Shorts 'N' Giggles: Indie Comedy
Published May 31, 2011You'd think the short film format would be a goldmine for comedy, but apparently not. Unfunny people with immature and unoriginal ideas make up the bulk of this tough slog.
No Parents couldn't be more pointless. Yes, we know you can buy whatever kind, and as many types, of cereal as you want when you move out on your own. An extremely annoying song reiterating the point doesn't make it funny.
Trying to milk the uber-in vogue mock-reality show approach of The Office and Parks and Recreation, Dusty Gulch Retreat is failed as much by its performers as its writing. Various people introduce themselves to the camera, stating their job description and elaborating on how the Dusty Gulch Retreat has affected their lives. It's supposed to be taking the piss out of commercials for corporate getaways, but it's too safe and bland to offer any laughs.
Ronald Shoub is a quick and on the mark send-up of fake psychics. He's mildly racist, making bigoted assumptions rather than predictions, and his claim to fame is foreseeing the casting of Dennis Quaid in Vantage Point.
Taking its first turn towards the absurd, and eliciting the biggest laughs of the program so far, Awesome Truck Commercial is a celebration of way over-the-top overt manliness. Do you want a truck that can house a horse-eating whale? Neither do I, but the idea is random and ridiculous enough to warrant its existence, unlike most of this collection.
A full on mini-mockumentary follows. Packed with intentionally bad feline puns, The Cat Man follows a professional dance instructor who teaches his clients how to dance with their pet pussies, with mildly amusing results.
Far less amusing is a quick and boring chess match between two strangers in a park that sees the participants beating the bolts out of the timer instead of strategizing. A classical score does little to derive humour from the infantile actions of these Chess Masters.
In the stupid and misguided department, Star Tales Ep. 2 simply attempts to wink at the notion of closeted homosexuality in a badly designed sci-fi context, only serving to reinforce lamentable regressive status quo ideals.
Another apparent episode of a show I'd never watch, How To Make A Career Through Blogging Episode 3 takes a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel approach to chastising poorly educated people who spout off on the Internet.
Airport Family fares a little better, using a static photo of a smiling family and voiceovers to explore a typical conversation dynamic over a meal at an airport restaurant.
Hording and delusion is the subject of What the Fud? A woman spies a plastic swan in the trash and has a silent conversation with it. She's trying to convince herself not to take it home and it tries to convince her to take it to the lake to be with its kind. The moral? Feeling sorry for garbage can prevent you from achieving your goals.
Hello, What? starts with promise but swiftly wears thin. A gag on acting workshops, it's framed as an overly long infomercial with the mandate of teaching aspiring actors how to convey different emotions and situational context entirely by answering the phone with the words "hello, what?"
An unfortunately limp contribution from Funny or Die, Zach and Zach: Real Men Fight uses annoying histrionics to spur on an awkward scrap between effeminate buddies over a slutty girl. The only laugh comes from a non sequitur about the girl finding something weird in her vagina.
A Rant From the Boys is simply a gay couple bitching about inconsiderate neighbours who leave their alarm clocks on while they're on vacation. I'm not sure what's supposed to be funny about it unless the sad expectation is that a homosexual couple is humorous by default.
Using random absurdities to zany effect, Ads For Men looks at a ridiculous cut-and-paste animation advertising pitch meeting where the suggestions include a ninja pizza slice kicking the statue of liberty in the tits. That's as good as Shorts 'N' Giggles gets. The final two contributions are abysmal.
America's Tallest Baby is just what it sounds like: an illogical attempt to parody television culture's obsession with contest shows. Only this doesn't compute. Tallness is not subjective, rendering this thoughtless approach to social commentary completely moot.
While www.ms.thang.com isn't as poorly conceived, it's just as un-entertaining. Predicated on a woman suffering from the onset of agoraphobia, who had already been commissioned to make a short film on life in the city, the resulting look at assorted household items is as boring and pointless as much of this program.