Season 2 of “The Big Gay Sketch Show” Funnier Than First

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Logo claims that there’s nothing gayer on TV than The Big Gay Sketch Show, and for the

most part, they’re absolutely correct. The aptly named series offers sketch

comedy à la Saturday Night Live or Mad TV, but with a decidedly queer

twist: Instead of simply parodying pop culture as a whole, gay icons and

stereotypes take center stage.

Thankfully, the second season of the show, which premieres tonight,

Feb. 5, is as funny as it is out and proud. With Rosie O’Donnell at the helm

and Amanda Bearse in the director’s chair, the new season improves upon the

already winning formula with tighter direction and a livelier atmosphere.

Season 2 brings back more of the same antics from the first

series, with a few welcome twists. A live audience adds a bit of life to what

was once canned laughter, and a roving backstage camera shows brief snippets of

the performers before and after the sketches. This tactic works perfectly to

break up the action and keep the audience giggling in between skits — evidence

of better pacing and overall direction.

Another welcome addition is the inclusion of celebrity guest

stars. In one early episode, Broadway legend Elaine Stritch marches out in the

middle of Nicol Paone’s pitch-perfect impersonation of her, making for one of

the funniest — and most meta — moments of the season so far. Thankfully, the

sassy Stritch is played to her strengths and not overused (a common problem in

many sketch shows).

Other guests set to appear in the new season’s eight

episodes include Kate Clinton and Christine Ebersole (Saturday

Night Live
, as well as a recent turn as Lily Parrish on Cashmere Mafia). Best of all, Rosie

O’Donnell and Chastity Bono actually make an appearance at the end of every

episode, where they make fun of the show from their balcony seats, much like

Waldorf and Statler from The Muppet Show. The new additions serve the

inclusive, “big happy family” atmosphere and add a bit of sly

self-awareness to the proceedings.

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