Club Seals: The Museum of Everything
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2002
The stars of BBC2's We Are History invite you to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the ultimate guided tour - obsessive collectors, historical re-enactors, souvenir bookmarks and fudge
There are some gleefully hilarious moments in Club Seals' latest offering., from a wizard on a skateboard to a bag of cake sick.
Such moments of inspired stupidity stick in the memory long after this museum-based spoof is over - but there's just not quite enough of them to fill the hour.
It's not laugh-a-minute stuff - which, as any stand-up will tell you, is a pretty weak strike rate anyway - but when something comes along, it certainly tickles the funny bone.
Idiotic props, exaggerated spoofs and deranged characters are the stock-in-trade of this talented threesome.
The grotesquely evil National Trust mansion-owner; the parody of the animatronic dumbed-down 'experiences' and tacky educational movies; and the officiously humourless museum guides are all highlights.
And fans of Newman and Baddiel's childish, insult-swapping History Today academics will love the hilarious audio tour guide, which mines a very similar vein of humour.
But a fair few of the extended routines don't work - as it seems the troupe excel at quite a narrow range. Attempts at anything more subtle, or even more grossly exaggerated than usual (such as the prop-based undersea world segment towards the end) - fail to hit the bull's eye.
Kudos must also go to the team for extending the audio-visual trickery that every Fringe show seems to boast to include a nasal experience, too. Not to mention their fine use of a Stretch Armstrong doll.
It's a little too uneven to be truly satisfying, but when the Club Seals make an exhibition of themselves, there are plenty of laughs.
P. Butcher - 08/05/2004
Brilliant. Deserves five out of five.
Stewie - 02/02/2003
Some of the funniest sketch comedy this side of Moldova.
Adam P - 07/10/2002
A Kerridge - 14/08/2002
After seven years of attending the Fringe I have never seen anything funnier. Totally off the wall, but completely on the ball. My jaw was genuinely in pain from laughter.