By Rogan Marshall | November 6, 2003

Judging by the tone and content (and insistently recurrent cast) of this compilation tape, which contains five short films from “Bigglesworth Productions,” filmmakers Alexander and Landry are the video end of a live comedy troupe somewhere. These pieces closely parody hit films, or skateboarding videos, or television advertisements; the longest and most elaborate work in present company is a fake documentary, working from the proposition that clowns are actually mythical wilderness beasts, like Blair Witches, or Big Feet.
It’s okay, I guess, if you watch a lot of “underground” comedy material (which I gather rather floods the cable box these days). But the fact that the filmmakers never address how clowns, um, really do exist (for those who don’t know, they’re just guys in costumes), only underlines the main flaw here, and in most skit comedy, on video or otherwise: this material leans so hard on its initial “funny ideas for skits,” that it’s tired before they even film it. Second-rate comedy is often doomed to be such by this slavish devotion to the “concept,” and present company is no exception. It’s like they’re more concerned with making sure we can always tell that it’s supposed to be comedy, than actually making us laugh.
Nevertheless, though they don’t handle actors very well, this pair of collaborators is good enough to write for Saturday Night Live, I suppose – an intentionally left-handed compliment, as it’s been many years since the SNL players themselves have been “ready for prime time,” if you know what I mean.

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