Damien Slash: Übermen
Decent multi-character ideas get stretched way beyond breaking point
This article is from 2015.
Proving that multi-character comedy is far from an easy genre to get right, Damien Slash handpicks a set of creations that are wilfully obscure rather than especially memorable. He greets us as a motivational speaker called Eric Swineblade who turns out to have a basic misunderstanding of everyday things such as colours and animals. This slowly undermines any confidence we might have in his abilities to do the job as a blue-sky thinker.
It’s a perfect metaphor for Übermen. Slash has some fine ideas to start off with, but the longer he draws out each sketch, the more his material is exposed as flimsy. As each conceit fails exactly like the last, you yearn for the next scene to start, only for the same process to simply kick back in again.
We meet an online war-games leader with terrible social skills (cue awkward audience interaction) and a very pompous mineral water critic (cue further awkward audience interaction) who both hugely overstay their welcome. While Matt Berry can earn laughs from pronouncing words in a weird way, Slash’s attempts at the same thing fall desperately flat. His Übermen is really little more than a groundhog day of character comedy.
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