I’ve watched a lot of Comedy Central in my life—as early as elementary school I was watching shows like South Park. I still have vivid memories of Mr. Jefferson, really Michael Jackson, playing with the boys in one of the first episodes I ever watched. While I didn’t quite understand all of the humor when I was younger, as I grew up and learned more about the world, I began to appreciate the show even more.
This love of South Park inspired me to watch other Comedy Central Programming—some of it good, and some of it not so good. Even though a lot of programming has been cancelled over the years, I believe some shows were cancelled too soon, and should have been allowed at least another season or two. The following is a list of Comedy Central shows that were cancelled before they could really take off.
1. Important Things with Demetri Martin
Important Things with Demetri Martin is a show that lasted only two short seasons, but in that small amount of time managed to become one of my favorite television series. Each episode had a different theme, which included things like timing, power, and games. Every episode would then feature comedy sketches, as well as Martin’s stand-up.
2. Jon Benjamin Has a Van
Jon Benjamin Has a Van was a show that lasted only one short season, but it featured a chance to actually see Jon Benjamin, the man well-known for his voicing of animated characters like Archer and Bob from Bob’s Burgers. Unfortunately, Jon Benjamin Has a Van aired before Benjamin had the star power he has now, and Comedy Central was all too quick to pull the plug. Nathan Fielder of Nathan For You even played the sound guy on this show, a few years before most people knew who he was. The show typically follows some sort of narrative with a few random sketches thrown in.
3. Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil
Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil was a show in which two comedians advocated that a topic was the “root of all evil.” For example, in one episode, Paul F. Tompkins argues that the root of all evil is Oprah, while Greg Giraldo argued that it was the Catholic church. Lewis Black, known for his angry delivery while doing standup, hosted and guided each episode where it needed to go, and it is unfortunate that the show was cancelled after just two seasons.
4. Lil’ Bush
Lil’ Bush was an animated show that featured a young George W. Bush and his pals, Lil’ Cheney, Lil’ Condi (Condoleezza Rice), and Lil’ Rummy (Donald Rumsfeld, who is voiced by Iggy Pop). The show follows this group’s antics in the White House, and Lil’ Bush’s quest to become “The Decider”. George H. W. Bush, the Lil’ Democrats, and many other political figures also make appearances in the show. After two seasons, the show was not picked up for a third.
5. Kenny Vs. Spenny
Kenny Vs. Spenny was originally aired by CBC Television and Showcase Television in Canada, but did have a brief run in the United States on Comedy Central. The show featured two best friends, Kenny and Spenny, and their attempt to beat each other in whatever challenge they had decided on for the week, and the loser would have to complete a humiliation. Some challenges included who can gain the most most weight, who is the best fashion designer, and who can stay awake the longest. The show only ran on Comedy Central for a brief period, largely due to the fact that it was never given a definite time slot, and it eventually became buried in the schedule.