Fat Tongue

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

There's a five-minute sketch towards the end of Fat Tongue
that completely brings the house down. It's a brilliant concept
and, despite being based around a well-worn topic, Lord of the
Rings, manages to cover it in a new and different way. It's almost
the perfect sketch and were the rest of the show up to this standard
it would be running away with the highest of accolades. Unfortunately
it's not.

A favourite set-up of this trio is to have sketches involving
famous people, played by actors that look nothing like them (often
crossing gender), talk nothing like them and presumably act nothing
like them. Instead we only find out who they're meant to be by
the fact that they call each other by name and reference other
famous people. The humour here comes from the jarring juxtoposition
of our pre-concieved notion of what a celebrity would be like,
and their portrayal by the actors, heightened by the inclusion
of one or two genuine traits of the celebrity in question. It's
a concept that works well for the most part but is over-used.

There's a mixture of recurring sketches and one-offs, some
of which work far better than others. One sketch is based around
the Gladiator movies and so feels particularly outdated. Another
recurring sketch involves a shopkeeper who claims that the pop-stars
frequenting his shop are stealing everything he says for song
lyrics, providing an opportunity for some fairly amusing puns,
though they do scrape the barrel with the age-old joke: Bob Marley
asking for some marmalade but being told it's out of stock, but
he does have some jam-in.

There's a great sketch about a guy confused as to why the
girl he was dating hasn't called back, that starts fairly normally
but gets increasingly dark and disturbing, but one about porn
actors is poor and cliched, relying upon sex noises to get laughs.
There's some effort to link some sketches together, but they
never form a cohesive whole, and are only truly united in the
song that plays as you leave - the different characters singing
lines from Search For The Hero Inside ­ which more could
have been made of

A mixed bag, ranging from the sublime to the downright awful,
which means what could have been a great show, remains just a
good one.

Dean Love

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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