Comedy Snippets: 06/09/2020

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

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
A short novella about a world of very unusual superheroes, this mostly revolves around the relationship between “The Perfectionist” and her normal non-superpowered husband Tom, which goes horribly wrong when a jealous ex called Hypno makes it impossible for her to see him on the day of their wedding. As well as the main storyline which sees our hero desperately try to find a way to get his beloved to see him again before she relocates to Vancouver and moves on forever, we’re introduced to a number of unusual superheroes, many of whom have very minor powers, which often work as a metaphor for the craziness of every day life, and all of which are beautifully inventive. Kaufman’s created a quite unique work here, it’s a book which is consistently funny, but also nicely weird, while also being genuinely affecting, and (for me) he’s managed to pull off the perfect ending, and I loved it to the extent that the moment I finished it I went online to buy one of his other novels.

Calypso by David Sedaris
I’ve been a fan of David Sedaris for a long time now, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Barrel Fever and Naked are books I regularly give to people as presents, but I found myself a little disappointed by Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls so took a brief break from the man and skipped the “Best Of His Diaries” collection that was 2017’s Theft by Finding. But after picking this up in a charity shop recently I’m back in love with the man, the fickle bastard that I can sometimes be, perhaps because it’s a slightly darker work than usual as it partially deals with the suicide of his sister Tiffany and the ramifications of her death often (but not always) echo through the other stories in the book. A sense of Sedaris’s own mortality is also a large aspect, along with his relationship with his elderly father, but despite dealing with such subjects if anything Sedaris is funnier than he has been in years. Yes, there’s the odd serious affair but the majority are darkly funny, and only a couple (like one about his obsession with buying bizarre clothes in Japan) slightly disappointed, otherwise it was a book which made me laugh hard, all the while often managing to be poignant and touching.

Hits & Misses by Simon Rich
Another selection of short stories from the Miracle Workers and Man Seeking Woman creator, I’ve rambled on about his work previously in Comedy Snippets as I’m a huge fan of his, and this is another fantastic collection. What makes this one slightly different is that they’re about the nature of success and fame, and so we get to meet an agent who signs up Death, read a praise packed magazine profile of one of history’s greatest monsters, witness a monk who is determined to suffer more than anyone else ever has done, hear all about a very young Simon Rich’s obsession with beating his brother at table football, and be amused by an angry horse who was part of a very famous true life tale who never got his dues among various other often crazy but never less than hilarious stories. Rich’s imagination and ability to come up with unusual scenarios while making them feel very believable, and often laugh out loud funny, has impressed me no end once again, and they’re all a delight to read while also containing some thoughtful ideas on the subject matter.

Frances Ha
Gah, I really wanted to like this, in many ways it reminded me of the over-stylised US indie flicks of the 90’s that Hal Hartley, Jim Jarmusch and others like them produced, and I’m very very fond of Noah Baumbach’s work with Wes Anderson. But I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me, the first half hour is largely quite fun, even if it feels a little forced at times, but then Frances becomes increasingly manic in her behaviour and while I presume we’re supposed to be sympathetic towards her, I really found it hard to be. Her almost obsessive relationship with Sophie is difficult to understand as well, given how Sophie treats her at least, and though the ending is partially satisfying, I came away feeling like the whole thing had been a bit pointless.

Video Of The Week
Connor O’Malley’s been producing some fantastic work during the lockdown, and I’d happily link to them all except that’d take ages and I’m a lazy man. The one where he hosts a bike based chat show while cycling around a locked down New York might be my favourite though, especially as his obsession with insulting Greg Kinnear soon spirals out of control to hilarious effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32j63XtAgpQ

Link Of The Week
Another Joe Pera interview, you may ask, what, are you going to keep on posting these until we become die hard fans of the man or something? And the answer is yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. https://deadline.com/2020/07/joe-pera-talks-with-you-adult-swim-interview-news-1202972063/

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
30/08/2020 – Waitress, Ruthless The Musical, The Last Five Years, Howard
23/08/2020 – Star Trek: Lower Decks, Other Space, Moone Boy, Yes God Yes
16/08/2020 – Corporate, Central Park, Opening Night, Only Lovers Left Alive
09/08/2020 – Die Hart, Middle England by Jonathan Coe, Sleeping With Other People, The One and Only
02/08/2020 – In My Skin, Norsemen, American Ultra, My Neighbors The Yamadas
26/07/2020 – Don’t, Central Park, Giuseppe Makes A Movie, Turbo Kid
19/07/2020 – Man To Man With Dean Learner, James Ross – Leopardoptera, No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July, Laughter In Paradise
12/07/2020 – The Ghost Of Peter Sellers, French Exit by Patrick DeWitt, The Man In The White Suit, Ninotchka
05/07/2020 – The Kominsky Method, Tournament Of Laughs, Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich, The Monster Squad
28/06/2020 – Man Seeking Woman, Spoiled Brats, The World Of Simon Rich, Inside Out
21/06/2020 – A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Crossing Swords, The Insecurities Of Dill, Manborg
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
10/01/2019- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca

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