The Green Room with Paul Provenza

The Green Room with Paul Provenza
Genre Talk show
Created by Paul Provenza
Directed by Michael Franks, Barbara Romen
Starring Provenza and panel
Theme music composer TISM
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 14
Executive producer(s) Barbara Romen
Paul Provenza
Production location(s) The Vanguard, Hollywood, CA
Running time 30 min
Original network Showtime
Picture format 16:9
Original release June 10, 2010 – September 1, 2011

The Green Room with Paul Provenza was a talk show on Showtime, hosted by Paul Provenza.[1] Each episode featured a panel of guests discussing comedy.


At the start of each episode, the camera would approach a stage door in an alley, where one of that series' guests appeared, only to warn the viewer off, saying that the event is for "comics only." In another nearby doorway, Provenza then motioned the viewer in, with the advice to "be cool," warning, "if you've ever been offended by anything, don't come in." The camera then followed Provenza into the building, via hallways and stairs to a final door, which would open onto the soundstage, where the evening's guests were already in conversation.[2][3] After the show's halfway mark, if a guest uses music in their comedy act, such as Bo Burnham or Franklyn Ajaye, they may perform a comedic musical number. The song played during the opening and closing credits is a modified version of the song "Somebody Start a Fight or Something" by TISM (from their final album The White Albun).


The series was based on the live stage panel, The Green Room, which Provenza hosts at the annual Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, where guests converse before a live audience, often predominantly of other comedians and other celebrities.[4][5] The TV show was produced in Hollywood and videotaped at the Vanguard Club in Hollywood.[6] The final two episodes of the second season were Provenza's regular panels, recorded at the Mainline Theatre on July 30, 2011, in Montreal, at the Just For Laughs Festival.[7]

The show premiered on Showtime June 10, 2010, airing weekly for six episodes. Showtime subsequently announced its renewal for a second season, initially six episodes, on September 9, 2010.[8][9] The second season premiered on July 14, 2011,[10] airing weekly for eight episodes. Showtime had not ordered a third season.[11]


The show received a range of positive and mixed reviews. The Los Angeles Times review noted "for every story that peters out, there are moments of insight, thought-provoking debates and hilarious anecdotes", and summarized, "for all its digressions into obscenities, over- or under-worked material and more than occasional chest pounding, The Green Room With Paul Provenza manages to pack a considerable intellectual punch into a half hour."[12] The A.V. Club reviewer Steve Heisler stated that the Showtime show, as compared to the Just for Laughs live show, "has too many factors keeping audiences at a distance." He gave the series premiere episode a "C+", citing the abrupt introduction of the viewer to the guests in mid-conversation, and the sometimes choppy editing which takes him "out of the moment." Heisler continued, "when the magic happens...", those "...moments are worth sticking around for, if only it weren't so hard to find them."[4] In 2010, the show made the Time magazine "The Short List of Things to Do," describing the show as a "loose, racy roundtable."[13] April MacIntyre, in Monsters and Critics, called the show "genius" and stated "the anecdotes are priceless for those who truly love comedy, comics and stand up as an art form."[6]


Season 1

# Guests Original air date
1 1 Drew Carey, Reginald D. Hunter, Eddie Izzard, Larry Miller June 10, 2010
2 2 Sandra Bernhard, Patrice O'Neal, Roseanne Barr, Bob Saget June 17, 2010
3 3 Brendon Burns, Andy Dick, Dana Gould, Andy Kindler June 24, 2010
4 4 Jim Jeffries, Paul Mooney, Rain Pryor, Bobby Slayton July 1, 2010
5 5 Robert Klein, Rick Overton, Jonathan Winters July 8, 2010
6 6 Penn Jillette, Martin Mull, Tom Smothers July 15, 2010

Season 2

# Guests Original air date
7 1 Judd Apatow, Bo Burnham, Marc Maron, Ray Romano, Garry Shandling July 14, 2011
8 2 Franklyn Ajaye, Dana Gould, Kathy Griffin, Greg Proops July 21, 2011
9 3 Richard Belzer, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Attell, Doug Stanhope, Glenn Wool July 28, 2011
10 4 Lewis Black, Ron White, Kathleen Madigan, Jamie Kilstein August 4, 2011
11 5 Margaret Cho, Richard Lewis, Jeff Ross, Kumail Nanjiani August 11, 2011
12 6 Tommy Chong, Joe Rogan, Rick Shapiro, Eddie Ifft August 18, 2011
13 7 Bill Burr, Russell Peters, Colin Quinn, Caroline Rhea, Lizz Winstead August 25, 2011
14 8 Jimmy Carr, Judah Friedlander, Chris Hardwick, Eddie Izzard, Tim Minchin September 1, 2011[14]


  1. Simon, Scott (July 9, 2011). "Paul Provenza and the Art Of Stand-Up". NPR. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  2. Grant, Drew (July 12, 2011). "America's misguided war on offensive humor".
  3. Kernis, Jay (July 13, 2011). "Paul Provenza: It's a good sign that people trust comedians more than journalists". In The Arena blog. CNN.
  4. 1 2 Heisler, Steve (June 10, 2010). "The Green Room With Paul Provenza - 'Episode 101'". The A.V. Club.
  5. "Into the bowels of comedy". Montreal Mirror, July 12–18, 2007 Vol. 23 No. 4.
  6. 1 2 MacIntyre, April (June 10, 2010). "Review: 'Showtime's The Green Room With Paul Provenza' is genius". Monsters and Critics.
  7. "The Green Room With Paul Provenza". Official Facebook page.
  8. Abrams, Natalie (September 9, 2010). "Showtime Renews Green Room for Season 2".
  9. "Showtime Renews 'The Green Room with Paul Provenza'"., Zap2It. December 15, 2010. Press Release.
  10. Showtime Press Release., May 18, 2011.
  11. "Showatch: Green Room with Paul Provenza". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. McNamara, Mary (June 10, 2010). "Television review: 'The Green Room With Paul Provenza'". Los Angeles Times.
  13. "The Short List of Things to Do - June 4 - The Green Room With Paul Provenza". Time Magazine, June 4, 2010.
  14. "Green Room with Paul Provenza #208".
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