Highly surreal and bawdy Sketch Comedy
/ Brit Com
, starring Englishman Matt Berry (aka George the Volcano
) and American Rich Fulcher. Each episode has one plot focusing on them as a pair of well-to-do hangmen at a gentleman's club, as well as various sketches of tangential relevance and canonicity. To add to the confusion, almost every character has the same name as their actor, so it's difficult to tell which Matt it is you're watching, but the show is funny enough that you don't care.
The show was highly reliant on Running Gags
that, though hilarious, probably would have gotten old eventually were it not for British Brevity
: the series only ran six episodes.
Also see Garth Marenghis Darkplace
, most of whose cast have appeared on this show at one time or another. Also also see The Mighty Boosh
, which also features Messrs. Berry and Fulcher as a comic duo.
Tropes used include:
- The Ace: Matt is better than Rich at everything. When he's not around Rich, though, he can be just as much a Chew Toy as anyone.
- The Alcoholic: Quite aside from the regular "Whiskyyyyyyy!" orders, Matt does spend a lot of time on the show getting absolutely plastered.
Rich Fulcher: Do you remember when we had that amazing night at Belushi's?
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: A core tenet of Rich's personality, especially when Wormwood brings in the regular harem.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Wormwood doesn't seem so enthusiastic about having to play Russian Roulette.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Jimi Hendrix is very patient with an obliviously abusive Rich, until he snaps and basically turns into Samuel L. Jackson.
Show me some respect, motherfucker!
- British Brevity: Only one season of six episodes was ever made.
- Brother-Sister Incest: After hundreds of failed phone calls, Rich resorts to inviting his sister out to a theatre double-date with Matt.
Rich Fulcher: "I'm a grrrrrrreat kisser!"
- Catch Phrase:
"I'm a great kisser!"
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
"We often sup from the same font."
- Caught with Your Pants Down: "What about that time you got caught in your dad's study, jerking off over a map of Scotland?"
- The Chew Toy: On Matt's quest to get his silver cowboy boots back from the cleaners, he is brutally beaten by store attendants, including a man from Oop North, a Camp Gay black man who knows martial arts, and a Violent Glaswegian.
- Rich is also an example, as in the episode where he goes blind.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Coitus Uninterruptus
- The Danza: Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher's characters almost all have their own real names. We can only hope that the actual actors are nothing like the characters.
- Deaf Composer: Matt's brother is a successful musician despite being 80% deaf. This may have something to do with the fact that he sings entirely in synthesizer noises.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Matt wrote all the original music for the show, and he and Rich sing it.
- Drink Order: Whiskeyyyy!
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: As an art gallery tour guide, played by Fulcher.
- Eagle Land: Rich is not so much an American as a British caricature of an American: uncouth, inconsiderate, culturally illiterate and foul-mouthed (even by the show's standards). His brother (also played by Rich) is even worse.
- Easily Forgiven: When Matt is caught having sex with the bride at Rich's wedding.
- Fall of the House of Cards: Matt destroys Rich's house of cards as he's finishing the last 2 cards with a table kick, and proceeds to laugh in his face.
- Fanservice: All over the place. Mostly for the guys (and lesbians), unless for some reason the ladiiiieeeeesssss like seeing Matt Berry topless.
- Funny Backround Event: In the first episode whilst Rich is on a date with girl, he can also be briefly seen as he runs behind her wearing a top hat.
- Gallows Humour: Often literally.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: One series of sketches has the two of them as movie censors. Murder, violence, and sex are all a-okay (even in conjunction), but a single animal gets killed or someone is wearing fur, and the movie gets banned.
- Hammerspace: Where did Matt get that cavalry sabre?
- Hey, It's That Guy!: The obvious example being Bob Fossil and Dixon Bainbridge, almost straight outta the Boosh.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Not quite, but nonetheless, Rich collapses to the floor in agonizing pain and goes blind in one eye after drinking some homebrew beer he made.
- Identical Grandson: Well, great nephew. Sir Charles looks exactly like Matt, and his valet, Wormwood, looks exactly like the club's current valet, Ken. How the latter two are related is unclear.
- Also, Matt's brother is played by Matt, and Rich's brother by Rich. Rich also plays his character's mother, Mama Cass.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Now Mr. Rich, you said you wanted to dash off to eat a pie. Might I tempt you with one of mine?" [motions to gaggle of topless prostitutes]
- The Jeeves: Ken and Wormwood
- Jerk Ass: Essentially everybody, but particularly Rich's brother
Rich: Matt, you know how you used to call me a prick?
Mat: I never stopped calling you a prick.
Rich: Yeah, well this guy is King Pricko. Of Pricksburg, Cockachusetts.
- Kick the Dog: Quite literally in one of the Boyfriends sketches.
- Large Ham: Matt Berry
- Larynx Dissonance: In the final episode, Rich falls in love with (and marries) a woman named Grendel, who, though beautiful, speaks entirely in dubbed-in chimpanzee noises.
- In an earlier episode, Rich and Matt are accidentally speaking in each other's voices. Alcohol quickly cures them.
- Looping Lines: Deliberately invoked, and deliberately terrible.
- Mood Dissonance: "The Empty Room", a song Matt wrote after his brother committed suicide, and then plays on a talk show hosted by Richard Ayoade (aka Dean Learner) quickly turns into an instrumental glamrock piece
- Nipple and Dimed: Nipples, either male or female, are not an uncommon sight.
- Notable Original Music: The theme tune, "I'm A Rapper With A Baby", and the Rude Song (mentioned below under Tourettes Shitcock Syndrome)
- Not in Front of the Kid: subverted in one of the censor sketches. Although we only hear the dialogue, what sounds like a pornographic scene is interrupted when the female participant's young son comes into the room. They decide to let him watch. The censors think it's hilarious.
- Not Quite Starring: Quite a few impersonations, including Christopher Lee as a porn star, David Bowie (played by Alice Lowe of Garth Marenghis Darkplace), Charles Manson, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, David Beckham, and others.
- Running Gag: Quite a few. One particularly delightful one is that Matt will be hitting on a beautiful woman, often carrying something for her, when she will mention her boyfriend, causing him to matter-of-factly announce "Fuck you!", drop whatever he was carrying, and leave.
- A subtler one is the frequent references to rabbits, particularly when being eaten.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "YOU! WILL! NOT! TITTER!"
- On the Next: "In the Snuff Box next time..."
- Shout-Out: Rich is given a birthday present by Ricky from the office."
- Sinister Minister: A fairly mild example: Alan Ford (best known as Brick Top in Snatch) plays a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking priest. So far as we know, he's not really evil, though.
- Status Quo Game Show: Rich and Matt go on a quiz show. It doesn't go well. Mostly because they didn't prepare in the slightest.
- Take That: A fairly playful one at the beginning of the first episode:
: [as a crimp
] I haven't got a bean, but my shoes are clean!
Matt: What the hell is that?
Rich: Oh, it's just an old song...
- Time Travel: Once an Episode, Rich goes through a door marked "1888", which takes him to Victorian London where he meets the club's founder and Matt's great-uncle, Sir Charles Berry, who gives him advice and showers him in prostitutes. Sir Charles is subtly intended to be Jack the Ripper.
- Tomato Surprise: The identity of Matt's father
- Tourettes Shitcock Syndrome: In stereo!
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
- Unusual Euphemism: "Effin' and a-jeffin'", for swearing
Rich: Hey, wait a minute. He just effed.
Alan Ford: 'Course I did. I'm a fucking priest, ain't I?
- Violent Glaswegian: Matt literally gets beaten to near death with a cricket bat by a violent Glaswegian sales assistant.