Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lookwell: The Show That Could Have Been

Okay, here's some math:

Conan O'Brien + Robert Smigel + Adam West = Comedy Gold

Lookwell, a television pilot starring Adam West, aired in 1991 on NBC but never got the prime-time series green light. It's hard to figure out why... to me, the concept is quite hilarious. In the pilot, the former Batman star plays Ty Lookwell, a washed-up television action hero who attempts to solve crimes in real-life. West's delivery is flawlessly dry and ultra cheesey, and his character's "has-been" status  mirrors perfectly with his own!

Granted, this Lookwell episode is 22 minutes long,
but play the first four minutes and you'll be hooked

As a television show, Lookwell never had much of a chance. Even though the pilot is hilarious as far as I'm concerned (trust me, just watch the first four minutes), I'm not so sure the concept could have been stretched into an entire series. Sure, they did it with Police Squad! (be honest... every episode of that show was the same formula), but I think that by this time, TV execs were already trending away from this format. One odd nugget of info has it that the chairman of NBC actually loved the Lookwell pilot. But as we all know, love alone cannot pay the bills.

Click the video above and give Lookwell a chance; it really is comedy gold!


  1. Agreed, totally awesome but, yeah - not enough to stretch into a series. Wonder if it'd work these days?

  2. Spungo, I'm thinking that if they could mix it up each episode then it might work I suppose. But I think they would quickly run out of angles to play the "washed up TV star" thing... might get old no matter what they did...