Searching for another South Park, Comedy Central has been experimenting with all kinds of off-beat formats in its original programming. They’ve hit on two winners. Both are odd twists on “reality TV”. Fundamentally improvisational, they’re downright hilarious when they hit their groove.

Each episode of Insomniac with Dave Attell opens with Dave doing stand-up in wherever city his tour has taken him. Leaving the club, he hits the town, staying up all night and exploring the city. In Boston, for example, he went to a frat party, relaxed in a steam bath, talked to the fruitcakes in Harvard Square, drank the freedom trail, visited a sewerage treatment plant, and watched the sun come up from a boat on the Charles. All the time, Dave drinks and smokes and pokes fun of everyone he meets.

Crank Yankers is even stranger. Famous comedians make crank calls. They usually see how far they can string along some customer service type in with an absurd situation. For example, Sarah Silverman calls a salon to complain that her last bikini wax, though beautifully done, gave her crabs. The real twist however, is that they act out both ends of the conversation with Muppet-like puppets.

Good stuff. Check it out.