The Kevin Bishop Show – Channel 4: Episode 1 of the Second Series of the TV Sketch

Who is Kevin Bishop and where did he come from? One minute he was appearing in those random but amusing NatWest TV ads and turning up in off-the-wall comedies such as Spoons then suddenly he became a familiar face and popular enough to be awarded his own Channel 4 series. Ultimately it’s down to the success of Star Stories, the collection of faux celebrity biographies of which he plays most of the lead roles.

The Kevin Bishop Show – who needs creative titles eh? – delves into the unpredictable world of sketch comedy, a genre so frankly hit-and-miss that Mitchell and Webb recently wrote a piece about its nature. But this outing moves along at an incredibly break neck pace that it doesn’t matter if one sketch falls flat on it’s as there will be five more thrown out in the next minute.

Kevin Bishop Show is Watching a Person Channel Hopping

Now in its second series The Kevin Bishop Show is presented in a style of one person channel hoping through the incredibly strange and awful TV programmes that one might stumble across on a dull night in. It’s a sketch show with a concept, and there’s not many of those lurking about these days. Not bad for someone who as a sprog was best known for being in Muppet Treasure Island.

Sketch comedy is very difficult to get right and address the balance of social comment and witty jokes, something Horne and Corden in all their arrogance ceased to understand by not only making tired observations but also missing out the laughs altogether. In fact the boys were targeted for one scene where they “starred” in an updated version of On The Buses but reverted to their old routines like Corden flashing his belly around. Kev just about manages it.


A Politically Correct Dead Parrot Sketch

Keeping up his Star Stories schtick Bishop playfully pokes fun at famous types such as Gok Wan and Hugh Laurie. He’s not a particularly good impressionist, Bremner and Serafinowicz have very little to worry about in that department, however the intent is obvious and unlike other comics he resists from any genuine heated attacks.

The best moments were the Real Spiderman dying of radioactive poisoning, David Beckham giving a press conference while sponsored by Fony, politically correct versions of classic sketches such as the Dead Parrot (where the store owner gives a full refund without any problems) and Derren Brown’s crap illusionist brother Darren.

Spoof Versions of the Frost/Nixon Interview

But again what would a sketch show be without the low points. The Secret Tramp thing wasn’t funny, the Gritty Bafta parody of Red Riding missed the mark, the Frost/Nixon gag of giving the feature length treatment to Michael Parkinson vs Rod Hull or Michael Aspel vs Oliver Reed was overdone and the Top Gear repeats on Dave joke has been played out elsewhere ad nausuem. But the good side outweighs the bad, which is a rarity in TV sketches these days.

On the whole it’s not as punchy or funny as its predecessor The Fast Show, there’s no way it could be as that still stands as a pinnacle in modern comedy, but there’s enough humour and slapstick spoofing for Kevin Bishop to drag out another series if the opportunity comes his way. And again can Channel 4 please, please, please get rid of the ‘3’ sponsorship so nobody has to put up with that infuriating ironically poor stand-up any longer.

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