Spike Feresten -- pal of Jerry Seinfeld's, veteran comedy writer, all-around funny guy -- returns Wednesday with a new season of "Car Matchmaker," which he hosts. My review...
"Car Matchmaker," Esquire Network, 9 p.m.
What it's about: Spike Feresten is the car whisperer -- a guy who knows so much about cars that they almost whisper back to him. In the intimacy of this relationship, he knows one big thing -- how to match up the car with some famous person who needs a nice ride, in the land of rides (LA, naturally). This season, he matches up cars to celebrities like Patrick Dempsey, and tonight, he begins with Darryl Jones, the bass player for the Rolling Stones. Jones has a 20-year-old SUV. The old girl is slowing down. Time for something new; Feresten takes him on rides in a Mercedes CLA 45, a BMW M4, and a Jag with a lot of numbers and letters behind its name too.
What will Darryl choose (and will Keith and Mick like it too?)
My say: I guess there's something appropriate in the fact that one of Esquire Network's shows with the most traction also happens to be the show with wheels. Appropriate and understandable given the host: I've been a fan of Feresten for years, and so have you probably -- even though you may not know that you've been.
He created the "Soup Nazi" episode for "Seinfeld," among others. (Also, he was a writer for "Late Show with David Letterman.") He hosted a good and funny late-night series for Fox some years ago before it foundered on the shoals of network serendipity -- in that instance, a new boss who didn't really want a late-night series after all.
And now a car show. Think of Feresten's latest venture, now entering its second season, as a "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," absent the coffee. There are indeed some test drives of some very nice wheels, and those are rescued from a descent into a promotional abyss for said car by Feresten's genuine enthusiasm (and knowledge), along with the occasional piece of information drawn from the celebrity, or the quip, or one-liner...
Did you know...that Darryl Jones once played for Miles Davis, or made a guitar for Mick Jagger, and that the reason for the fireworks at the end of Stones concerts is so that the band can make a quick and unencumbered escape?
Feresten is good with cars, also good with his guests.
Bottom line: Absolutely for car fantasists, and fanatics, but also for those who may want to learn just a little more about the celebrities behind the wheels. (And the host does know his stuff).