All my life, I've been waiting for an awesome Felicity spoof. Yes, I’m aware that the show has not been on the air for more than 10 years, and has not been culturally relevant for even longer. I do not care. Sometimes it feels like Kroll Show is pitched right at me, and “Madison Chooses” was one of those moments. Everything, from the opening credits, to the fake creator “G.G. Amblin,” to the overriding obsession with the campus meal plan, was perfect. Jane Levy of Suburgatory is basically a contemporary Keri Russell. Throw her in a Felicity remake tomorrow and I’d watch every episode.
Kroll plays both the Scott Speedman and the Scott Foley characters, and while he nails the airy douchery of the hot guy, he definitely goes too extreme in both cases to really make this a dead-on spoof. That’s just fine—there’s no two characters more boring and difficult to spoof in a funny way than Ben and Noel from Felicity. But just like Wheels Ontario’s purposefully chill vibe, “Madison Chooses” got how Felicity could make the most inconsequential and infuriating plots seem like a big deal. It’s nice to see Kroll Show continue to add new sketches with plenty of recurring potential in the second season.
This episode was loaded with fun little cameos, too. Another new program was Shark Tank spoof Signing Bonus, which included an incredulous Zach Woods and a European Paul Brittan (who I miss from SNL). This spoof could undoubtedly be a show onto itself. Pretty much every weirdo who walked into the room, I wanted to spend more time with. There was Lamorne Morris with an umbrella-umbrella, or Kroll as a spacey weirdo visited by aliens, or Ref Jeff wondering if anyone had locked down plans yet.
Best of all, there was Bob Ducca (Seth Morris), who people probably know from Comedy Bang Bang!, either his podcast form or televisual form. Bob Ducca is always hilarious, and he didn’t even get to read from one of his patented lists this time. I love seeing this show (which is on Comedy Central) share characters with IFC’s CBB (where Kroll occasionally appears as characters he made famous on the podcast before taking them to his own show). Scott Aukerman should be a guest sometime, but for now we’ll make do with his wife Kulap, one of the passengers being patted down by TSA agents in the Ref Jeff sketch.
This episode aired out of order for some reason—numbered 11th, it aired fifth, with a lot of overlap with the last episode. We had Gene Creemers in a Wheels Ontario spin-off spoof, a Canadian fitness advertisement that ruined the lives of its child actors (this joke was so weird and layered, it’s kind of impossible to explain why it worked). There was the return of Nash Rickey, who’s opened his own L.A. Deli to which he applies impossible cleaning standards. And Ref Jeff was peppered in throughout, although none of his sketches really went anywhere. Ref Jeff is one of the least complicated characters on Kroll Show—there’s no some larger metatextual spoofing going on. He just looks funny when he walks backwards. The formula still works, gentlemen.
- Nash’s restaurant is weird. “There’s no to-go boxes, the Styrofoam doesn’t stack correctly.”
- Ref Jeff gets shut down on Signing Bonus. “You seem terrible and your body confuses me.”
- AOL Keyword: getout.
- Ducca pitches a “Planned Parenthoodie. If you want to cover your face when you’re getting an abortion.”
- His injuries came when he was thrashed by a creature. “I woke up in the veterinary emergency room… My hair was longer then.”
- Other cameos: Retta in the TSA sketch, John Gemberling, Nathan Fielder, Lizzy Caplan.
- The European proclaims Lil Wayne King of New Orleans.
- “The coolest museums are the M&M Store in Times Square.”