Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Eugenius The Musical
Very few positive things have emerged from the Coronavirus insanity and in the scheme of things this is only an extremely minor event, but there has at least been a selection of stand up, live shows, comics and films made available for free by ridiculously kind and thoughtful types, and on Friday night the lovely people behind Eugenius The Musical added to it all as they put a recorded version on their Facebook page for people to stream. Set in the eighties and around a young teenager called Eugene, he’s a geeky sort who writes his own comic book called Tough Man and is relentlessly mocked by bastard jock types, but his life takes a turn for the better when a talent scout reads his comic and a Hollywood producer wants to turn it in to a movie. But as we all know Hollywood is filled with egotistical shits who think they can only improve upon what a writer has to offer and soon Eugene is disillusioned, and perhaps even worse than that is his losing touch with his best friend and the girl who wants to kiss him. It’s not just a tale of when Hollywood goes wrong though, as it turns out that the real Tough Man does exist, and so does his brother the evil Lord Hector, who has arrived on Earth to kill his sibling. A love letter not just to comic book insanity but also eighties geek culture and music (though the fun eighties music, not the shittier aspects), the script is extremely funny, the songs are gloriously adorable, and it’s a production which is damn superb and which deserves to be seen on the West End stage. Of course that’s impossible right now yet hopefully it will take place in the future (if there is a future, of course!), and in the meantime you should rush over to their Facebook page and watch it asap, before donating to the extremely good cause they’re supporting.
Cake Season 2 Episode 4
Cake is a sketch show on FX that’s a mixture of animated sketches and live action shorts, this is the first time I’ve ever seen it so perhaps it’s unfair to judge it by one episode alone, especially as some of the characters have appeared in previous episodes, but it’s a real oddity at best and abjectly awful at worst. Most of the best moments come from the animations, not that they’re anything that amazing but at least one which sees a dog in a nightclub looking mournfully at a supposedly sexy “Dog-Cam”, and another where another dog is hunting animals (and possibly humans), are of interest, while a longer black and white cartoon involves some park rangers and Big Foot isn’t funny but it is at least intriguing. Unfortunately that’s about as good as it gets and the live action sketches are shockingly poor, and it’s hard to see why anyone would ever think they’re amusing. For instance one sees the normally fantastic Miracle Workers’ actor Karan Soni have to do an audition where there’s no one for him to read against, and so the casting assistant asks him to perform with Alexa, the humour supposedly coming from the fact that it takes much more effort to record lines and make Alexa play them than it would for the casting director to actually act with Karan. But it’s just not funny, and the same goes with an ongoing sketch featuring “Shark Lords”, two Australian idiots who plan to track down sharks for a reality tv show. They’ve appeared in other episodes but the concept is so weak I’ve no urge to go back and watch them to see if they’ve previously been more amusing, most of the time we’re supposed to find it funny because they keep on hurting each other or are verbally mean about those they work with, but it’s beyond predictable, trite nonsense you’ll have seen countless times before when it comes to reality tv spoofs. The only part of the episode that was even vaguely intriguing was a skit featuring a blue Shrek lookalike, but once again it ran out of steam after a short while and ended in a disappointing manner. I kept on trying to persuade myself that this might have just been a one off weak episode, and FX can normally be relied upon to create comedy which is at least of some value, but this is easily the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the channel and I don’t think I can bring myself to watch another second of it.
Modern Family Season 11 Episode 15
Modern Family for a long time was a very rare thing, an ABC sitcom that was smart and insightful and also very funny too, and in Ty Burrell they had a fantastically goofy lead, the rest of the cast were strong, and even the kids weren’t annoying most of the time which is a rare old thing when it comes to children in live action tv comedy. It was also doing it’s best to be a PC affair as it had a gay couple as central characters, sure, they didn’t exactly seem to like each other that much and only kissed about once a year, but the network was trying to show them in a positive light which was something I guess. Around about season seven it started to go downhill though sadly, becoming a little bit repetitive, the character of Luke was mishandled and he suddenly began being pretty creepy and perverted around women, and the actor playing Manny must have upset the writers behind the scenes as they did his best to transform him in to one of the worst sitcom characters ever created. As it grew blander and blander I ditched the show for good half way through season 8, but it’s now coming to an end so I thought I’d check in to see what it was like these days, and alas it’s become much, much worse over time. Certain characters (Luke, Dylan) are now so stupid that it’s questionable that they could survive a single day without being hospitalised, others are still bickering and making digs at each other to such an extent that it’s hard to understand why they haven’t gotten divorced (Cam and Mitchell then, with the suggestion that they’re considering adopting another child being astonishingly horrific), and Ty Burrell seems exhausted by all the contrived set ups these days. On the plus side Alex had an okay storyline that saw her return to her old university, which gave You’re The Worst’s Chris Geere the chance to pop up and be delightful again, and Manny isn’t in it at all, but I still didn’t laugh once and only smiled a couple of times. I still plan to watch the final episode to see how everything comes to an end, but expectations are now so low that if I don’t actively hate it it will be a pleasant surprise.
An extremely silly SyFy flick where some magic sharks fuck about in the snow and eat people a lot. It contains a hero with only a tiny hint of a personality, three women who spend hours and hours in a hot tub yet emerge from it wrinkle free, a Trump-esque town mayor who refuses to believe anyone’s in danger, and a lot of dodgy sfx and gore that made me laugh a fair amount. There’s also a bit of weird meta narration as one of the survivors tells the tale to a nurse who’s actually a hallucination of his, and a couple of fantasy sequences involving space sharks serves no purpose to the plot but hey, it looks cool so who am I to complain. Technically it deserves a score of 2.1/10, but if you like mocking bad movies it’s a 7.0/10 experience.
Video(s) Of The Week
As I’m sure everyone reading the site knows, Mike Judge is the comedy genius behind King of the Hill, Beavis and Butthead, Office Space and Silicon Valley, but before he was famous he made a number of animated shorts, all of which are pretty damn enjoyable, and which thanks to various people on youtube can be watched whenever you so please, with these three being my current favourites: Inbred Jed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuupB_z0_WM&feature=emb_title / Huh? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9LSEVtBRvk / Milton and the Office Space – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7uhJQK7bAc
Link Of The Week
Review (aka Review With Forrest MacNeil) is one of the funniest American comedies of the 21st Century, and if it had been made in the 20th Century the same would apply too. The subject of an Essential Episodes article here, three seasons of astonishingly funny absurdity took place as the slightly pompous critic Forrest MacNeil (played by Andy Daly) reviewed “Life” instead of films or books, and examined subjects like Divorce, Making A Sex Tape, Leading A Cult and Killing A Person. Now the show is finally being released on dvd in full and Daly has given a new interview about the series, which is packed with fascinating insights and is an absolute must read. https://www.polygon.com/interviews/2020/3/4/21163234/andy-daly-review-interview-dvd-comedy-central
Previous Comedy Snippets:
15/03/2020 – It’s Personal With Amy Hoggart, Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Simpsons, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists
08/03/2020 – The Windsors, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, The Big Sick
01/03/2020 – Everything’s Going To Be Okay, High Fidelity, Duncanville, His Girl Friday
23/02/2020 – Outmatched, The Secret Diaries Of Alan Bennett, Avenue 5, Hot To Trot
16/02/2020 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Indebted, Sex Education, Turn Me On, Dammit!
09/02/2020 – Joe Pera Talks With You, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, Bless The Harts, A Boy And His Dog
02/02/2020 – Sex Education, Avenue 5, Digger, Premature
26/01/2020 – Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goes Wrong Show, Mum, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
19/01/2020 – You’re The Worst, The Skewer, Kongen Befaler, Sisters
12/01/2020 – John Mulaney And The Sack Lunch Bunch, Sex Education, Derry Girls, Frozen II
05/01/2020 – Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes, How To Produce Comedy Bronze by Jon Plowman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Comic, The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash
29/12/2019 – Mrs Fletcher, Harley Quinn, What A Fucking Year On Tv With Mel B and Mel B, Cafe Society
22/12/2019 – Content, Ladhood, Silicon Valley Ten Years Later The Extended Documentary, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
15/12/2019 – Astronomy Club The Sketch Show, South Park, Joe Pera Talks With You, Lavalantula
08/12/2019 – Mom, Mock The Week, Sunnyside, The Ten
01/12/2019 – Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out, Kongen Befaler (aka Taskmaster Norway), Harry Hill’s Clubnite, Scout’s Guide To The Apocalypse
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