Good news for fans of comedy, chaos, and people being forced to pretend that other people are sandwiches: The CW has announced that it’s going to be broadcasting seasons of the U.K.’s excellently smart-stupid Taskmaster, starting this fall.
For the unfamiliar, Taskmaster is a panel show that sees five British comedians forced to carry out ostensibly trivial, sometimes shockingly complex tasks, all under the watchful eye of comedian Greg Davies and devious co-host/task devisor Alex Horne. The tasks themselves can range across a staggeringly wide array of requests, from “Transport this fake boulder as far as you can in one hour,” to “Make the biggest surprise.” The joy of the show, then, is in seeing how well, or badly, the comics/victims apply themselves to the task; as a consequence, it’s a series where you’ll see both the depths of human stupidity, and the heights of lateral thinking, all in a single episode, and often from the same contestant.
Like many stabs at the panel show format, Taskmaster has been tried in the U.S. before, to limited success; Comedy Central ran the series, with Reggie Watts and Horne as hosts, back in 2018. Rather than go the remake route again, The CW (who are presumably as hard-up for filmed content as everyone else right now, considering COVID) will just be airing two seasons of the original British series, starting August. (Seasons 8 and 9, specifically, which is nice, because neither of those have been uploaded to the show’s official YouTube channel yet. Also: There’s like 6 and a half seasons of Taskmaster on YouTube right now, so there’s your evening set.)