Comedian Barry Sobel – best known for his ’80s “hip hop comedy” routine and his appearance in Revenge of the Nerds II – hosts a new online variety series for Lexus’ LStudio and Tom Hanks’ Playtone Company. It’s called The 3 Minute Talk Show and here’s the catch: it’s a late-night talk show in the Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien mold, but all in just 3 minutes!

And here’s the problem. (Well, one of them…) It can’t hold to its own somewhat flimsy gimmick. I suppose the format itself COULD work. The interview is a quick clip and one question, then a comic comes out and does one joke, there’s some quick banter, and you’re out.

three-minute-talk-showBut the first two episodes are both six minutes long! They even have a clock that supposedly counts down the 3 minutes, but it’s fake and goes super-slow because the show is longer. This is most likely intended as a joke, but it’s not so much funny as it is confusing, and the fact that the whole show is running with a constant countdown is distracting. I found myself looking at the clock more than the program. Never a good sign.

But my biggest issue is with Sobel. His whole bit here is just making fun of the fact that it’s a web show and it’s only 3 minutes (or 4 or 5). Maybe I just watch more web shows than most people (okay, I definitely do), but I don’t find the concept of video made for the Internet in itself all that amusing. When all the jokes are “Hey, no one’s watching, it’s the Internet!,” it makes me not want to watch. It’s sort of like Sobel thinks I’m the joke. And maybe he does…but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy his show.

Also, at no time was I tempted to buy a Lexus, and I’m actually shopping for a car right now. Just saying…

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