Where do you draw the line between sketch comedy and friends just goofing around? Good sketch comedy can make you feel conspiratorially in on the inside jokes. But when it’s bad, it’s hard to shake the contagious embarrassment of watching good mates finding themselves hilarious at the expense of the audience.
Sydney’s Burger King Illuminati walk that tightrope with a few wobbles along the way. They’re smart lads – they know their way around a meta-joke and are joyously, explicitly aware of the technical shortcomings of their lo-fi trappings. And they start strong, immediately forced to deal with a starchy copyright lawyer who polices their use of protected IPs, something unexpectedly topical in an age of copyright claims and monetised creativity.
To their credit, it’s an altogether original hour with some clever writing. But their initial steam wanes half way through, due in part to a couple of misguided race-based skits (nobody needs to reinforce those stereotypes anymore) and a TED Talk routine that falls very flat. And while it is often funny – and in keeping with the anarchy of cheap props and misfiring sound cues – to have performers with less-than-stellar singing ability, there are only so many off-key musical numbers an audience can endure.
That said, it’s a musical number that saves it. ‘The Chess Musical’ is a sight to behold and arguably worth the price of entry alone. But 1 hour lo-fi comedy... is not so much rough around the edges as is it is rough through the middle, too – some heavy editing of the content is needed, royalty-free or otherwise.