I have to admit, I’m always a bit leery when I’m presented with sketch comedy. Sometimes you get brilliance, and sometimes you get recent seasons of Saturday Night Live. You never know if you’re going to experience a series of sketches where the writers and performers know when to stop, or if you’re going to be stuck watching a joke that died about 10 seconds after it started.
Which brings us to Deadbeat TV, Vol. 2, a collection of sketches by the Deadbeat Club. The idea behind the various sketches is that some deadbeat, more than likely hungover, has turned on their TV and is flipping through the channels. Whatever shows up, whether it’s a show already in progress or a commercial, is where the sketches live. Not an entirely new idea (for a more recent example, Robot Chicken uses the remote flipping technique), but it is done extremely well. All the little details are there, including having the channel numbers typed in and the different shows setup by the onscreen channel guide.
Now, the bottom line on something like this is whether it’s funny or not. And of course, with comedy, an already subjective medium like criticism becomes absurdly subjective; what makes me laugh may not make you laugh at all, and vice versa. For example, I think Fubar: Balls to the Wall is hilarious; I think Balls of Fury is not. Please use that to help you figure out whether we share the same comedic sensibilities.
So is this funny? Yes. The humor is appropriately offensive, juvenile and oftentimes not politically correct… which is how I like my comedy. I’m a firm believer that everything should be game for comedy. Once you start deciding what can and can’t be made fun of, then you’re discriminating. Deadbeat TV hits on a number of subjects, all within the conceit of cable TV, so the range of humor used is equally expansive. And, with the entire main program running about 50 minutes and made up of a number of short sketches, it doesn’t wear out its welcome. There is one sketch that reoccurs throughout, a reality TV show on the job of a bunch of pizza delivery people, but the reappearance of that show didn’t bother me because I imagined that the dickhead flipping channels just really likes it. And who am I to talk? I watch shitty reality TV too.
Now, I’m not going to go down the list and tell you every joke I laughed at, or spoil the jokes in the sketches. That’d be a dick move and, besides, do you really care? Probably not. That said, I’m still singing along to “Doo Doo with the Door Open” (what, it’s just the title; not like I’m singing you the lyrics and ruining anything). If that sounds like something that you too might giggle at, perhaps this is up your (back)alley as well.
If you want more of the Deadbeat Club, the DVD includes some deleted sketches and shorts, and the website for the group appears to have a bunch of other content too. Basically, you can get as much as you’d like, and if you want even more, take it up with them.
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