“Will Smith gets a Quibi show? Didn’t we already write this damn thing?” We’ll admit that that is, indeed, the thought that wandered through your humble Newswire team’s heads tonight, on news that, yes, Will Smith—social media influencer, proud dad vlogger, former world’s most lucrative superstar—has gotten his own show on Quibi. But no: Despite the fact that few celebrities on the planet seem more obviously Quibiable than Smith, a man who’s somehow parlayed being one of the most famous people on the planet into being a mild success on the YouTube and Facebook Watch circuits, this is actually new. Per THR, Smith has signed on to produce a new set of “quick bite” stand-up showcases with the upcoming streaming provider, in association with overpriced driving range company Topgolf. No, really.
But while “stand-up showcase from Deadshot, and the company that brought you $8 ‘Ritas And Buckets Of Balls Tuesdays” isn’t automatically the most encouraging of concepts, we have to admit that the line-up that’s been secured for Smith’s show, This Joka is actually…Pretty great! The comics recruited to perform include Baron Vaughn, Megan Gailey, Punkie Johnson, Sean Patton, Rosebud Baker, Shane Torres, Clayton English, Christi Chiello, Vanessa Gonzalez, Martin Urbano, Sam Tallent, David Gborie, Jackie Fabulous, Chris Estrada, Rell Battle and Daphnique Springs. Add in “special appearances” from George Wallace, Demi Adejuyigbe and Shawn Wasabi, and you’ve actually got something that might be pretty special—recorded at a driving range, or not.
Sadly (eh), Smith himself will not be participating in the stand-up portions of the show; he’ll instead do interviews and just generally chat with the comics. (To quote an executive on the show: “Will’s love and respect for stand-up comedy runs deep, and with this series on Quibi, we hope to discover, learn from and uplift the next generation of diverse comedic talent. The goal of This Joka isn’t just to laugh but to find the universal human truths behind the laughter.”)
All of which, again, seems like a pretty great match with Quibi’s six-minute episode regimen: Get some stand-up, watch Will Smith be charming, crush a couple fat drives from the long-distance tees. What’s not to like?