When the BBC first brought back Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out last Christmas I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, there were some very funny moments in it (this is Vic and Bob after all) but some of it felt surprisingly by the numbers and the duo running on auto-pilot. I don’t know why it was lacklustre in places given how astonishing the majority of their output is, but I expected a lot more from them and they didn’t really deliver, or at least not often enough. So I had some concerns that this new four part series might be along the same lines, but thankfully the opposite applies, it’s them at their very, very best.
It opens with a song which just happens to be one of the greatest they’ve ever done, as they insult a couple eating a meal and which includes the lines “Shut up, shut up and just stop talking shit” and “Gentle talk – How tall is your hat? How many teeth have you got today? Have you ever spewed up at a disciplinary meeting?” all of which made me laugh an enormous amount and calmed any fears that it might disappoint in the way the Christmas special had. From then on in it’s amazing gag after gag, it’s a whirlwind of comedy and there’s not a bum note within the entire running time.
They’re masters of the art of bizarre silliness, it often doesn’t make a sense but is still hysterically funny, like when Vic suddenly becomes ape-like at the sight of a glowing green ball, Bob’s confession that he’s been cutting up Vic’s frogman suit, or Vic’s deliberately bad impersonation of David Walliams which is followed by a quite unique animation of Walliams fighting with Warwick Davis. There’s also a sublime appearance from Tom Cruise (who of course doesn’t look anything like him) who explains how his next stunt is “Just grabbing hold of a hot exhaust pipe and pulling it a bit” before giving Vic and Bob a pound to buy some sweets. It’s strange, weird and almost painfully funny, I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much at a British comedy show.
Other fantastic moments include Vic’s face opening up to reveal a clanging bell in a disturbingly Twin Peaks-esque way, adverts for Secret Soil (because “Everybody loves to hide soil”), and for Throwing Mud where they even manage to make the reading out of a web address funny, and I thought that nigh on impossible given how many times that’s been done in the past. Hell, they can even make eating corned beef laugh out loud stuff, and oddly erotic too, there really is no end to their talents. Also stunning is the return of Novelty Island, which includes Graham Lister and his pissing owl and serial killer Bill Decker doing impersonations of animals killing people with knives and guns, and it’s just utterly beautiful comedy at it’s very best.
When they make each other laugh it’s a real joy and incredibly infectious, the mix of slapstick, wordplay, surreal madness and all round idiocy is frankly the work of two comedians at the very top of their game. It’s easily the funniest British comedy show of the year (though bar Taskmaster series seven and Inside No.9 the competition hasn’t been that impressive) and it’s a joy to have the boys back doing what they do best, and I only hope that it’s a ratings success and the BBC throw huge sums of money at them so they can carry on making such inspired lunacy.
You Can Watch The Show On BBC iPlayer Here.