Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guilty Pleasures - TV Funhouse, Home Movies and Lookwell

The always classy Wonderman.

Lately, I've had three TV shows / shorts in heavy rotation on my computer / DVD player.

1) TV Funhouse, both the SNL skit and the standalone show that ran on Comedy Central for a year. Both are primarily created and voiced by Robert Smigel, aka Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. The SNL version is normally more political and related to current events, and generally of much higher quality. My favorite would be Conspiracy Theory Rock, which has an added level of ironic humor because it *was* edited out of future broadcasts by NBC / General Electric.

The Comedy Central show doesn't hit the highs of the SNL version, which is to be expected because it stretched Smigel to half-hour segments. The show is a combination of a crude mockery of Blue's Clues, with an incredibly docile host interacting with Truimph-like animal puppets, and Smigel's cartoons. The mock host segments are very hit-or-miss, and go so over-the-top with vomit and drug and animal testing jokes that they're hard to stomach at times. But the cartoons are consistently funny - Wonderman is a good example of the funnier cartoons.

2) Home Movies, which I've been putting in my away message like crazy. This actually lasted about four seasons, and focuses on Brendan, an eight-year-old making movies with his friends Jason and Melissa.

A lot of their skits are hit-or-miss, so Coach McGuirk (H. Jon Benjamin) really makes the show. Click here for his take on swearing, losing, women, prison and drugs.

3) Lookwell, a failed TV pilot by Smigel and Conan O'Brien, starring Adam West as a washed-up TV actor. A shocking stretch, I know. Only one episode was ever made, and it's on a lot of trackers and on YouTube. If you like Adam West on Family Guy, then imagine that for 22 minutes. I'll end with some good Lookwell quotes:

Ty Lookwell to a police officer: Perhaps if you watched a little bit more television you'd be better at your job.

Ty Lookwell: The working class mind is strange and unpredictable.

Ty Lookwell, as he's being arrested: I'm not a car thief I'm an actor!

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