Comedy Snippets: Taskmaster, Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights +

comedy snippets 03012021Short reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Taskmaster: New Year Treat
As regular readers will know I’m something of a Taskmaster obsessive and as well as the UK version have watched at least one episode from all the other series, bar the bizarrely overlong Spanish version, though it wasn’t the two hour run time that put me off but the poorly translated subtitles which were borderline gibberish and so made it unwatchable. I was disappointed by the most recent UK series however, which started strongly but then started to rely on overly complicated tasks that seemed designed to make fun of the comedians, rather than allowing the contestants to be imaginative and amusing. Fortunately this New Year’s Special didn’t include any of the latter, but it was still something of a mixed affair, mainly because of the contestants. Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan was superb, both when taking on tasks and chatting away in the studio, and John Hannah had a nicely unusual perspective on some of the tasks, but Rylan was loud and annoying, and Shirley Ballas and Krishnan Guru-Murthy were bland and forgettable, and so due to that I’m glad it’s only a one off and we don’t have to put up with another nine weeks of their efforts. I don’t want to sound too negative, and Greg and Alex were on fine form, but in the scheme of things this was just quite good and nothing more than that. ★★★

Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights Series 1 Episode 1
Frankie Boyle’s done a fair few funny things over the years but Tramadol Nights is the only one which was considered to be a massive flop, full of lazy shock comedy and gags which were deeply unpleasant. I’m sometimes fond of the man though so thought I’d give it a second chance, but that was a mistake and then some as boy does Boyle enjoy making jokes about rape and paedophilia, and there’s one hateful bit about Brokeback Mountain which is beyond ugly. There was a decent enough gag about Michael Knight of Knight Rider fame being mentally ill and Kit’s chatty ways being all in his mind, but even that was overlong and they took a reasonably funny idea and ran with it for way too long. That was also the case with a joke about a BBC drama being inoffensive by having actors with no faces and their characters barely speaking, and while it had a couple of amusing moments it should have been half the length if not shorter. So yeah, maybe it wasn’t quite as horrible as I thought it was, but it’s still pretty terrible and a show which is not worth revisiting. ★★

The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman
I loved Kaufman’s novella “All My Friends Are Superheroes” but this is flimsy and lacking in substance in comparison, there’s some fun ideas but they often feel a bit forced, the characters are poorly defined and the lazy ending could be seen a mile off. Worst of all is that it’s ridiculously short, and took only an hour to read (with 30 pages of another novel by him added to the back of it to flesh it out), it’s essentially a short story being sold as a full length book and at £6.99 it’s a rip off. ★1/2

Lucky Stiff
An absurd musical farce where bored shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon (Dominic Marsh) has his life turned upside down when he inherits six million dollars, but there’s a catch in that he has to take his dead Uncle to Monte Carlo and trick everyone in to thinking he’s still alive or the money will go to a dog’s home, and all the while Jason Alexander and his sister are after the money too. So it’s Weekend At Bernies The Musical, but despite some fun songs the script was often a little lacklustre and though it attempts to mimic the witty dialogue found in screwball comedies they don’t quite pull it off and so I struggled to stay interested in it, and this is for die hard musical fans only. ★★1/4

Video Of The Week
Most of the population stayed in this New Year’s Eve, but in this great video Elf Lyons suggests that might not be such a terrible thing as she poses as a number of people who you might meet a party. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCbS2OtCJkk

Link Of The Week
How To With John Wilson was one of CTW’s favourite shows of last year, and the star of the series discusses how he went about creating such an unusual programme in this great interview here.
https://www.indiewire.com/2020/11/how-to-with-john-wilson-risotto-season-2-1234600499/

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
27/12/2020 – James Acaster – Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, Brian Butterfield Pod-Pod-Podcast, Would I Lie To You?, A Serious Man
20/12/2020 – Taskmaster, Suurmestari, Stormester, Taskmaster New Zealand
13/12/2020 – Magical Girl Friendship Squad Origins. Going Off Alarming, Only Americans Burn In Hell, Modern Times
06/12/2020 – Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, Lu Over The Wall, Ride Your Wave, Mind Game
29/11/2020 – Sir Bernard’s Stately Homes, Taskmaster, Dead Snow, The Bad And The Beautiful
22/11/2020 – Tigtone, Legally Blonde The Musical, Man Seeking Woman, Kajillionaire
15/11/2020 – I Hate Suzie, Taskmaster New Zealand, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House Of Fun, Sunshine On Leith.
08/11/2020 – Mom, Kongen Befaler, Squeamish About, Paper Moon
01/11/2020 – The Eric Andre Show, How To With John Wilson, Urban Myths, The Great Yokai War
25/10/2020 – Borat Subsequent Movie Film, On The Rocks, Baroness Von Sketch Show, The Palm Beach Story
18/10/2020 – Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story, Fantabulosa, Cor Blimey, Greed
11/10/2020 – Wild Life, Semi-Detached, Limmy’s Other Stuff, O Lucky Man
04/10/2020 – Bless The Harts, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Nocturna
27/09/2020 – Mapleworth Murders, Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club, Archer, Jumanji: The Next Level
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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