Crackle loves the hapless hopeful comedy. Today they rolled out another would-be hero trapped in a cloud of delusion with the launch of daredevil comedy Dusty Peacock. The 8-episode web series stars Gary Valentine, brother of King of Queens star Kevin James, as the eponymous and talentless daredevil trying to take his act to the big time.
As is often the case with celebrity-backed web series, the production is kept in the family. It’s touted on site as produced by Kevin James, and the writer (Rock Reuben) and cast all share some connection with James.
I chatted with Valentine who plays Peacock, to get his take on the colorful character. “Dusty Peacock is a man who consdiers himself an icon,” said Valentine. “He doesn’t have much talent but he has a lot of drive—this Criss Angel guy who thinks he’s a rock star, but doesn’t have the talent.”
Rounding out the James-fest is Melissa Peterman as Naomi Flood, Dusty’s money-hungry girlfriend; Nick Turturro (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) as Dusty’s brother and pseudo-lawyer Stu Peacock, Nick Bakay (The King of Queens) as his manager and UFC champ Bas Rutten as Dusty’s hyped-up trainer.
Despite its relative freedom to push the uncensored boundaries, Valentine says they kept it fairly PG. “We wanted to make it a clean comedy and let the comedy stand on its own,” said Valentine. “You don’t have to be filthy to be funny.”
The series however feels a bit too safe for Crackle, too familiar. Perhaps it was the washed-up actor in David Faustino’s Star-ving back in January, or the small-time swindling of The Hustler that wore this sub-genre down. If Sony is going to take the site to the next level, it’s going to need must-watch content, shows that you can’t find anywhere else and that push the bar higher for serialized web content.
One that might fall in this camp is Crackle’s highly anticipated The Bannen Way, which is scheduled for release later this fall. The highly crafted action series so far appears to be the favorite to actually stand out and hook in some traditional explosion-loving audiences not used to watching online.
Four episodes of Dusty Peacock have been released today, with four more coming throughout the week.