‘House of Fools’ Christmas special review

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Appropriate to the season, there’s a jolly panto atmosphere for Vic and Bob’s House of Fools Christmas special. (‘Oh no there isn’t!’) Oh yes there is.

The cast are having a merry time; the Fourth Wall has been carted away (and presumably papered over with German Honeymoon Horse wallpaper); and after a successful first season the audience know the characters and exactly what to expect from them. It all makes for even bigger guffaws as the non-sequitur absurdities are tossed into the crowd like sweets. Just listen to that cheer as Matt Berry enters in his ‘erotic Christmas costume’.

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s nutso antics, Matt Berry’s fruity voice, Morgana Robinson’s dilated sexy-insanity… it’s a selection box of chuckles and insanity. Tuck in.

Its plot – to steal a bobble hat from Genesis drummer, and Happy Eater resident, Phil Collins – is straightforwardly bonkers, and trimmed with baubles of nonsense, the biggest of all being the brilliant Reese Shearsmith’s racially-stereotyping Santa. Top tip: leave a banana yoghurt our for Santa next year.

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s bizarre antics aren’t for all, but for those who asked Santa for a House of Fools Christmas special, or who those who pine for Matt Berry until Toast of London returns, then this was the turkey drumstick at the bottom of your stocking. I know I called it a selection box earlier but now it’s a drumstick. And that’s a good thing.

House of Fools is what a comedy’s Christmas special should be: an end of year, ‘let your hair down’ half-hour of fun and games. Something you can slump in front of and make the mince pie/omelette crumbs on your festive jumper dance as you laugh. Christmas is an insane time of year. Suitably, so was this.

Season 2 airs next year. Hopefully we’ll get another Christmas special from it. If just because it’d be worth seeing that erotic ‘Santa for the now generation’ costume again.


Aired at 10pm on Sunday 28 December 2014 on BBC One.

> Buy Season 1 on DVD on Amazon.

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