When “The Other Two” debuts on Comedy Central on January 24, it won’t have impressions of President Trump or clever music videos featuring the entire female cast of “SNL,” but it will carry equally funny and bizarre elements. The comedy, the first project from the duo since they left “SNL” after serving as co-head writers during its landmark 42nd season, tells the story of a brother and sister whose dysfunction comes into crisp focus after their younger sibling becomes a YouTube sensation.
“Could you imagine if that were your brother?” asks Schneider, in a recent interview. “It all comes from there, basically.” And the siblings’ relationship mirrors some of their own friendship.
The Viacom network has high hopes for “The Other Two,” which takes Comedy Central down something of a new path. After several years of presenting shows that are almost inseparable from their creators (“Tosh.0” or “The Jim Jeffries Show,” for instance), “The Other Two” offers a comedy about a family that is more akin to a traditional sitcom – if a traditional sitcom pored over the rather odd trajectories of two siblings whose lives have gotten away from them. Comedy Central will pair “The Other Two” with the final season of its popular “Broad City.”
The network is working to develop more premium scripted comedy, says Sarah Babineau, executive vice president and co-head of talent and development at the network. “This show has a family at the core, and we haven’t had a show in the scripted space yet with that as the driving narrative,” she says. “We have done a lot of shows in that buddy-comedy-friend space, but this is really unique.”
To draw more attention to the program, which Babineau says “feels like the spiritual successor to ‘Broad City,” Comedy Central will stream a regular “aftershow” via social and digtal that lets the creators and cast talk over their protagonists’ latest escapades.
The series stars Drew Tarver as a struggling 28-year-old actor and Heléne Yorke as his 30-year-old sister, who is struggling in general. Molly Shannon – a former “SNL” cast member – plays the siblings’ Hollywood-ready mother, and Ken Marino is the newly hired manager for their social-media star brother, ChaseDreams, played by Case Walker – a first-time actor the two producers found doing a lip-sync video on the Musical.ly app.
“We had no idea if this was going to work and if people would buy it. We just sort of wanted to write what we liked , and what made us laugh,” says Kelly. “You have to go with what you think is funny and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”
The two say they were inspired by other comedies like “High Maintenance” or “You’re The Worst” that center on unique characters. “These are grounded comedies that have a little bit of darkness or sadness to them,” says Kelly.
While no longer at “SNL,” the duo haven’t broken ties with the show. “The Other Two” comes from Broadway Video, the production studio of “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels. “The lifeblood of that show is new people and new voices and new perspectives. You just over time feel like leaving some room for new people and trying something else,” says Schneider. “You get to a point where you say, ‘Let’s try to extend a different part of our brains.’” The pair already has ideas for a second season.