Crashing Season Three: A Recap and Review

posted January 22, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Zach Hall

For those of you that do not already know, Crashing is a comedy series on HBO created by Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow. The show is loosely based on the real life escapades of Pete Holmes in New York City during the early years of his comedy career.

The show is unique in how it portrays the comedy scene in the Big Apple, especially for an up-and-comer like Pete. The show is sharply written with witty humor and a lot of heart. If you have not watched the first two seasons of Crashing proceed with caution, there will be spoilers for everything leading up to and including the season three premiere.  

Season two left off with Pete in a bit of a bad spot. Pete and his girlfriend, Ali, broke up following a particularly brutal roast battle in which Ali used Pete’s previous marital squabbles against him. The season finishes with Pete embarking on a college comedy tour, with the last scene being his first show.

Despite his relationship ending badly, Pete seems content with where he’s at when the season comes to a close. After all, as long as he is doing comedy, he’s happy.

Season three picks up six months in to Pete’s tour. During his show at the University of Maryland, Pete is introduced to 20-year-old Jaboukie, an aspiring comedian who feels lost at school.

After performing as an opener for Pete (the first opener he has ever had), Jaboukie is taken under Pete’s wing. Pete feels that Jaboukie is wasting his potential, thus convinces him to go back to New York with him. After little to no persuasion, the two make their way to the city.

At this point, Pete has been out of the city for six months. Part of the reason Pete decided to go on the college tour was to practice for an audition at the Comedy Store, a legendary club where the best of the best in the comedy scene perform.

Artie Lange, a successful comedian and one of Pete’s good friends, was able to get him an audition at the comedy club. Pete’s idea is to show Jaboukie how it’s done, get a spot on the Comedy Store roster and become a full-fledged mentor.

Right before Pete is set to go on stage, he runs in to Ali. Needless to say, she is not as ecstatic to see Pete as he is to see her. After a failed apology for initiating the break up, Pete makes his way to the stage.

This is the moment he has been working for. The last six months had been culminating to this moment.

Pete does what he feels was a fantastic set, but is brought down a peg when he finds out that Jaboukie was able to get an audition spot much quicker than Pete was able to. This understandably frustrates Pete, but he’s far too nice to let it show.

Jaboukie has a great set, being met with many cheers and applause. Pete begins to get anxious waiting for the results, opting to find the women responsible for it all. After sitting down with her for a few moments, she informs Pete that she feels he “isn’t ready,” and that his set “did nothing” for her.

Pete is crushed, deciding to wallow in this setback at the bar. It is here where he notices the same woman talking to Jaboukie, who in his first night in New York, claimed the spot that Pete wanted so badly. The kid that Pete wanted to mentor had taken the one thing that he had been working months to achieve, but even so couldn’t take his anger out on him.

This anger is directed toward Ali, who finds him outside the club to tell him what a great set he had. Ali was genuine in her praise, but Pete saw it as her kicking him when he was down. The resulting argument pulls them further apart then they already were.

The episode ends with Artie telling Pete to suck it up and keep moving forward. This advice resonates with Pete, as Artie has been through so much and is still a successful comedian.

Crashing deals with a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Watching Pete try his best to be a successful, respected comedian is both hilarious and heartwarming. The tone between comedy and drama is balanced very well in this series, and the season three premiere shows that it will continue to be that way.

Check back here each week to stay up to date on everything Crashing.



Zach Hall is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email