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THE MEDIA are abuzz with conflicting statements as to why Comedy Central parted ways with Gareth Cliff’s show. Some are celebrating, making it seem as if CliffCentral.com has closed down, but that is not the case.
Cliff, (pictured) had an idea, pursued it, but it did not work out as planned. Great, ask any inventor, failing is part of the process. But at least he tried. While the show was a great idea there are several aspects to TV and Comedy Central that Cliff and his gang neglected to take into account.
When you tune into Comedy Central, you will see names like Damon Wayans, Daniel Tosh and Tumi Morake back-to-back and will be in stitches most of the time. The name of the channel suggests that anyway, so when a radio show comes along you would expect it to be on that level of humour, but as with any good radio show, chuckles are not a priority through and through.
Said head of the channel, Evert Van der Vee: “Humour is part of Gareth’s formidable armoury of talents so there was great synergy with Cliff Central and Comedy Central. As a channel, Comedy Central offers many different kinds of content from satire to comedy sitcoms, stand-up specials, comedy drama, Roasts and more; we weren’t expecting Gareth to start appearing in comedy skits, but to do what he does best.”
So Cliff did what he did best, including his co-presenters, his producers and even the interns. It was great at times, but in some instances it wasn’t for Comedy Central. It was almost leaning towards a badly scripted reality TV show. The idea of watching radio was intriguing, but perhaps having it on Comedy Central sent out the wrong message and generated the wrong expectations.
The numbers never lie, and after several attempts to keep the show alive, Comedy Central had to pull the plug.
“We were so excited when we heard about Gareth Cliff’s new venture that when he approached us about the idea of airing a live TV version of a Cliff Central show on Comedy Central we joined forces. Everyone was well aware that this was an experiment and we would see how it evolved over time.
“Despite positive feedback from viewers and changes to the format and timeslot, the show did not quite generate the audience reach we had hoped for, so we are retiring this particular format for now,” Van der Vee said.
The Wright brothers may have got flying right, but there had been several attempts before that so Cliff and Comedy Central are still in the lab seeing how best they can work together.
“Never say ‘never’. Gareth himself will definitely be back on the channel very soon. We are delighted to be working with him on our themed comedy special Comedy Central Presents Divine Live at the Lyric, which will take place on September 12 and 13 and air on Comedy Central on Monday November 3 at 9pm,” said Van der Vee.
To those who may want to have a go at Comedy Central, here is what the head of the channel had to say.
“It has to fit with Comedy Central’s programming ethos, and be edgy, surprising, smart and funny, as well as high quality in terms of scripting, content and production values”.