Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Job!

Continuing this Jimmies theme, here’s a video that hilariously rustled mine when I first saw it a few weeks ago.

It’s from "Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule," a spin-off of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" and it’s very much in line with the duo’s notoriously divisive style of comedy. Upon watching it a few more times however, it struck me how perfectly this sketch encapsulates what makes that humor work, in my opinion anyway.

The brilliance of Tim and Eric is how they take all of these mundane aspects of our society, from malls to corporate training videos to sports broadcasts, and manage to subtly subvert them into much more overtly absurd creatures. All the while though, they are revealing just how mind-numbing the originals were all along. The ubiquity of these fixtures causes us to forget or sadly accept this but these new insane elements make the original insanity all the more obvious.

Just look at what’s going on in this Doug Prishpreed sketch. To someone with the vaguest understanding of how the world works or what words mean it’s a perfectly normal sports news update. Everything being said and done from the horns to the lines like “left-hander Spruce Mouthman” and “one heck of a dairy race” is mildly sports-related but giving it any sort of thought whatsoever immediately shows how nonsensical and meaningless it is. Same goes for the disturbing hand motions and sudden close-ups. They’re only funny/frightening when you think about them. But this is showing a nightmare culture where even basic thought like that rarely happens and the use of non-actors adds another layer of scary reality to the whole thing. Even the name “Doug Prishpreed” fits in this uncanny “sounds right at fine but when you think about it it’s kind of messed up” model quite snugly alongside other gems like “Chrimbus” and “broats.”

I think it’s wrong to call this style of humor “random.” While some of it is, making satire this purposefully dumb and soul-crushing requires a level of calculation that leads me to believe Mr. Heidecker and Mr. Wareheim when they say they don’t do drugs. If anything, the most valid criticism is that they are surreal and repetitious to the point of pretension, a seemingly paradoxical combination. Then Michael Cera turns into a cat though and all is forgiven.

Gord and Kelston Sandalwood? That's exactly what I'm talking about.

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