Comedy Snippets: Monsters At Work, Taskmaster NZ +

comedy snippets 11072021 monstersShort reviews of comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.

Monsters At Work Season 1 Episode 1
It’s the first day at Monster’s Inc for brand new “scarer” Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman) who has spent a whole bunch of time training to be the best at making children terrified, except unfortunately for him he’s just arrived as the whole place is changing their ways and the monsters are to make the kids laugh instead as this is set after the events of the first film. Sulley (John Goodman) and Wazowski (Billy Crystal) reprise their roles and have just been made bosses of the whole place but have little more than a cameo role in this first episode and the leads are Tuskmon and his old college associate Val Little (Mindy Kaling) who thinks they’re going to be the best of friends seconds after meeting him again. Meanwhile Tylor’s paranoid colleague Duncan (Luca Neff) thinks he’s after the top job in his department despite Tyler only having just arrived, and it’s all a bit much for our lead who is exhausted by all the changes. All of which is okay, likeable, kind of what you expect from Pixar these days, so while it’s no longer innovative or original it’s entertaining and filled with cute characters including one called Banana Bread who makes amusing noises, while Henry Winkler’s strong as Tylor’s boss Fritz, plus Feldman is as great here as he was in Superstore and his attempts at amusing a kid are particularly funny, as is the chaos that ensues where it inevitably goes wrong. But despite having no issues with it I’d be surprised if it ever becomes something that’s more than mildly entertaining, fun but forgettable, though as always when writing negatively about a new show I hope I’m wrong. ★★★1/4

Taskmaster NZ Season 2 Episode 1
The first season of the New Zealand version of Taskmaster was somewhat amazingly right up there with the very best of the UK series, and the reason for my surprise at this was because while the other versions of the show from other countries have often been very good, with the Norwegian version the closest to capturing the spirit of the show, none came close to being better than the British original until this came along. But all of the contestants brought something unique to the show, and the tasks were superb, allowing the participants to have fun with the set up rather than them being designed to humiliate them, which is something the UK show has been sometimes a little guilty of over recent series. Pleasingly the second season of this seems to be following suit, it has another superb selection of contestants with Guy Montgomery and David Correos being a mixture of nicely weird and inventive, Laura Daniel is smart and also very funny, Urzila Carlson has an amusing bluntness to her take on the tasks and the only one I’m not already incredibly fond of so far is Matt Heath, but he still seems pretty decent and his friendship with Jeremy Wells (the weak link last time around, but already clearly much better here) suggests he’ll also be great value for money. The tasks in this episode were also really strong, the participants’ (sort of) abusing Paul Williams led to a lot of funny moments, and it even had a great live task, which is something the UK version occasionally struggles with, all of which added up to a fantastic first episode. ★★★★1/2

I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson Season 2 Episode 1
Unlike the majority of the networks Netflix loves sketch shows and has produced an impressive amount of great ones, but for my money this is the best so far. Back for a second season it’s filled with a variety of very different sketches, all of which impressively feature new characters each time as this isn’t one of those lazy series which relies on catchphrase comedy and only slightly tweaking the idea with every new episode. This first episode debuted with a fun slice of absurdity as it examined the dangers of skipping lunch before launching in to a ridiculously daft infomercial for CornCob Tv which appeared to only have one programme airing, a show dedicated to dead people falling out of coffins with the spokesperson getting increasingly angry as the advert went on. The only sketch which I didn’t completely love followed as a prank show host fell in to despair, but it had a very strong ending at least, and then the following two, involving a “Little Buff Boys” contest and a ghost tour where one of the participants couldn’t help himself when it came to inventive swearing saw the episode end on a real high. If the rest of the series is as good as this was then Netflix will have a classic on its hands, and given the strength of this opening episode I’d be extremely surprised if that wasn’t the case too. ★★★★1/2

Cats Don’t Dance
An animated musical with songs by Randy Newman, Scott Bakula’s feline lead heads to Hollywood in the nineteen-thirties and gets cast in a Noah’s Ark movie also starring Darla Dimple (Ashley Peldon) and fellow cat / inevitable romantic interest Sawyer (Jasmine Guy). Animals are treated poorly in this universe and never given starring roles, and the allegory is on slightly dodgy ground as it hints at how things were for performers of colour back then too, and it really should have been dealt with more carefully. While the animation’s nicely playful and often over the top, and the script is often amusing, it’s also lacking a certain something, so while worthy of your time it isn’t up there with the best animated films of the nineties. ★★★1/2

Video Of The Week
Foil Arms and Hog are a sketch group who have been around for a while now, and have produced many great videos in their time too, especially over the past year, and their latest is a pun filled skit that made me laugh an awful lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZvqWdaDLKc

Link Of The Week
Aisling Bea’s been a favourite of ours at CTW for many a year now and it’s pleasing that she’s now very popular both here and abroad thanks to Living With Yourself and This Way Up, and this is a great interview that she recently gave. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/aisling-bea-this-way-up-comedy-b1876960.html

Alex Finch.
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Previous Comedy Snippets:
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27/06/2021 – Mythic Quest, Housebroken, Charlotte Nicdao And The Sloth Orchestra, Hold That Ghost
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