Comedy Snippets: 31/05/2020

comedy snippets 31052020Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

It Started As A Joke
Back in 2008 comedian / actor Eugene Mirman set up a comedy festival with the express interest of mocking other festivals and taking the whole thing as unseriously as possible, which led to a lot of comedians performing together in pretty unusual shows like “The Drunk Show”, “Shit Show” and “Yikes! Most of These Comedians Were Born After Police Academy 2 Was in Theaters”. Now after ten years they’ve decided to call it a day and this documentary is a celebration of both the man and the festival, which boasts an impressive selection of comedians talking about their experiences including Kristen Schaal, H.Jon Benjamin, Daniel Kitson, Jon Glaser, Janeane Garafalo and Wyatt Cenac (and many, many more). It’s a shame we don’t get a few more clips of the performances as they’re hilarious when we do (with rare footage of Kitson performing being a highlight), and it takes an unexpectedly grim turn with the the final third of the film as it covers Mirman’s wife’s cancer diagnosis, and how they both responded to living with a terminal disease (with his wife sadly dying earlier this year) but it’s largely affecting material and surprisingly their reaction to the illness means that it still contains some very amusing moments in among the more emotional ones.

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Living with Conan O’Brien must be exhausting as it appears he can’t sit still for a second and must always be involved in a number of different projects, but when in 2010 he found himself out of work after the Jay Leno Tonight Show debacle (which if you’re not up on is a fascinating example of how ridiculous the late night tv chat show world can sometimes be, and what a turd Jay Leno is in general) he wasn’t allowed to immediately go and work for another tv network and ended up having a huge amount of time on his hands, much to his frustration. Many might have thought that would be a great excuse to have a fuck off amazing holiday (and O’Brien’s $40 million pay off could have provided just that) but instead O’Brien went on tour across the US, and this documentary explores everything that went in to that, gives us some (but not enough) footage of O’Brien live on stage, and is a captivating and often hilarious insight in to one of the world’s funniest workaholics.

Best Worst Movie
An acclaimed and much loved documentary this is a pretty simple tale and a fairly charming movie about the straight to video fantasy horror flick Troll 2, which at one point was the lowest rated film on imdb, and how it eventually achieved cult success. The first half is quite pleasingly upbeat as each cast member explains what their participation in the film has meant to them, especially former actor / current dentist George Hardy who the documentary follows around the most. At first it does seem like it’s filmed with slightly rose tinted spectacles but the second half is more intriguing as we meet a few of the quirkier cast members, Don Packard especially, as he’s refreshingly honest about how he was mentally ill while making it, but also how it was “a terrible experience” and that the lead child actor was “a pain in the arse…I wanted to kill him…I just couldn’t stand him”. Meanwhile the Italian Director takes it all extremely seriously, and is frustrated by the audience laughing at supposedly serious parts, and he even heckles his own cast members during a Q&A at a screening (referring to them as “dogs” several times) which made me laugh a lot. Their newfound fame doesn’t last forever either, and when George isn’t recognised at a couple of conventions his mask slips a little. Occasionally a slightly flimsy film at times, the love the fans and cast have for Troll 2 is very infectious at least, and overall while it’s overrated by some this is an enjoyable insight in to both low budget filmmaking of the eighties and those who still wish they were famous.

The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats is supposedly the world’s most shocking joke, as it starts off in a seemingly innocent fashion but then has a pay off where the comedian involved attempts to make it as deranged and depraved as possible. This 2005 documentary sees a ridiculous amount of comics either discuss the nature of the joke and why and how it became so famous, or they tell their own version of it with the likes of George Carlin, Carrie Fisher, Eric Idle, Sarah Silverman, Chris Rock and Robin Williams and a huge amount of other famous names taking part, but it’s only sporadically funny, some versions of the joke fall flat and at times it’s a little exhausting hearing the same set up play out over and over again. The documentary has value, and is sometimes hilarious, but given the magnitude of amazing names who appear in it I can’t help but feel it should have been a little funnier.

Video Of The Week
Keeping with the documentary theme, this is a short but still fascinating Making Of film about the recent Quarantine episode of Mythic’s Quest: Raven’s Banquet, the one pandemic special which has been amazing and an absolute must watch –
https://www.indiewire.com/video/mythic-quest-quarantine-behind-the-scenes-episode-10-watch-video-1202234135/. And if you fancy learning about it in even more detail, I’d recommend then reading this: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/mythic-quest-quarantine-40-iphones-600k-charity-a-cast-crew-eager-keep-going-1295215

Link Of The Week
And finally, here’s a great Wired article from a few years back which features short pieces about the best comedy documentaries around, and which will hopefully help you find some great fare you might not previously have been aware of: https://www.wired.com/2015/04/best-comedy-documentaries/

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
24/05/2020 – Solar Opposites, Daniel Kitson – The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church, Jimmy O. Yang – Good Deal, How To Marry A Millionaire
17/05/2020 – What We Do In The Shadows, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, Down The Line, Bolt
10/05/2020 – The Toxic Avenger The Musical, Kinky Boots, The Simpsons, Wrong
03/05/2020 – Crank Yankers, Code 404, Upload, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
26/04/2020 – Oh Hello On Broadway, Emily Heller – Ice Thickeners, Sam Morril – I Got This, Were The World Mine
19/04/2020 – American Dad, Maeve In America Essays By A Girl From Somewhere Else by Maeve Higgins, Quiz, Simple Men
12/04/2020 – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Dave, Broke, Bran Nue Dae
05/04/2020 – Super Buddies, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Future Man, The Magicians
29/03/2020 – Kate & Koji, The Unicorn, Miracle Workers: Dark Ages, The Suicide Shop
22/03/2020 – Eugenius The Musical, Cake, Modern Family, Avalanche Sharks
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

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