Karaoke and laughs collide on new Comedy Central series 'The Comedy Jam'

If you’ve ever been torn between spending your Friday night at a comedy show or a concert, or if you’ve binge-watched Jimmy Fallon’s lip-sync battle segments wishing the stars were actually singing, don’t fret: Comedy Central’s new show, “The Comedy Jam,” is about to fill that celebrity/comedy/karaoke-shaped hole in your life.

Expanding on last year’s hourlong “Goddamn Comedy Jam” special, the eight-episode first season of “The Comedy Jam” will feature performances by comedians Chris Hardwick, Tiffany Haddish (“Keanu”) and Bobby Lee (who virtually disappeared from the big screen after 2012’s “The Dictator”). And that’s just in the first episode, which airs Wednesday night.

Filmed at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre, the show is heavily influenced by the “Goddamn Comedy Jam,” the live monthly show held at West Hollywood’s Roxy Theatre. The original special aired last August on Comedy Central and featured “Saturday Night Live” stars Pete Davidson and Jay Pharoah (who has since left the show), along with Natasha Leggero, Adam Devine and Jim Jefferies, who each performed a stand-up set before singing a song that was important to them, backed by a live band.

Haddish kicks off the new series with an R-rated analogy comparing herself to a house — you’ll have to watch it because almost none of it is fit to print — before singing “Proud Mary” a la Tina Turner, complete with a gold, flapper-esque mini dress. Hardwick follows with a high-energy rendition of Bon Jovi's “Wanted Dead or Alive” before Lee takes the stage to perform “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart.

Pharoah, Malin Akerman, Taryn Manning, Mark Duplass and Jesse Tyler Ferguson appear in later episodes, along with musical guests DMX, Montell Jordan, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks, who pitch in to lend a hand on the music front.

"The Comedy Jam" premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central.

sonaiya.kelley@latimes.com

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