Showtime (Sat., Jan. 13, 10 P.M. ET)
The battle lines for the networks are drawn on Sunday, the most fiercely contested night of the week. The cable channels go after each other on Saturday, as they do in this head-to-head clash of the chunky comics. A verbal quick-change artist, Winters comes onstage, and, as he did in his weekly CBS series in the ’60s, uses found objects (a whip, a cup, a spittoon) to improvise with different voices and characters. He’s operating at just a few less RPMs than he used to but still has a febrile imagination.
After his monologue Winters introduces a quirky quartet: ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, self-effacing stand-up Stevie Ray Fromstein, Japanese comedienne Tamayo Otsuki (an Oriental variation of Yakov Smirnoff) and the Legendary Wid (Michael Baldwin), who frantically burrows through a pile of props while making head-spinning bad puns in an impossibly zippy Charles Nelson Reilly voice.