TV Review | The Ron James Show 1.1

When The Ron James Show (CBC: premiered September 25, 8:00 PM ET/PT) was announced as the replacement for Royal Canadian Air Farce, I wasn’t expecting much.  The verbose Nova Scotia comic has plied his trade in a series of decreasingly entertaining CBC comedy specials.

There’s also the matter of Blackfly, the Global series that managed two seasons – TWO SEASONS! – despite being a manky, Blackadder-baiting piece of shit.  While anything is better than more Royal Canadian Air Farce*, Ron James has that major failure under his belt.

As a bonus, The Ron James Show executive producer Garry Campbell was responsible for The Good Germany.  I’m well aware of the depths to which Campbell’s shows can plumb.

The Ron James Show doesn’t oversell itself – James does some monologues, appears in all of the sketches, nothing fancy.  There’s an animated segment called “L’il Ronnie,” which sucks, but is still better than the average Air Farce Alan Park segment.

The Ron James Show benefits from slick production values.  The opening credits alone look more expensive than an episode of Royal Canadian Air Farce.  Most of the sketches are of average quality, but none of them descend into Comedy Inc. levels of inanity.

The final sketch, where James experiences life as a slave on the Underground Railroad Weekend Experience, is a highlight.  It’s a fairly edgy sketch for an 8:00 PM show, what with blacks exploiting whites for cheap labour.  The Wendy Mesley voiceover cameo is a bonus.  I hope the writing gets stronger in future episodes, in order to counteract Rick Mercer’s gradual transformation into Shelagh Rogers.

I’m not going to recommend The Ron James Show on the basis of its one aired episode.  The real test is whether subsequent episodes improve on The Ron James Show‘s initial outing.  I’m just surprised this show is anything at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather see Rob Pue with a show, but you know, Canada.

*Except for Comedy Inc.

  • Canada

    Comedy? Ron James is about as funny as waking up and finding your cock gone. The fact that this stupid idiot is even possible to be a topic of any sort is strange. It’s people like this that make me hate Canada as much as I do. And I live here.

    There is good talent here if you search for it. But like everywhere else, most of it will never be discovered.

    Fuck you Ron. You do not deserve anything the entertainment scene has to offer and you make smart Canadians sick.

  • Who deserves a show more than Ron James, then? This is an earnest question. Picnicface? Graham Clark? Should Mister X be adapted into a series?

    Believe me, I hate the Canadian television industry at times, for the same reasons the previous commenter does. I don’t like The Ron James Show that much, but which talents do the “smart Canadians” like?

  • DGM

    ‘Less Than Kind’ was a great show that should have been renewed. And ‘Corner Gas’ was pretty solid throughout its six year run. Canucks can do decent TV comedy, Air Farce notwithstanding.

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  • G Coles

    The Hitler “Glee” sketch filled me with disgust.
    I’ve seen just about all his shows but will never watch another.

  • john

    This guy as with many others would be nowhere without the CBC.
    and it is nothing but a socialist parasite on the backs of canadians the same goes for most of the CBC clingons.

  • JP Gumby

    Maybe the Ron James show is horribly lame by design. After all, only pathetically shitty shows like the Royal Canadian Air Farce have any chance of becoming “institutions” on the CBC.

    Honest to God, do people at the CBC -really- think the Ron James show is GOOD???

  • James

    Watched 1/2 an hour of this crap before changing the tv. Trash at best, not even funny. On the same humourless level as Air Farce. Christ, A&W commercials as bad as they are are much better that the RJS. CBC needs to get edgier up-dated comedy back (along the lines of Trailer Park Boys, Kids in the Hall, SCTV, The Frantics). Sorry, but Ron James and Air Farce cater to the senior citizen homes of our land, not the valued 18-35 demographics that the advertisers so desperately want to to hit. Like most CBC attempts at comedy, I’ll give RJS one more year. The suit that approved this should resign!

  • Dave smith

    RJ is a very funny guy…maybe some of the critics above should see a live show and maybe then they’d understand the handcuffs CBC puts on itts shows… Limiting the comedy on the network and the comedians who deliver them…be gentle with the broad sweeping personal attacks without all the facts guys!

  • David

    Ron James is so unfunny it is beyond believe but so were Wayne and Shuster, The Air Fare, King of Kensington… etc… Ron ames lived on my street in the Beaches and was dying for everyone to recognize him but nobody did…

  • David


  • Christopher Reid

    I just saw Ron for the first time, after listening to him for 2 minutes I hate him. Making completely bone-headed comments about Mexico being a third world country filled with stupid lazy people… honestly I love racial comedy, but this was juts plain racist, in the hateful demeaning way. He also constantly appeals to the notion that being “smart” (like, reading and thinking and accomplishing something) is something to laugh at.

    Why is this racist idiot being promoted on CBC?

    Please invest in some real, thought-provoking, humorous television.

    Also, who would go to his show? Ridiculous, take a look at the audience next if you ever watch his show… which I recommend you DONT.