Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out Series 2 Episode 1
Ah, Vic and Bob, how gloriously lovely are you? Extremely fucking gloriously? Why yes, I think that might just be the answer, and proving that their is some form of higher being they’ve returned once again to our screens to give us half an hour of inspired lunacy that makes me laugh more than any other show currently on, and there’s a sod load of great comedy around right now. That they’re still clearly madly in love with each other thirty odd years on from their becoming a double act is also shocking wonderful, and I love seeing Bob’s delight at Vic’s insanity, and vice versa. To select just a couple of highlights would mean ignoring a huge selection of parts that I also loved, but especially good in this opening episode were Jeremy Paxman’s Summer Bitchin’ Bongos album and his terrifying roar, the animation featuring Batman and Spider-man on the toilet, the sample we got of Making A Murderer’s Steve Avery’s album, the Ghost Hunters sketch and the phrase “early evening horse breath”, and Bob’s comment that “My tits have become chaotic”, but almost all of it was painfully hilarious. If I’m to be honest (something I try to always avoid), the “For Cups” bit was a little weak, but otherwise it was all outstanding stuff and it’s amazing that these two men in their sixties are creating such inspired comedy. It’s rumoured that one day, perhaps in the next eighty or ninety years, they may die, and if that does ever happen it’ll be a horrendously upsetting day indeed and my only hope is that the Grim Reaper takes me about twenty minutes beforehand.
Kongen Befaler (aka Taskmaster Norway) Series 1 Episode 1
By the end of the previous series of the UK version of Taskmaster I was starting to wonder if I was getting a bit tired of the format, and if there were too many episodes being produced. But after watching the first episode of the Norwegian series (the title of which translates as The King Commands) I don’t think that’s the case as it was a very funny and likeable show, and out of all of the international versions the most similar to the UK one (though that said I’ve only seen the Swedish and American ones so far, and have yet to track down the Danish and Spanish). The international versions do have the advantage over the UK series that they can pick and choose the best tasks so far created, but that said the Norwegian one only reused one task in this opening episode, where the contestants had to produce as many tears in to a tea cup in twenty minutes, and the others were original affairs. All of them were very funny too, with those involved often trying to find loopholes in the task rules which is something I always like to see even if this particular taskmaster doesn’t, and there were some great sequences within each task which included seeing someone ride a tiny bike, another person attempt to use the most rope up by setting fire to it, some truly horrible but funny moments with comedians rubbing onions in their eyes, and hell even the studio task was strong with all having to try and put on frozen clothes. The comedians are mostly self-deprecating and likeable (bar Vegard Ylvisåker, who’s a bit up himself and a smug dick at times) and though hosts Atle Antonsen and Olli Wermskog don’t have the kind of daft relationship that Greg and Alex do they’re amiable enough and this is only the first episode so there’s plenty of time to work on that aspect, given how they’ve got everything else right it’s not an issue and it’s so good it’s made me look forward to watching Taskmaster once more.
Harry Hill’s Clubnite
This is a great idea in general, a Channel 4 stand up show which highlights some of the best comedians around, but I’m only partially enjoying it. That’s not due to the majority of the acts, most of whom have been superb, including CTW favourites like Spencer Jones, Holley Burn, Anna Mann, Lucy Pearman, Joe Jacobs and Bridget Christie, and though a couple have been a bit weak or not to my taste (I won’t be rushing to see Egg on the strength of their appearance on the show, put it that way) the overall hit rate is impressively high. No, the part that disappoints is Harry Hill himself, which came as a surprise, I was fond of him in the 90s, enjoyed Tv Burp for a good few series, and his movie is an underrated gem. But the stand up he’s doing now still has the same formula as his comedy did in the 90s and 2000s and it just feels a bit lazy and tired now, even Stouffer isn’t the comedy god he once was, and the bits where sings a song in a club singer manner and then spurts liquid at the audience at the beginning are rather embarrassing. It’s disappointing as the show is great otherwise, but if it returns for another series I hope it’s with a different host.
Scout’s Guide To The Apocalypse
I recently posted a mostly positive review of Little Monsters which saw a school teacher have to protect her kids from the undead, and in some ways this is a little similar as it follows three young scouts who help save their small town from a zombie attack, but unfortunately it’s not very funny indeed. I watched it due to David Koechner (who recently put in sterling work in Another Period) being the adult lead, but annoyingly he’s not in it very much despite having a high billing. That’s not the only problem the film has either, a lot of the humour is fairly puerile in a lazy way, and it treats women poorly with them all being lust objects (the main female is a stripper who spends the film in a tight low cut shirt and cut off jeans for instance) and there’s one joke where one of the scouts sexually assaults a topless female zombie which is deeply unpleasant. It has about four moments which are fun (zombie cats being the main one) but it’s a weak film, and I wish I hadn’t bothered watching it.
Video Of The Week
Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast is on a bit of a run at the moment, with Michael Sheen and Vic Reeves having appeared on it and given great interviews, and this week Comedy To Watch favourites Max & Ivan feature and discuss their career to date, and answer Herring’s normally quite annoying Emergency Questions in a very funny manner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORnJ-bvnDgo
Link Of The Week
Community for three whole seasons (and parts of five and six) was a fantastic tv show, and now the cast and crew are looking back at it in this superb Vulture article about their time on the show. https://www.vulture.com/article/community-reunion-interview.html
Previous Comedy Snippets:
24/11/2019 – Wellington Paranormal, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Tourist Trap, The Adventures Of Rocky and Bullwinkle
17/11/2019 – 2100: A Space Novelty, Silicon Valley, Zomboat, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
10/11/2019 – Do You Want To See A Dead Body?, Taskmaster, The Good Place, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
03/11/2019 – Bojack Horseman, Comedians Giving Lectures, Living With Yourself, A Town Called Panic
27/10/2019 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Would I Lie To You?, The Band Wagon, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil
20/10/2019 – Star Trek Discovery Short Treks, Zomboat, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, High Society
13/10/2019 – Perfect Harmony, Family Guy, Afternoon Delight, The Death Of Dick Long
06/10/2019 – Bless The Harts, South Park, Stath Lets Flats, She’s Out Of My League
29/09/2019 – Danny’s House, Hot Date, Idiotsitter, Crimewave
22/09/2019 – Alternatino with Arturo Castro, The Good Place The Selection, American Dad, American Reunion
15/09/2019 – Off The Air, Taskmaster, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark Issues 1 – 3, Smiley Face
08/09/2019 – Amusical, The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Fleabag, Digby The Biggest Dog In The World
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