SmartLess: On the Road


Jason just wants an entree-level salad

Main Cast: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes

I’m not a big podcast fan, but I’ve listened to enough to understand their unique allure. SmartLess is a podcast. I’ve never listed to a single episode. And yet…SmartLess: On the Road, a documentary miniseries, is absolutely delightful.

The podcast and live show share a premise: Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes banter and then one of them introduces a guest who is a surprise to the other two. The interviews turn into a combination of prepared questions from one host and off-the-cuff questions from the others.

It’s a cute premise that only works because these men are and have been famous for a long time. They know people. They have stories and memories to share. As we follow them on the road we get to see portions of their live shows as well as a lot of behind the scenes shenanigans.

Like any live podcast or tour docuseries, SmartLess: On the Road could have been a snooze-fest. But these men are comedians and close friends who have no fear. They happily air their quirks and foibles. They also show us the human side of celebrity with visits from partners and kids. They’re funny and endearing and at times very poignant in their discussions.

Filmed in black and white (I have no idea why), the series travels from shows in Washington, DC, to Boston, New York, and then on to the Midwest. These guys spend a lot of time eating, and those scenes are some of the funniest in the series. They’re at their best when they’re talking amongst themselves. And when Will is picking on Jason (which is a lot). They LOVE to casually bring up Ozark.

I enjoyed SmartLess: On the Road far more than I expected. I already liked the three stars but had no idea what they were like in real life. I like them even more, now. At some point I might even listen to the podcast. You can find the six episodes of SmartLess: On the Road streaming on MAX. Expect really good celebrity guests, lots of sharing, and some ridiculously funny moments.

If you like any of the three principle players, I think you’ll enjoy getting to know them. I’m hoping for another tour and another season of the show.

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