Web Shows: TV Review

Mostly subversive humor that is so far from being ready for primetime.

Program content can flow both ways. Most publicity has gone to TV series that migrate to the Internet after being telecast, but it can go the other way as well.

Comedy Central's Web Shows is a half-hour package of a half-dozen or so of the blink-and-you-miss-it videos found on ComedyCentral.com. Mostly, this is subversive humor that is so far from being ready for primetime that it is slotted at 2 a.m.

Each weekly episode looks like a random sample from the website. Only one of the web shows appears in both of the first two episodes -- "Baxter & McGuire," a buddy comedy from Michael Weithorn and Nick Bakay featuring cartoon testicles. In the premiere, they are struck by a soccer ball; in the second show, they respond to sex.

Not all the televised web content is that outrageous. "Guacamole" stars common household objects with actor voices. "Good God" brings scatalogical humor to the Almighty. "I Love the '30s" is, as its name implies, a parody of similar shows on sister station VH1.

Humor being highly individual, it's hard to predict which of these bits will evoke widespread laughter. I found more wit in the second episode, with its celebrity-bashing "Balloon Heads" and hidden-camera "Meet the Creeps." Then again, at 2 a.m., it might all seem like a hoot.

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