Mr. Steinberg was a director of the early-80's sitcom "Newhart." And, he recalled, one of the highlights of working on that set was the chance to eat lunch with Mr. Newhart and other funny people - including Mr. Newhart's friend and fellow comedian Don Rickles, who would often drop by - and to sit back and listen to them talk, joke and reminisce about life in the comedy business.Nice idea. I'll set the TiVo.
"That was almost my childhood ideal of what show business would be, those lunches," Mr. Steinberg said in a telephone interview from his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. "That kind of experience is so memorable, and so rare."
"Casual" is the watchword for the series itself. In contrast to "Inside the Actors Studio" and its scholarly, well-prepared host, "Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg" is concerned less with serious analysis than with giving Mr. Steinberg and fellow comedians - some, like Mr. Newhart and Martin Short, old friends; others, like George Lopez and Jon Lovitz, performers he admired but did not know personally - the chance to riff off of each other.Mike Myers is the first guest, tonight. Larry David is the second guest, next week. What more do you need to know? This is perfect!
"I'm not interested in the craft of comedy," Mr. Steinberg said. "I don't think that's interesting to an audience. I just wanted to show the audience how funny these people can be."