Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Mike Tyson Mysteries Season 4 Episodes 1 – 6
So this is another time where I’ve issues with the whole “Separating the art from the artist” thing, but that’s a discussion for another time and as the show often makes fun of Mike Tyson it’s less of a problem than it often can be. Tyson’s not too bad either as the mostly confused lead, and the rest of the cast are superb, with it featuring Norm MacDonald as a foul mouthed Pigeon, Jim Rash’s arch and often wry (and ghostly) the Marquess of Queensberry, while Rachel Ramrus as Mike’s adopted Asian daughter Yung brings some much needed sanity to events. If you’ve not seen it, it’s mostly a sort of Scooby Doo spoof as the gang solve mysteries each week, except you never know what kind of antics they’re going to be involved in, so sometimes it’s a big crime, other weeks it’s looking in to possible adultery or a lost relative, and on other occasions it’s something surprisingly tedious and mundane. A lot of the humour comes from Tyson’s misunderstandings of the world, but MacDonald’s sex and drug obsessed Pigeon is a fantastic creation, especially during the times that he really can’t be arsed with the mystery of the week, and Jim Rash has a ball as the delightfully camp Marquess. It’s a surreal show for sure, often absurd and weird, but then at other times making fun out of how tedious certain mysteries are, and each eleven minute episode is normally very, very funny, if this sounds like your cup of tea you’ll no doubt enjoy it an awful lot.
The Boys Season 1 Episodes 2 – 5
It’s extremely frustrating as this Amazon satire on superheroes gets so much right, but then one thing wrong which irritates me a great deal. On the plus side it’s a much needed send up of just how grotesquely fucked up superheroes would probably be if they really did exist, with the Superman / Captain America-esque Homelander being a great example of the egotistical insanity such powers might bring, while many of the others are self-obsessed, sex obsessed idiots most of the time. Though Karl Urban’s accent is a bit embarrassing otherwise he’s making for a great leader of The Boys, the group who wish to bring the supes down to size and also fantastic are most of the rest of the gang, as Frenchie, Mother’s Milk and the girl all make you sympathise with how messy an existence life with all powerful beings must be. But the show’s biggest problem, and Jesus, is it a huge problem and then some, is that lead character Hughie is so irritating and shite in general. I mentioned this in my review of the first episode but hoped they’d work on it, but if anything the opposite has happened and he’s become much, much worse. It’s taken him a ridiculously short time to get over the death of his former girlfriend, and given everything we learnt about him before he met Butcher and co he’s taken to this new life with ridiculous ease, and it just doesn’t make sense given how inept the character initially was. If, as in the comic, he’d grown slowly over time it would have made sense, but this sudden ability to be a super spy type just doesn’t add up. It’s such a shame as otherwise this is an enormous amount of fun, but given I’m five episodes in now and the character only seems to be getting shitter unfortunately I can’t see it changing.
Los Espookys Season 1 Episode 1
This is a really fun quirky comedy about four friends, Renaldo, Andrés, Ursula and Tati, who after helping put together a horror themed birthday party go in to business with each other as “horror technicians”, even though Andres is heir to a chocolate company and Tati has a wide variety of jobs (including being a human fan for a priest and breaking in a number of shoes) so don’t really need the money. This leads them to staging a fake exorcism for the local priest as he’s fed up with being the least popular person in his parish, and then right at the end they receive a phone call asking them to set up a situation where five people have to stay in a mansion and survive a night of horror and frights, and whoever does gets an eccentric millionaire’s fortune (“So your standard inheritance scare” then, according to Renaldo). Just to add to the oddness Fred Armisen pops up as Uncle Tico, whose dream as a child was to be a valet, and he’s succeeded as everyone is amazed by his car parking skills and “He’s the only person in the world who can park two cars at the same time”. It could easily have been too silly or too bizarre but they nail the offbeat humour perfectly, the friendship between the gang is nicely believable and full of very funny lines, and this is a really strong and enjoyable series which if you have access to HBO should be sought out as soon as you can.
I was at a bit of a loss recently and had nothing that interesting to watch, so I thought I’d look on youtube to see what full length comedy movies they had on it. This seemed to be the best of an average bunch (discounting those I’d already seen) and so whilst I went in with low expectations, I’m pleased to say it really impressed me. Sure, plot wise there’s nothing new here as a school drama teacher puts on a play in an attempt to save the drama department, but it’s nicely self aware, packed with a lot of great gags and performances (Coogan especially, who is immensely likeable in it), and Catherine Kenner, Amy Poehler and Elizabeth Shue have a lot of fun with their roles too. It was co-written by Pam Brady, of South Park and Hot Rod fame, and if you like the latter I think you’ll like this too.
Video Of The Week
Alex Winter’s Freaked is one of the best weird comedies of the nineteen nineties, a strange, offbeat but oddly lovable flick which I’d recommend people rush out and see if they haven’t already done so. Then after that you should check out this slightly alternative version, a full rehearsed reading of the film with a fair few different bits of dialogue and jokes that’s equally as enjoyable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=m-9JsiWcfXE
Link Of The Week
The Comic’s Comic is a great American site that has a huge selection of stand up and podcast reviews, guides to festivals across the globe, interviews with comedians and articles on the industry, and is essential reading for all comedy fans. https://thecomicscomic.com/
Previous Comedy Snippets:
28/07/2019 – Lodge 49, Fortysomething, Mutafukaz, Brazil
21/07/2019 – Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Neighbors From Hell, Live At The BBC – Desiree Burch, Robot and Frank
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