Hilarious Shockingly Candid Interview Show Featuring Comedy Legends, Stream Without Netflix

By Michileen Martin | Updated


Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes absolutely adore one another even though–on another level–Will Arnett and Jason Bateman can’t stand one another. Those are two of the many things you will learn while laughing your brains out watching the comedy/documentary/interview miniseries SmartLess: On the Road. The show is streaming on Max, where you can watch the trio interview Hollywood legends while getting under one another’s skin.

A Podcast On The Road


Arnett, Bateman, and Hayes host the celebrity interview podcast SmartLess. Launching in 2020, the podcast features the three actors interviewing celebrities with a bit of a twist–for each guest, only one of the three hosts knows who is showing up.

They took this act out on the road for a six city tour in 2022 and filmed the experience for SmartLess: On The Road. Along with good chunks of the interviews, the miniseries shows us how the three interact behind the scenes–which can range from hilarious to annoying to downright cringy.

The Interviews

I’m not a big podcast guy and actually had never heard of SmartLess before watching the miniseries. I came to it from viral clips making their way around the Internet–in particular one in which Kevin Hart jokes that he almost punched Bateman “in the f***in mouth,” because the latter asked Hart if he sits down when he pees.

Other highlights include on-stage interviews with David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and a smoking Will Ferrell dressed up like Mark Twain.

SmartLess: On The Road is surprisingly candid when things don’t go the hosts’ way. An early episode doesn’t try to hide the crowd’s disappointment when the guest reveal is for–rather than an entertainment celebrity–physicist Max Tegmark. The camera goes out of its way to capture yawns, whispering complaints, and audience members leaving early.

Arnett And Bateman


Perhaps the best and worst reasons to watch SmartLess: On the Road are to witness the three hosts’ behind-the-scenes camaraderie. There’s a strong sense of brotherly love, and the three are hilarious to listen to.

But there’s also a healthy dose of celebrity rivalry and frustration between them–in the case of these last two, it’s never more present than it is between Arnett and Bateman.

Bateman is the main reason I started by saying the camaraderie is the best and the worst reason to watch the show.

The Ozark star is always the first to complain about pretty much anything, and in particular the most difficult of the three to deal with if you’re a tour bus driver, a hotel employee, or just generally someone who makes less money than Bateman who has the bad luck to cross paths with him.

Of the three SmartLess hosts, he would be the first I’d want to kick in the teeth, largely because of his penchant for being insanely critical of every single food choice his co-hosts make. He’s got two kids and if they both somehow manage to get through life without some kind of eating disorder, then someone should draw their blood and make pills out of them.

Arnett is constantly making fun of Bateman for his mannerisms, though you often get the impression the LEGO Batman star is just barely stopping himself from strangling Bateman.

It really makes you wonder what these two were like making Arrested Development together.

To be fair, there is plenty of humor in SmartLess: On the Road at Bateman’s expense, and he’s a good sport about it. In particular everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Conan O’Brien make fun of him for how long his questions are, and just about everyone gets a chance to trash his sequel mega-flop, 1987’s Teen Wolf Too.

Sean Hayes

Hayes, known best for his time on the hit sitcom Will & Grace, seems to be the glue that keeps SmartLess together. You get the sense that without his more balanced presence, Arnett and Bateman would be at each others’ throats in a much more literal sense.

Hayes seems much more comfortable in his own skin than Bateman is. While he’s an actor through and through, he doesn’t share Arnett’s need to constantly be the center of attention.

Hayes also provides one of the more emotional moments of SmartLess: On The Road when he talks about being abandoned by his father.

When I reached this part of the miniseries, I did something I almost never do–I yelled at the TV. When Hayes begins speaking about his father, at first Arnett can’t stop himself from adding the occasional quip. During one of these jokes I found myself yelling, “Shut up! Let him talk!”

It was a testament, I think, to Hayes’s centered presence. Compared to Arnett and Bateman, we see a lot less banter from him in SmartLess: On the Road and you get the sense he’s perfectly fine without as much spotlight. Once he does claim some of that attention, it’s that much more frustrating when Arnett, at first, won’t let him have it.

Stream It Now


If I have any complaint about the miniseries, it’s that in the on-stage interviews are truncated, and I would’ve loved to have seen more of them. Still, For the snapshot it gives us of these three actors, SmartLess: On the Road is mandatory viewing.