Even though some members of Almost Live! were pretty good at playing the parts of dumb people – none of them actually were stupid. Well, there was that one guy. Oh man, was he an idiot. He thought the Gates Foundation is a type of girdle. He thought the Kentucky Derby is a hat. He once tripped on a cordless phone. Yea, everybody remembers that guy.
But one of the show’s pioneering members wasn’t just smart. He was sharp. In fact, it’s his name: Jim Sharp.
It was Sharp in 1984 – along with show host Ross Shafer – that together birthed Almost Live!, even though neither of them is a trained OB-GYN. And for four years, through growing pains, struggles to find an audience – and a paltry budget – they nonetheless created a show that won almost 40 Northwest Emmys.
Some people are just plain funny. They think funny, they talk funny. But Jim Sharp knows funny. And that talent has informed his career from Almost Live! on. Through the years, he went from producing The Late Show on Fox, to moving on as an independent writer and producer of numerous TV programs and projects – always in the comedy realm.
By the time he crossed the finish line to retirement a couple of years ago, Jim had risen to become Comedy Central‘s West Coast Executive Vice-President of Original Programming and Development. That’s a really long title. It’s also a pretty big deal. And the capper to a remarkable career. These days, Jim and his wife divide their time between homes in the Seattle area – and San Diego. Here now is Jim Sharp… in a sharp conversation… with a not so-sharp interviewer.