What is Karl Pilkington? He isn’t and actor, or a comedian, the guy isn’t even really a TV personality, what he is is a regular guy who takes an odd view on the world, and people love those views. None of his shows should have been a success, yet show after show he makes are hits. Whether it be the Ricky Gervais Show (which carried the stars name, but really was a vehicle to show off Karl Pilkington’s take on life) An Idiot Abroad (essentially a travel show) or Derek (another show where Pilkington steals the limelight off of his more famous co-star) Karl Pilkington delivers at every chance.
When you look at Karl, he isn’t what you’d called made for TV. He’s bald, not good looking and is so stuck in his own little world that he really shouldn’t work, but he does. Almost all of his shows are identical, they put Karl in a position which they know he is uncomfortable in because he will then come away with some amazingly blunt comments on the situation which have people laughing their heads off. Karl has comedic timing which some comics could only dream of, and more so than that he is an immense observationalist. He doesn’t necessarily say anything ground breaking, but he says things which shatter that glass of perception and make you go ‘oh yeah’. I think a great example of this is when Karl went on the Alan Carr Show, and I was watching with my dad and Alan Carr made a comment about how Karl hadn’t bothered dressing up for the show, and he replied ‘dressing up makes me nervous’, to which my dad replied ‘wow I feel that way too’. Karl doesn’t go out and make ground breaking assessments on people’s lives or political situations, but what he does do is simple and well executed. I don’t think he is trying to be like this, but rather that’s just who he is, and that comes across on camera; he’s just a regular guy that somehow has made a career in television out of it.
In my opinion Karl Pilkington is the most consistently funny person (or thing) on TV, and has been for the last few years. It’s a big statement but it’s one I believe to be true. Sky have shown faith in Karl by giving him his fourth series (the other three being an Idiot Abroad) and he has repaid them each time with his globetrotting adventures. Karl is money; people thought would he be able to stretch out from the Gervais-Merchant tree and succeed, and the answer was yes, people questioned how he would do in acting and he was excellent. I’ll say it again Karl Pilkington is currently the most consistently funny thing on TV.
This was really meant to be a review of the Moaning of Life, but instead it has been hijacked by my admiration for Karl Pilkington. I thought the Moaning of Life was another excellent instalment in the Karl Pilkington book of treasures, and was a nice change of pace from his An Idiot Abroad series. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the show because you really can’t do justice the words of the man in type and to get the true effect of his wise words you need to see the manner in which they were delivered, the situation and then also hear the words themselves. Karl’s words are a bit like a chicken sandwich; to get the most out of it you really need some sauce and maybe a strip of bacon in there too, otherwise you are only getting half the enjoyment.
I will however give a general summary of the show; pretty much each episode had a theme (marriage, happiness, kids, vocation/money and death) and in each episode Karl would go about meeting people in different countries and finding out how each place does things differently. As I’m sure you can expect the things these people were doing would not be described as normal and Karl reacted to them in his usual manner. A scene which I thought was particularly good and sticks out in my mind (because I’ve been in that position) is when Karl gets left with a Filipino baby to look after for a few hours and has an absolute nightmare. That moment when he‘s just sort of like ‘nope, get em back’ is a moment that I’m sure most men who have been dumped with someone else’s baby have went through, classic Karl.
The one criticism I could have of the show is that at times sections of episodes could drag if what was happening around Karl wasn’t that unusual or funny. Every episode seemed to have about a quarter which wasn’t that good mixed in with the general excellence of the show, which especially if it was towards the end of the episode could really drag your overall feeling on the show down. The other thing I didn’t like was when they delayed the broadcasting of the final episode (which dealt with death) because it had scenes where Karl went to the Philippines, and it was due to be broadcast soon after the typhoon that ravaged parts of the country. I understand why Sky thought that this was the right thing to do because maybe they felt it was too raw to show it so soon after the event, but personally I can do this sort of filtering myself and a warning that you may get upset about this (why I wouldn’t know because it wasn’t that bad at all) would have been suffice in my opinion.
The Moaning of Life doesn’t really do anything particularly different from An Idiot Abroad or even the Ricky Gervais Show, but the Karl Pilkington formula is one which keeps coming out positive, and the guy just has something special. Hopefully we will be seeing more Pilkington on our TV screens soon and I’m sure Sky will be more than happy to give him another TV show because I’m pretty sure the viewing figures are good, which is good for everyone.
So what did you think of the Moaning of Life? Do you think Karl Pilkington is the most consistently funny thing on TV? Leave a comment and share away! Plus find all the latest bm23tvreviews updates on Facebook and Twitter.