15 – 54mins – Available to stream from 7th February 2017
Written by: Scott Aukerman, David Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Joe Saunders
Directed by: Scott Aukerman, Akiva Schaffer
LOVE IS THE POWER
After the laugh-free wince-fest that was 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, I was understandably wary of any future original ‘comedy’ specials from streaming giants-turned content producers Netflix. But despite sharing two signifiers in common – Maya Rudolf singing and Santa (seriously!) – this love-centric hour of music and madness hosted by silver fox Michael Bolton and devised by Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping troupe The Lonely Island is an all-round superior slice of cheese and giggles.
Much like seeing Patrick Stewart sending himself up on American Dad!, it is outrageously entertaining to see the usually straight-laced “When A Man Loves A Woman” crooner check his ego at the studio door and plant his tongue firmly in his cheek, Alan Partridge-style. He plays an exaggerated version of himself, the self-professed “King of Valentine’s Day,” who is tasked by Saint Nick to host a telethon appeal – replete with celeb-manned call centre – to inspire loved-up couples to procreate this holiday.
The reason? Because Santa’s over-productive elves have produced 75,000 additional toys, and if babies aren’t made to play with them, they’ll go to waste! Cue crass-lyriced comedy songs (“Chord Change”), swear-filled sketches with big names like Will Forte and Michael Passengers Sheen, and general bonkers buffoonery such as a wigged Andy Samberg playing shaggy sax player Kenny G. The real Kenny G, meanwhile, pops up in a cameo as a janitor!
A personal highlight comes late in the day when the trim-haired 63-year-old presenter transforms into “peak 90s Bolton” (read: denim and curly blond locks) in order to inspire one more randy pair to “pound the mattress” to make their insemination target! Provided you are in the right frame of mild for out-and-out silliness, there are far worse ways to spend a cheeky hour this Valentine’s Day. A Very Murray Christmas, for one…
CR@B’s Claw Score: