Behind the Comedic Panel Game Series Taskmaster

Behind the Comedic Panel Game Series Taskmaster
comedic panel game series Taskmaster

Credit: Taskmaster/Channel 4

Taskmaster may be a name most familiar to those in tune with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, before the character was a possibility as a live-action addition to the most extensive media franchise of all time, outside of being a long-standing comic character, there was a comedic panel game show in the UK by the same name later adapted for an American version. While with any UK-to-American adaptation, or vice versa, there’s always the case of one being more popular or long-standing than the other, such as The Office or Wilfred, but this case was likely at fault to Comedy Central for their hasty cancellations. Below, we’ve detailed the Taskmaster comedic panel game series, the differences between the UK and American versions, and more about the series.

Greg Davies

Credit: Taskmaster/Channel 4

The Original, Still Running, Taskmaster

The original Taskmaster series, which has stayed running since it first premiered in 2015, has had several specials and even more than one season per year in some circumstances. Comedian and musician Alex Horne created Taskmaster, and fellow comedian Greg Davies has also played Taskmaster since the series started. While the name Greg Davies may not sound familiar to American audiences, the actor and comedian has appeared in the Netflix series Cuckoo and other UK series such as Man Down, The Inbetweeners, and his numerous comedy specials.

Greg Davies’s first role in The Inbetweeners series was in the original program and then reprised his role in each installment after, between the series, movies, and specials. While Greg Davies has been a dominant force throughout Taskmaster in the UK, the creator Alex Horne has been a notable person in each installment of the hit comedic panel game series Taskmaster. Overall, Taskmaster, each season or special, featured different contestants that were each typically well-known already to audiences, usually for their comedy, as they competed in strange games and challenges presented by the Taskmaster until a final winner was declared at the end.

Taskmaster Reggie Watts Comedy Central

Credit: Taskmaster/Comedy Central

Taskmaster American Series

Taskmaster in the US, unlike the original comedic panel game series Taskmaster UK, only lasted for one season, but in terms of a psychotic host acting as the Taskmaster and providing such challenges to the competitors was a perfect American match for Greg Davies with Reggie Watts, with Alex Horne once again acting as the umpire for the challenges presented. Reggie Watts could be noted from various corners of Hollywood, from radio to television, music, and beyond. Most recently, Reggie Watts has been featured on the current season of Celebrity Jeopardy! , but can typically be seen as the band leader on The Late Late Show With James Corden after his leave from Comedy Bang! Bang! on IFC.

Comedy Bang! Bang! the series has ultimately ended, but the podcast lives on, in which Reggie has still appeared and helped with songs and other tasks. Reggie Watts was placed in the role of Taskmaster for the American adaptation. While it only lasted one season, it featured fellow comedians, musicians, and celebrities such as Ron Funches, Dillon Frances, Lisa Lampanelli, Freddie Highmore, and Kate Berlant. Kate Berlant was the overall winner of the lone US season of the comedic panel game series Taskmaster, winning in four episodes. In contrast, winners of other episodes included Dillon Frances, Freddie Highmore, and Lisa Lampanelli.

Greg Davies

Credit: Taskmaster/Channel 4

Other Taskmaster Variations of the Comedic Panel Game Series

Due to its ongoing popularity in the UK, Taskmaster has been adapted for various other countries as well, with the coordination of creator Alex Horne, with the most recent adaptation headed to Australia, after neighboring New Zealand has already had its adaptation of the comedic panel game series Taskmaster, dubbed Taskmaster NZ. Outside of the newly confirmed Australian Taskmaster, the failed US adaptation, and the widely successful original British version, the comedic panel game series Taskmaster has also had adaptations in Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and Quebec. Like the American adaptation of Taskmaster, not all other adaptations have survived beyond a single season.

Still, most of the adaptations of Taskmaster have continued beyond a premier season. During the pandemic, Taskmaster adapted, much like other shows did, to survive, and created at-home challenges for fans of the show #HomeTasking. Contestants deemed favorites by Greg Davies were awarded points in a format similar to the original version of the comedic panel game series Taskmaster but was available on YouTube. Taskmaster has also spawned two books and a board game, on top of the numerous international adaptations. Overall, Taskmaster has undoubtedly been something beyond unique. With famous comedians performing such challenges twice a year for the program and its special episodes, Taskmaster will likely remain the longest-standing version of the comedic panel game series.lone US season of the comedic panel game series Taskmaster

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