January marked a much awaited time for Vic and Bob fans: the arrival of the brand new surreal sitcom, House Of Fools. The programme follows the troubles faced by Bob [Mortimer] and his group of unreliable and slightly insane ‘friends’ (plus his Norwegian son, Erik) who all insist on lodging in his house whilst continually mocking poor Bob as he manages to fail in all aspects of his life.
The casting of the programme is near on perfection, featuring Matt Berry as Beef, Dan Skinner as Bosh, Morgana Robinson as Julie and of course Vic and Bob themselves. I was pleased to see a new face on the programme: stand up comedian Daniel Simonsen as Erik, whose role in the show is refreshing, maybe because the exaggerated Norwegian accent is hilarious in itself.
Reeves and Mortimer have said in interviews that the aim of the show was to take the conventional idea of what should be in a sitcom and completely turn it on its head by recreating typical situations but in a new way. For example, when a neighbour tells the protagonist that they need them to look after something very important, the audience are immediately aware of the inevitability that something will soon go drastically wrong. The double act recognised this and made it the plot line of episode two, The Pork Pie Affair, in which Julie asks the group to look after an oversized pork pie that is to be given to Bruce Willis that evening.
The programme is broken up with songs of nonsense, that Bob describes as a “shortcut to telling a plot, so we set everything up via the gift of song.” The words are constantly going round my head on a daily basis and I can’t seem to get them out so beware!