The Cambridge Geek

Phil Ellis Is Trying

[UPDATE - 23rd August 2019]: Pleased to see the return of this one, as an excellent example of the fun of the absurd. The gang are still indulging in madness, with a pinball competition sponsored by the mafia, and joining a cult that promises to take them away from their miserable lives.

The fact that the entire cast of characters are all idiots is still a big part of the appeal of this, with it running with Barry Cryer's ideas of the need for fun. It's certainly a very enjoyable listen.

[ORIGINAL - 8th June 2018]: Back to the Unlucky Everyman, this time in the form of Phil Ellis, who is trying and failing to survive as a children's entertainer, leaving him several months behind on the office's rent. Even worse, he owes the rent to Johnny Vegas, who owns the celebrity memorabilia shop below the office. Luckily, he has his highly efficient assistant, Lolly Adefope to help him get the work through the door. Now, he just needs to get back on the dating horse, having spent three years moping around after his divorce.

This was much funnier than I was initially expecting. The dialogue is brilliantly punchy, and has some amazingly terrible similes and metaphors, such as "felt like Robbie Coltrane trying to get dressed in a Nissan Micra". Ellis is nicely pathetic, keeping that fine balance between misery and stupidity, obsessing over trivial details like the icemaker on his fridge.

Vegas was unexpectedly fun, as I don't usually enjoy him. I think he does a lot better as a secondary character rather than a main, as the overwhelming nature of his personality gets tempered somewhat by not being in the spotlight.

Ellis spends most of his time attempting to date, running into Katia Kvinge as Ellie, who's trying just as hard, by being on every dating app going, in a rather impressive sequence of worrying concepts. And they have an entertaining time with Terry Mynott, who does a pleasingly nostalgic snotty French waiter.

In summary, absolutely recommending this. Will be listening to all of it.

And as a bonus paragraph, Lobby Land, which had a pilot last year, is now out as a full series, which if you're anything like me, you'll want to listen to here.

Score 5

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Autobiographical