Continuing my whenever-I-feel-moved-by-YouTubing-ly series featuring performers I love that I want you to love, too, I offer Kevin Eldon.
Last time, I talked about Dylan Moran, and like Dylan, Kevin is a stand-up comic and Britcom actor with a difference…and a tendency to pop up in Simon Pegg projects. Unlike Dylan, he’s freaking insane. I mean, maybe he’s not insane. Maybe he’s one of the most brilliant conceptual surrealist comedians of his generation. It’s hard to know. He also does voices, plays guitar, and is clearly going to hell.
It was actually in Dylan Moran’s show “Black Books” that I first became acquainted with Mr. Eldon, in a series-stealing performance as The Cleaner…
In the DVD commentary, which I have had on while I did light housework and don’t you judge me, I remember Bill Bailey saying something to the effect of “Here’s Kevin Eldon playing…Kevin Eldon” to laughter and noises of assent.
OK, this isn’t really a Kevin Eldon clip. It’s actually from Bill Bailey’s show “Part Troll,” but I think Kevin really sells the bit. I’ll get to a Bill Bailey post one of these days.
The sci-fi-themed Britcom “Hyperdrive,” starring Simon Pegg’s bestie Nick Frost, didn’t always work for me. It was like “Galaxy Quest.” Shoulda loved it, but by Grabthar’s Hammer…meh. Maybe it’s just me. But Kevin Eldon’s probable sociopath Lt. York was reason enough to smile and nod through the rest of the show, in much the way I’ll still endure the datedness of TOS Treks for Nimoy’s scenes. At least until William Shatner starts explaining what a kiss is.
My favorite York line is “We don’t have long to kill it before it dies.” I like to find opportunities to use this in my personal life. Here’s an unrelated clip that begins with Nick Frost’s Commander Henderson convinced Lt. York is a saboteur on their ship.
If you liked “Galaxy Quest” or “Red Dwarf,” you might want to check out the whole “Hyperdrive” series on Netflix.
Now to the ensemble sketch show “Big Train,” featuring Simon Pegg, Catherine Tate, and other people I’ll probably be moved to blog about in the fullness of time. If you haven’t seen it, they did fairly bizarre, but brilliant sketches like this one, in which Kevin IS Chairman Mao IS Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music playing “Virginia Plain.” Like SNL, a lot of the sketches were clearly born out of in-joke gestalting, and this sketch is a good example, but unlike SNL, the sketches are not unnaturally prolonged. I also really like this song, so that helps.
I haven’t even begun to mine his 2011 one man show “Kevin Eldon is Titting About” or his appearances on most of the other successful Britcoms of the last 20 years that didn’t star and concern the elderly. The interwebs also tell me that he’ll have his very own show on BBC2 in 2013, “It’s Kevin.” So there you have it. Should Be More Famous, volume 2: Kevin Eldon. I’ll close with a clip of one of his most famous characters, the pretentious poet Paul Hamilton. It’s probably fitting for him to have the last word.