Fox (Saturdays, 9:30 P.M. ET)
From Fox, here are two comedies that are too hip for their own good. It can be said for Stiller, son of comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, that 1) he does an astounding Tom Cruise impersonation and 2) there is a subversive glint in his eyes.
Still, it isn’t clear yet whether this show is the right vehicle for Stiller. On the plus side, it boasts beautifully produced sketches that include mock rockumentaries (with Stiller as Bono, resembling a less gossamer Daniel Day-Lewis) and parodies of Aaron Spelling teen dramas. But the jokes are, for the most part, more clever than funny. The biggest laugh in one episode went to guest Garry Shandling, playing an obsessive-compulsive hand washer. “Oh, my hands are so dirty,” Shandling whined. “I’m such a dirty boy.” Stiller needs to be more like that. He needs to weird out.
The Edge, on the other hand, is a half-hour ensemble comedy that tries to be daring. It’s as if Carol Burnett’s show had been reconfigured by Batman director Tim Burton: very broad, occasionally very unpleasant. One sketch, “Bad Plastic Surgery,” about a talk show featuring grotesquely disfigured guests, was scarcely watchable.
Some of the ideas are fun (the house jocks from American Gladiators are sent to fight our next world war), and one running gag, showing what celebrities are doing right at that moment (Prince is having problems opening a carton of milk), is even inspired.