Saturday, 13 June 2009

David Mitchell's Soapbox: Box Clever

David Mitchell is a very witty, articulate chap who I would love to go for a pint with one day (partly for the discussion and partly because I think he would order the cheapest ale and save my pocket some grief) but isn’t one that seems to spend hours and hours putting every hair in the right order before leaving the house in the morning. So it strikes me as strange that his latest endeavour in the Podcast world is sponsored by Bulldog, a male grooming company that specialise in very manly shower gel, hair gel and – I don’t know – probably nipple gel. This beautiful irony hasn’t gone unnoticed by David in his Vidcast, David Mitchell’s Soap Box. To quote the man himself: “You may have noticed these shows are sponsored by a range of male grooming products who, for reasons best known to themselves, that their range would profit by being associated with a series of three minute rants from a man from whom, self-evidently, grooming is not a burning issue”.

For three minutes per week a fresh, imaginative and targeted moan falls into your computer’s hard drive straight from the minds of David Mitchell and one of his long-time writing friends Jesse Armstrong. Together, the two put together a very funny rant on a series of chosen topics ranging from spelling to man flu. As you would expect from a Mitchell/Armstrong combo, the writing is superb and delivered in a way that can’t help but make you smile. David Mitchell has a dry delivery with the edge taken off. He’s got the timing and pace of a Jack Dee but infinitely more approachable and isn’t afraid to crack a smile and enjoy himself a bit. Presented as Vidcasts, David will sit perched in a CGI world very calmly and informally sharing his views.

Effort really has gone into the show production-wise and each episode’s subject matter is reflected in its virtual location (which probably peak on the weirdness front in the episode “Going To The Doctors”, which sees David delivering his piece from inside a blood cell in the human body, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. As the series goes on the productions are becoming more and more elaborate with panning shots, crazy camera work and the like, which makes me eagerly await episode 100 which I think will most definitely be scratch and sniff.

I like it when celebrities “get” the Internet and use their powers to promote mediums like Podcasting in the way that David Mitchell has. As a writing pair, he and Jesse Armstrong are as funny now as when they did Peep Show and it’s great to see a creative outlet for these two. Whether the show has room to expand and become more is yet to be seen but for now, three minutes of Mitchell as week is good enough for me. But the Bulldog sponsorship still baffles me.

Subscribe by iTunes - David Mitchell's Soapbox Official Website