Mr. Media Interviews by Bob Andelman
1080 Ben Rappaport, actor, "Outsourced" (2010)
Jun 12, 2019 · 14 min
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2010: “Outsourced” did not get the initial reaction that NBC desired for a new Thursday night sitcom, given the plum, post-“The Office” slot it received on the fall schedule. Most years, every new NBC sitcom slipped into “Must See TV” Thursday gets a cold shoulder from the critics just because its not “30 Rock” or “The Office.” Just ask the cast of “Community,” which was widely derided and ignored when it started a year ago and now is one of TV’s most consistent silliness fests. "Outsourced" was ostracized for a whole different reason; the concept, about an American sent to India to supervise his employer’s call center there, was declared racist and dead on arrival. Funny thing, though. After an unfunny, uneven pilot, Outsourced found its voice and the audience — and I’ll include my family among the Johnny-Come-Latelies — started finding it. If anything this show is “Community” relocated to India. The community college study lounge has been replaced by a call center. Ben Rappaport is Joel McHale and the better part of the ensemble cast of characters consists of Indian kooks instead of California kooks. And Dietrich Bader, who you’ll remember from nearly a decade as a sidekick on “The Drew Carey Show,” is a wonderful bonus. In fact, “The Drew Carey Show” is probably a more reasonable comparison for “Outsourced” than “The Office.” As for being racist? The only people who think that haven’t watched the show. It’s sweet, it’s funny, but it no more makes fun of Indians than “The Office” picks on Scranton, Pennsylvania natives. It’s a sitcom. Tune in, settle into the couch, and laugh a little. Ben Rappaport • • • •   
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