Review: ‘Platypus Man’

There's one thing about "Platypus Man" as the name for a show -- you aren't likely to confuse it with anything else ... well, "Manimal," maybe. Or "Duckman." This United Paramount Network sitcom, on the other hand,blends elements of funnier antecedents including "Cheers,""Coach,""Seinfeld,""The Larry Sanders Show,""Dream On" and "The Galloping Gourmet." The result is not so much a boeuf bourguignon as Dinty Moore stew.

There’s one thing about “Platypus Man” as the name for a show — you aren’t likely to confuse it with anything else … well, “Manimal,” maybe. Or “Duckman.” This United Paramount Network sitcom, on the other hand,blends elements of funnier antecedents including “Cheers,””Coach,””Seinfeld,””The Larry Sanders Show,””Dream On” and “The Galloping Gourmet.” The result is not so much a boeuf bourguignon as Dinty Moore stew.

One thing’s for sure: the locker room-type humor in “Platypus Man” isn’t likely to challenge the demographic appeal of “Murphy Brown.”

Latest standup comic to be given his own series, Richard Geni stars as “Richard Jeni” (the name “Jerry Seinfeld” having been claimed elsewhere), host of a cooking show on NYC TV channel 72. Or as he puts it, “except sometimes when it’s raining — then it’s 71.”

The Jeni character chats to the viewing audience as he cooks, his menu and monologue aimed at single men. In premiere episode, patter is illustrated by flashbacks to what there is of show’s plot. Regulars include producer Lou Golembiewski (Ron Orbach); Jeni’s relatively hunky brother Tommy (David Dundara) , who tends bar on what looks suspiciously like the old “Cheers” set; and Paige McAllister (Denise Miller), sportswriter and former pro golfer who lives in the apartment across the hall from Jeni’s.

Platypus Man

(Mon. (23), 9-9:30 p.m., KCOP)

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Fanaro/Nathan Prods. in association with Paramount Television. Executive producers, Mort Nathan, Barry Fanaro; producer, Marica Govons, Michael Rotenberg; co-producer, David Menteer; associate producer, Stephen K. Rose; director, Andy Cadiff; script, Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan, based on the stand-up comedy of Richard Geni.

Crew

Camera, Frank Raymond; editor, Robert Bramwell; art director, Dahl Delu; sound, Michael Ballin; music, Scott Gale, Rich Eames.

Cast

Cast: Richard Geni, Ron Orbach, Denise Miller, David Dundara, Amy Yasbeck, Mia Kottet, Ethan Phillips.
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