Harmon at SXSW 2015. (Image by: Getty Images)

Raising the question of whether Cake Boss and Jesse Ventura count as historical figures, Variety reports that IFC has ordered a pilot for Great Minds, a panel show where comedians induce merriment by pretending to be historical figures. The show will be hosted by Community creator Dan Harmon, who, if recent reports are to be believed, has some free time now that Community has been sent to the proverbial farm upstate.

Created by former Daily Show field producer Rich Korson, the pilot roster includes Rory Albanese as Benjamin Franklin, Robert Smigel as Albert Einstein, Bonnie McFarlane as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Seaton Smith as Frederick Douglass. Hopefully, this is because they’ve already booked Paul F. Tompkins for all potential future episodes of the show, because it would be a goddamned travesty if Paul F. Tompkins wasn’t on this show, not least because he already hosts a podcast with a similar, if more specific, premise.


Great Minds is one of three pilots IFC currently has in development. The others include an as-yet-untitled half-hour late-night talk show hosted by Jim Norton and 1320 Seconds, a satirical newsmagazine show hosted by Sara Schaefer and featuring a panel of female comedians (and one token male) giving their lady opinions on the lady news of the day.