SERIES "Inside Comedy"
WHEN | WHERE Season 2 starts Monday night at 11 on Showtime
David Steinberg nails it.
So it's smart, really -- Steinberg guides them separately through their careers and comic attitudes, then intercuts chat strands to weave humor revelation.
Monday's second-season premiere pairs deadpan '60s arrival Bob Newhart, the overnight-sensation standup turned long-running TV star, and current king Louis CK, a long-running standup turned tube sensation in FX's "Louie."
Next week, it's current comedy writers -- Syosset native Judd Apatow, whose TV work ("Freaks and Geeks") led to movies, and Tina Fey, whose Second City improv led her to TV's "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock."
Louis CK is a fidgety mess. Newhart, not so much. Yet he's the one who allows "fear is a friend" when you hit the stage.
Louie, too, is counterintuitive, succeeding in failure. "If you're afraid to be bad, you won't develop," he says. "I realized, I have to invite the awful."
Through judicious cutting, Steinberg strikes a deft balance between drilled-down-to insight and offhand confession. (Apatow on casting the same actors in so many movies: "It's a way to pretend that the shows weren't canceled. In my head, these are all just elaborate 'Freaks & Geeks' episodes.")