Serving the Drinks, Stirring the Pot
Serving the Drinks, Stirring the Pot

 

Barmageddon begins! But what the hell is Barmageddon? Is it the end of all bars? I certainly hope not because that will mean that I have zero social life, job or chance of hooking up without logging onto some creepy website. No, Barmageddon is actually a televised social experiment designed to find out who is the best at running a bar by proving that they can do it anywhere, anytime, surrounded by anyone. (Including total freaking weirdos.)

Remember Cheers? Sam Malone seemed like the ultimate bar owner, but what if he suddenly didn't know everybody's name? Better yet, what if Norm and Cliff were both flamboyant drag queens -- would Sam still be able to professionally cater to their every bar need? What if Carla was a raving lunatic with a horrible violent temper? Would Sam still prove a qualified boss man? What if Sam himself was so anal retentive that he made Woody clean the toilets every ten minutes with military precision? Would Woody still look up to him and be able listen to a word he said? Basically, our show asks: is a bar owner only great in his or her own bar, surrounded by his or her own customers, or can he or she transfer their knowledge and skill to any drinking establishment, fit in and cause the place to thrive by bringing in more cash?

Each week, we'll travel to a different city in America, find two bar owners who are polar opposites and make them switch bars to see who can up the profits the most in the other person's joint. They're not just fish out of water; they're fish taken out of water and then hurled into an entirely different sea, surrounded by a whole new school of drunks, loud mouths, partiers and surly demanding customers. And while they are trying to adjust to their new environments and handle the perpetual conflicts that arise around them, we get to sit back and laugh at all the drama and hysteria. And trust me, there's a lot of that going on as well, because while these valiant bar owners are trying their best to make things right, I'm drinking and trying my hardest to stir the pot. And stir it I do, like only an intoxicated comedian with an endless bar tab can.

So, Barmageddon is… Fun. Funny. Chaotic. Psychological. Ridiculous. Educational. But mostly, it's just good old fashioned American TV. It's the kind of show that you crack a beer with as you watch a world you both know and don't know get turned upside down. Hell, make a drinking game out of it. Every time I look like I'm enjoying my job more than any human being ever deserves to, take a shot. I guarantee that you'll be smashed before the first commercial.

Follow Barmageddon host Mo Mandel on Twitter @momandel for more of his unique perspective, stand-up dates and more.