You might remember Jonah Ray from The Freeloader’s Guide To Easy Living, his writing on CurrentTV’s SuperNews!, or even as Clancy on Saul of the Mole Men. Now you can find Jonah interviewing some extremely hilarious and cool people like Janeane Garofalo, Steve Agee, Har Mar Superstar and others at his BarBeQuay.
Jonah Ray’s BarBeQuay is the creation of Jonah and his friend, writer/director Mason Steinberg. The pair met on The Andy Milonakis Show where Mason was a writer and Jonah the ill-fated writer’s assistant. “It was a disaster,” said Jonah, “I had been fired from the Arclight and was offered this job and I had no idea what I was doing.”
What Jonah lacks in organizational skills, he makes up for in charm and good ideas. Mason remembers, “Jonah and I were talking about how we wanted to do a show… like a modern day Playboy After Dark. We were both big fans of Playboy After Dark and wanted to bring together people that we admired and respected in a casual party type atmosphere, and we thought a barbeque would be perfect.” Jonah wanted to make a show that he himself would want to watch, “The talk show format is nice, but it’s real stuffy, it’s been 50 years and it hasn’t changed much. I wanted to do something more intimate and cool.” Comedy executive Amber J. Lawson at maniaTV adds, “I grew up in Ray Town, Missouri, and at every party all the cool kids would gather in the kitchen and that’s the vibe we wanted to give off.” So that’s what they did.
Jonah Ray is not the kind of guy that you would expect to see hosting an interview show. He’s clumsy, mumbles and is awkward at times, which actually lends to many of the organically comedic and genuine moments between Jonah and his guests. There’s no script and other than a few basic questions, no planned bits or sketches. The comedy happens on its own, and there are plenty of great, unplanned moments like Rob Huebel’s awkward pause, and the lights going out during MADtv’s Matt Braunger interview.
“The interview segment is really just part of a bigger show that we want to do,” says Jonah “with bits, sketches, and live bands. The interviews we’re doing now are just part of a much bigger vision that we have.” For now you can catch Jonah Ray’s BarBeQuay on Fridays at www.maniatv.com.
You can see more Jonah Ray at www.JonahRay.com where there are previous videos, live performances and Jonah’s passive aggresive pictures that “I post to make my ex-girlfriend feel weird.”
[Ed Note: Want to see more from maniaTV? Come to the next Tubefilter Hollywood Web Television Meetup at maniaTV’s studios in LA. Meet the creators and stars behind some of their hit web series, even take on the hosts of Arcade in a video game face-off.]