Sobel set as Magic’s TV sidekick

Comedian/actor Barry Sobel has been hired as Magic Johnson’s man on the latter’s Twentieth TV talk/variety program, which is skedded to premiere in early 1998.

Sobel starred in and produced “The Barry Sobel Show” for Comedy Central and was a regular on the NBC sitcom “227.” He also co-wrote much of the standup material for the Tom Hanks feature “Punchline.”

“As my sidekick, Barry will be the consummate ‘go-to’ guy on everything from remotes to in-studio interviews,” said Johnson, the former NBA star. “He’s an outrageously funny performer and brings to the table incredible comedic timing and a genuine offbeat delivery that transcends all ethnic barriers.”

Added Sobel of Johnson: “He is genuinely charismatic and very, very tall.”

Twentieth TV also announced this week that Sheila E. has been tabbed as musical director and bandleader for the syndie series (Daily Variety, June 4).

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