Above Average’s new Criminal Crimes series, which began on September 10 with an episode charmingly titled “We Found Semen,” is turning into a nicely absurd, deadpan parody of grisly TV police procedurals. In the pilot, stoic homicide detectives McGarf (Danny Jolles) and Keebler (Matt Rogers) graphically discussed finding “an ocean of semen” at a crime scene. Now, in “Look At That Body,” the easily-distracted plainclothesmen have made their standard, de rigueur trip to the morgue to have a chat with a no-nonsense coroner (Michelle Buteau) about the corpse of a murder victim (a never-better Matt Catanzano). The conversation quickly takes a weird turn, however, when the detectives become too-focused on the chiseled physique of the victim and spend far too much time comparing the dead man’s chest, stomach, and “shoulder definition” to that of Australian heartthrob Chris Hemsworth. In true police procedural fashion, however, the cops never stop talking in that oh-so-serious, clipped, Jack Webb monotone. A sample: “Victim’s body is tough to look at. Obviously, he had just read a Men’s Health article, and that Men’s Health had Chris Hemsworth on the cover.”
As the sketch’s designated voice of reason, Buteau has some of the funniest moments here, like when she denies a request by the detectives to flip the body over. “You’re gonna flip him over and tell me he has a Hemsworth ass,” she protests. They flip the body anyway and grimly note that the victim does indeed possess a Hemsworth ass. Eventually, it is revealed that the coroner has no idea who Chris Hemsworth even is because she doesn’t go to the movies. The detectives are suitably outraged. “He’s Thor from Thor!” “He was Blackhat in Blackhat.” “Did you not see Blackhat?” In fact, the woman’s total lack of Hemsworth knowledge makes her a prime suspect in the so-called “Black Key Murders,” at least in the eyes of the Blackhat-loving detectives.
Criminal Crimes is a product of a New York City-based sketch comedy collective called Chess Club Comedy. Another member of the troupe, David Sidorov, handles the directing duties and keeps the ridiculous series grounded in the grungy look and feel of a real procedural show, complete with tense music and dim lighting.