‘Cavemen’ Continues to Be Funny, Despite Everything

Nick Kroll and the huge caveman mascot. Photo: Courtesy of ABC

Things don't look good for Cavemen. "How Long Can 'Cavemen Last?" asks the Times' TV Decoder blog. "CBS says adios to 'Viva Laughlin'; 'Cavemen' shouldn't be far behind," headlines the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And the sitcom sank to its worst ratings of the season.

But once again, we watched Cavemen last night, and once again we thought it was really funny. How bad can a show be if it includes a caveman beating up a teenage girl dressed in a Neanderthal mascot costume? How bad can a show be if it gives jobs to New York theater favorites like Jay Reiss, the playwright turned actor who played the deadpan vice-principal in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee? (He played a deadpan high-school teacher in last night's episode.) Or, for that matter, Tony winner Julie White, who had her first big scenes as the cavemen's batty landlord last night and knocked every single line out of the park? Seriously, she is a force of nature; watch her now before she's cast as a watered-down, boring version of this character in some other sitcom.