The Green Room with Paul Provenza

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The Green Room with Paul Provenza
GenreTalk show
Created byPaul Provenza
Directed byMichael Franks, Barbara Romen
StarringProvenza and panel
Theme music composerTISM
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes14
Executive producer(s)Barbara Romen
Paul Provenza
Production location(s)The Vanguard, Hollywood, CA
Running time30 min
Original networkShowtime
Picture format16:9
Original releaseJune 10, 2010 –
September 1, 2011

The Green Room with Paul Provenza was a talk show on Showtime, hosted by Paul Provenza.[1] Each episode featured a panel of guests discussing comedy.


At the start of each episode, the camera would approach a stage door in an alley, where one of that series' guests appeared, only to warn the viewer off, saying that the event is for "comics only." In another nearby doorway, Provenza then motioned the viewer in, with the advice to "be cool," warning, "if you've ever been offended by anything, don't come in." The camera then followed Provenza into the building, via hallways and stairs to a final door, which would open onto the soundstage, where the evening's guests were already in conversation.[2][3] After the show's halfway mark, if a guest uses music in their comedy act, such as Bo Burnham or Franklyn Ajaye, they may perform a comedic musical number. The song played during the opening and closing credits is a modified version of the song "Somebody Start a Fight or Something" by TISM (from their final album The White Albun).


The series was based on the live stage panel, The Green Room, which Provenza hosts at the annual Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, where guests converse before a live audience, often predominantly of other comedians and other celebrities.[4][5] The TV show was produced in Hollywood and videotaped at the Vanguard Club in Hollywood.[6] The final two episodes of the second season were Provenza's regular panels, recorded at the Mainline Theatre on July 30, 2011, in Montreal, at the Just For Laughs Festival.[7]

The show premiered on Showtime June 10, 2010, airing weekly for six episodes. Showtime subsequently announced its renewal for a second season, initially six episodes, on September 9, 2010.[8][9] The second season premiered on July 14, 2011,[10] airing weekly for eight episodes. Showtime had not ordered a third season.[11]


The show received a range of positive and mixed reviews. The Los Angeles Times review noted "for every story that peters out, there are moments of insight, thought-provoking debates and hilarious anecdotes", and summarized, "for all its digressions into obscenities, over- or under-worked material and more than occasional chest pounding, The Green Room With Paul Provenza manages to pack a considerable intellectual punch into a half hour."[12] The A.V. Club reviewer Steve Heisler stated that the Showtime show, as compared to the Just for Laughs live show, "has too many factors keeping audiences at a distance." He gave the series premiere episode a "C+", citing the abrupt introduction of the viewer to the guests in mid-conversation, and the sometimes choppy editing which takes him "out of the moment." Heisler continued, "when the magic happens...", those "...moments are worth sticking around for, if only it weren't so hard to find them."[4] In 2010, the show made the Time magazine "The Short List of Things to Do," describing the show as a "loose, racy roundtable."[13] April MacIntyre, in Monsters and Critics, called the show "genius" and stated "the anecdotes are priceless for those who truly love comedy, comics and stand up as an art form."[6]


Season 1 (2010)[edit]

No.GuestsOriginal air date
1Drew Carey, Reginald D. Hunter, Eddie Izzard, Larry MillerJune 10, 2010 (2010-06-10)
2Sandra Bernhard, Patrice O'Neal, Roseanne Barr, Bob SagetJune 17, 2010 (2010-06-17)
3Brendon Burns, Andy Dick, Dana Gould, Andy KindlerJune 24, 2010 (2010-06-24)
4Jim Jeffries, Paul Mooney, Rain Pryor, Bobby SlaytonJuly 1, 2010 (2010-07-01)
5Robert Klein, Rick Overton, Jonathan WintersJuly 8, 2010 (2010-07-08)
6Penn Jillette, Martin Mull, Tom SmothersJuly 15, 2010 (2010-07-15)

Season 2 (2011)[edit]

No.GuestsOriginal air date
7Judd Apatow, Bo Burnham, Marc Maron, Ray Romano, Garry ShandlingJuly 14, 2011 (2011-07-14)
8Franklyn Ajaye, Dana Gould, Kathy Griffin, Greg ProopsJuly 21, 2011 (2011-07-21)
9Richard Belzer, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Attell, Doug Stanhope, Glenn WoolJuly 28, 2011 (2011-07-28)
10Lewis Black, Ron White, Kathleen Madigan, Jamie KilsteinAugust 4, 2011 (2011-08-04)
11Margaret Cho, Richard Lewis, Jeff Ross, Kumail NanjianiAugust 11, 2011 (2011-08-11)
12Tommy Chong, Joe Rogan, Rick Shapiro, Eddie IfftAugust 18, 2011 (2011-08-18)
13 Bill Burr, Russell Peters, Colin Quinn, Caroline Rhea, Lizz WinsteadAugust 25, 2011 (2011-08-25)
14 Jimmy Carr, Judah Friedlander, Chris Hardwick, Eddie Izzard, Tim MinchinSeptember 1, 2011 (2011-09-01)


  1. ^ Simon, Scott (July 9, 2011). "Paul Provenza and the Art Of Stand-Up". NPR. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  2. ^ Grant, Drew (July 12, 2011). "America's misguided war on offensive humor".
  3. ^ Kernis, Jay (July 13, 2011). "Paul Provenza: It's a good sign that people trust comedians more than journalists". In The Arena blog. CNN.
  4. ^ a b Heisler, Steve (June 10, 2010). "The Green Room With Paul Provenza - 'Episode 101'". The A.V. Club.
  5. ^ "Into the bowels of comedy". Montreal Mirror, July 12–18, 2007 Vol. 23 No. 4.
  6. ^ a b MacIntyre, April (June 10, 2010). "Review: 'Showtime's The Green Room With Paul Provenza' is genius". Monsters and Critics.
  7. ^ "The Green Room With Paul Provenza". Official Facebook page.
  8. ^ Abrams, Natalie (September 9, 2010). "Showtime Renews Green Room for Season 2".
  9. ^ "Showtime Renews 'The Green Room with Paul Provenza'"., Zap2It. December 15, 2010. Press Release.
  10. ^ Showtime Press Release., May 18, 2011.
  11. ^ "Showatch: Green Room with Paul Provenza". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. ^ McNamara, Mary (June 10, 2010). "Television review: 'The Green Room With Paul Provenza'". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ "The Short List of Things to Do - June 4 - The Green Room With Paul Provenza". Time Magazine, June 4, 2010.

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