‘House of Lies Live’: Sneak a peek at Showtime’s new improv special

Could improvised TV be making a little bit of a comeback right now? Based on what we are seeing at the moment, we are starting to believe so. “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” returned to television this past summer with a run on The CW, and following that up, we are now getting a comedy special entitled “House of Lies Live” airing on New Year’s Eve at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on Showtime, or online the day before.

Of course, the first thing that is somewhat tricky about the name is that unlike “The Sound of Music Live,” the “live” here is referring to the fact that the cast of “House of Lies” filmed this in front of a live audience. It also seems to be a rather challenging sort of improv, where they can be forced to morph one scene directly into another. Just take a look at the sneak peek below, which somehow has a transition between Don Cheadle playing a pregnant man, and then an endless conversation about kittens. It’s pretty funny stuff, but also impressive in that the cast is able to do so much in what feels almost like the most claustrophobic space of all time. We’ve heard of intimate performances, but this is so intimate that it feels like the crowd is really sitting on top of you.

The new season of “House of Lies” proper will premiere on Showtime come Sunday, January 12, and this can really be seen more than anything else as just a nice little appetizer to get you excited about what could be coming up around the bend. Plus, it’s a nice little gift from Showtime to actually remember that there are some people who are bored between Christmas and the New Year, and that they would love to have something new to watch and get a laugh from.

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