Facejacker: Series 1 review (DVD)

The man who brought us 2007's brilliant Fonejacker is back with a comedy vengeance in Facejacker, a far more up close and personal voyage into the collectively unpredictable unknown that are the characters of Kayvan Novak. Swapping the phone for crude prosthetic masks, Novak hits the streets in full force, embodying Fonejacker favourites like Terry Tibbs, as well as bold new interpretations of classic oddities who embrace the unsuspecting folks with hilarious consequences.

For those not familiar with Novak's work in Fonejacker, he voiced a bunch of endlessly-quotable, bizarre characters and prank called people. A simple concept, but it was very funny indeed. In Facejacker he turns it on its head—literally—and becomes the body to those voices.

What makes Facejacker even funnier than its predecessor is that the communication barrier has been broken. No longer is it just a two-way conversation on the phone, it's a series of open-ended, unmediated environments with a whole host of people—it is after all performed in public. Such characters who invade the streets are Brian Badonde, a homosexual in his late 40s with hair like a grey Noddy Holder, who pronounces most words with the letter 'b'. There are two scenes in particular with him, one involving a whiskey tasting session and another at a pottery studio, that will stay with me for a very long time indeed, because they knocked me sideways with how funny they really were. Badonde is one of the main focuses on the show, along with Terry Tibbs, millionaire used car salesman, who gets involved with other Channel 4 programmes like Come Dine With Me and The Secret Millionaire. The former is terrific in its execution, complete with everybody's favourite sarcastic narrator, Dave Lamb. Hell, in the first episode Tibbs marches onto the set of Price Drop TV, assisting (or lack thereof) the presenter with selling fitness equipment on live television.

Skyrocketing to a high-up pedestal in the annals of weird comedy was George Agdgdgwngo in Fonejacker, the African con artist bent on scamming people out of their bank details. In Facejacker, the voice and criminal personality of George are transferred into the body of Augustus Kwmbe, a nice chap who attempts to hypnotise a man to get his credit card information. At one point he even hijacks a Morrisons checkout! And just like at the beginning of each episode, I'd like to confirm that all involved are real people in real situations with Novak's colourful creations, which makes the show an outrageous riot of comedy gold that's not to be missed—a sort of hideous child conceived by Bo' Selecta! and Fonejacker that you can't help but laugh at.

EXTRAS ★★ Jump to a character's segment; various bloopers, adverts and behind the scenes looks at the creations of the characters.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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