Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #27

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Gigglebox | Giggle Beats

Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf visits Dublin and comes across an odd example of political correctness.


Sitcom pilot Kabadasses is not only the last Comedy Lab episode for this series, but also ever. It’s to be replaced by a new strand called E4 Funnies, which will be shorter but the pilots will have bigger budgets.

So, was Kabadasses a glorious swansong or a damp squib to end this run? Well, it definitely started somewhat slow. There seemed little in the way of plot and the deliberately bad graphics were a bit cheesy for my liking. However, as it progressed the actual ideas began to emerge, and they themselves were rather clever.

In the pilot, two friends, Bobby (Shazad Latif) and Vin (Jack Doolan) decide to create the world’s first all-white kabaddi team. This, at first, sounds rather dodgy. For starters, Bobby is Asian, although he claims to be “white inside”. However, the main problem when you first hear this idea is that you tend to think: “An all white team? Isn’t that rather…racist?”

The answer to that question is: “No”. Because kabaddi is an Indian sport – dominated by Indians – white people are, in this case, the minority. It’s a political correctness story turned on its head as far as we Brits are concerned.

The pilot, however, was open-ended, with several story lines left unfinished (we didn’t even see the newly formed team play a single game of kabaddi) so the show’s writers are clearly hoping that it’ll get a full series.

In terms of the six pilots, the three sitcoms were certainly the strongest. Personally I would like to see Rick & Peter developed into a full series – probably because as it’s about disability, which is something I relate to personally – however Kabadasses or The Warm Up Guy could work just as well…

Dave’s One Night Stand

This is something of a first for me, personally – the first TV show I’ve reviewed twice since writing these columns.

Judging by the line-ups for the third series of this programme, I think it’s safe to say that Dave are running low on suitable locations to film. The first episode featured Ardal O’Hanlon performing in Dublin, a city which the programme’s already covered in the last series when Jason Byrne performed there. Later in the series, Stephen K. Amos is performing in London, Jack Whitehall’s location in the first series. And Reginald D. Hunter is performing in Edinburgh, which, as far as I know, isn’t where he lives currently. It’s certainly not his hometown, although since that would mean filming in America you can excuse Dave for not going there…

In terms of the first edition of the series, O’Hanlon seemed to be performing well, but like many an occasion on this programme I was more impressed by the guests he had performing alongside him. This episode featured one-liner stand-up Gary Delaney (who, out of interest to northern comedy fans, is Sarah Millican’s boyfriend) and Josie Long (who, out of interest to those who’ve been reading this article since the start, also appeared in Kabadasses). I probably favoured Delaney’s one-liners over Long’s narrative, if I’m honest, but both demonstrated why they’re two of the most sought after comedians in the country.