News Column

Chicago Tribune Nina Metz column

April 28, 2013

YellowBrix

April 28--A group of Chicago sketch and improv performers are making a sitcom pilot for Comedy Central called "Schlub Life," about "two out-of-work and out-of-shape husbands and their exasperated wives who begrudgingly provide the good life for them." It is premise with legs, landing somewhere between "Workaholics" and "The League."

This will be the second pilot created for Comedy Central by members of the local improv team Cook County Social Club. Last year Mark Raterman, Onion News Network head writer Andy Miara and "Saturday Night Live" cast member Tim Robinson created a sketch show called "My Mans," which I reviewed when Raterman and Robinson performed it live last summer at iO Theater. The network ultimately passed on the show, but Comedy Central clearly wants to be in business with this group.

The single-camera sitcom will shoot in Los Angeles for budgetary reasons, likely sometime in late June. "If we get a series order, I think the idea of shooting in Chicago is something we would put back on the table and re-discuss," said co-creator Greg Hess.

The show will star Second City e.t.c. alum Brendan Jennings as Schlub No. 1. The other three roles--the two wives and Schlub No. 2--will be cast out of LA "with the added caveat that we will be seeing a lot Chicago people for those roles, too," according to Hess

"Deep down, it's a show about that time in your life when you're supposed to be acting responsible but you don't know how," said Hess. I asked if it would be insulting to call the genre "dopey guy comedy." "I think we hope it's more than just men-children at play. It's about being married, which is a big theme."

All three of the show's creators (Hess, Raterman and Miara) are married themselves. "This show has a deep well of inspiration," Hess said. "Basically, all of us are terrible at being adults. And these two guys (on the show) are the best worst adults we know. They don't get anything done without their wives."

Hess thinks they'll know by late summer or early fall if the show gets picked up.

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(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune

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