All of the talk overnight of the shortest ever talk-show got people reminding me that someone already has been there and done that, and his name is Barry Sobel.
Don't let the long hair fool you. This fresh-faced kid was turning 22 in 1996 when he appeared on the very first episode of Barry Sobel's three-minute talk show on Comedy Central.
Did we say three minutes? Yes. Three minutes. Take that, Conan's "Show Zero."
You can watch the entire debut episode here. Kevin Meaney plays the fictitious head of the network who informs Sobel in his monologue that he'll only be getting three minutes. Fred Willard plays Sobel's sidekick, and Rita Wilson gets honors as his first guest.
In a twist in which everything old is new again, Sobel is developing a new Internet iteration of his three-minute show, with help from Rita Wilson's husband, Tom Hanks! Of course, the relationship between Sobel and Hanks goes all the way back to the 1980s movie about comedians that comedians love to trash talk about, Punchline. Hanks had Sobel write for him and tutor him in the "comedy stylings" of stand-up, as it were.
Henriette Mantel is a former stand-up comedian (she played Alice in the Brady Bunch movies) who helps produce the married-couple segments that Tom Papa and celebrity panels judge upon on NBC's The Marriage Ref. Kevin Meaney is the stand-up comedian who has lived across the street from Mantel in NYC for many years. This is their spoof on The Marriage Ref, asking Papa to judge on whether TV's "Uncle Buck" could really be a hindrance to their marriage. New Yorkers who love Gabe & Jenny will know what these two are talking about. Roll the clip.