John Lutz of 30 Rock and Tim Robinson of Saturday Night Live both specialize in playing sad-eyed schmoes who are just a beat or two behind the rest of the world. So the two comic actors are right in their element on The Cream Brothers, a new three-episode web series for Above Average. Lutz and Robinson portray the bickering title siblings, two perennial underachievers who are facing down middle age as they prepare to launch a risky new business venture. Unfortunately for them, their mutual decision to purchase an ice cream truck in the middle of February does not seem to be based on any sound financial practices or market research. The two are as unlucky in love as they are in business, with Robinson pining hopelessly for the proprietress of a local muffin shop and Lutz going through a nasty divorce.
Created and written by Lutz, the series’ pilot, “The Grand Opening,” has the brothers unsuccessfully trying to drum up business with a catchy, improvised rap song. While coming up withe additional lyrics, Robinson’s volatile character quickly takes things in a weird, unmarketable direction: “A donkey sound! A monkey burp! An alligator fart!”
In another installment, “The Employee,” SNL’s Bobby Moynihan pops up as a potential new addition to the ice cream truck’s personnel roster. His freeloading character, however, seems more interested in scoring free ice cream than in doing anything productive or helpful. The cutaways to Moynihan enjoying ever more elaborate desserts are a delight.
Lutz’s real-life wife, Sue Galloway, turns up as the title character of “The Ex-Wife.” Regular viewers of 30 Rock will instantly recognize Galloway for her recurring role as one of TGS’ socially maladroit writers. Here, sporting an alpaca fur hat, she strides into the ice cream truck to get Lutz to sign divorce papers. As ever, ice cream sales remain underwhelming.