It begins in Kubrick fashion, with a giant gimp face in space accompanied by Strauss’ celebrated Also Sprach Zarathustra, implying the stratospheric status the gimps have achieved over the last few sell-out years at the Fringe. They even cheekily quote some of the negative reviews they’ve received. I hoped I could finally write something positive.
The four gimps promise to ‘leave you sore’ with a show of ‘sketch perfection’ that will induce a ‘comedy erection’. Sadly, this was not the reality of Late Night Gimp Fight.
It’s set up like a TV show, with a large projection screen as a backdrop and two smaller TV screens either side. One sketch, that sees two of the gimps dancing with their shadows, makes clever use of the screens, the action timed to perfection. The sketches are fast-paced, the songs are hilariously performed and the production values are high.
Yet the jokes don’t live up to the reputation. This is toilet based humour and although there’s certainly great potential for silliness, it’s not clever in any way. The subjects parodied are unoriginal and the same jokes are repeated. Once you’ve seen one film clip or pop video with ‘late night gimp fight’ shoehorned in, you know straight away what’s coming. Often the sketches build towards a final punch line that’s simply not as funny as you imagined it at the start, when you easily predicted the outcome. They even acknowledge this by performing jokes with an ‘inevitably weaker punch line’ – surely a quote that applies to the show at large. The biggest laughs come from some cheap use of nudity and a certain scene that doesn’t even include the gimps at all.
Late Night Gimp Fight is ultimately a facile show filled with teenage jokes and sickening, awkward moments that will have you laughing only intermittently. If you’re looking for some intelligent wit you won’t find it here, but if you’re in need of some ridiculous antics typical of late night Channel Four then look no further. In fact, this would make a great drinking game…