Can a new TV show re-launch Craig Kilborn’s comedy career?

When I was in college I became addicted to Comedy Central. The main cause of my obsessive behavior was the newly launched Daily Show; its host, young shavers, was Craig Kilborn, a dude who got popular as one of those hip SportsCenter guys. Years later when I heard Kilborn was leaving and being replaced by Jon Stewart, I was all like, “But I love Kilborn. The show’s not going to be as good.” My instincts, obviously, were not as refined back then as they are now. For instance, I can tell you right now that this new comic, Louis C.K. is going to make it big.

You may remember that, because of his competent work on the Daily Show, Kilborn scored himself the Late Late Show hosting gig for CBS. After five years, Craig Ferguson took his place. Since that time, Kilborn has been in isolation, living alone in a rotting-wood shed in Bakersfield, CA drinking his own urine for nutrients (and because he “likes the burn”) and organizing a militia, staffed by the voices in his head.

Ok, none of that is true, but I think I just wrote the outline of a really bad mockumentary.

In truth, Kilborn’s been seen in a handful of comedy-related endeavors; most notably he played a douche bag named Mark in 2003’s Old School. And then three years later, he played a douche bag in the David Spade-Rob Schneider vehicle Benchwarmers, which I never watched but assume is a total piece of shit. In 2010, he returned to television as the host of The Kilborn File. That didn’t last long.

He’s been quiet since then. But the dude’s been working. Today, we got word that ABC has snagged a new television project that would star the 49-year-old Kilborn as “an eccentric mystery writer who has ‘mastered the art of living’ and finds his way of life altered when he meets the woman of his dreams,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Kilborn will co-write the currently-untitled show; he’ll be joined in the writers room by Mark Torgove and Paul Kaplan, the duo behind NBC’s ill-fated Outsourced, which was canceled in May after one season. In their defense, however, Torgove and Kaplan are also the pair that helped make Spin City, George Lopez and Just Shoot Me! long-running television hits. So, Kilborn’s got some skills behind this thing.

The question is: will it be enough to re-launch Kilborn’s career? Will he be able to hang with the new crop of cool kids in the comedy world? Are you excited about Kilborn’s possible return to television? Sound off in the comments section!

Dylan P. Gadino

Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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