- 50 Seasons
Taskmaster is a British comedy panel show that first aired on UKTV's Dave channel in 2015. The show was created by Alex Horne and has been hosted by comedian Greg Davies in the role of the Taskmaster, who sets challenges for the contestants in each episode. The format of Taskmaster involves a group of comedians competing against each other across a series of bizarre and absurd challenges set by the Taskmaster. Each season features a new set of 5 contestants who take part in a range of tasks across 9 episodes per series. The tasks are designed to test the contestants' creativity, wit and approach to problem-solving as they think on their feet to complete the challenges.
Tasks can take place either within the Taskmaster house or on location and involve skills such as arts and crafts, general knowledge, performance, teamwork and lateral thinking. Contestants are scored and ranked after each task by the Taskmaster, who delivers judgement on their efforts, often in a blunt, no-nonsense manner. At the end of each episode, one contestant is crowned the winner of that episode.
Aside from the Taskmaster himself, the show also features Horne in the role of the Taskmaster's assistant, who briefs contestants on the tasks and ensures the rules are followed. With his pedantic personality and deadpan delivery, Horne provides an amusing counterpoint to Davies' larger-than-life Taskmaster.
The tasks are designed to push contestants out of their comfort zones, with many challenges revolving around creating something artistic or performing silly stunts. This frequently results in moments of chaos, disaster and hilarity as the comedians struggle to think on their feet. Much of the show's humor is derived from watching the contestants' confused, frustrated and often hilarious attempts at tackling these bizarre tasks.
However, underneath the silliness, Taskmaster also demonstrates the comedians' creativity and problem-solving skills. To succeed, contestants need to interpret the tasks and requirements carefully, use lateral thinking, and collaborate well with teammates. When contestants do manage to find innovative solutions, it makes for extremely entertaining viewing.
The show's challenges are diverse, varied and unpredictable, ranging from tossing rubber ducks into a bathtub to creating the best meal for the Taskmaster using only ingredients found in a wheelie bin. This element of surprise and randomness is part of what makes Taskmaster so enjoyable to watch.
A huge part of the show's appeal stems from the stellar lineup of comedic contestants who have featured over the years. Big names such as Bob Mortimer, Romesh Ranganathan, Josh Widdicombe, Mel Giedroyc, and James Acaster have all brought their own unique personalities and humor to the show. Seeing comedians of this caliber struggle through silly challenges makes for excellent comedy viewing.
While Taskmaster undoubtedly includes plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, there is also a surprising amount of creative inspiration to be found in watching the contestants come up with ingenious solutions and ideas under pressure. Viewers often feel motivated to tap into their own creativity after witnessing the contestants' resourcefulness and outside-the-box thinking.
With its simple format, Taskmaster proves you don’t need flashy production values to create an entertaining comedy show. The tasks act as a catalyst for hilarious moments of panic, frustration and thinking on the spot from the stellar lineup of comic contestants. This winning combination has helped Taskmaster stand out amidst standard panel show formats and has earned the show a devoted cult following.
Taskmaster! is a series that is currently running and has 50 seasons (149 episodes). The series first aired on April 27, 2018.