An 'Almost Live!' reboot? NOT laaame!
"Almost Live!" creators frequently targeted Lynnwood. This skit features the "Lynnwood Beauty Academy," with big hair and spackled-on makeup.
"Almost Live!" creators frequently targeted Lynnwood in their sketches that were broadcast on KING-TV in the 1980s and 1990s. This skit features the "Lynnwood Beauty Academy," with big hair and spackled-on makeup.
"The 206" is being planned for a debut on the Web sometime in August or September, said John Keister, who hosted "Almost Live!" and did much of the writing from 1988 to 1999.
The show ran from 11:30 p.m. to midnight Saturdays, right before "Saturday Night Live." It's been seen in reruns after "Saturday Night Live" in recent years and on Comedy Central.
Keister, fellow "Almost Live!" star Pat Cashman, and Cashman's son, Chris, have been writing and appearing in episodes on "Biz Kid$,"a show on KCTS channel 9 that uses skits to teach young children about money and business.
Pat Cashman is also well-known as a Seattle radio personality. Chris Cashman has been a presence on Seattle radio, TV and online, including as host of the game "1 vs. 100."
"People were saying when this show (Biz Kid$) is not in production maybe we should think about doing another show," said Keister, 56. "Maybe we ought to think about a new comedy show."
So a short skit and a few snippets were put together and put on YouTube a couple of months ago, "to see if anyone would notice," Keister said. The skit features a reporter (Keister) interviewing a construction supervisor (Chris Cashman) in the planned waterfront tunnel on Highway 99 in downtown Seattle.
At first not many people did notice, until Wednesday, when the video suddenly caught fire.
"Yesterday our phones were ringing off the hook," Keister said Friday.
The plan is for the show to have sketches, commentary and a monologue, Keister said. "We're trying to attract a sponsor and see how far we can go," he said.
So far, the cast is just Keister and the two Cashmans. Keister said he hasn't yet contacted any of the other former "Almost Live!" cast members, who include Bill Nye the Science Guy, Tracey Conway and Nancy Guppy, about participating. "I wouldn't rule it out," he said.
The show will generate new material rather than resurrecting old skits, Keister said. But "there'll be certain types of humor that will be about the area and the politics that will be similar to what we did in the past," he said.
Topics will include I-502, the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, the tunnel and the proposal for a new sports arena in Seattle, Keister said.
On "Almost Live!," the "Lame List" featured members of Seattle-area heavy metal rock bands voicing their disapproval -- crying out "Lame!" -- about topics such as getting a flat tire in Chehalis, neighbors who want to sleep when the band is rehearsing or breast reduction surgery.
Edmonds High School grad Matthew Fox sang and played guitar for the thrash metal band the Bitter End and appeared in the Lame List.
Fox said he was part of a "Middle Age Lame List" skit at a show Keister staged in Seattle in April 2011.
Fox now lives in Seattle and is busy with his job as director of operations at the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, he said in an e-mail. He still plays in three bands, he said -- Zero Down, Gene's Addiction and Hartwood. He said Bitter End is doing a 20-year reunion show at the Funhouse in Seattle on Saturday night.
Regarding "The 206," he said, "I would certainly be up to relive past comedy glories should I get called upon to do so."
Keister and Cashman did one other YouTube teaser for the new show, offering some cryptic hints: "Ballard Beware," "Kent, just be kool," and "Lay Low Lynnwood." The latter was misspelled on the teaser, with only one "n."
"We'll spell it right next time," Keister said.
Those were some of the communities parodied in "Almost Live!" skits.
"We're not going to be as hard on Kent, we believe Bellevue is funnier," Keister said.
"Lynnwood, I don't know, the jury's still out," he said.
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
An "Almost Live!" video on one of its favorite targets, Lynnwood: