Best Ever Channels Launches Bew Comedy FAST
Digital channel studio and content syndicator Best Ever Channels, together with leading comedy management, production, and venue operator, The Stand Group, Inc., today announced its brand-new FAST channel, WITZ-Comedy TV, will debut November 2022 with new original series and standup comedy specials featuring some of the best names in comedy, including Sal Vulcano, Ari Shaffir, Big Jay Oakerson, Laurie Kilmartin, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Bret Ernst, Yannis Pappis and more.
WITZ Original Series – including “Upstairs at The Stand,” “Passed,” “Would You Bang Him,” “NYC Comedy Under Lincoln Center,” “The Riff” and “WITZ-Bitz”– will join a curated comedy programming lineup to also feature Vos’ “ANONYMOUS,” an introspective new comedy special and the first production ever shot at an NA Convention. Additional new comedy specials will include Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad,” which the New York Times called “a story of complexity and nuance and emotional power.”
WITZ-Comedy TV has partnered with Angry Buddha, a seasoned TV producer and New York City based production company, to produce its slate of specials and original programming for the WITZ network. The partners will also develop and offer exclusive WITZ-Comedy TV branded programming to platforms and advertisers. Additionally, WITZ’s Jonathan Schwartz, former Maverick Films and Relativity Media executive, will work alongside Angry Buddha, producers, and talent to develop additional new series, features, and formats for the network.
“We’re creating a FAST 2.0 channel with WITZ-Comedy TV,” said Barry Gordon, Co-CEO of BEC. “The Stand’s talent relationships coupled with Angry Buddha and Jon’s production chops make for a winning team that will drive WITZ as the new comedy destination, and a brand that’s chock-full with original content, attitude, and fresh energy.”
“Rich Vos is pioneering new territory with his comedy special ANONYMOUS. We’ve always wanted to explore new and unhindered ways to present standup and we’ve found it,” said Cris Italia, Partner at The Stand Group. “WITZ allows us to create a home for formats that might have not been accepted elsewhere making it a true pioneer in comedy. No one in streaming media or linear is taking things to this level. We’re talking about comedy formats well beyond just standup, all with top notch talent.”
“I’ve had several specials over the years, but nothing that went to these depths,” said Vos. “With The Stand and WITZ, not only am I creating something original, but I know my audience will grow because our visions are aligned.”
WITZ-Comedy TV’s debut slate of originals include:
“Would You Bang Him” – Part standup, part roast, part gameshow and part all-female empowerment, this is the first dating game hosted by a married couple (Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos) hoping to help some of their friends find the same love. A panel of judges tells the audience whether they’ve found a match based on five minutes of standup comedy from each contestant, which includes names like Marc Maron, Bobby Lee, Lev Fer, Monroe Martin, Eddie Peppitone, Sean Patton and more.
“NYC Comedy Under Lincoln Center” – For nearly 15 years, NY Laughs’ outdoor comedy shows in public spaces and parks throughout New York City have brought big laughs to “Big Apple” audiences. During Covid, there weren’t many places to turn to. NYC parks were closed and then Lincoln Center came calling. This is a limited series with performances under the storied venue featuring comedians Jordan Carlos, Aida Rodriguez, Marina Franklin, Adrienne Iapalucci, Christian Finnegan and some of the best and funniest from NYC.
“The Riff“- Hosted and created by one of the best up and coming comedians out of the Austin comedy scene, Nayca Morriero takes topics from audience members, comics spin a wheel to find out which categories they will choose from, and away we go. They’ll have to improv together using their suggestions, often leading to hilarious and unexpected results! The format allows the audience to participate in the show in real time. Episodes include comedians TJ Miller, Oscar Aydin, Natalie Cuomo, Bassam Shwal and many other regulars from The Stand Comedy Club.
“Upstairs at The Stand” – The Stand in NYC is world famous for hosting and launching the careers of some of the world’s best-known comedians. This new series will showcase the best new and upcoming comedic talent live from the famed venue. Before they can perform regularly downstairs in the main room, they have to prove it upstairs. Comedians include Marcello Hernandez, Peter Fowler, Max Manticof, Dan LaMorte, Gabby Bryan and more.
“WITZ-Bitz” – Shorts, skits, jokes, and other ridiculous content curated and assembled into a show that is non-stop hilarity and fun!
Rich Vos “ANONYMOUS” – Set at an annual NA convention, Rich Vos’ introspective, bold, and laugh-out-loud funny new stand up special where he reflects on his addictions, sobriety and his “new” way of living.
WITZ will continue to add original series and programs each month throughout 2023, to include in-studio talk shows, a satire news desk, sports programming, and sketch in addition to premiering more standup half hour and full hour specials.