“House Hunters” is one of HGTV’s most popular shows—and one of the most popular to make fun of, too. That’s the genius behind the new spinoff “House Hunters: Comedians on Couches,” where comedians rattle off snide commentary on old “House Hunters” episodes, adding a whole new layer of funny to the show’s formulaic take on the home-buying process.
The idea for this clever series comes from co-hosts Natasha Leggero (a regular on “Chelsea Lately”) and Dan Levy (a writer and producer on “The Goldbergs”), who had long dreamed of adding a comedy show to HGTV’s lineup. Then along came the COVID-19 pandemic, suspending production on new programming. Since Leggero and Levy could produce their show from home via Zoom, this may have helped them get the green light.
Premiering on June 11, “House Hunters: Comedians on Couches” is now viewable in its eight-episode entirety on HGTV. Guest comedians weigh in as well, and the results aren’t only laugh-worthy, but also have a lot to teach viewers about searching for a home.
In between the laughs, there are some lessons for home buyers in the real world.
1. Some home decor styles don’t play well with others
On Episode 1, Levy and Leggero are joined by Chris Redd of “Saturday Night Live” to watch “The New Retro in Austin.”
They quickly agree that some styles don’t mix well when the house-hunting couple in question, L.M. and Casey, argue over design. L.M. wants a midcentury modern look, while Casey prefers industrial brutalism.
For one, the comedians are confused by Casey’s affection for industrial brutalism.
“Everything looks like you could hurt someone,” quips Redd.
Thankfully, the couple end up going with a midcentury modern style. They try to bring in some brutalism, but in the end, they come to learn what their comic peanut gallery had already determined: Some styles just aren’t a match.
2. Fixer-uppers might be more work than you think
Comedian John Mulaney joins Levy and Leggero to watch “A Desert Oasis in Joshua Tree,” in which couple Ryan and Luke are looking for a home with a lot of entertainment space.
The couple end up falling in love with a run-down fixer-upper they’re sure they can renovate themselves. Our commentators, however, aren’t sure whether any amount of elbow grease can pull it off.
“It’d be like saying, ‘I’m going to turn this baseball team around,’ and it’s just three donkeys with bats in their mouths,” Mulaney says of the property.
The couple decide to buy the fixer-upper anyway—and after seeing the before-and-after photos, the comedians are proved right when they see how little progress the couple have made.
Still, there’s hope. “I bet in the future this is going to be some sort of amazing property that we’re all going to want to buy,” Levy says. Some day far, far in the future.
3. For some buyers, pets are a top priority
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” star J.B. Smoove weighs in on the “Cats First, Wife Second in New Jersey” episode, where married couple Mac and Dane shop for a single-family home.
The problem? Dane can’t stop talking about building a tube for their cats to go from the house to the garage.
“I love this couple,” Levy says. “She wants a place to build a family, and he wants a place to build cat tubes from house to the garage. It’s a story as old as time.”
The couple look at three houses and, in each home, Dane’s sole focus is the cat tube.
“She is this close to dropping him off at the animal shelter,” Smoove says.
But in the end, the cats win. The couple pick a house perfect for cat tubes to keep their feline family members happy.
4. Carpeted stairs: So passé
Comedian Eliot Glazer joins Leggero and Levy to watch “On the Rocks in Atlanta,” where couple Chris and D’mitri argue constantly—and even temporarily call off their house search.
In addition to this couple’s drama, the comedians home in on another glaring problem in one home they tour: the carpeting on the staircase.
“It’s really tacky to have wood floors and then carpeting on the steps,” Leggero says. “That’s why you have to buy a runner, and then you do the runner so you can still see the wood floor.”
At least it’s an easy fix—probably much easier than solving this couple’s issues with each other.
5. Homes can have too much character
Mulaney returns to watch “First House in Indianapolis,” where he, Levy, and Leggero agree wholeheartedly that curb appeal can make or break a house.
On the show, Austin and Adrienne check out three houses, one of which has a bit too much exterior character. With two tall gables, the house looks like a cat, Austin says.
Leggero agrees that the place looks strange. “This looks like the place that you have to pay a cover charge to have a cocktail at Disneyland,” she says.
In the end, the couple choose another house, proving that too much character can be a problem.
6. Birdhouses should match homes—not vice versa
Actress and comedian Whitney Cummings joins the watch party for “A Birdhouse in the Hand,” where married couple Justin and Sarah have some strange requirements for their new home.
Sarah wants the house to match a birdhouse she bought, while Justin’s top requirement is that the yard has two trees tall enough to support slacklining, a new sport he’s sure he’ll love.
Both wishes strike our comedian panel as ridiculous.
“You cannot base your house decision on a birdhouse or the distance between two trees for a hobby you haven’t even tried yet,” Leggero says.
7. Home prices are always negotiable
Smoove joins Leggero and Levy again to watch “Waterfront Wanted in Florida.” In this episode, married couple Ralph and Cindy hire their son to find them a waterfront mansion. While their budget is already high at $1.5 million, they end up falling in love with a house priced at $1,825,000!
Undeterred, Ralph manages to negotiate the price way down to $1.35 million. That’s almost a half-million in savings!
When the comedians learn of this price reduction, they’re stunned. Smoove calls Ralph a “straight baller,” proving that with home prices, the number you see on the listing is often just a starting point.