January 10, 1994 12:00 PM

NBC (Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. ET)


This new sitcom employs the genre’s now-standard formula: stand-up comic John Caponera plays a husband and father of three kids. The domestic scenes (with Eve Gordon as his wife) could still use some sharpening. But the show begins to hit its stride when it shifts to the work setting, where Caponera is a manager of a lock company, and his foils—buzzcut stand-up Drew Carey as his bizarre office mate and Monty Hoffman as the dough nut-scarfing slob on the loading dock—trade bawdy and boneheaded dialogue.

The early episodes suffer from an awkwardness that the comedy may or may not outgrow. But Caponera is certainly a card, and the scripts, studded with pop culture references from Barney to The Real McCoys, reflect an amusingly askew Lake on modern life. You’re not likely to find another show on which a line such as “Buddha frowns on tardiness, does he?” will provoke laughs.

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