Sunday, January 6, 2013

KING Hopes Lightning Strikes Twice with ‘206’

Chis Cashman, John Keister and Pat Cashman get ready in front of the
camera for their new show, "The 206."

Although re-runs have been playing on Seattle’s KING 5 for many years, it may be hard to swallow that it has been nearly 13 years since an original episode of “Almost Live” has aired. This “little show that could” help launch the careers of Ross Shafer, Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Joel McHale of all things.

Sometimes referred to as “like Saturday Night Live only it’s done in Seattle, “Almost Live” originally aired at 6:00 p.m. on Sundays back in 1984. It started out as a talk show with sketch comedy thrown in. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the show became the phenomenon it is. The show dropped the talk show part and was moved to 11:30 p.m., as a lead in to NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The show was hosted by John Keister and featured a fantastic cast of local favorites including Pat Cashman, Tracey Conway, Nancy Guppy, Bob Nelson and Steve Wilson. Years later, reruns of the show run after SNL every week. This last weekend featured something else – a resurrection of sorts.

It was recently announced that KING 5 would launch a new “Almost Live”-ish show featured two former cast mates of “Almost Live.” “The 206” aired it’s first show Saturday at 1:00 a.m. and a second showing was presented at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at KING’s sister station, KONG.

Filmed partly in front of a live audience, “206” stars Keister and Cashman. Along for the ride is Pat’s son, Chris. The budget must be tight for the new show as it appears that the audience had to stand up the whole time during filming, but that wasn’t the show’s only awkward moment. Some of the jokes fell flat or were not in the best taste. Clearly hoping for lightning to strike again for the station, “The 206” will need to work a little harder to do so. Still, it was great to see this guys in action once again. Each are a little older, but no worse for the wear, but one has to wonder if the three will be all the show needs to be another success.

The premiere episode featured sketches including the “Antiques Roadshow” of the future, “Renton Abbey,” “The Lost Journals of Lewis and Clark,” a very funny episode of “The Negotiator” (with Cashman Sr. trying to convince Keister of jumping to his death) and a “news” segment.

The lack of a female personality didn’t do the show any favors and I found myself wishing to see Tracey or Nancy jump out and shout “surprise!” Hopefully, the pair will be able to drop in now and then. Let’s hope so.

While a bit rough, “The 206” shows promise to become the next big local hit if these guys can relax and just do what they know best and not try too hard. If you missed this weekend’s show, don’t fret, you can watch most of the hoopla by clicking here.

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