Anything But Love’s Richard Lewis is host of HBO Comedy Hour: The 14th Annual Young Comedians Show, a showcase for five new comedians, three of whom are derivative of a hundred other comedians you’ve seen, and two of whom hit risible pay dirt. Drew Carey presents himself as a sort of living cartoon — he wears a boxy black suit to emphasize the box shapes of his blond, crew-cutted head and his square black glasses. He makes a lot of funny, self-deprecating remarks about his stolid nerd appearance but also admits, ”I’m not sure if getting these laughs is worth looking like this all the time.” From the audience’s point of view, though, it would seem to be.
The other worthwhile comic is Jeff Stilson, a blandly handsome fellow whose sharply articulate act consists of variations on what a mild man he is. ”I’ve never solicited the services of a prostitute,” he says. ”Frankly, I don’t know how men do it — I have trouble asking for extra bread in a restaurant.” Bright-eyed and low-key, carefully avoiding the exaggerated neuroses of, well, of a comic like host Richard Lewis, Stilson is a subtle find. B-