“Vape Is Life”
Season 1, Episode 2
This is a First Look Review for Funny or Die’s The Gorburger Show on Comedy Central starring TJ Miller.
Who the hell am I supposed to put as my emergency contact? Helen Hunt?
Comedy Central loves taking web series and turn them into half hours. That’s what happened with several shows including Broad City, Idiotsitter, and the mini series Time Traveling Bong. Funny or Die is no stranger to this practice either. Their latest series, Brockmire, is proving to be IFC’s next big show. When these two team up, there’s no telling what could happen. A web series turned full show could become Drunk History -- a hit that brings in an audience that includes millions of viewers and top tier celebrities all at once. Or it could become The Gorburger Show.
Let’s get this out of the way up front: this show did not land for me. That’s not to say it was completely devoid of funny. It could be a funny show to those who only watch Adult Swim or something of the same caliber. The Gorburger Show is fully realized when the titular alien crashes into a Japanese game show. He’s lewd, dirty and plain gross but the crowd loves him. Gorburger (voiced by TJ Miller) is a late night host who has no idea what he’s doing. Segments are haphazardly introduced and, had it not been for the darker sequences or the celebrity guest giving off conspicuous lines that keep the show going and the fact that someone is actually in the Gorburger costume, it could come off as partially improvisational. This all works for the show.
But it’s an acquired taste. It truly is. The Gorburger Show is random in substance, making for an uneven ride for viewers. Colors (mostly a smattering of blue, pink and neon) make the show pop off screen as the host screams nonsensical phrases to his guest. Reggie Watts joins the couch in a couple of interview segments that involve questions about which animals would support human weight and making noises of predetermined objects. Then there’s a vape performance and a remote on how Real Dolls are made. Execution of the ideas in the show is almost as deranged as the people who put on the show. Finally, a dual performance from Watts and Thundercat closes what was the weirdest 21 minutes of television that Comedy Central has ever aired.
Therein lies the main gripe of The Gorburger Show: its runtime. On the web, the show could survive its quarter hour airings. But asking viewers to invest 20-some-odd minutes to this -- whatever it is -- might be too much. “Vape Is Life” dragged in places, expecting a laugh where the proposed punchlines landed. With that notion, The Gorburger Show tries so much to be weird, subversive, scatter brained and more but it fails to connect. If this is in fact a late night show, then there needs to be solid jokes.
Should you watch The Gorburger Show?
Fans of TJ Miller or the web series in general will be happy. But The Gorburger Show is too much. It’s trying so many different things that it becomes boring and tedious.