“Root of All Evil,” Comedy Central’s new “South Park” follow-up featuring Lewis Black (“Accepted”), could become must-see television.

New debate show finds few laughs

The show’s premise is creative and promising: Comedians debating the evilness of pop culture icons in a trial-like format. But “Evil” will never live up to its potential without making an effort to degrade, lambast and condemn more relevant personalities – something it currently fails at.

The show’s Achilles’s heel is apparent in the series premier, when Black ruled that Oprah was more evil than the Catholic Church. Although the two topics provided plenty of material – one advocate repeatedly used the term ‘boy-fuckers,’ and the other scolded Oprah for putting Africa over America – the comedians were mostly reformulating overused jokes about stale subjects.

Why not tape “Evil” on a regular basis and give Black and his buddies the opportunity to critique more current public figures like Eliot Spitzer or Roger Clemens? But it seems this won’t happen anytime soon. Instead, Black chooses to put Donald Trump up against Viagra – two overplayed subjects that should probably never be used in the same sentence anyway.

Roof of All Evil

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.

Comedy Central

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