Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee Season 11 Episode 8
When the latest season of Jerry Seinfeld’s chat show became available to view on Friday I looked at the episode list and grimaced, as Ricky Gervais appears in two episodes, Eddie Murphy in another, and only the episodes with Martin Short and Bridget Everett really appealed. So I started with Short because I’m very fond of his comedy character Jiminy Glick, and pleasingly right at the beginning of the episode they discussed him before going on to chat about why Seinfeld got in to showbiz, the start of Short’s career, his current show with Steve Martin, how to know when it’s time to quit, or at least stop doing certain material, how he enjoys failure, their views on reality tv, and having friends who aren’t in showbiz. I have to confess that it wasn’t quite as funny as I thought it might be, but then it definitely does have it’s moments, and it is fascinating to see Short not constantly “on” and exploring his feelings about the subjects they discuss. As mentioned not many of the episodes in this year’s batch look that great which is a shame as Seinfeld’s a relaxed host who gets a lot of interesting material out of his guests, but I’ll definitely at least give a few of the ones I’m uncertain about (eg Jamie Foxx, Melissa Villaseñor and Matthew Broderick) a shot in the hope that they’ll be more interesting than they might initially appear.
Neighbors From Hell
An animated comedy created by Pam Brady of South Park and Lady Dynamite fame, I’ve admittedly only watched the first episode but so far it’s disappointingly weak stuff. Which surprises as the cast is fairly decent, with it starring Will Sasso, Molly Shannon, Patton Oswalt, Kyle McCulloch, Kurtwood Smith and Steve Coogan, and the plot sounded fun too as a family of demons are sent to earth to stop a major corporation drilling in to the centre of the planet (and thus hell) by Satan. It’s biggest issue is that none of the characters are that appealing, when it feels like you’re supposed to at least vaguely like them, and though some of the jokes are okay it’s not grabbed me by the balls and then tickled and kissed them, that’s for sure. I might give it one more go, but I’m not optimistic it’ll be something I’ll fall in love with.
Live At The BBC – Desiree Burch
I first saw Desiree as part of The Dirty Thirty theatre group, who put on thirty very short plays in sixty minutes, and I liked her work a lot, it had interesting things to say and managed to be very funny too. But I just checked out this 30 minute special which originally was shown on the BBC and thought it was really weak, somewhat surprisingly. Given how much I’ve heard about her lately I was expecting something at least reasonably funny but it’s fairly bland stuff, and the section on dating / dick pics at the end was borderline open mic material, and weak open mic material at that. This was recorded a couple of years ago so hopefully she’s improved since then, and I presume that must be the case given that she’s already got such a relatively high profile, but due to the dodgyness of some of the routine I can’t say I’m going to be rushing to see her again.
Robot And Frank
On paper this looked incredibly bizarre and I had no idea if it would be amazing or terrible, as it sees Frank Langella as a (supposedly) lovable grumpy old man who is showing the first symptoms of dementia being forced to live with Robot Butler Peter Sarsgaard (providing voice work only, and sounding a fair bit like Kevin Spacey to me). Would the pair fall in love? Or would it be a carnal, soulless affair? Plus there’s a subplot about libraries and the value of them in the world – so given all that you can see why I had to watch this film. At first Langella’s distrusting of the robot fella, but after they bond over the joys of shoplifting (I shit you not) they team up as master criminals, stealing from the horrendously rich. There’s a romantic subplot that the film forgets about for most of it’s running time, and Frank’s two kids turn up to interfere in his life, but that’s about it until the police begin to suspect him. There were times when I thought about stopping watching it, but given how ridiculous it all was, I just had to stick with it but I kind of regret doing so. It tries to pull off a Coen-esque tone at times, and even occasionally manages such a thing, and it is intentionally funny in places, but all too often it comes across far too sombre, mawkish and painful in the way most serious Robin Williams films were (at least when he wasn’t playing a creepy psycho). It is at least very very short at 83 minutes (discounting credits) and I can’t say I’m annoyed that I’ve seen it, it’s certainly an oddity that occasionally amused, but overall I wouldn’t actually recommend anyone watch it unless they’re in the mood for something that’s oddly misjudged.
Video Of The Week
“Johnno and Michael Try” is an ongoing web series where the duo try out various things, and in this latest episode they attempt to live together. It’s an endearing, strangely lovable thing and despite being only five minutes long they establish the characters quickly, and make it very funny stuff too, and then pull the rug from under the audience’s feet with the ending. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-y6rMgVB4
Link Of The Week
If you ever find yourself in a nostalgic place for the days when British comedy was more innocent then check out this great site, which mostly avoids / ignores the dodgier sexist and racist shows and concentrates on the ones which stand up to this day and are worth seeking out. https://www.britishclassiccomedy.co.uk/
Previous Comedy Snippets:
14/07/2019 – Another Period, Suzi Ruffell – Dance Like Everyone’s Watching, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, Observe And Report
07/07/2019 – Bridget and Eamon, Action Team, Everything Sucks, Sisters.
30/06/2019 – Taskmaster, Year Of The Rabbit, Santa Versus Dracula, Poultrygeist – Night of the Chicken Dead
23/06/2019 – The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience, Trigger Warning With Killer Mike, Taskmaster Sweden, City Lights
16/06/2019 – Rick and Morty Issue 50, Spiderman / Deadpool Issue 50, Lobo Goes To Hollywood, Superhero Movie
08/06/2019 – Archer, The Jellies, Mom, Bye Bye Birdie.
01/06/2019 – Rostered On, Historical Roasts, American Dad, The Phantom Of The Paradise
23/05/2019 – Barry, Urban Myths, Goatface, Shazam!
18/05/2019 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Taskmaster, Documentary Now, The History Of Future Folk
10/05/2019 – Dead Pixels, Santa Clarita Diet, Scot Squad, Lemon
03/05/2019 – What We Do In The Shadows, Lazor Wulf, Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz, Brigsby Bear
26/04/2019 – Barry, Bonding, Special, Repo The Genetic Opera
19/04/2019 – Hot Streets, Lazor Wulf, Tacoma FD, The Tick, Safety Last
12/04/2019 – The Unexplainers, The Tick, The Funny Women Awards 2019, Popstars Never Stop Popping
04/04/2019 – Santa Clarita Diet, Abby’s, This Time With Alan Partridge, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
28/03/2019 – Wayne, Blockbusters, Bill And Ted Face The Music, Hoodwinked
21/03/2019 – Shrill, A.P. Bio, One Red Nose Day And A Wedding, PK
14/03/2019 – Corporate, The Harry Hill Movie, CJ7, The Day Will Come
07/03/2019 – This Time With Alan Partridge, Frank Skinner On Demand, Girlfriend’s Day, Comic Relief
28/02/2019 – Hot Streets, Warren, Mom, Stage Fright
21/02/2019 – Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Corporate, Doom Patrol, Nudist Colony Of The Dead
14/02/2019 – American Dad, Pen15, Afterlife, The Return Of Captain Invincible
07/02/2019 – The Other Two, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas, Roast Battle, Guys And Dolls
31/01/2019 – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Tigtone, Angie Tribeca, Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast
24/01/2019 – Oh Lucy!, Blark And Son, Angie Tribeca
17/01/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Family Guy, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast, Jon Glaser Loves Gear
10/01/2018- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca