Review: House of Fools – “Why Is It Always You That Suffers From Sausage Drift?”
The latest instillation of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s slapstick, surreal comedy landed on our screens yesterday in the form of the pair’s first sitcom, House of Fools. Vic and Bob are known for their idiotic humour, the senseless yet hilarious nonsense they have become renowned for from the days of Shooting Stars.
The concept for their new show is simple, fill a house full of idiots and act ridiculous. The series is filmed in front of a live audience, which created the atmosphere of a Mrs Browns Boys sketch at first but as the show progressed and Vic Reeves got his arse stuck in a wall it was apparent that it was far from the living room of Mrs Brown.
When Vic and Bob were asked by Digital Spy to explain House of Fools, they said: “We’ve taken old fashioned sitcom standards like, ‘Look after this while I’m gone’ and you know things are going to go wrong. The difference for us is that the thing is a pork pie.”
Last night’s pilot episode centred around the news that Bob was going on a date… to watch Conan the Barbarian. However, in true Vic and Bob style it wasn’t as simple as that, a hand of armour somehow got stuck to the television. After the television was replaced by a microwave, they decide to break into their neighbours flat and steal her telly. On exit of the neighbours flat Vic gets stuck in the wall. Obviously.
In the meantime, Beef, their wooden fedora wearing, flamboyant friend played by Matt Berry has a shit in their kettle and also steals their painting of a pygmy tribeswoman. Renton Skinner, the man behind Angelos Epithemiou also makes an appearance. This time he is in the form of Vic’s brother, Bosh – a construction worker who has just been released from prison.
Naturally, the story ends happily ever after with Bosh, Vic, Beef and the slightly intoxicated Julie, played by Morgana Robinson (The Morgana Show) re-enacting Conan the Barbarian for the telly-less Bob and his date.
“Why is it always you that suffers from sausage drift?” and “All I could find was this marrow and this inner tube. Well that will make a really nice salad, in combination with the tinned pineapples – Tropical!” These are just some of the things you will hear on House of Fools. Naturally, after all the weirdness and chaos had surpassed, the cast burst into song and danced around a turtle who has a moustache, and a gun strapped to its back, donned the ‘Mexican Turtle’.
Vic and Bob’s humour isn’t for everyone, some people may deem it too childish for their taste. Their storylines are never going to be intricate and thought provoking. It doesn’t matter though, people don’t expect that from Vic and Bob. They watch for the sheer stupidity of it all and the way in which the pair can make a joke out of a marrow and an inner tube.
Some of the jokes weren’t funny, but I think Vic and Bob know that. It’s hard to have consistent success when your jokes rely on absolute stupidity and exuberance. These ill-fated jokes could come down to a matter of timing, after all it is filmed in front of a live audience.
Following the absence of ‘Shooting Stars’ from our screens, House of Fools breathes a new lease of life into Vic and Bob’s comedy. Childish, nonsensical and crass, it’s the same Vic and Bob you know and love.
House of Fools is on BBC2 every Tuesday at 10pm.