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Farce of the Penguins
Genre Comedy
Year: 2006

The name Bob Saget should ring a bell for most people. The guy made a name for himself in the popular sitcom, Full House and also hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos. His heyday was in the ’90s, and it seems destined to stay that way after this mockumentary of March of the Penguins, in which a number of stars voice real-life penguin characters in one penguin’s quest for love. The Farce of the Penguins combines Saget’s dirty comedy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Full House warmth, March of the Penguins stock footage and straight-to-video sentiment.

Saget is a lot dirtier than you’d expect. His clean-cut look on television, and good guy characters misrepresented the comedian. In fact, one should reference Dumber and Dumberer (the second one) for a more accurate representation. The whole concept of having talking penguins must have come from doing America’s Funniest Home Videos, when Saget would do voice-overs to encourage more comedy from some of the submissions. These add-on voices worked because they were home videos, and they only ran for a minute.

Saget cast the whole Full House ensemble (except Candace Cameron Bure and the Olsen twins) for voices on The Farce of the Penguins, and he maintains a thin love story between two of the penguins. The problem with using stock footage is that it has to be manipulated in the editing room, which makes everything seem even more unbelievable. The script relies on the footage instead of the other way around. This makes The Farce of the Penguins a novelty, which doesn’t last long.

The entire concept for the film would’ve been better served as a short 3 minute sketch on a comedy show. Short, sharp, punchy dialogue could win laughs and the joke would stay fresh. This is not the case. The Farce of the Penguins takes what should have been a 3 minute insert, and stretches it to breaking point and beyond. There’s only so much snow and penguins you can see without the infotainment backbone of all good documentaries.

The March of the Penguins was a revelation, and was probably responsible for a penguin renaissance as witnessed in Surf’s Up, Happy Feet and Good Luck Chuck. The little birds in tuxedos were suddenly in fashion again and Bob Saget read the market well. The only problem is that his content sucked. So he pulled a few favours, rustled up some stars for a line or two and added a few recognisable tunes.

The biggest farce is how Saget managed to get any support for this vehicle. He must have some dirt on all these familiar names, or perhaps he recorded their voices at some charity celebrity auction. The humour is tasteless, the comedy is tacky, the parody is wafer-thin, the special effects are non-existent, the voice-overs are poor and the story stinks. This is one movie that is best watched on mute, or not at all. Rather do your own voice-over than listen to this drivel.

The bottom line: Poop.

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