Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Comedy Central were originally going to make a series based around this hit live show from Kiri Pritchard-McClean and Jayde Adams but decided in the end to just do a one off, possibly, as Chortle speculates “because of the format’s similarity to ITV’s All Star Musicals”. Either way it’s probably not a bad thing, I love musicals and comedy but this just fell a bit flat, partially due to the average performances and partially because of those taking part didn’t really do much to make it funnier, bar the odd bit of bad dancing and ad-libbing in between verses. I’m very fond of Kiri Pritchard-McClean and hear good things about Jayde Adams, but most of their gags in their links was making fun of each other’s appearances which often seemed a bit mean, so their inclusion didn’t make it any funnier. As for those doing the actual singing, London Hughes was first up and did a song from Cats (so it clearly was always going to be a struggle to enjoy) which she sung well but her supposed comedy dancing was bland, and then Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffell sang Love Is An Open Door from Frozen with Allen’s vocals causing my ears to commit suicide, I wasn’t previously aware that certain parts of my body could separate from the rest of it and jump off a building and die, but Allen proved it to be the case. Even worse than his vocals were his attempts at humour, apparently he used to call Les Mis “Gay Jizz” because being inventive when it comes to comedy is just not his forte. An ad break followed (the first time I’ve ever enjoyed such a thing) before Frank Skinner took to the stage, and was the only comic who actually made me laugh by choosing a song from Annie, and dressing up as said central character too. His patter with Kiri and Jayde was the only funny part of the episode, and though the song itself wasn’t amazing it did make me smile throughout. And then they went and spoilt it all by doing a group version of Super Trooper, which brought back the blandness and then some. Oh well, at least for about four minutes it was likeable at least.
The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk Series 1 Episode 1
Seeing Spencer Jones live is a joyous occasion, he’s an insanely silly act who uses a lot of daft props and sight gags to generate gales of laughter. The tv version of his live set isn’t quite as good though, it’s still pretty great but by giving the character a sitcom setting (he lives with his wife and two children, has a job, odd neighbours) it loses something. That said there’s still an enormous amount of very funny material and the way he makes his children out to be strangely weird creatures works effectively, while the use of music is often inventive, even if sometimes it’s overused and occasionally doesn’t quite work (the dog shit song at the end of the first episode is especially a bit weak). It’s the kind of comedy that I could see some hating with a passion that would disturb me and make me consider calling the police, whereas others might just think it’s a bit naff, but if you’re in the mood for some nonsensical idiocy from a man who has the kind of mind which is capable of constantly surprising you, then it might be something you rather quite like indeed.
Fleabag Series 2
This site has established the fact that I’m an idiot many a time over, but not watching all of Fleabag as soon as I had the chance has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve done so far, especially given the fact that I loved the first series, enjoyed the first episode of the second series, but then weirdly didn’t bother with the rest. I finally did so this week however, binging the rest of the show across two nights, and I would have watched it even more quickly than that if it wasn’t for having one of those pesky job things. Occasionally Waller-Bridge’s knowing looks to the camera did irritate slightly but otherwise I’ve no complaints, the romantic element felt natural and believable, and Waller-Bridge’s dialogue shines in almost every scene. Most of the time I don’t mind it when a series comes to an end after only a couple of seasons as it’s never fun to watch a show run out of steam, but I do wish we had at least one more series to come as these characters are so much fun to spend time with, even when they are being unbearably horrendous. And yes, the idea is that Fleabag’s technically healed by the end so even though she doesn’t end up with the priest she’s in a much, much better place (and thus presumably no longer the Fleabag of the title) but that’s no reason why we can’t see more of her world, see if her father and Godmother’s married life is as weird as I imagine it to be, and whether Clare found happiness with her Finnish beau or if she got to the airport only to find three or four other women searching for him.
Digby, The Biggest Dog In The World
Digby’s an incredibly charming and delightfully silly kids flick from the 70s, and it does exactly what it says on the tin as a shockingly cute dog is made enormous, sure it’s all done in an obviously low budget way but it’s so much fun it’s easy to overlook some of the dodgy special effects. Jim Dale’s extremely likeable as the accident prone lead, the kid is cheeky and surprisingly natural for a film of this age, and there’s the (pretty considerable) added bonus of Spike Milligan being mental throughout too. I loved this as a kid and had wanted to see it again for ages to see if it lived up to childhood memories, but I was surprised by just how much I loved it as an adult – I thought it would be enjoyable in a nostalgic way, but it’s genuinely a really great film.
Video Of The Week
Last week I recommend Joe Pera’s webseries How To Make It In The USA, and this week I found out that his Adult Swim series Joe Pera Talks With You is available to watch for all UK viewers on Channel Four’s website, so if you’re based in this country and haven’t seen it I’d recommend doing right now. Right fucking now.
Link Of The Week
This Stewart Lee and Richard Herring fan site might not have been updated in a long old time now but it’s still packed with a great deal of gems concerning the much loved duo, including some superb downloads of their radio work, Herring’s Behind The Scenes diaries for This Morning With Richard Not Judy, and a great selection of interviews and articles too.
Previous Comedy Snippets:
01/09/2019 – Final Space. On Becoming A God In Central Florida, In Fabric, Archie’s Final Project
25/08/2019 – A Black Lady Sketch Show, Bajillion Dollar Properties, The Righteous Gemstones, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
18/08/2019 – Sherman’s Showcase, Succession, Hesher, God Bless America
11/08/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Preacher, Archie Vs Predator II, Juan Of The Dead
04/08/2019 – Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Boys, Los Espookys, Hamlet 2
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