Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook Series 1 Episode 1
I’m still not quite sure what to make of this Sky comedy with Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm playing the same character at different ages, it passed me by at the time (which is strange given how fond I am of both members of the cast) but upon watching it now it’s something of an oddity. Based on a critically acclaimed novel it’s a very meta affair as the set up is that Jon Hamm narrates a tale of his first posting as a Doctor in Russia in 1917 when he was sent to a remote village to run a hospital, and Radcliffe plays the younger version of the character. Upon arrival everyone can’t believe how young he is, he’s incredibly nervous about the possibility of screwing up, while Hamm’s version of the character drily narrates events with a wry sense of humour, saying things like “I saw a lot of horror and tragedy in here. Happy days” and seemingly meaning it. Vicki Pepperdine, Adam Godley and Rosie Cavaliero are great as his disapproving colleagues, all of whom enormously miss Leopold Leopoldovich, the doctor he’s replaced, and repeatedly tell Radcliffe this, and most of the time it’s amiable material if not exactly hilarious. But the confusing aspect to me is that sometimes Hamm appears in the flashbacks to his past, conversing with himself, and sometimes he becomes involved in the narrative in impossible ways, as in one scene towards the end when his younger version is desperate to look something up in a book he refuses to let him, going so far as to eat the page he wanted to see. As this is of course didn’t actually happen I’m not sure what the show’s trying to do, it’s initially funny to see the two versions of the character fight with themselves but given that it didn’t take place I’m not sure of the point it’s trying to make. Perhaps a smarter person than me might understand it, but it left me rather confused, which frustrates as otherwise this is intriguing and quite enjoyable material.
Crossing Swords Season 1 Episode 2
Reviews where I regret being optimistic about a show number seven hundred and twenty two, and boy am I tired of being in this situation. But the first episode of Crossing Swords showed a fair amount of potential, as Patrick took part in a tournament to become a trainee squire, and no longer be the black sheep of his family, sure it relied on swearing and shock humour a little too much but it was often quite silly and daft too. Unfortunately this second episode just doubles down on the shock humour as the king wants to execute someone famous to raise his popularity, Patrick is forced to oversee that, while the rest of the trainee squires are attacked by a Medusa type monster. At the end of the first episode it was suggested that Patrick’s siblings Ruben, Coral and Blarney would be a bigger aspect of the series too, but other than arguing that they should be the ones who are executed they were barely in it, and the rest of the time it was just lots of swearing and weak attempts at being edgy, and worst of all was that it was often fairly dull, so I doubt I’ll bother watching any more of it unless my sources (eg some bloke I know online) tells me it picks up.
The Insecurities Of Dill
This is a great short video where after a bout of sex a guy looks incredibly pleased with himself, but then it appears that we hear all of his insecurities, from the idea that his partner just uses for him for sex, and that there’s never any cuddling, to the suggestion that he’s too scared to leave her as he feels she’s abusive, yet at the same time worries what might happen if she were to leave him. There’s a twist however, as otherwise this might have been one of the bleakest comedy videos ever made, and one which makes it the very funny video that it is as we learn we weren’t hearing from the boyfriend at all, but the thoughts of his girlfriend’s vibrator who goes on to worry “I get these shakes…What if it’s cancer?” and comes out with amusing lines about how “I do my best, and my mother always said you can’t do wrong if you try your best”, which makes me want them to create a prequel where we see him with his parents. There’s some strong material on how Hollywood glamorises most aspects of sex too, and it’s a really cute and fun short in general, carried off extremely effectively, which can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/427137395
A very, very low budget affair, I can’t remember the last time I had such a great time with a film as obviously trashy as this tongue in cheek futuristic affair, but it’s gloriously over the top (with some of the overacting being just beautiful stuff) and there’s a huge amount of really great lines throughout. It’s occasionally a little odd as it looks absolutely terrible at times (understandably, however, given the budget), like a dodgy Sega Mega CD game, but then they pull off a really effective shot or moment that impresses a huge amount, but don’t let that put you off, as this really is ridiculously daft fun.
Video Of The Week
Quentin Smirhes has put out a number of videos now, all of which have a “Scarfolk” vibe, a distinctly unsettling seventies feel, and though they’re strange they’re also oddly funny too, though the kind of thing David Lynch would find funny rather than a normal human being might. But normal human being’s are of course rubbish, so as long as you’re not one of those you’ll probably like this a lot.
Link Of The Week
Ever wondered how some comedians got their start? Well Insider have put together the perfect article for you then, as they’ve collected together a selection of anecdotes from a number of big names like Jerry Seinfeld, Tig Notaro, Sarah Silverman and Chris Rock, as they talk about their early days in the industry in what’s mostly a pretty fun read. https://www.insider.com/how-famous-comedians-got-started-comics-stand-up-comedy#aziz-ansari-handed-out-flyers-in-times-square-to-earn-stage-time-12
Previous Comedy Snippets:
14/06/2020 – Upstart Crow, La Princesca de la Woking, Solar Opposites, The Muppet Movie
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