Comedy Snippets: Mapleworth Murders, Archer +

comedy snippets 27092020Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Mapleworth Murders Series 1 Episodes 1 – 3
Another series from Quibi, this was created and written by Paula Pell and John Lutz (of 30 Rock fame) and stars Pell as crime writer Abigail Mapleworth, who lives in a small town with an extremely high murder rate and a fuck load of cemeteries to hold the dead in, so yes, it is a pastiche of Murder She Wrote. In these first three episodes Abigail’s Australian niece Heidi (Hayley Magnus) turns up and she’ll be sharing a room with her Aunt as though she has more bedrooms, one is for the dogs and one is for the cats, while the other is where they meet for parties, which should give you an idea of the whimsical and oddly sweet sense of humour the show has. Mapleworth is friends with cop Gabriel Pewntz (Lutz) though the Chief of Police Billy Bills (JB Smoove, playing it in a similar manner to his role of Leon as Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is no bad thing as he’s hilarious in both) has no time for her. That’s mainly as he’s clearly pretty inept, which is highlighted when Chris Parnell and Tim Meadows play rival butchers but Parnell is soon deceased with some ham found shoved in his gob, and Bills struggles to find out who’s guilty. Luckily for him Abigail and Heidi are on hand to solve the crime, which they do quickly because they’re great, with Heidi proving to be equally adept at working out who’s all rather murderous and she makes for a fun sidekick indeed. It’s a gentle affair but a charmingly funny one, with lots of light spoofing of these kind of procedurals, the dialogue is particularly strong with Abigail fond of a ridiculously complicated innuendoes, and the cast are all turning in often silly but extremely endearing performances, all of which makes it the third Quibi series alongside Dummy and Reno 911! that’s actually worth watching.

Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club Series 1 Episodes 1 and 2
I’ve a long standing dislike of Jonathan Ross, I was fond of him in the eighties but find him slightly desperate and at times creepy (at least when it comes to him interviewing female celebrities), so was always going to struggle a little with this show. Thankfully he’s not in it too much though, his opening monologue and brief interviews are annoying, as are the occasional interjections you hear him make while the comics are performing, but luckily most of the time it’s all about the acts as the show attempts to capture that comedy club feel. These are socially distanced times though so the audience is understandably sparse, and so when the jokes fall flat, boy can you tell and there’s way too many shots of Ross chuckling away, but it actually does an okay job at making it feel like a proper mixed bill club night. That’s helped by the fact that the line up’s have been pretty decent so far, some of the acts weren’t all that (Kae Kurd was just as poor as he was when I saw him live back in August, and Nigel Ng and Rob Beckett were both very average), but Edinburgh Award winner Jordan Brookes was superb, Sophie Duker made me laugh a good deal, Bec Hill was her usual hilarious self (albeit on for far too short a time), Kerry Godliman was really fun, and Leo Reich had some strong jokes, especially when it came to the second world war, so I’ll definitely be watching it again in the future even given my disdain for its host.

Archer Season 11 Episodes 2 and 3
Is Archer the most inconsistent show on tv right now? Well, until The Simpsons returns tonight the answer is yes, because that show tends to be fun about 15% of the time and dodgy the rest, whereas Archer is slightly more reliable, with season 10 worth watching about 50% of the time. And Season 11 is doing a little better than that too, though we’re only three episodes in so it could all change of course, but so far at least the first and third episodes were extremely enjoyable and only the second disappointed. That was weak because it went back to the tired old formula the show has relied on for far too long, as the gang were on a mission and arguing and bickering in an uneventful and rather uninspired manner, whereas episodes 1 and 3 have tried to shake things up a little, the third doing so particularly well by Lana and co initially leaving Archer out of events because they feel he’s just not ready yet / always fucking things up, and when he did turn up and do just that, he was quickly separated from the regular cast and given a new character to interact with, which made the episode far funnier than the preceding bland one. Archer being out of place and no longer quite as capable as he used to be seems to be an ongoing theme this year and I hope they explore it even further, but also it’d be good if they allowed the other characters to change a little (not necessarily grow either, but just be different) as that could allow the series to be even more playful and amusing.

Jumanji: The Next Level
More supposedly fun antics with The Rock, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan fucking about in a console game, I was really fond of the first one but this is much, much weaker effort. Some of it’s still quite fun, and the action scenes are largely strong, but Kevin Hart channelling Danny Glover is a tedious chore (though that’s due to the script rather than Hart’s performance), and though I like Awkwafina elsewhere she’s poor here, and the final set piece against the big bad and end of the movie in general is really bland and by the numbers.

Video Of The Week
Izzy Askwith was crowned winner of the Funny Women competition this week, I’ve not been fortunate enough to see her live yet but this video of her performing earlier this year is a fantastic one, and shows just how much of a deserving winner she is.

Link of The Week
Somehow I’ve not yet got around to linking to the superb Scarfolk blog, which introduces a world that feels like it’s set in the seventies and influenced by public information films of the time where fear of rabies is tantamount, and that’s one of the less odd aspects. Which might not sound like comedy gold, but it is a fantastically strange and amusing site, packed full of unusual but very funny work.

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
20/09/2020 – The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway
13/09/2020 – The Boys, Two Weeks To Live, Bad Words, CJ7
06/09/2020 – All My Friends Are Superheroes, Calypso, Hits and Misses, Frances Ha
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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