One Punch Reviews #73: Celebrities!
One of my favorite celebrity impressions of all time come from the bad movie review podcast, The Flop House Podcast. Whenever the subject of Daniel Craig comes up, co-host Stuart Wellington puts on his trademark impression. Only he sounds nothing like Daniel Craig. In fact, it’s just a stereotypical Cockney accent. “Allo, allo, allo, it’s me, Danyuh Crayg. Wot’s all this? Apples and pears.”
It’s my favorite kind of celebrity humor in a genre that can be shallow and nitpicky. Less Joan Rivers on the red carpet and more Barbara Streisand turning into Mecha-Godzilla, I say. While it starts off relatively weak, Jim Loveall’s Celebrities! engages in the same theater of the absurd. (NOTE: Mr.Loveall sent me an email, and I was a little negligent in giving full credit. The comic is also written by Joe Gressis and Dan Dominguez.)
Celebrities! first came to my attention when I got a press release from the Webcomic Factory about their new comic, Digital Hobo. “The Webcomic Factory has relaunched one of their most most popular webcomics, Digital Hobo, with new artist, Jim Loveall!” Wow, the Jim Loveall? The guy from … well, I had no idea where he was from. The PR, though, did mention his comic,Celebrities!, which got my attention probably because of that exclamation point in there. Also, it was a webcomic about Hollywood celebrities. That sounded … fascinating.
Early strips rely too much on strips where gags are just standing around and doing nothing. The joke: celebrities are just like us. Brad Pitt just loves watching Hoarders. Nicole Kidman and Danny DeVito have inane conversations. Morgan Freeman ponders over his choice of orange juice. I’m not saying it’s a bad joke… but it gets old after the first few times you hear it.
But then… things get downright surreal. Now Morgan Freeman is trapping young couples in his web and spitting out punchlines. The celebrities now seemed to be living in a crazy world created by David Lynch, where things just made enough sense to make you nervous. Robert Pattinson now keeps a jar of a child inside his fridge. Angelina Jolie is just a cover identity for a pack of rats who fear on human flesh. Justin Beiber is a stone-cold murderer who goes after sketchy cardplayers, monkeys, and whales with the same steely-eyed glaze. Paul Giamatti has an eye in the middle of his chest. And, to the surprise of no one, John Goodman views the world with a childlike wonder.
The only celebrity that gets the “celebrities are normal” treatment seems to be Nicolas Cage. Yup, good ol’ Nic Cage. The man who named his kid Kal-El and who’s bought several European castles, a pyramid in New Orleans, and I kid you not a dinosaur skull. Since there’s no way to ever top the eccentricities of the real man, Loveall does a 180 on it’s celebrity spoofs. Here, he’s portrayed as being a somewhat normal dude who buys puppies and celebrates the Fourth of July.
I imagine that this new absurdist technique will get old, too. However, half the fun of reading Celebrities! is seeing the snapshot of the celebrity in the archives, then trying to guess what bizarre situation Jim Loveall is going to throw them in. I’ve gotta say, 90% of the time, he catches me off guard. Celebrities! is unpredictable, and therein lies the fun.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5).