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Hot, Sinful Stuff: E4 Presents Cardinal Burns

April 26, 2012

Some of you may know that since the beginning of 2012, I’ve been one of a privileged few “E4ers”, tasked by E4 with the responsibility of being the biggest TV nerds in all the land. One of the many, many hardships of being such a TV nerd is that now and then, E4 will alert me to a new TV show that is starting soon on their channel, and will give me and my fellow E4ers the opportunity of a sneaky preview. I have had such a preview of new comedy sketch show series, Cardinal Burns.

Cardinal Burns is the comedy partnership of Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns (hence the name, I guess), a pair who have been about on the live comedy circuit for a while and have done notably well for themselves. As a result of their success, they’ve teamed up with producers Left Bank Pictures to put together their first sketch show. I feel like now would be a good time to point out that Cardinal Burns’ humour is very, very much designed for adults and MAY NOT be suitable for younger viewers. E4 have been feeding us, as their disciples, a few sneaky treats over the last couple of months in the form of Cardinal Burns teasers to get us geared up for it and I have to say, that based on those teasers, I was expecting the sketch show to be a bit of a mixed bag; a combination of the utterly hilarious and the completely disgusting. Now I’ve seen the full first episode, I’ve changed my mind about it a bit. Some of the sketches are full of real “laugh out loud” humour, and others leave me completely cold, but all of them are come from a really rather intelligent place that I think often gets forgotten about in comedy.

Even though some bits left me cold, it is really easy to see how there’s something for everyone in Cardinal Burns. They manage to pull humour out of pretty much every aspect of society you can imagine and I reckon it’s impossible to get through the half hour show without finding something that tickles your funny bone, even if it’s only a little bit. Even the downright revolting aspects of the show are morbidly compelling. I don’t like gore – blood, vomit and all that sort of thing makes me heave – but even though I could feel my face turning a rather anti-E4 shade of green, I couldn’t look away. At least the beauty of a sketch show is that nothing lasts for too long! There’s a good mixture of what I’m assured will be repeating characters with a bit of a narrative, like Office Flirt and New Guy, and some one-off’s to keep it fresh. My only real criticism would be that the series is only 6 episodes and there might be a risk that they’ll have been and gone too quickly for some people, like new viewers, to clock that they were there at all.

Cardinal Burns is so new that there isn’t even any information on the E4 website about it yet, although a Channel 4 press release from December 2011 suggests that the first episode will air at 10.30pm on 8th May (on E4, of course). Check out their Office Flirt and New Guy sketch from Episode 1 below:

Image courtesy of Channel4.com. All Rights Reserved.

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