In September, Robert Smigel introduced an election-themed particular referred to as Let’s Be Real, skewering all the regular political suspects with caricatured puppets. Now he is again with 4 new episodes, and he is expanded his targets to incorporate popular culture icons, as effectively. In the grand custom of Spitting Image and different puppet sketch sequence, do the targets of the satire get nailed or do they only get evenly scratched?
Opening Shot: A puppet model of New York governor Andrew Cuomo at a dais with two human aides and a human signal language interpreter. He’s about to have a press convention a few new spike in instances… of individuals accusing him of being inappropriate.
The Gist: Following up on an election-themed particular from final September, Robert Smigel is rolling out a four-episode season of his puppet-based current-affairs sketch show Let’s Be Real.
The format is like many sketch exhibits on numerous cable networks and streaming providers: The concepts are launched, then returned to all through the episode. There are some quick one-off sketches as effectively. Most of the sketches have a political theme however others skewer popular culture.
There’s the Cuomo sketch, the place he offers COVID briefing-style slides about all of the individuals who have reported incidents, a phallic-shaped graph that represents “protected” ages and a slide of his old and new strikes. In one other sketch, Donald Trump goes on Antiques Roadshow to get value determinations on some gadgets he swiped from the White House on the best way out, together with a portray of George Washington and a ball clicker created from Republican senators’ testicles.
In a Mandalorian sketch, Mando is joined by an especially woke associate — Chrissy Teigen. The priceless child they’ve to save lots of is Baby Fauci, full with courses, Brooklyn accent and admonishments about not washing arms and double masking.
President Joe Biden is represented in a one-off sketch that serves as extra of an intro to the show. A group of celebrities (Zooey Deschanel, Jay Baruchel, Pete Davidson, Laura Benanti, Ed Asner, and extra) do a “get vaccinated” advert and are all horrified when O.J. Simpson exhibits as much as say “I did it” (the vaccine, that’s), surrounded by brunch. Puppets of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos rejoice Pride by speaking about algorithms that mechanically out folks as homosexual, whether or not they’re or not.
Finally, there is a Naked and Afraid sketch the place a contestant has to outlive within the woods bare in 48-degree climate. But that is not the worst half: He’s caught there with Ted Cruz, speaking incessantly about his right-wing insurance policies and Antifa and the LGBTQ mafia. But it will get even worse when he decides to hitch the person in bare solidarity.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Take TV Funhouse and make it live-action with puppets and you’ve got Let’s Be Real. An analogue can be Spitting Image, although the Brits’ view of our politics is probably going a bit harsher than Smigel’s.
Our Take: We must preface this by saying we’re followers of Robert Smigel; from his SNL work to Funhouse to Triumph, he has been unafraid to take sharp and humorous jabs at politicians and inflated popular culture icons. Let’s Be Real has a few of these moments, although none as volcanically humorous as we have seen in his different work. And some moments utterly miss the mark.
Comedy sketch exhibits are all the time hit or miss, particularly ones that depend on pre-taped sketches. It’s actually exhausting to see what is going to get laughs and what will not when there is not any stay viewers reacting. The Mandalorian sketch, as an illustration, did not actually land as a result of it makes Teigen out to be this super-woke Instagram addict however does not actually seize how foolish and humorous she is. Even Baby Fauci runs out of gasoline as he begins to provide Mando non-COVID well being ideas as he is in a blaster combat.
The Trump sketch works primarily as a result of John Di Domenico does an ideal model of the word-salad non-orator that we had over the earlier 4 years. The O.J. sketch elicited laughs primarily as a result of seeing the puppet surrounded by brunch meals say “I did it!” whereas all of the celebrities marvel why he is within the advert (and the way he can see them). But the funniest sketch is the Ted Cruz one, primarily as a result of it does not go after something however his total weaselly character, together with his overtalking and the truth that he is on this show whereas Texas goes by means of its worst hurricane season.
Parting Shot: Cruz tells his camp mate a few fungus in his nether areas, to the camp mate’s horror. He asks the man to look and places his foot up on the person’s shoulder to show all of his taint to the man.
Sleeper Star: Ed Asner, slowly wheeling away in his workplace chair throughout the O.J. sketch. The man is 91 and looking out increasingly more like his character in Up daily, however he’s nonetheless humorous as hell.
Most Pilot-y Line: The Biden sketch is principally the president saying “We must return decency to community TV” then swearing. Not a great way of introducing his puppet to the show.
Our Call: STREAM IT. We place confidence in Smigel and his writers, to the purpose that if not less than half of every episode of Let’s Be Real‘s sketches elicit laughs, we’ll be comfortable. The first episode hit that mark, and we hope it’s going to get higher as we go alongside.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about meals, leisure, parenting and tech, however he does not child himself: he is a TV junkie. His writing has appeared within the New York Times, Slate, Salon, , , Fast Company and elsewhere.