was a 30-minute sketch comedy
series that aired on the American television channel Comedy Central
from 1995 to 1996; its cast was composed of comedians Amy Sedaris
, Paul Dinello
, Stephen Colbert
, Jodi Lennon, and Mitch Rouse
, all of whom had previously studied improv
at The Second City
in Chicago. Humorist David Sedaris
also served as an additional writer for the series, sharing a single onscreen credit with his sister as "The Talent Family
". The show's producer, Joe Forristal, had also served as executive producer for The Kids in the Hall
All of the sketches in the series are implied to take place in the fictional suburban setting of the Quad Cities. During the show's memorably cryptic opening sequence, the cast members are seen standing next to a broken down car on the highway. Soon they are picked up by a passing driver, who changes the radio station at the mention of a serial killer, and takes Polaroid pictures of his increasingly uncomfortable passengers. Growing suspicious, the cast demands to be let out. The car is then seen pulling off the highway at Exit 57.
A rendition of "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" served as the show's theme song.
Sedaris, Dinello, and Rouse were initially approached about developing a sketch comedy show for HBO Downtown Productions after appearing in a comic play entitled Stitches
. , written by Amy Sedaris's brother David Sedaris. The group had not performed together using the name Exit 57 before the series was proposed, but rather came together to develop the show. The series was filmed in New York; Stephen Colbert relocated from Chicago, leaving Second City, for this reason.
Despite only lasting for twelve episodes over the course of two seasons, the series met with a fair amount of critical acclaim before its cancellation, garnering CableACE
nominations in 1995 for writing, performance, and best comedy series.