Monday, June 4, 2012

Fan-Boy Icon #64: Matt Berry (@porksmith)

My British readers will certainly have a leg up here, but other readers who are familiar with The Mighty Boosh or The IT Crowd will know Matt Berry as Dixon Bainbridge and Douglas Reynholm respectively. Otherwise, you might have caught him in The Sarah Silverman Program or Snow White and the Huntsman. Most recently I have been watching him in 2006's Snuffbox, a serialized sketch show about a hangman (Berry) and his assistant (Rich Fulcher). In it, Berry plays the semi-competent, monied Lothario we are used to, but also gets to put on some other characters.

What surprised me a bit is that Berry did the music for the show, which varies quite a bit but does tend to swing between funk and progressive rock at times. His album "Opium" has the feel of a "200 Motels" era Frank Zappa without (oddly, perhaps) the smirkiness. He switches between the voice we typically associate with him for spoken word portions, and a few sung pieces, to a less recognizable near-falsetto. When I first heard the theme to Snuffbox I was not aware it was Berry singing.

A somewhat recurring sketch from Snuffbox is the fake 1970s rock show:

Also, the mystery room in the corridor appears several times:

A scene from Snuffbox with awesome actor Alan Ford ("Brick Top" from Snatch) as well as Fulcher. Language is rather NSFW:


Video Zeta One said...

I love the Snuff Box theme. After hearing it, I went to find it and learned it was by my main man, Berry. Cool points earned.

Not a huge fan of Fulcher. Don't get why he keeps popping up in all these great British TV shows (Boosh, Snuffbox, etc.) as the lone American representative. I get the doofus shtick, but he's just not funny. At all.

I hope "Garth Marenghi's Dark Place" comes to Netflix soon. Seen one episode and loved it - Berry is awesome as usual.

Darius Whiteplume said...

The Snuffbox theme is a bit of a variation on "Love is a Fool" from Opium, which is a rather interesting album. It is really hard to imagine that it is Berry's voice.

Fulcher doesn't do it for me. A few minutes every other episode would be fine, but too much is rather annoying. I think I liked him better in this than Boosh though.

I really want to see Dark Place as well.

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