The schmo must go on -- the hijinks continue in Spike TV's 'Joe Schmo 2'
By Reality TV World staff, 06/14/2004
Having had huge success with last fall's parodying of the reality competition show sub-genre, Spike TV's The Joe Schmo Show is coming back to skewer another popular reality show format ripe for parody -- and if a first episode screener provided by the network is any indication, viewers will once again enjoy the ride.
Focusing on the reality dating show genre, this summer's Joe Schmo 2 will once again be based around a "faux-reality" series where an unsuspecting would-be male reality show contestant is unaware that the entire show is an elaborate prank and that except for "Joe," everyone else on the show, from the host to the other "contestants," are actually paid actors following a pre-determined storyline. However in one big change from last season, "Joe" won't be the only victim of Spike TV's big joke. Instead, in a move that amps up the risk of discovery, "Joe Schmo" will be joined on the show by "Jane Schmo" -- another unsuspecting female contestant who also believes the program to be real.
Tim Walsh is the lucky unwitting chump selected to be this season's "Joe." Described by the network as witty, outgoing and an overall genuine guy, Tim is a Washington, DC bartender with entrepreneurial aspirations to open his own bar. Ingrid Weise is the show's first ever "Jane Schmo." Also a resident of our nation’s capital, Spike calls Ingrid "the classic girl-next-door meets woman-of-the-world." She’s reportedly highly intelligent -- a characteristic she shows off at the end of the premiere episode when she quickly suspects something to be amiss with the show -- strong-willed, and luckily for the show's producers, reportedly up for anything.
Similar to last season's Lap Of Luxury premise which ensnared original "Joe" Matt Kennedy Gould, Tim and Ingrid believe they are vying with other contestants for $100,000 in a new For Love Or Money-like reality dating series entitled Last Chance for Love. In the show, Tim and Ingrid are each among a group of singles competing for the heart of a featured bachelor and bachelorette (think of it as though ABC decided to simultaneously film Bachelor and Bachelorette shows -- and with contestants from both casts freely mixing together.) Parodying elements from romance/relationship shows such as The Bachelor and Average Joe, Last Chance for Love will feature over-the-top eviction ceremonies, cutthroat competitions, an assortment of shocking twists... and of course the usual group of stereotypical reality show contestants.
This season's fake contestant lineup features:
• "The Bachelor" - Austin
Austin is Last Chance for Love’s answer to The Bachelor. Austin is the ideal guy - every woman’s fantasy. He’s got stunning teeth, broad shoulders and high cheekbones. What’s not to like?
Austin is portrayed by Tim Herzog, who started his career in marketing for MTV Networks. Now, his acting career has taken off. He has landed roles in films such as The Animal with Rob Schneider, and on popular television shows like Charmed, Will & Grace and Son of the Beach.
• "The Bachelorette" - Piper
Piper is every guy’s dream. She’s a blonde with a hot body and a personality to match. Piper is the perfect type of woman to inspire competition amongst Last Chance For Love’s suitors.
Piper is portrayed by Valerie Azlynn, who has appeared in a wide range of independent films and theater productions. Most recently, she played a supporting role in Warner Bros. Starsky and Hutch. She also spent several years studying comedy and improv at Los Angeles’ famous Groundlings Theater.
• "The Gotta-be-Gay Guy" - Gerald
Gerald is the guy that seems to be in denial over his sexual orientation. He’s good with the ladies, but is it for a completely different reason than what he likes to think. Is Gerald ignoring the signs of his of his sexual orientation? He’s nicely groomed and in touch with his feelings. Could he be repressing what his heart truly desires? Or is he just "in touch" with his feminine side?
Gerald is portrayed by Canadian actor Jonathan Torrens. He is a popular television host of specials and talk shows, including Canada Day, East Coast Music Awards and Hosted Primetime. Jonathan is also a talented comedy writer, specializing in variety shows and sketch comedy.
• "The Playah" - T.J.
T.J. possesses the three "C’s": Cheese, Camaro and Chest Medallion. He fancies himself as the ultimate ladies man, but he couldn’t be more ridiculous, boorish, and offensive. T.J. is every woman’s worst nightmare.
T.J. is portrayed by Jon Huertas. He has appeared in Warner Bros.’ Executive Decision and Why Do Fools Fall in Love as well as HBO Films’ Borderline. Jon was a regular cast member on a number of popular television series including Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, JAG and Moesha, and has guest-starred on NYPD Blue, Resurrection Blvd., and The Shield.
• "The Heir" - Ernie
Ernie is the perfect guy in almost every way. He’s a gentleman - cultured, debonair and stinking rich, an heir to the Gallo winery fortune. Though Ernie seems perfect on paper, there’s one small problem that most women can’t over look -- he’s a bit chubby.
Ernie is portrayed by eclectic actor Steve Mallory. His television work has included roles on Comedy Central’s I’m With Busey and Reno 911, and Fox’s Celebrity Clones. Steve has studied at Los Angeles’ prestigious Groundlings Theater.
• "The Stalker" – Bryce
Bryce is in serious need of love. He’s a deeply romantic guy, an expresser of affection and a writer of poetry. However, Bryce takes things way too far. His display of slavish devotion to Piper constantly gets creepier and creepier. He is super possessive and has a strong streak of jealousy.
Bryce is portrayed by Kevin Kirkpatrick. He recently appeared in the feature film Cheaper by the Dozen. Kevin’s television credits include NBC’s The In-Laws, Spy TV, and Three Sisters. He is well known in comedy circles for his improv ability and is currently a member of The Groundlings theater troupe.
• "The Bitch" – Ambrosia
In her own words, Ambrosia is "not here to make friends." She’s a win at all costs pageant princess, complete with a long list of victims she’s spiked along the way with the heel of her Manalo Blahniks. In Junior High she teased half the girls in her class into eating disorders. Ambrosia’s biological clock has begun to tick loudly, driving her to new heights of competitiveness and cruelty.
Ambrosia is portrayed by Gretchen Palmer. One of Gretchen’s first film roles was in When Harry Met Sally. Since then, she has been a regular on The Young & The Restless and The Parkers. She’s also guest-starred on Wayan’s Brothers, Married With Children, and The Hughley’s.
• "The Drunk"- Rita
Rita is a sweetheart, except for her unquenchable desire to get trashed beyond all human comprehension. She’s sweet and often repentant when sober, but has fallen off no fewer than forty-six wagons…. Forty-seven if you include the New Orleans rubbing alcohol incident. Rita is Austin’s immediate favorite, but she quickly harms her chances by getting rip-roaring drunk.
Rita is portrayed by Natasha Leggero, a trained stand-up comedienne and theater actor. She has toured much of Los Angeles and New York doing stand-up comedy, and has also appeared in such Off-Broadway hits as Tony and Tina’s Wedding and The Winters Tale. She has had extensive training in improv at both The Goundlings Theater and Second City.
• "The Weeper" – Eleanor
Eleanor is an adorable, sweet, co-dependent, weepy doormat with hair-trigger tear ducts. She cries over everything! Eleanor is desperately in love with Austin after only eight seconds in the room with him. She is ready to have his babies tomorrow. Eleanor is one tissue box away from a nervous breakdown.
Eleanor is portrayed by Jessica Makinson. She has appeared in several sketches on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and was a series regular on Comedy Central’s Trigger Happy T.V. Currently, she is appearing in two different improv shows in Los Angeles.
• "The Moron" – Cammy
Sexiness is the only thing going for Cammy. She’s hilariously, absurdly, shockingly dumb. Dumber than a rock. Dumber than a shoe! Think Jessica Simpson without the musical career. Lots of glazed over stares. Lots of confusion over whether buffalos have wings. Cammy couldn’t think her way into a corner, let alone out of one…
Cammy is portrayed by Jana Speaker. Jana has been featured in a number of top-selling bikini calendars, which helped her land stints as the ‘Flag Girl’ on Monster Garage and Drive Shaft. She recently landed a leading role in the off-Broadway hit making its first run in Los Angeles, "Pieces of Ass" at the Stuff Magazine Theater.
Original Schmo viewers will see one familiar face this season however. Ralph Garman, who portrayed the smarmy host in the first "Joe Schmo," is back for a second season -- this time in disguise as Derek Newcastle, a pompous but randy British reality show host.
Like the reality shows it's parodying, Last Chance for Love will also feature over-the-top competitions for cheesy rewards -- either "one-on-one time with the bachelor/bachelorette" eating strawberries out by the pool, a "hot tub date" under the stars, or a "romantic dinner date" away from the other competitive suitors. And no fake reality show would be complete without shocking revelations, so Last Chance for Love will have those as well -- via it's absurd "Falcon Twists," in which a falcon will fly in and reveal "surprise twists" ... which will culminate with Garman's cheesy closing that "the falcon has spoken."
From its opening scene parody in which nearly all the program's minority contestants are eliminated within moments of their arrival, to the over-the-top trumpet call that accompanying Garman's every entrance, and on through Garman's The Bachelor-inspired "this is the final necklace" interruption during each week's elimination ceremony, Joe Schmo 2 takes some well-deserved shots at the reality dating genre at just about every opportunity.
Hang on folks, it's going to be a fun ride... and unlike last season, based on their behavior in the premiere episode, it looks like both Tim and Ingrid won't be as utterly sweet and wholesome as last season's Matt.