You probably know Josh Widdicombe. He’s not Ann Widdecombe’s lost love child, but looks rather like Harpo Marx after being electrocuted
You probably know Josh Widdicombe. He’s not Ann Widdecombe’s lost love child, but looks rather like Harpo Marx after being electrocuted (if you’re old enough to remember him). The real Josh is on various annoying panel shows, and Channel Four’s The Last Leg (he’s the one with legs), and he stars in this self penned BBC 3 sitcom.
Never really being a fan of Josh Widdicombe, Series One passed me by rather and Cut & Dried is Episode 2 of the second series. Looking at the rather inappropriately up beat and garish seventies influenced opening sequence (Terry And June anyone?) which prominently feature photos of ‘Josh’ from a baby to adulthood, one assumes that this is loosely based on the real ‘Josh’.
'Sitcom Josh' seems to be suffering from a permanent asthma attack, croaking breathlessly in every scene. At one point I almost phoned a fictional ambulance, before I remembered I hadn't a fictional phone.
The format here is typical clichéd sitcom land stuff. Three flat sharers, luckless loser Josh himself, as well as Owen (Ellis James) and Kate (Beatie Edmonson), grumpy landlord (Jack Dee) eccentric older woman (Jennifer Saunders, real life mum of Beatie), and bizarrely, vengeful celebrity hairdresser (played for laughs by Michael Ball). This episode revolves around the ‘hilarious’ mix up of tomato plants and marijuana, unwelcome house guests that urinate in pint glasses, watching football, playing computer games and a very bad hair cut. Original, perhaps not, but there are some good performances here, mainly Jack Dee, whom seems to have picked up a script from an entirely different sitcom. A better one.
It’s all quite easy to watch (in a Terry and June kind of way), and there are sporadic uncomfortable moments (there all the rage in sitcoms these days you know) that are humorous, but never laugh out loud moments. Never moments that make your pants explode, but there are plenty of what you’d loosely call ‘jokes’, and Jennifer Saunders is a hoot as a bitchy uncaring mother. (I assume she's playing a part!).
The last scene when the police arrive, and the culmination of event makes the hapless Josh appear to be an unknowing drugs baron is actually quite a laugh, but all in all, this isn’t ‘a must see’ episode, you wouldn’t drag yourself over hot coals to watch it, but you may have it in the background during an indoor barbecue. In a strange way it reminded me of the classic Hancock's Half Hour, (Galton & Simpson’s writing is far superior) as it deals with the same concept of a real person pretending to be themselves in an un real sitcom. If that makes sense. It doesn't.
I do worry about Josh’s health though, can someone please hand over his lost inhaler before the poor lad passes out. Perhaps the ‘real’ Josh can breathe with ease, perhaps it’s only ‘sitcom’ Josh that’s the asthmatic looser.