Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Off The Air Series 9 Episode 1
Off The Air is Adult Swim’s anthology series created by Dave Hughes, where each episode has a loose theme (in this week’s case “Fashion”) and a number of short films are presented without any sort of commentary. This being Adult Swim it means that most of them are odd and surreal, with this particular episode featuring a clip of a model running around with a syringe of a glowing green liquid, weird giant bugs taking to the catwalk, a number of people punching animals before some of the animals start punching them, a random guy travelling around in a giant shoe, and the web designer Dondus Fingertrap discussing how he creates independent fashion labels, in what is the episodes only conventional sketch, though of course it’s still pretty unusual with Donald explaining that his website’s “Induce seizures in non-epileptics” and how if you don’t have the latest flash update “Your laptop will melt”. There’s also a film of a bunch of people in a Virtual Reality type set up, audio of a prank phone call which isn’t very funny, and an animation concerning a kid who wants plastic surgery and which sees his skin messed about with and his body sliced up. I wish I could say positive things about this episode but most of the time it was just a bit dull, weird for the sake of being weird but not much more than that, though that’s not to say it’s a series which isn’t worth bothering with, just that each episode can vary enormously in quality and you truly never know what you’re going to get. So while this episode was a bit of a disappointment it’s something I’d still cautiously recommend, as it can be very funny on occasion.
Taskmaster Series 9 Episode 2
I reviewed the first episode of the latest series last week and had some minor issues with Jo Brand and really didn’t like David Baddiel at all, but I always like to follow up with a mini-review here as my first impressions have often been wrong and I’ve either grown fonder of contestants or suddenly become really fed up with them. And judging by this second episode it appears I may have been a bit harsh on Jo Brand, she’s still capable of coming out with nonsense (her description of some bagpipes as being like a “Willy warmer and joint testicle cooler” made me cringe) but she is pretty funny at times, which is a relief as a series with two contestants who weren’t that great might have been a struggle. David Baddiel is still poor though, but he seems to be taking on the role of “The contestant who’s shit at everything and is heavily mocked for this” so I guess it could have been worse. As for the tasks, in this episode the prize task was strong for once, albeit a fairly weak idea made good by the participants, and the same applied with the “Guess which bin Alex is in” one with Rose being on especially great form. Plus anyone who gets annoyed with David Baddiel is unsurprisingly all good in my book. “The A1 portrait” task wasn’t amazing to watch but the finished efforts were fantastic (and carrying on the theme of my hating David, Ed Gamble’s “David, why the fuck are you talking?” delighted), and then the show had one of it’s best tasks in years in the form of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” game, when it put Jo and David together I thought it would be all but traumatic but their low key antics actually amused, while Rose, Ed and Katy made for a superb combination as they rushed around all over the place. To summarise then, it was a great episode, David’s still shit but it was fun to see people taking the piss out of him, and I’m glad to say no one else is. Hooray.
Elvira Mistress Of The Dark Issues 1 – 3
I’ve a fondness for Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira character, even if that is due to positive memories of the eighties movie which I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, but I wasn’t sure if this latest comic featuring the character would capture it’s campy fun aspect or just be a bit of cheap horror with a hell of a lot of cleavage on display. Fortunately it’s the former as Elvira ends up taking a ride through history and meeting various well known literary types like Mary Shelley, Byron and Percy Shelley (with Elvira pleasingly far more interested in the writer of Frankenstein than those pesky men), and in later issues she’s involved with Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker, which is rather convenient when it comes to the latter given that the big bad following her through time is a certain Vlad The Impaler (or so it seems initially, at least). The one liners come thick and fast and though some rely on innuendo (this wouldn’t be Elvira without such a thing after all) the majority don’t, there’s some fun fourth wall breaking, and the jokes are actually smart and funny most of the time. The art’s also pretty great, capturing not only Elvira but also the famous folk impressively, while the horror parts are suitably squeamish in a very amusing manner. It’s currently up to it’s eighth issue and I don’t know if they’ve managed to maintain the quality, but I definitely plan to stick around to find out.
Anna Faris is a habitual caner who when already pretty fucking stoned accidentally eats a whole load of hash cakes, with hilarious consequences. I know it sounds awful, but it’s directed by Gregg Araki (of Now Apocalypse and Kaboom! fame), and features cameos from the likes of Brian Posehn, Jane Lynch, John Krasinski, and Jim Rash, all of whom bring their A-game to the film. Admittedly there’s nothing groundbreaking going on here, but it’s nicely written, inventively directed and a lot of fun in general, and a very laid back and easy to watch comedy.
Video Of The Week
The Horne Section Podcast is only ten minutes long but often contains as many great jokes as a podcast six times as long (or an hour, as some crazy creatures call that unit of time). In this particularly great episode Alex and co are joined by Greg Davies and Katherine Ryan, with both providing some very funny moments, and it’s just all kinds of lovely in general.
Link Of The Week
Laff Lord’s Youtube channel surely can’t survive for much longer given how many classic tv comedy shows it hosts in full, so if I were you (and I may be, given my fondness for possessing people when they least expect it) I’d check it out as soon as possible, and use a site like yout.com to obtain anything you like the look of. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6P7ZTlYXXsKdhYwqGBGQMg/videos
Previous Comedy Snippets:
08/09/2019 – Amusical, The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Fleabag, Smiley Face
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