The New America's Funniest People" has broken its proven formula of showing real people acting funny and replaced it with setups and in-studio gags. The roving camera at malls across the country capturing people being funny remains an asset, but abandoning real videotapes for a majority of skits and gags has hurt the show.

The New America’s Funniest People” has broken its proven formula of showing real people acting funny and replaced it with setups and in-studio gags. The roving camera at malls across the country capturing people being funny remains an asset, but abandoning real videotapes for a majority of skits and gags has hurt the show.

Show’s hosts, Dave Coulier and Tawny Kitaen, don’t mix well, either. Coulier is relaxed and funny, but Kitaen is as fake as the gags that take up too much time. Instead of introducing tapes, their task is to entertain more than to host.

In addition, “Step by Step’s” Sasha Mitchell in a guest appearance adds nothing by babbling away. There’s also a segment called the “Prank Patrol,” where a bunch of precocious kids run around a zoo and scare people with rubber bats.

But thankfully, not all is lost. There are still the performances from malls in Peoria and Pittsburgh that the show should really go back and showcase.

The “new” thing about “American’s Funniest People” is that it is no longer by the people and for the people, something it better return to before it’s too late.

The New America's Funniest People

(Sun. (2), 8:30-9 p.m., ABC)

Production

Taped in Hollywood by Vin Di Bona Prods., Gina Communications Corp. Executive producers, Vin Di Bona, Eytan Keller; producers, Catherine Hoeven, Jennifer deLuca, Launa Newman-Minson; director, Amanda Hackney; writers, Jack Burns, Ron Deutsch, Mitch Glazer, Tom Perew, Brian Scully, Eytan Keller.

Crew

Editors, Roger Ames Berger, Steven Uhlenberg, Russ Heldt; production designer, Ray Klausen.

Cast

With: Dave Coulier, Tawny Kitaen, Sasha Mitchell, Brady Bluhm, Elena Epps, Raushan Hammond, Lindsay Ridgeway, Lance Robinson.
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