7 Comedies with Star Names in the Title That Beefed It Faster Than You Can Say ‘Mulaney’

You have to hand it to Rob Schneider — he did it twice!
7 Comedies with Star Names in the Title That Beefed It Faster Than You Can Say ‘Mulaney’

If you’re an actor with your name in the title of a hit sitcom — say, Seinfeld — that name becomes synonymous with epic comedy. Unfortunately, this theorem has a corollary: If your name is the actual title of an absolute disaster, all fingers will be pointed at you. Take Mulaney, the Seinfeld-lite sitcom that didn’t quite last four months. The otherwise megasuccessful John Mulaney remembers it as the “noble failure” that hastened his return to stand-up. Here are seven more fallen comedies that suffered quick ignoble deaths — and the tombstones all had famous names engraved upon them. 

Click right here to get the best of Cracked sent to your inbox.


From 1989 to 1994, Arsenio Hall made a huge dent in late night with his syndicated Arsenio Hall Show, a hip, popular update to Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. That same success didn’t translate to 1997’s Arsenio, in which he plays the host of a regional sports show in Atlanta. Despite the presence of delightful Vivica A. Fox as his wife, Arsenio only lasted seven episodes. “A surprisingly listless enterprise,” said The New York Times. “Even the laugh track sounds halfhearted.”

The Tony Danza Show

The sitcom, not the talk show, although come to think of it, neither one was any good. Let’s just say Danza was more believable as a lunkheaded housekeeper than as a writer trying to make deadline. The Hartford Courant summed it up: “The Tony Danza Show really is one Tony too far.”

Rob and Real Rob

The shameless Rob Schneider has no problem plastering his name over multiple sitcom failures. Rob was blasted for its Mexican-American stereotypes, while Real Rob cast Schneider’s actual wife and daughter so the whole family could share the blame. Real Rob is rocking a 0% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Philadelphia Inquirer opining, “We don't need to see the world through Rob Schneider's eyes.”


Whitney Cummings hit sitcom gold with Two Broke Girls, at least in comparison to the success of her own starring vehicle Whitney. The two shows debuted in the same year, with Whitney landing a spot on NBC’s powerhouse Thursday night comedy lineup. Unfortunately, says AV Club, compared to companion shows like Community and Parks and Rec, “Whitney seems positively sluggish.” Casting Chris D’Elia never helps.

The Paul Reiser Show

Reiser was nominated for six Emmy Awards for his lead role in Mad About You, but the magic didn’t carry over to his 2011 show. At the time of its cancellation — after two episodes! — it managed to set a record for the lowest-rated comedy premiere in NBC history. “If Reiser was going for a Curb Your Enthusiasm feel,” said The Hollywood Reporter, “he's missed it by a mile.” 


Whoopi Goldberg starred as a chain-smoking, foul-mouthed soul singer in an attempt to recreate the magic of the politically charged All in the Family. “Most of the idea of edginess seems to stem from the invocation of racial and ethnic stereotypes,” said a Chicago Tribune review. “But without anybody willing to be Archie Bunker, there's a feeling of them being brought up just to be shot down.”

The George Carlin Show

While Carlin is in the running for best stand-up comic ever, his charms rarely translated to television and movies. Carlin was George O’Grady, a cab driver who held court at the rail of a Boston bar. The show had few harsher critics than Carlin himself, who wrote on his website, “Lesson learned: always check mental health of creative partner beforehand. Loved the actors, loved the crew. Had a great time. Couldn't wait to get the fuck out of there.” 

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?