"The Joe Schmo Show
" is quite an endeavor. It requires the cooperation of dozens of cast, crew, and producers to convince one man that the farcical nonsense he's participating in is real. On top of that they still have to make the show entertaining in its own right, which can be a tricky proposition. That's where the talented and experienced cast of improv and comedic actors come in.
This season sees the show and the cast taking a bit of a different turn. In previous seasons, each actor portrayed a reality show archetype. This season the characters are a bit more fleshed out and off the beaten path, ranging from a recovering addict and ex-con to a deaf bounty hunter to, yes, even Lorenzo Lamas as a caricature of himself.
Are they up to the task? Time will tell. In the meantime, let's get to know the cast, some of whom you may become even more familiar with in the years to come.
Rob Belushi as "Allen"
Allen is the perpetually positive and supportive cast member whose overly friendly demeanor is alternately welcoming. He's played by Rob Belushi, who has appeared in "Thunderstruck" and on the small screen in "The Defenders" and "According to Jim."
Lombardo Boyar as "Chico"
An ex-con and ex-addict who became a convert in prison, Chico views bounty hunting as God's work. He's played by Lombardo Boyar, who has done voiceover work in "Happy Feet 2" and also made numerous appearances on "The Bernie Mac Show," "GCB," "Modern Family," and "Shameless." He's also a veteran of the Army's 82nd Airborne.
Chelsey Crisp as "Chloe"
Chloe is the participant who makes no qualms about using the show for exposure and to further her other endeavors, in particular modeling. She's portrayed by Chelsey Crisp, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, where she studied Shakespeare under Alan Rickman and Ben Kingsley. She's made appearances on "Happy Endings," "The Office," and "NCIS." Chelsey's also a noted improv comedian, serving as Artistic Director of the Duchess Riot comedy troupe and is a company member of ACME Comedy Theater.
Jo Newman as "Karlee"
Karlee is the fierce, deaf competitor who is oblivious to her interpreter's personal obsession with her. She's played by Jo Newman, whose credits include "Guiding Light," "Gossip Girls," and "The Sopranos." You'll likely see more of Jo in the future, including but not limited to an appearance on the forthcoming HBO series "Hello Ladies." Like Chelsey, Jo is an experienced improv performer. She's currently a member of "That's What She Said," an all-female improv team, as well as the Upright Citizens Brigade in both New York and Los Angeles.
Fred Cross as "Stan"
Stan is Karlee's interpreter who carries an obvious torch for her. He's played by Fred Cross, whose television credits include appearances on "Scrubs," "Parks and Recreation," and "House." He's also an experienced improv performer who was trained at Second City. Astute viewers will note that he's legitimately fluent in ASL, which he learned from growing up with a deaf grandmother.
Meghan Falcone as "Skylar"
Skylar is oblivious and wounded, having just lost a husband to a freak accident involving a cement mixer. She's played by Meghan Falcone, a writer and performer at UCB in LA. You can also see her in the forthcoming sixth season of "Californication."
Nikki McKenzie as "Allison"
Allison is addicted to success and finished medical school at the age of twenty-two. Unfortunately she also has anger issues, which is why she's competing for an opportunity to become a bounty hunter instead of, you know, being a doctor. She's played by Upright Citizens Brigade student Nikki McKenzie, who's also appeared on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Happy Endings."
Segun Oduolowu as "Lavernius"
Lavernius is physical and highly competitive, which seems to make him a shoe-in to win it all. Yet he has a deep, dark secret that will prove to be an obstacle to his success. He's played by Segun Oduolowu. Segun has also made appearances on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Weeds."
Michael Weaver as "Randy"
The token a-hole of the cast, Randy isn't there to make friends and at the end of the day, he's a reality cliché. He's played by Michael Weaver, who has appeared in "Up All Night," "Happy Endings," "Parenthood," and the TV Land original "Hot in Cleveland" as a mob doctor. He's also made numerous appearances in film and is also a musician.
Lorenzo Lamas as "Lorenzo Lamas"
Success is such a fleeting thing. One day you're Hollywood's next big thing, the next you're competing for a job as a bounty hunter so you can pay the four regular alimony payments that have drained both your bank account and your passion for life. But then, that's the character of Lorenzo. The real-life Lorenzo Lamas is actually a content and well-rounded fellow who has begun delving into comedy as both a comedic actor and stand-up comedian.
YOUR HOSTS: Ralph Garman as "Jake Montrose" and Amanda Landry as "Wanda Montrose"
The competitors are all vying for an opportunity to work with Jake, a fierce, no-nonsense bounty hunter who "finds felons people didn't even know were missing" and makes Dog the Bounty Hunter look like Barney Fife. He's played by Ralph Garman, who is making his third turn as host of "The Joe Schmo Show." Ralph is one of the most talented guys out there who has displayed his range within the series alone as the smarmy Probst-style host in the first season of Joe Schmo and as pompous English matchmaker Derek Newcastle on the second season. Garman has appeared in too many projects to mention, most recently doing voiceover work as a regular on "Family Guy" and in Seth McFarlane's feature film "Ted."
His trophy wife Wanda is dumb as a box of rocks and overly enthusiastic, making for an interesting match with her hard-nosed husband. She's played by Amanda Landry, who has done commercial work in addition to appearances on TV shows such as "American Dreams" and "Men at Work."
Spike is proud to announce that Joe Schmo
, the audacious faux reality show where only one contestant is real, IS BACK
starting Tuesday, January 8 at 10 PM, ET/PT
. But there's only real one question, can we actually pull it off without blowing everything?
Watch the first 10 minutes right here: