Across the Pond: Snuff Box

Berry. Fulcher.

Odd words on their own, but when you know them in the context of Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher they mean “absurdist comedy”. In the great tradition of Monty Python and Cook & Moore comes this duo of such obscene and pointless humor. The two came to the public’s attention through other projects where they played supporting roles. For Matt Berry it was work on Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and Fulcher was an American out of the UCB comedy culture. They met while working on The Mighty Boosh and went on to make a single season of Snuff Box together. The result is some of the best, and often times completely confusing comedy out of Britain. It is definitely unlike anything you would ever see presented on American television, including the most obscure cable channels.

What is the premise of this series? Good question. At the surface level you have Berry and Fulcher, professional hangmen. Throughout the six episodes they will occasionally hang someone, but for the most part they hang out in a wood paneled gentleman’s club, sipping brandy. There’s a hallway they use to get from the club to the execution room that contains doors to other dimensions (?). There’s also skits that feature the actors but as one off characters. It’s a hard show to describe because it actively works to be difficult. And that’s part of the fun. There is really no way for a viewer to predict where a scene will lead. It’s definitely not a series for anyone who’s sensitive about language or sex. Snuff Box pushes boundaries and presents a beautifully dark parallel universe.

It’s hard to say which performer I enjoy best, I believe Matt Berry just barely edges out Fulcher. Berry plays himself as a suave and arrogant ladies’ man, and some of his best scenes are when he tries to woo a woman, discovers she is already taken, and has an incredibly harsh reaction to the news. There’s also a recurring series of skits with Berry entering a clothes shop to inquire about silver cowboy boots on order. Each visit a new, yet equally unhelpful employee calls Berry a name under his breath, Berry lashes out, and the whole thing ends with Berry bloodied in the fight. Fulcher is the dimwit to Berry’s pompous ass, he is constantly duped by Berry, and their is an ongoing mystery as to whom Fulcher’s deceased mother is that he receives a check from her estate every month. Fulcher also discovers a door that sends him back in time, allowing him to meet Berry’s ancestors. Each episode is a total surprise and, because of the amount of jokes packed into each one. Below I’ve posted a couple clips to give you a flavor for the show, because of Berry’s musical leanings the show has a lot of songs.

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