you're more like the Disney version of something good, and that's bad.