Best Ever Channels, Stand Group Bringing Funny to FAST with Witz-Comedy TV

The Riff Nacya Marriero
Nacya Marriero will host 'The Riff,' coming to Witz (Image credit: Best Ever Channels)

Knock knock. Who’s there? Witz-Comedy TV, a free, ad supported streaming TV channel being launched by Best Ever Channels and The Stand Group.

Witz-Comedy TV

Witz-Comedy TV is set to debut in November with original series and stand-up comedy specials. Distribution agreements are expected to be announced in November and December.

The channel is working with production company Angry Buddha to produce shows. It will also develop Witz-Comedy TV-branded programming for platforms and advertisers.

Former Maverick Films and Relativity executive Jonathan Schwartz will be working for Witz with Angry Buddha to develop additional new series, features and formats for the network.

“We’re creating a FAST 2.0 channel with Witz-Comedy TV,” said Barry Gordon, co-CEO of Best Ever Channels. “The Stand’s talent relationships, coupled with Angry Buddha and Jon’s production chops, make for a winning team that will drive WITZ as the new comedy destination, and a brand that’s chock-full with original content, attitude, and fresh energy.”

Among the original series on Witz are Upstairs at The Stand, Passed, Would You Bang Him, NYC Comedy Under Lincoln Center, The Riff and Witz-Bitz.

The channel will also feature Anonymous, the new comedy special featuring Rich Vos.

“Rich Vos is pioneering new territory with his comedy special Anonymous. We’ve always wanted to explore new and unhindered ways to present standup and we’ve found it,” said Cris Italia, partner at The Stand Group, which manages comedians and operates venues. “Witz allows us to create a home for formats that might have not been accepted elsewhere making it a true pioneer in comedy. No one in streaming media or linear is taking things to this level. We’re talking about comedy formats well beyond just stand-up, all with top notch talent.”

“I’ve had several specials over the years, but nothing that went to these depths,” added Vos. “With The Stand and Witz, not only am I creating something original, but I know my audience will grow because our visions are aligned.”

Vos and his wife Bonnie McFarlane will also be the first married couple to host a dating game show with Would You Bang Him, described as part stand-up, part roast. Comics Marc Maron, Bobby Lee, Lev Fer, Monroe Martin, Eddie Pepitone and Sean Patton will be participants.

Witz’s The Riff is hosted by Nayea Morriero, an up-and-coming comedian from Austin, Texas. She’ll take topics from audience members and spin a wheel of categories and comedians will use those suggestions as the basis for improv performances.

Upstairs at The Stand will feature upcoming comics performing at the New York City club. Before they can perform downstairs in the main room, they have to prove they have the chops upstairs. Performers include Marcello Hernandez, Peter Fowler, Max Manticof, Dan LaMorte and Gabby Bryan.

Witz will continue to add original series and programs each month throughout 2023, to include in-studio talk shows, a satire news desk, sports programming and sketches, in addition to premiering more half-hour and full-hour stand-up specials. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.