An Intro to Seeso, Comedy's Answer to Netflix
So you're already paying out the nose for Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Hulu, Weebo, Mojo, Jojo, and a bunch of other streaming sites we just made up (but could easily come to exist in the coming months). Do you really need to throw another streaming service into the mix? If you're a fan of cutting-edge comedy, NBC's new comedy site, Seeso -- a mix of original programming and old gems -- is well worth the price of admission (only $3.99 a month!). Here's why:
Every episode of SNL, ever
While it's easy enough to catch last week's viral video or politically charged cold open streaming online, for the more discerning Saturday Night Live fan, tracking down old clips has always been a challenge. But thanks to Seeso, for the first time, sketch junkies will be able to watch every single episode of SNL ever aired, from the little-seen Dick Ebersol years to O.J. Simpson's bizarre hosting gig back in 1978. New episodes of SNL, along with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, are also available ad-free the day after they air.
LOLs from across the pond
Much like a hearty loaf of spotted dick (an actual British food!), British comedy can be a bit of an acquired taste. Seeso helps acquaint you with a veritable dessert platter of the stuff, with classics like Monty Python's Flying Circus, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Ricky Gervais's The Office, Fawlty Towers, The Mighty Boosh, and Steve Coogan's The World of Alan Partridge all available to stream. Jolly good, chaps!
Damn good stand-up
Seeso may not exactly be Netflix-level prolific when it comes to original programming, but it has some unique series on the docket, including shows that tour New York and L.A.'s booming live comedy scenes. There's the Amy Poehler-produced UCB Show, featuring sketch and stand-up performances filmed on-location at the UCB Theater in L.A. Over on the East Coast, current SNL cast members Michael Che and Leslie Jones host the New York's Funniest competition, held at famed comedy club Carolines on Broadway. And hailing from further north, Canadian stand-up anthology Funny As Hell features sets from the likes of Amy Schumer and Chelsea Peretti, as well as numerous hot up-and-comers. If you like stand-up, this is the streaming service for you.
In addition to its focus on stand-up, Seeso has a number of other original shows worth checking out. Semi-improvised half-hour comedy Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, a Burning Love-esque spoof of high-end real-estate reality shows, premiered last week and has already been getting rave reviews. The first season is slated to include A-list cameos from the likes of Adam Scott, Nick Kroll and Gillian Jacobs, and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Meanwhile, Community creator Dan Harmon will deliver HarmonQuest, an animated version of his podcast Harmontown, in which he plays a spirited game of Dungeons & Dragons with some of his comedy pals. While it's not streaming yet, dungeon masters don't have long to wait: Harmon told SXSW crowds that the show will premiere in July 2016.
Goodies from the NBC archives
The network may be in a new-programming dry spell right now, but Seeso will remind you of the halcyon days of the mid-2000s, when Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Steve Carell made the Peacock TV's premier comedy destination. Seeso's content is largely pulled from NBC's own archives, which means every episode of 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, The Office, and (for some reason) Saved by the Bell is available. Unfortunately, there's no signs of Must-See-TV-era programming like Friends, Seinfeld, and Frasier, and as of now, NBC says it has no plans to add them. Sorry, George Costanza fans -- no soup for you.
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Anna Silman is a staff writer at Thrillist and an alum of Salon and Vulture. If she started a streaming service, it would be called Zeezo. Find her on Twitter: @annaesilman.