"That Mitchell & Webb Look"



Within the first five minutes of their sketch comedy show, David Mitchell and Robert Webb manage to make Nazis funny.

I don't know a great deal about Webb, but Mitchell pops up quite frequently on a lot of things I watch, like Would I Lie To You? (permanent team captain), QI, and a couple of the Big Fat Quizzes. He is a very angry and extremely well-informed Cambridge historian, whose main goal in life is to poke holes in other peoples' moronic, illogical arguments, ideally in an amusing fashion. This quite often makes me laugh so hard I cannot breathe.

Like a lot of other very bright comedians, the sketches he and Webb write are often ongoing, with snowballing continuity and a tendency to morph into their own metatextual references. They've done so much with their mock-game show "Numberwang" that just the word is usually enough to make me start giggling, and their running sequence of skits about a pair of screenwriters who refuse to do any research whatsoever, regardless of what they're writing, is a sad commentary on the accuracy of most TV dramas. "The Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken-Caesar" are drunkenly quixotic and far funnier than they have any right to be.

Mitchell, like everyone else on the planet now, has a Twitter feed, wherein he gives scheduling info for TV things, links to his newspaper columns, and makes a wide variety of smartass remarks that he believes, correctly, should be shared with the rest of the world. He recently managed to get married, without undue incident, to a writer and professional poker player named Victoria Coran. She is extremely sharp. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall the next they have one of those stupid inevitable married-people spats -- it would start over whose turn it was to take the trash out, and nine hours later they would both go to bed furious over an obscure point of Plantagenet law and the guidelines for proper use of synecdoche in domestic arguments. And in the morning, the newspaper would have something daft in it, and they would once again be united in the fight against idiocy.

Comments