Queen for a Night

Gay Hosts Undermine Talk Show Macho

Norton's ebullience wears thin with extended viewing—he often appears more engrossed by his own voice than his guests'. But his celebs don't mind; they seem giddy at the edginess of it all, and sometimes offer juicy chat to fuel the fire. In one episode, Alan Cumming confided that his testicles have sagged with age and ranted about Hollywood's obsession with plastic surgery. "You see someone like Mary Tyler Moore—everyone says, doesn't Mary look great? NO!" he squealed. "She looks like she's been in a fire!" Norton rewarded him with a small gift: a cock-cleaning brush. Do you think Jimmy Kimmel has one of those?

The L.A.-based alternative comedy group Uncabaret returns to the Knitting Factory this week with its carnival of failed TV pilots, "The Other Network." Uncabaret will screen series that never made it onto the air, comedies by mavericks like Judd Apatow (Freaks & Geeks), Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), and Ben Stiller. You can see why some of these programs were ditched by the networks: Heat-Vision and Jack, for example, directed by Stiller and starring Jack Black (as an astronaut turned sleuth) and Owen Wilson (as his talking motorcycle) satirizes every TV genre imaginable, but it moves at such a hysterical clip you can't imagine sustaining this kind of kitsch-mania beyond a half-hour. And Robert Smigel's Saturday TV Funhouse, modeled on Bozo the Clown, resembles a kids' show gone berserk. On the other hand, Becoming Glen is a lost gem that proves the narrow ambitions of prime-time network programming. It stars Johnny Galecki (Darlene's geeky boyfriend on Roseanne) as an older man looking back, Wonder Years-style, "on the summer I turned 32 and became a man." Some of us are nostalgic for TV series we watched in our youth; now we can also feel wistful about shows we never got to see.

The Isaac Mizrahi Show: ping-pong and fag hags
photo: Annie Chia
The Isaac Mizrahi Show: ping-pong and fag hags


The Isaac Mizrahi Show
Weeknights at 10:30 on Oxygen

So Graham Norton
Weeknights at 11 on BBC America

"The Other Network" runs at the Knitting Factory April 5 through 7 at 7:30 p.m., 212-219-3006. Graham Norton will appear in a one-man show called Red-Handed! at the East 13th Street Theater, April 22 through May 10, 866-468-7619.

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