This summer, The CW introduces its new game show, Oh Sit! hosted by Jamie Kennedy. Kennedy met the Television Critics Association for breakfast and we got an exclusive sit down with the host. He filled us in on the hip new show, and also updated some thoughts on Heckler, his documentary about comedy club disruptions and internet critics, for the social media age. Oh Sit! premieres tonight on The CW.
Fanhattan: Your previous show, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, was on The CW’s former incarnation, right?
Jamie Kennedy: Yes, it was. It was on The WB.
Fanhattan: Does it feel like coming home?
Jamie Kennedy: It’s nice. I always call it The WB. It’s The CW. It’s nice. I have a soft spot in my heart for this network. Then I was on CBS for two years so I feel nice to be a part of this family. I always call it The WB though. It’s The CW but it’s nice.
Fanhattan: What’s the hook of Oh Sit!?
Jamie Kennedy: Oh Sit! is musical chairs. It’s like a Japanese game show. It’s like musical chairs but sexy contestants, men and women competing against each other simultaneously, which you don’t see in game shows. It’s physical, it’s funny, it’s got a lot of crazy songs. It’s a lot of stuff.
Fanhattan: What is the job of a host on musical chairs?
Jamie Kennedy: Well, I watch the raises, comment on the races. I have to do commentary play by play and make jokes, keep it going as it’s happening.
Fanhattan: What kind of music do you play on the show?
Jamie Kennedy: It’s kind of like DJs, you ever see DJs like Avicii and musical guests. A lot of young hot artists.
Fanhattan: Do you think we might hear LMFAO?
Jamie Kennedy: There is a possibility that we have Fareast Movement who is like the LMFAO of the far east.
Fanhattan: I discovered LMFAO through The CW.
Jamie Kennedy: You’d never heard of them?
Fanhattan: I’m a little out of their demo. So are some game shows over thinking it, when you can just do the essence of musical chairs?
Jamie Kennedy: I agree. It should be just that. That’s what it is. It’s trying to be musical chairs, so I think at the end of the day, it is musical chairs. We’re not trying to over think it that much.
Fanhattan: What do you enjoy watching on television?
Jamie Kennedy: I watch a lot of documentaries. I watch a lot of Lockup. Ever watch that? Locked Up Abroad. I watch Discovery Channel. I watch a lot of documentary stuff. I don’t really have the time to watch much TV. I should. I should watch more.
Fanhattan: Are there any comedies you like?
Jamie Kennedy: I’m so far behind but last summer I was filming a movie in Armenia and I had the whole first season of Modern Family and I thought it was hilarious. I thought it was really funny. Tosh.0 is great. I have to watch more. Workaholics is great.
Fanhattan: If you’re a Tosh fans, what are your thoughts on his attempts to make rape funny? I appreciate the subversive intention but did he succeed?
Jamie Kennedy: You know, everything’s taken out of context. He was doing a joke. Somebody heckled him and he commented on it and made a joke about it and then the lady got press about it. He was getting her back for heckling him. He wasn’t trying to condone rape. He was just heckling the heckler.
Fanhattan: Well, his first joke was let’s see if we can make rape funny.
Jamie Kennedy: Yeah. I think the comedy club is the equivalent of the garage. The unfortunate thing about comedy is there’s no way to practice it in a room. The only way to practice it is in the confines of a club with an audience. So Daniel’s an artist and he wants to try something. Obviously rape is not funny so he tried something and then it gets out in the blogosphere and it gets blown up into something. I’m sure he’s not trying to say rape is [okay.]
Fanhattan: You did Heckler before Twitter existed. Would Twitter even further the issues of Heckler and critics?
Jamie Kennedy: Twitter’s annoying, blogs are annoying. Somebody on Twitter said the greatest thing the other day to me. They said, “Too many people have too many opinions and 10% are valid.” I think now we have the ability to talk. Actually to talk is taken for granted. I think that just because you have a mouth doesn’t mean you’re an expert. It’s just so many people talking. Just shut up and listen. Heckler was all about really the phenomenon of that now. It’s not about comedy anymore. It’s just everyone has an opinion and everyone has a forum and oh, I’ve got Twitter followers. Oh, I am special. Really? Really? Okay, how many people really listen to this? Social media is great and it’s also misleading. I’m so over it, how many Facebook likes you have. No, how many people really come to your shows? That’s what I want to know. 500 really good fans are better than 50,000 bullsh*t spams. And people tweet at you. They don’t just talk about you, they tweet at you, really vitriolic things at times. There’s also people that tweet great, loving things, but I would never do that. I wouldn’t go to anyone in the business that I’m in and do that. Now people are starting to do it to each other. It’s just like whoa. It’s bizarre to me because I know how hard this business is. I know how wonderful it is and how hard it is to act or write or do comedy. It’s very hard and I believe we’re in a brotherhood. When I see people start to cannibalize each other it’s just weird to me.
Fanhattan: You’re right, it’s sacred to be able to share our opinions so we shouldn’t abuse that.
Jamie Kennedy: It’s true. I think I almost need to do a follow-up but it’s really kind of cool because people are really talking about Heckler a lot now. It’s on Netflix and I was in New York the other day, you know a very opinionated city and sometimes people just talk and talk. I’m sitting at a café just talking. It’s like, do you ever just listen? Just listen, or you just mow down people with your words.
Fanhattan: Our founding fathers actually fought for the right to be able to share.
Jamie Kennedy: I know. Listen, obviously you have an opinion. We don’t want to be like North Korea where we’re not allowed to say our opinions, but you know what I mean.
Fanhattan: I do. I’m a little dismayed that I have fewer Twitter followers than people who complain a lot and say nasty things. They have a lot of negative people agreeing with them and following them.
Jamie Kennedy: Look, people say some stuff to me that’s negative but if it’s funny I’ll laugh. I’ll retweet it. I’ll retweet something if it’s funny, if it’s good or bad, but if people are just like the generalities of hate that aren’t really [interesting], then I don’t.
Fanhattan: What did you think of Scream 4?
Jamie Kennedy: I went to the premiere. I thought it kind of was a throwback to the first but I felt like I had trouble believing that Emma Roberts physically could do all the killings, her character physically lift people and stuff. So I thought that was interesting. Actually this is how old I’m getting. Those two girls in the beginning that were killed, the beginning was great and then the two young girls, really pretty, they were killed so violently, I thought, “Oh God, that’s really putting a bad message out there.” I started getting responsible I guess. When I was in my 20s, all this is good fun, but now, oh man, maybe we shouldn’t put that out there.
Fanhattan: What did you think of the new Randy-ish character and his new rules?
Jamie Kennedy: Randy’s original rules I thought were pretty great. I felt that they had a good sticking point. I thought the Rory Culkin was good. I liked him.