Funny Or Die On DemandFebruary 25, 2011

Funny Or Die On Demand


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: "Funny Or Die Presents " (HBO).
Funny or eh...
I don’t watch “Saturday Night Live” anymore. I just don’t think it’s been funny in years. Even if a sketch turns out to be funny, it goes on too long and beats the joke out of it. Even in its heyday, it wasn’t always brilliant. It’s a not-very-secret of show business that comedy is hard. Really hard. Coming up with clever sketches on a weekly basis is nearly impossible.

That’s why I approached “Funny or Die’s” new show on HBO with trepidation. Occasionally, I’d go to the website and find something pee-funny, but sometimes it would just be, “eh.” And so it is with the show. I watched three episodes. They each started off right up my alley with 60’s movie style music and animation, and the opening “hosting’ segments are a very clever take on 60’s TV shows that had a producer like Walt Disney or Marlin Perkins give an intro and end to each episode.
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)


Then it wanders off into trying too hard land for a while with some very unfunny bits and some sketches that have some good moments, but don’t hold together for long.  A take-off of police procedural shows has it’s moments, especially in June Diane Raphael’s tough-chick cop, blandly reacting to unimaginable murder scenes. But again, the tries too hard, and overkills the joke.
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)
I had high hopes for “Animal Choices,” a segment which features the inimitable John C. Reilly and Will Farrell. The animation and their characters are funny, but then it kills the joke by showing how the animation is done with the actors against the green screen. But then again, it’s got John C. Reilly being a monkey, so I could watch it again just for that! The look on his face as he says, “I’m a little monkey” is beyond description.
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)
Funny Or Die Presents (HBO)
When I began to give up hope, it scored with a segment called “Brick Novax’s Diaries” which features a very butch GI Joe-type doll as a dying playboy dictating his memoirs before he passes on. The animation style is hysterical, as is the design. Think an American Austin Powers produced as a mini, low-budget Team America, World Police. Other winners were a sketch about a parrot’s rise to fame in Hollywood and a Dave and Busters satire.
In the end there are one or two funnies for every four or five “ehs. Still, it’s a new show with some talented creators, so there is hope. And if they keep using John C. Reilly, I’ll keep giving it a chance.


- Jean Tait

Jean Tait is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. Currently the Director of Programming for the Connecticut Film Festival, Jean has programmed for the Jacksonville Film Festival and Sundance Channel.

"Funny Or Die Presents" is available on HBO On Demand.


Check out previous reviews by Jean Tait:

The Ricky Gervais Show

Big Love's Final Season

Eddie Izzard at MSG

Matt LeBlanc's Episodes

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