Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 29, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST


TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Julie Bowen, Tom Cavanagh, Michael Ian Black, Lesley Boone, Jana Marie Hupp, John Slattery, Justin Long, Mike Starr, Daryl Mitchell, Josh Randall, Rena Sofer
guest performer
Kelly Ripa
Jon Beckerman, David Letterman, Rob Burnett
Comedy, Drama

We gave it a D-

Some things are funnier than a barrel of monkeys. Most things, frankly. And anything is funnier than Ed, which stars a barrel of puppeteers and gizmo guys as the eponymous chimp who plays third base for a minor-league ball team. When Ed is not breaking wind or belching — ah, Animal House‘s fine legacy to American cinema! — he teaches the star pitcher (a stiff, curiously bronzed Matt LeBlanc, from Friends) how to break out of his pitching slump and how to ask a woman (a steadfastly plucky Jayne Brook, from Chicago Hope) on a date. Why Bill Couturie, who produced the affecting AIDS-quilt docu Common Threads, took on this howler is as mysterious as the theory of evolution. Why LeBlanc gave up hiatus for the role is as mysterious as Hollywood. And, God forbid you forget for a minute that the actor is a cast member of That Certain Sitcom, there’s a scene in which the cheesily animatronic chimp channel-surfs — and just happens to click onto a sitcom moment in which Rachel (a girl on Friends) interacts with Marcel (a monkey on Friends). What are the odds?!

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