Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Quiet Plug for Andy Barker

Andy Richter has a new sitcom on NBC called Andy Barker P.I. After seeing the pilot episode I can say that it's funny in a dry humor sort of way. It's not in the same ball park as The Office, but it does provide some good laughs. Richter is one of those guys who is really funny but without the right vehicle it doesn't quite work. He has that perfect clueless stare that lets you know he's an everyman and if you pay close attention, you'll probably figure things out before he does. It's too early to tell if Barker P.I. is the right vehicle, but the show does have potential. The premise of the show is that Andy Barker is an accountant who rents an office previously occupied by a private investigator. Some residual business trickles in mistaking him for a PI and you can see where this is going. Barker's reluctant at first, but he finds the lure of adventure too strong to ignore. He tells his wife "You know that feeling that I get when I hit the equal sign on the calculator and the number on the calculator is the same number that's on the worksheet? It felt like that, honey." With the help of movie expert Simon, played by Tony Hale (Buster from Arrested Development), he solves the case and sets himself up for future misadventures.

Another great example of Richter's comedic talent is the episode of Arrested Development where he plays himself and his four identical quintuplet brothers (seen below, 4:08). Incidentally, his turn in the 2002 movie Big Trouble as two twin brothers, one a mall security guard, the other an airport security guard, was also pretty funny. Here's to hoping Andy Barker P.I. develops into a funny creative hit and lasts beyond its original 6 episodes. Knowing my track record of picking shows, it won't.

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