“Happy Birthday Mr. Duvet” - Detroiters review

Chad White

“Happy Birthday Mr. Duvet”
Season 1, Episode 5

One should never stop evolving.

Detroiters is a weird show. It sits in this strange limbo between realistic comedy and wacky comedy. For the former, it takes place in a real city whose inhabitants haven’t been on the forefront of any major television series or movie. And the latter allows the show to participate in strange, often outlandish antics that are purely for joke’s sake. What’s great about the show is that it’s able to do both well. It’s not perfect -- not by a long shot -- but it works. “Happy Birthday Mr. Duvet” comfortably sits in the limbo as it features both sides of the comedy spectrum (*there are other sides like dry humor but I want to focus on the two previously mentioned).

The episode is a bottle of sorts as Sam wants to impress his judgmental father with a rousing birthday speech and Tim wants to see a clown perform. Sam’s A-plot is what moves the story forward as pretty much everyone at the dinner relates. From the outset, Mr. Duvet is extremely subjective as he gives his parameters on how a speech should spoken. With every single toast, he critiques the smallest of details but he oddly laughs at the dumbest one (a man with a painted stomach resembling a face wearing an oversized top hat over his torso). It’s lame to Sam but the audience -- and Mr. Duvet -- love it. It isn’t until Sam’s ex-girlfriend, Molly convinces her friend to just do what he does best that our lead is able to make a decision "You're fiddling with your balls. What's wrong?" she inquires (as does Tim). One elaborate poop joke later, Sam is off the hook.

Tim, on the other hand, has to deal with making a clown perform. The family friend is in between gigs at the moment so he uses his short off time to go to the party. Tim constantly bothers him all night, hoping that he can get a glimpse of the clown...clowning around. But nary a spit take nor a table full of pies is able to tempt the face painted man. After stealing Sam’s seemingly useless mustache jokes, Tim finds solace in a pratfall after the clown’s speech that was tailor made for him.

Should you watch “Happy Birthday Mr. Duvet?”

This episode is another prime example that Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson’s take on Detroit is a welcome addition to the network. And the four different Cha Cha Slide references are simply to die for. Now “let’s hustle!”