Human Giant hero Paul Scheer heard about this experimental sketch show from 1995 called The TV Wheel and posted about it on his blog yesterday. The TV Wheel was created by Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Joel Hodgson, and involved David Cross, Doug Benson, Paul Feig, Andy Kindler, Judd Apatow and other good comedy guys. Apparently HBO ordered a pilot of the show but passed on a series, and it aired just once, on Comedy Central, during the finale of MST3K.
A single stationary camera was mounted inside the center of a large rotating platform. As the platform rotated around the camera, a scene would come into view of the camera. The wheel would stop and a sketch would play out in the scene… At the end of the scene, the wheel would rotate, carrying one scene out of the camera’s view and bringing another in, and a new sketch would begin in the new scene.
As an experiment or sort of comedy art project from the mid-’90s, this makes total sense. As a TV show, it seems pretty obvious why HBO passed. That same year they aired the first episode of Mr. Show With Bob And David, and I shudder to think that Mr. Show might never have aired because it came down to these two odd shows. That’s right, I shudder to think.