Craving some Python-esque comedy in the modern day? Eric Idle’s new “aural cinema” production, What About Dick?, is a The Importance of Being Earnest costume comedy meets murder mystery but penned in the innuendo-heavy Eric Idle style. This is a radio comedy where performers read from script and rely on inflection, doing different voices for different characters, and a foley man; yet it was done in front of a live audience in L.A. and was tape recorded for download on the internet. For only six dollars, you can download or stream the entire 80-minute show on whataboutdick.com.
The show stars not only Eric Idle playing the narrator (a piano) but also the likes of Tim Curry, Billy Connelly, Eddie Izzard, Tracey Ullman, and Russell Brand. The story centers around Dick (Brand), who is a wide-eyed, naive, 26-year-old who turns out to be gay. Meanwhile, there is a cannibalistic murderer on the loose, a sexually oppressed young woman (and umbrella thief) has an affair with a married rubber salesman, and a piano mysteriously washes up on shore and turns everything to chaos. Oh, and it’s a musical.
It is as yet a pretty unique medium, to do a radio show live and then sell the video of it. Hitchhiker’s came close when they did a radio show live and sold the audio. But how wonderful it is to see the actors on set in costume, even if they are just reading into microphones. You get to watch Billy Connolly lose his composure on more than one occasion, get to see Eric Idle’s piano tie, watch the Foley man do his thing, and Russell brand suck breast milk…well, some things are better left unseen, I suppose.
Do check it out. It’s only six bucks. What a steal.