Best Episode of the Season: Kroll Show Season 3

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“Karaoke Bullies”
This is the sort of episode that would not make any sense to a first-time viewer. But I would guess that it would still manage to be amusing, nonetheless. In its unrelenting specificity, it achieves comedy gold. Jenny Slate melts hearts as Niece Denise attempts to sing Bryan La Croix songs uninterrupted. Nash Rickey confuses “karaoke” with “karate.” Masterful impressions of basketball players and Kelsey Grammer intersect. And “Pawnsylvania” returns to deliver regionalisms and pun-based misunderstandings.

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Best Episode of the Season: Kroll Show Season 1

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Season Analysis: A new sketch show that revolves around one person tends to be a comedic expression of that person’s worldview.  That is not really the case with Nick Kroll, who has instead used Kroll Show as a platform for showing off his vast repertoire of characters.  Or, the show really does present his worldview, in which case, he watches a lot of reality TV.

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“San Diego Diet”
The premiere episode of Kroll Show set the tone for the first season with the initial appearance of Kroll and Jenny Slate’s Liz and Liz characters in PubLizity, which captures the Bravo reality show style a little too well (Jenny is adorable as Liz, but Kroll’s Liz is a bit of a pain to listen to).  But Episode 1 manages to stand out among the Season 1 batch thanks to the runner sketch Wheels Ontario, a Degrassi parody in which every student at a high school besides Kroll’s newcomer is in a wheelchair.  That premise alone should be enough to make the sketch a winner, but there is thankfully a lot more to it in that, as every possible Canadian stereotype is included and Kroll’s character is taunted with the nickname “Legs” and it is all wisely played straight, with the improbability of the situation never questioned.

Sketch of the Season: “Electricity”
The joke of “Electricity” – a male stripper routine designed around the theme of electricity – at first seemed to be that guys who aren’t necessarily all that attractive stripping is funny, which would have been a bit too cruel.  But then it turned out to be too strange and elaborate (the guys dress up as, and then out of, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs) to be cruel.  And then the whole thing turns out to be a birthday present made at some place that produces cheap videos starring customers, and I don’t even know if places like that even exist anymore.