TBS and comedian Marlon Wayans are teaming up for a new comedy competition called “Funniest Wins,’’ which is set to debut on Friday night.
While previous series like NBC’s “Last Comic Standing’’ have set the standard for reality contests involving comedians, TBS’ latest offering hopes to be a unique addition to the genre.
Instead focusing on traditional stand-up routines, “Funniest Wins’’ features comics of different styles (from Vine celebrities to musicians) who must battle for laughs in a variety of challenges. Each week, a competitor will be sent home until one comedian is left, with the winner receiving a $100,000 cash prize and a chance to star in an online series for Wayans’ website WhatTheFunny.com.
Boston-born comedian and Vine star Jason Nash will be one of the 10 competitors featured on “Funniest Wins,’’ and he has high hopes for the show, although he wasn’t exactly sure what he was in for when he signed up for it.
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,’’ Nash said in recent phone interview with Boston.com. “When we got in there, I was just like oh my God, this is so much more than I thought. You’re under a lot of pressure, you don’t have a lot of time, and you’re sleep deprived. It’s just very different from how everyone does comedy, really. But it was great!’’
A 17-year stand-up veteran, Nash broke into the business as an assistant to Norm MacDonald on “Saturday Night Live’’ before pursuing stand-up and eventually becoming a writer for MTV. Comedy wasn’t Nash’s first calling though, as he used to be an aspiring journalist for WBZ.
“I went to UMass-Amherst and was like, ‘I want to work in news, I want to be a journalist,’’’ Nash said. “Then I got there and was like, ‘what kind of crap is this?’ They inflate everything. It will be like snowing outside, like just a little bit, and they are like ‘Giant storm coming, batten down the hatches!’ and I just didn’t like that aspect of it.’’
While he’s not exactly a household name, Nash has become a celebrity on Vine, amassing over 700,000 followers on the video sharing website.
The now Los Angeles-based comic used Vine to promote his upcoming movie, “Jason Nash is Married,’’ (which he stars in opposite “Cougar Town’’ star Busy Phillips). His new film has been gaining traction and the comedic flick was recently bought by Comedy Central and is set to be released on June 24.
However, his collection of six-second Vine clips has sort of become a beast of its own.
“It’s been a crazy year. I got on Vine just to promote my movie,’’ Nash said. “Then Vine sort of became much bigger than the movie. I have way more fans for Vine then I do for my movie. Then ‘Funniest Wins’ came, and that came from the movie. So it’s all a bit weird, it’s all been kind of feeding itself.’’