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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

The Pete Holmes Show is back!

The Pete Holmes Show came back at the beginning of this week to start it’s 13 week run, after being renewed following it’s 6-week test this fall. The show airs on Monday-Thursday at 12am on TBS, following Conan. While it hasn’t enjoyed high ratings, that does not fully represent the quality of the show. In the very crowded late night arena, The Pete Holmes Show has managed to standout from the rest.

Image Credit: TBS/Conaco

Since canceling Lopez Tonight almost 3 years ago, Conan has been the sole original late night show that TBS has, and something that the channel has presumably been working to change. TBS has always been a network with a small number of original shows but recent years has seen it strengthening it’s lineup with more original programming. It bought Cougar Town from ABC, enjoyed success with Men At Work, and recently premiered Ground Floor which was well-received critically. The Pete Holmes Show is it’s first step since Conan to strengthen it’s late night lineup.

The show is unique in the late night field, it’s part traditional-part sketch show-part interview, and if you are a fan of Pete Holmes, you’ll find this combination feels authentically his.  Most of his shows open with a sketch, often focusing on a superhero (Holmes’ likes dressing as Batman). These are mostly funny but can be forgettable and are normally my least favorite part of his show.  With this being said, the opening sketch from the first episode of this run I actually really enjoyed.  A street fighter, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar – surprise!, needed to sit down with standards & practices to go over what was allowed to be said on a fight that would be soon televised.  The street fighter kept throwing out crazy names to which Holmes’, playing the man from standards & practices, kept shooting down.  It was mostly seeing Pete play the straight man that offered most of the laughs in this sketch.

Image Credit: TBS/Conaco

After the street fighting opener, the most traditional part of the show normally happens: the monologue.  It can either be one long story peppered with jokes, more of the traditional short joke-laugh setup, or somewhere in between the two. This one was the latter, and what really endears me to Pete during his monologues is his self-awareness. A joke bombs, he acknowledges it. The audience gets nervous or confused about something he is saying, and he asks them to “hang on.”  If you are familiar with Pete, you know this is something he does often, and it’s nice to see it appearing on his show as well.

One of Holmes’ strongest suits is his interviewing skills. No doubt honed on his podcast “You Made It Weird” where he regularly talks to guests for 2 hours or more, he is a very easy interviewer who seems to put everyone at ease. During the original run he made it a point to say there wouldn’t be many celebrity guests but on the 1st episode of this run we had both Judd Apatow and fresh-from-the-Olympics Bode Miller, two pretty big names. They didn’t break the non-celeb promise completely though, as Apatow’s appearance fell more into a sketch segment than an interview with the purpose to promote something. It was set in Apatow’s “office” and it was much less of an interview and much more of Holmes pitching ideas for movies which were all bad – of course. The sketch was silly & simple in concept but funny, especially when Pete tried to pitch a movie based on his own life that Apatow deemed “too sad” for audiences. The Bode Miller segment was more a traditional interview, but even that was pre-taped and done on a couch without the live audience present. This was the highlight of the episode and was a great showcase for the interviewer that Holmes is. In the beginning Miller seemed unsure and a little awkward but by the end he was cracking jokes along with Pete and it was nice to see this side of him because we often don’t get to.

The last bit of the show also varies- this night it was a voice mail he got from his dad. He had aired some voice mails in previous episodes and he introduces this one by letting us know that he feels like his dad is “trying” now, as in purposely being ridiculous so that Pete will air it on the show. It’s very heavily Boston accented, which automatically makes the whole thing heightened and hilarious, which serves as a nice  ending to the show.

Image Credit: Jeremy Freeman/Comedy Central

Being on TBS at midnight affords Pete a little more flexibility to play around with format, and thanks to that we are treated to a unique late night show that really showcases the comedian starting in it. This really is “The Pete Holmes Show,” as in you could not drop any host in this format and get more or less the same show. Many aspects are tailored specifically to Holmes and where his strengths lie, which makes it really fun to watch.

For more information (and lots & lots of additional hilarious content) visit The Pete Holmes Show website.  The Pete Holmes Show airs Monday – Thursday at 12am ET on TBS.

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