TV Review | Canadian Comedy Shorts 12.1

Canadian Comedy Shorts (The Comedy Network: twelfth season premiered Sunday, July 11, 2010, 10:30 PM ET/PT) is another of those series that I think CTVglobemedia is burning off, not that CTVgm will admit to this.

The copyright date for the new shorts compilation says 2009.  It’s summer, you know?  Unsold pilots bloom.  Reality television is in season.  Programs are dumped onto schedules seemingly at random.  At least CCS isn’t as bad as Upload Yours, which is like saying rectal itch is better than a coma.

Cogswell (Diane) | Cogswell (Diane) is a filmed version of a one-person monologue by Stephanie Domet.  I have no idea what it’s doing on a show called Canadian Comedy Shorts.  Cogswell (Diane) is a decent monologue, but there’s nothing but dry humour in a piece where a woman talks about living in a low-rent neighbourhood.  This piece belongs on Bravo! or CBC.

Cogswell (Diane) kicks off an odd trend for Canadian Comedy Shorts this year.  I’m not sure if CCS has aired reruns its past few years, but Cogswell (Diane) is from 2006.  Wouldn’t a better idea be to debut clips for a season premiere?  Maybe it’s me.

The Woodsmen: “Potato Cult” | CTV publicist Sara McLaren tells me this season of Canadian Comedy Shorts features a mix of acquired shorts, all-new items and reruns.  “Potato Cult” is a rerun from 2006.

The Woodsmen is a very [adult swim] sketch.  Random things happen.  The production values are almost nil.  Hell, The Woodsmen uses Syncro-Vox-esque moving mouths over largely static “animation.”

Frankly, this series tries too hard for an Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Sealab 2021 vibe.  I’m turned off by it.  Even [adult swim] deviates from the absurdist formula with The Venture Bros., The Boondocks and Squidbillies.

I know I’m referencing Squidbillies, by the way.  That show’s about southern American rednecks.  What is The Woodsmen about?  Wasting money?  Potatoes?  Help me out here.

Holy War Dance Party | This is a two-and-a-half-minute song about…well, the title gives it away.  Here’s the Youtube link and the link to the Holy War Dance Party site.

The HWDP Youtube link has earned around 45,000 views over three years.  It’s caught on somewhat, though HWDP is nowhere near the level of Powerthirst.  Dancing for peace is nowhere near as fun as having gratuitous amounts of energy.  Holy War Dance Party should have been made with real lightening.

From the Desk of Ron Sparks: “CN Tower” | From 2004.  Why does The Comedy Network need to air something from more than half a decade ago?  I like Ron Sparks, but I hate rehashes of material this old.  At least Video on Trial, Ed the Sock and Life’s a have kept Sparks in blow.

From the Desk of Ron Sparks‘ concept is simple.  Sparks writes fake letters to real addresses.  Here, Sparks wants to jump off the CN Tower in a superhero costume.  The piece is slight but entertaining.  I’ve seen better and worse from Ron Sparks.

Check Up | Nathan Fielder saves this CCS episode with his awkward comedy.  Fielder goes to the doctor for a checkup.  Everything is fine until the doctor wants to check his prostate.

The sketch idea isn’t new, but Fielder sells fear very well.  No sane man wants a male doctor to touch his meat and two veg.  It’s one of the few evergreen societal taboos.  In lesser hands, Check Up would be cheap comedy.  In Fielder’s hands, mundane awkwardness is made an art form.

Nathan Fielder now writes for Important Things with Demetri Martin.  I wish Canada would find a use for Fielder beyond nailing him to the side of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.  The Comedy Network has given him an hour-long special, which isn’t enough.

Yikes.  Four segments from 2007 or earlier?  Seriously, how does The Comedy Network swing that?  ZeD showed its share of older clips, but at least it had the good sense to air quality shorts like Flying Saucer Rock’n’Roll.  That was ZeD‘s thing.  It was free-form television.  Canadian Comedy Shorts isn’t.

Maybe I don’t understand CCS‘ format, having watched it for the first time in 2010.  It’s just lazy to build a program over one newish clip and four older ones.  Two or three new clips an episode, fine.  A clip from 2004?  That’s like Teletoon airing Quads! in 2009.

I hope CCS’ next episode improves from the season premiere.  I’d like to see more than one new short per episode.  I don’t even care if one-or-two-year-old shorts are shown.  I just don’t like when CCS shorts are used as blatant filler.  I don’t know who would.

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  • trent wagner

    I agree completely! The comedy network should give these talented performers new shorts instead of re-showing the old ones. I loved those bits especially (ron sparks and nathan fielder) but upon re-seeing them I did not enjoy them much at all. Not insulting them because as I said I loved those bits it is just that after years to see the same things again after several times they lose impact/humour, if I am saying that right?

  • megangibson

    Thanks for posting this. No matter how good something is, make something new once in a while! Jeez!

  • Regal Marc

    Upload Yours is one of the worst shows I have ever seen in my life and Canadian Comedy Shorts is bad too but not nearly as bad as Upload Yours. I saw it years ago and stopped watching and had no idea it was still on. The only good thing I remember on it were those Ron Sparks letter writing short videos. I’d like to check out the Nathan Fielder video too it sounds good and he is a funny stand up comic I have seen him in Toronto.

  • chris, just chris

    upload yours should eat shit and die in a fire.

  • robinson

    i haven’t seen canadian comedy shorts but upload yours is bloody awful, the quality of clips is terrible and what do they expect when they take clips from anybody who sends them in?!!!

  • SM

    Upload Yours is some of the worst TV ever.

  • nope

    upload yours sucks.

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