Leah Remini knocks it out of the park in Kevin Can Wait

Leah Remini knocks it out of the park in Kevin Can Wait

Leah Remini knocks it out of the park in Kevin Can Wait

One of my all time favorite comedy series on Television was “King of Queens” starring Kevin James and Leah Remini. I watch the reruns over and over again because the comedy of the two talented actors is phenomenal. When James launched his latest sitcom, “Kevin Can Wait,” I was disappointed that Remini was not involved. But James got smart and brought Remini in as a guest star at the end of Season 1, and as the new co-star in Season 2. And, it couldn’t be better

By Ray Hanania

One of the best TV sitcom’s ever broadcast was “King of Queens.” The series ran from 1998 until 2007 and was must-see TV for anyone who loved comedy.

Even after it ended, the reruns continue to keep people belly-laughing over each episode. The series was so good it reminded many of one of the original TV comedy shows from the 1950s, “The Honeymooners,” starring Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows.

The key to the series success was the combined talent of its two main stars, Kevin James and Leah Remini. Together, they make one of the funniest, most powerful personality teams on television.

But last year, in September, James launched a new sitcom, “Kevin Can Wait.” The problem was, it just wasn’t that great. It was good. I love James as an actor. His wife, Erinn Hayes was also a good comedic actress.

English: Kevin James at a ceremony for Adam Sa...

Kevin James at a ceremony for Adam Sandler to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the chemistry wasn’t there. We have gotten so used to the chemistry that was created between James and Remini in “King of Queens,” I guess we just expected so much more and that caused the disappointment. In other words, it didn’t mean that Hayes was terrible or that the show was without hope.

Clearly, that line of thinking was powerful with the public. In the final two episodes of the series, the producers brought Remini back to play the role of a former police partner for James. (In “Kevin Can Wait” James plays a retired cop.) The two shows were so popular it was clear, Remini had to return. Her amazing sitcom talent was really needed.

So the producers decided to replace Hayes with Remini. But how do you “kill off” a co-star in a sitcom you are trying to salvage? Well, you just do it without much explanation.

In the Season 2 premier last week, that’s exactly what the producers did. They brought Remini on and Hayes was gone. The only explanation came in a fast conversation between James and his series daughter Kendra, played by Taylor Sprietler, over a postcard from his deceased wife’s gym, which says they “miss” her and wonder why she hasn’t come back.

James sighs, “So do I,” in reading the notice with his daughter. Kendra promises to take care of it and sighs, “It’s been over a year since she died,” readies to throw the card out and starts to grab the phone to call them. James stops her and the make a joke about how the postcard offers a free Kung Fu class.

And that was it. Of course, when you are a big show, things like that grab a lot of attention.

Everyone wanted to see the premier episode with Remini, a courageous actress who is battling the bullies and haters at Scientology in her A&E TV Series, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” which is now in Season 2.

Oh my God those Scientologists are crazy. You MUST go to the A&E Website and watch the episodes which detail the bullying and harassment by Scientologist fanatics of their critics. And you have to read the rambling frightening letters Scientologists have written to A&E viciously attacking Remini and the people who have appeared on the series.

And I mean the attacks are vicious. Horrible. Mean. Exactly what you might expect from a bully cult that has been expertly flayed by Remini in her series.

Scientologist demonstrating the e-meter as par...

Scientologist demonstrating the e-meter as part of the “Free Stress Test” recruitment practice, taken 2005-02-15 at a Psychic Fair. Cropped to remove personal details. Category:Scientology images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scientologists refused to appear on the show but they send horrible, ugly letters attacking Remini. What a bunch of hypocrites!

So I am cheering for Season 2 of “Kevin Can Wait” for a lot of reasons. First, it’s funny. The chemistry between James and Remini has not lessened. It’s right up their with the 4th of July Fireworks.

Second, Remini is one courageous person standing up to Scientology bullying.

(Scientologists are also harassing and bullying me over comments I made criticizing them in a story about the sad, pathetic and dismal career of Scientologist Kirstie Alley. Her career is in a shambles. I liked Alley but wondered why she would be associated with such a brutal and mean cult of people? Make sure to click here to read that column. That ld to alot of vicious attacks against me. But all the attacks from Scientologists, the email bombs, the Twitter attacks have only helped get that column more exposure. Thanks Xenu for the support!)

“Kevin Can Wait” is plain and simple a great comedy. It’s funny. James and Remini provide a talent together that is unmatched and that truly revives the performances of great comedy actors and actresses like Gleason and Meadows.

I can’t wait to see the next episode. Scientology clearly hates Remini. The stuff they say about her is so ugly, vicious, hate-filled. Yikes.

Just because they are attacking Remini and her revival in comedy is reason enough for you to make sure you set aside time every Monday night to watch “Kevin Can Wait” on CBS TV.

Remini has nearly 600,000 followers on Twitter. You need to Follow her and show support. Click here to follow Leah Remini on Twitter.

Click here to get information on Leah Remini’s series on A&E, “Scientology, the Aftermath.” It’s so ominous and eye-opening. When you hear on that show what Scientologists do to people, you can’t help but want to support Remini and give her strength to defeat the evil-doer haters attacking her.

Most importantly, tune in to CBS every Monday to watch Kevin Can Wait. I’m sure Erinn Hayes will end up in a new series. But bringing Leah Remini back, and partnering her with Kevin James, was the right thing to do, for the sake of great TV sitcom comedy!

Click here to get more info on “Kevin Can Wait.”

Click here to read the Blog Post Scientology posted attacking me in response to my Kirstie Allie column so you can see how whacky some of them really are.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and author. Email him at rayhanania@comcast.net.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.