Comedy Snippets: 14/06/2020

comedy snippets 14062020aShort reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Upstart Crow
I’d never watched this David Mitchell sitcom before as I have very disturbing issues when it comes to Ben Elton, the writer of it, at least in his post 2000 working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and making shit sitcoms like The Wright Way era. It’s a much loved show though so I thought I should give it a shot, but eh, I guess at best I can put this down as “Not for me”, as the show follows Shakespeare around and there’s much mockery of his plays and lots of misquoting lines from his work in rather lazy ways. It’s packed with far too many characters too so that it becomes extremely frustrating when someone who seems genuinely funny finally turns up, like Mark Heap’s pantomime-esque take on Robert Greene or Spencer Jones’ deliberate Ricky Gervais-esque portrayal of the actor / clown Will Kempe, and they’re only on screen for a minute or two at best. There were a few things I liked about it, especially its pointed commentary about how back then it was illegal for women to do pretty much anything other than being a wife, and Mitchell’s performance is likeable enough even if he isn’t exactly doing anything we haven’t seen elsewhere, but most of the time it was a predictable and groan worthy affair that I didn’t click with at all.

La Princesca de Woking
Admittedly I only know about telenovela’s from the odd clip on youtube (and US shows like Jane The Virgin) but this superb satire of them from Emma Sidi manages to mock a great number of their much loved tropes in just under eight minutes, and it’s a beautifully funny creation. The idea is that it’s set in the small town of Woking but written by people who have never been to the place, or the UK for that matter, and they have no idea how British teenagers act, but this hasn’t stopped them creating a show featuring all of these things. As with the telenova’s it satirises it has a gloriously ridiculous plot as we meet Becky and her father at the funeral of her mother / his wife, but before you know it we’re introduced to the father’s new fiancee, the dead mother warns Becky about her potential new step-mother in a letter which could only have been written from the grave, and Becky’s life looks to be in danger as the step-mother plans to poison her, so sure it’s the kind of thing you’d see in a week’s worth of Eastenders episodes but the way it’s compacted down here makes it hilarious stuff. Added to that is some superbly odd dialogue (including the information that Becky’s father met his new beau at a regional UKIP meeting, while there’s also jokes about the NHS and hoping privatisation won’t happen), and it’s a mixture which in lesser hands might have been a mess but here is a delightfully daft and very funny creation. And if that sounds good to you, which I hope it does, you can watch it here:

Solar Opposites Season 1 Episodes 7 and 8
In a previous review of Solar Opposites I complained about the lack of originality, that Korvo was too much like Rick Sanchez, and the kids similar to those of The Simpsons and the Belchers, but episode 7 proved that wasn’t always the case as it centred almost solely on the antics of those humans who have been shrunk down and trapped in the wall in Yumyulack and Jessie’s bedroom. Other than the fact that The Duke is a rather unsubtle Trump analogy all of these characters were enormous fun and don’t bare any direct resemblance to those from other hit animated sitcoms, but the problem for Solar Opposites was that it was the most entertaining episode yet. Far funnier and far more exciting and captivating than previous episodes, it made me wish that it was never about Korvo and co, or at the most they were only occasionally referenced as the reason why everyone was trapped in the wall, because hell, I cared more about the death of Molly the mouse than I do about any of the series main characters. This was made even clearer with the eighth episode which was Wall People free and boy did I miss them as the time travel antics with Terry and Korvo were slightly irritating, Yumyulack learning that he wasn’t a nice person was average and not actively annoying but that’s about the best I can say about it, and the only element which worked was the admittedly fantastic storyline with the Pupa. All of it was resolved with a Pretendo-deck (ie holodeck) solution, which made for a rather tepid and disappointing end to the series too, and I really hope that when it returns for a second season they lean on the elements which work more, and make it fresher and more original too.

The Muppet Movie
The first cinematic outing for Kermit and co, and how the furry funsters originally got going, with Kermit bumping in to an agent in a swamp and deciding to head off to Hollywood so he can bring joy in to the lives of millions. Along the way he meets the rest of the muppets as well as a bunch of cameoing celebrities like Steve Martin, Bob Hope, Orson Welles, Elliot Gould, Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, though far too often they’re barely on screen for more than fifteen seconds which feels like a bit of wasted opportunity. Otherwise it’s great, as are the songs (though Miss Piggy’s Frog Fuck Fantasy number is a bit disturbing), and the second half really picks up once more of the gang are on the road and it becomes more playful too.

Video Of The Week
Archie Hendersen’s youtube channel is full of gems and rather than just choose one, here’s a link to everything he’s done, which if you’re anything like me (you poor, poor bastard) will make you laugh a huge amount.

Link Of The Week
Wonder Showzen is one of the oddest, most deranged comedy series ever to have been made, and it’s one of my favourites too, as what initially looks like a kids tv show soon reveals itself to be gloriously demented. Now fifteen years on its creators have taken part in an oral history of the show which is packed with fascinating pieces of information about the making of it, along with a spin-off series that was never made because this is a cruel world indeed.

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
07/06/2020 – Jeeves And Wooster, JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales, She Loves Me, Where’s Marlowe?
31/05/2020 – It Started As A Joke, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Best Worst Movie, The Aristocrats
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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