It was inevitable that Tim and Eric themselves would feature prominently in one of the six Check It Out! episodes. Sure, they’re responsible for giving the world Dr. Steve Brule, but tonight’s episode suffered for leaning on familiar territory like a crutch. Then again, tonight Brule wanted to file a report on relationships and marriage, and I’m starting to get the impression that Dr. Steve Brule doesn’t have many friends. So who else is he going to interview on such a topic but Channel 5’s own married news team of Jan and Wayne Skylar?
Actually, it was largely an excuse to mine more awkward tension out of the always-hinted-at love triangle between the three. But since so much of the episode was devoted to this dynamic, it soon proved tiresome as it was so familiar—it could have easily been an episode of Awesome Show. Check It Out! came out of the gate so strong last week, and hopefully this is the only time it’ll play it safe throughout the run. Despite the cautiousness, there were still some solid laughs to be had.
As it turns out, Jan and Wayne don’t live the “public and private paradise of a life” that Brule describes them as having. Brule starts his interview off with a frenzied glare in his eyes and some innocent, simple questions. According to Jan, much of her married life is spent on finding ways to keep Wayne at a distance, whether it be by applying wood glue and pepper flakes to her nipples (Wayne hates them) or leaving thorny garden clippings in his underwear drawer. Brule doesn’t see this as anything out of the ordinary—he just muses to himself how love must overcome challenges.
It’s tough to tell whether Brule is actively trying to wreck the Skylars’ marriage. He seems too oblivious of everything—and especially himself—and also too child-like to even engage in an affair. But then again, he’s a man ruled by his impulses, even though those impulses are mostly relegated to staring into a camera and saying weird shit about ice cubes and toothpaste. In any case, Brule then goes to some viewer fan mail—which is funny, since “Relationships” was originally slated to be the series premiere—and the response is overwhelming: According to Brule, his audience is writing to ask what Janny smells and feels like. As he says, “The viewers really want to know what it’s like to be near you, to smell you, to touch you.” Then, for the sake of the show, Jan straddles Brule, lifts up her top, and he proceeds to grope her—all while Wayne sits on the other end of the couch, shielding his eyes. The viewers can now sleep at night, as Brule discerns that her “big boobies” feel like roast beef. More interesting, though, is the fact that Brule seemed genuinely shocked that she had two of them.
Further doubt is cast on Brule’s sudden Casanova streak in the “Doctor To Doctor” segment, where he giggles his way through a series of questions about sex. Actually, this was also a chance for one of many callbacks to Awesome Show tonight, with the countless potential butchered pronunciations of the word “penis” being paraded out. One of the best moments tonight, though, wasn’t from any goofy dialog or low-grade production trick, but the look on the other doctor’s face when Brule determines that all anal sex is good for is making farts. The “hunky” Dr. Don Davis looks unbelievably perplexed and shocked. At Tim and Eric’s strongest, their material always invokes that response. There just wasn’t much of it elsewhere in the 11 minutes aside from that.
But the boob-groping investigative journalism isn’t over yet, no. With Wayne still covering his eyes, Brule in his undies and Jan in an off-pink nightgown file a report on how couples share a bed. After some strained kisses, it isn’t long before Wayne has had enough. He vaults from the couch and wedges in between them on the bed, and the three try to fall asleep while slapping each other for nearly a minute in some warped Three Stooges kind of gag. “Is everything OK?” Brule asks. “Everything’s fine, Steve,” Wayne answers.
And, yeah, tonight’s episode was fine. But shouldn’t a spinoff deviate quite a bit more from its source material? Brule tried to wedge in his old catchphrase “for your health!” at the end of most segments, a woman doing yesterday’s weather harped on the importance of keeping your meats cold, and we’ve heard the phrase “spaghetti house” on Awesome Show. It was much funnier the first time around.
· “When two hearts beat as one, that is called being married.”
· “What about your pen-is? Let’s not beat around the bushes. Are there any other uses for the pen-is besides pee or sperms?
· ”If you wanna feel sexy, touch your face.”
· “Don’t listen to hunks about sex. They think they know everything.”