That Mitchell And Webb Look (BBC2, 2006-2010)
Seemingly not content with just having sitcom success on Channel 4 with the terrific Peep Show, David Mitchell and Robert Webb have also had sketch comedy success on the BBC with their Radio 4 series That Mitchell And Webb Sound which launched in 2003, and later transferred to television on BBC2 in 2006 as That Mitchell And Webb Look.
There were a lot of great sketches in That Mitchell And Webb Look, and pleasingly some of the best characters and catchphrases caught on with viewers. The duo were helped out in their sketches with a few other cast members including Olivia Colman (who has appeared alongside Mitchell and Webb since the Bruiser and The Mitchell And Webb Situation days), James “Harry Biscuit” Bachman and Paterson “Johnson” Joseph.
Some of the best sketches included Numberwang which I wrote about in my piece on game show parodies, and was definitely a great spoof. There were also Ted and Peter the snooker commentators, who always seemed to be drunk and liked to ramble on about the lives of various players instead of concentrating on what was happening in the match, their only comment on the play usually being “ooh, and that’s a bad miss!”, which is probably the show’s best-known catchphrase.
There is also The Surprising Adventures Of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, about a tramp who seemed to think that he was a superhero detective, and this was one of the more unusual sketches, and there were various parodies of other things such as Mitchell and Webb supposedly as themselves talking about what was happening behind the scenes, and the pain of having to sit still and stare into space for five minutes for footage that would be used for the DVD menu.
Later series introduced more memorable characters including Hennimore who always failed to do what his boss asked of him and ended up causing chaos, and a post-apocalyptic programme seemingly after what is only known as “The Event” where the few remaining viewers are entertained whilst being advised to “Remain Indoors”.
That Mitchell And Webb Look ran for four series and was well received by critics and viewers, and the show even went on to win a Bafta and has been repeated in several countries. All four series have been released on DVD and include some great extras too. There was also a book released which featured all the main characters. And there was a tour in 2006 which was called The Two Faces Of Mitchell And Webb where some of the most popular characters were performed live on stage and one of these shows has been released on DVD and it’s definitely up to the standard of the regular series.
There are currently no plans for another series of That Mitchell And Webb Look, which is disappointing, because seeing as Peep Show is about to conclude, this great double-act will now have no ongoing show on TV. Maybe this could be a chance for them almost 20 years after they first worked together to try something new, it’ll be fascinating to discover what they will do next.