15 Comedy Superstars With Spectacular Sitcom Failures

Bill Cosby, Roseanne, Seinfeld -- the 80s convinced networks that the quickest path to smash-hit television was giving stand-up comics their own shows.  Here are 15 exceptions that disprove that rule.


DAVE CHAPPELLE was in a Home Improvement spinoff BUDDIES ore Jim Breuer played Dave's original buddy on Home Improvement, but the network recast the part, breaking up the Half Baked costars. It was a bad show. It was bad, says Chappelle. mean when we were doing it, I



PATTON OSWALT tried to get his geek on SUPER NERDS CRACKEDOOM Imagine Big Bang Theory with characters who actually read comic books. Sounds good on paper, especially with Brian Posehn and Sarah SIlverman as fellow nerds, but Comedy Central passed on the clunky pilot. CIf you're curious, you can find

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JOHN MULANEY had a case of Seinfeld-itis MULANEY CRACKEDCO Let's see, a comedian playing a comedian? Check. Wacky neighbor? Check. Platonic gal pal? Check. NBC ordered the show, but the pilot didn't click and the network passed. Mulaney landed on Fox -- not that there's anything wrong with that.



A 14-year-old could teleport RODNEY DANGERFIELD WHERE'S RODNEY? That's the bonkers premise of Where's Rodney?: The kid could zap up Rodney when he needed advice about bullies or girls. The weird sci-fi set-up had one big problem -- most of the show featured the sad-sack kid, not the disrespected funnyman



MARGARET CHO faced heavy expectations ALL-AMERICAN GIRL CRACKED CON Producers demanded she lose weight (30 pounds in two weeks!), which led to some serious health issues. The weirdness of being the first Asian American...star, is that people are constantly judging you, Cho says. They're asking, 'Where do you fit on this

Character Media


GEORGE CARLIN was a taxi driver who liked to drink GEORGE CARLIN SHOW CRACKEDGO An opinionated smart-ass who sat at a bar and bitched between shifts, Carlin's nihilistic character was fresh for 1994. But the show never caught on and Carlin wanted more creative control. When Fox canceled it, he



BILL BURR had hair back then TOWNIES Even sO, Billy Burr (yep, that's how he was credited) was likely the least well known of the Townies cast, which included Lauren Graham, Molly Ringwald, Jenna Elfman, and Ron (Office Space) Livingston. The show, about friends stuck in a small town,

Keystone Statement


BILL HICKS was in a sitcom? BULBA BILL HICKS CORPORAL, LSMLC Yep. Or at least, a sitcom pilot. Bulba was a made-up island near India and Hicks worked in its goofy U.S. embassy. The counterculture comic played Phil, a bumbling marine who didn't wear pants. Maybe it's a good

Dangerous Minds


SAM KINISON played a sized personality CHARLIE HOOVER GRAGKED.COME Take larger-than-life Kinison and shrink him down to the size of a bowling trophy. That was the pitch for Hoover, with Kinison playing Tim Matheson's aggro alter-ego. One review called the show an idiotic creation stuffed with crude jokes. Other than

Entertainment Weekly


JANEANE GAROFALO talked herself out of a show SLICE O' LIFE CRACKEDCO At least that's one theory, as Garofalo's vocal protests against the Iraq war coincided with ABC canceling her pilot. She would have played a cynical producer forced to develop maudlin stories for a newsmagazine. Paula from Larry Sanders



LOUIS C.K. was unlucky with his first sitcom LUCKY LOUIE Lucky Louie was filmed like a traditional sitcom on a one-set stage with live laughs. But the HBO show tackled subjects not seen in conventional TV comedy: orgasms, interacial friendships, misplaced profanity. TV or real life, cringe has always



ASYKES put costars in their place WANDA AT LARGE Sykes' trademark brand of put-down humor was on full display during two short seasons of Wanda at Large, never hesitating to call her co-workers names like shifty ass bastards. But the biggest insult was that no one was watching.

LA Times


JIM GAFFIGAN wanted to spend time with the kids JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW CRAGKEDON That's the reason TV Land gives for not extending Gaffigan's show beyond two short seasons. The show is based on the Gaffigans' real life experience raising five kids in a two-bedroom New York apartment. Sounds more like

Hollywood Reporter


DON RICKLES wants you to drop and give him 20 CPO SHARKEY GRACKEDCOM Rickles failed several times as a sitcom star, claiming that scripted comedy was a bad fit for his ad lib style. Sharkey was the closest thing to a hit, lasting two seasons. Its most famous episode features

AV Club, LA Times


WHOOPI called it quits BAGDAD CAFE CRACKED.COM Goldberg dumped her own sitcom after just nine episodes of Season 2, citing a dispute with producers. Months earlier, the show canned its Season 1 producers when Whoopi couldn't get along with them either. Low ratings had doomed the show either way.

Entertainment Weekly