Picks and Pans Review: Tough Crowd

updated 05/05/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 01:00AM

Comedy Central (Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 p.m. ET)

Ten years ago, Politically Incorrect was born on Comedy Central. Now it's back, more or less, in the form of this lively talk show.

Like Bill Maher before him, Colin Quinn (late of Saturday Night Live) leads four guests in an informal discussion of topics in the news. But where Maher's panels mixed entertainers, pundits and political figures, Quinn's guest pool is entirely made up of comedians. Not surprisingly, the conversation often gets rowdy as everyone tries to get a punch line in edgewise. Quinn clearly doesn't frown on gamy sex jokes, or Jim Norton wouldn't be a frequent guest. On the other hand, Tough Crowd lived up to its advertised promise of "smart comedy" when Daily Show host Jon Stewart sat in one night. Quinn's delivery can be sloppy when he steps outside the panel context for solo bits, but the bull sessions produce a fairly steady laugh supply.

BOTTOM LINE: Hey, join the crowd

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