From Stand-ups to Sitcom Stars: Robin Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis C.K.
Stand-up comedy predates the TV sitcom, but since network executives realized that you could take a person who was funny on-stage and build a series around them and capitalize on their established voice, they've been doing it. From Danny Thomas to Jack Benny to George Burns, many of the early TV comedy greats came nightclubs, vaudeville and any venue with a stage open to laughter.
And sometimes they've been failing hilariously. Back in the '90s, it seemed like every other network sitcom was plucking a comedian from the circuit hoping to find the next Tim Allen or Brett Butler or Roseanne. Most of them were not.
On Sunday, John Mulaney goes from "SNL" writer and stand-up favorite to FOX star. Here's Sepinwall's review.
Next Friday, Cristela Alonzo tries to parlay her stage audience to ABC success.
Maybe "Mulaney" and "Cristela" will grow into sitcom classics. Maybe? Hmmm...
Here are a few of our favorite standup-to-sitcom transitions. Not all of the greats have been included. We wanted to leave you room to sound off with your favorites...
Check out ours: