British Borat powers history-mangling mockumentary
Cunk on Earth
What: Series, 5 episodes, 28 mins.
Rating: NNNN (out of 5)
Why you should watch: A British Borat, Philomena Cunk, hilariously fumbles her way through the history of the world.
IF YOUR FRIENDS haven’t already told you to check out the dryly hilarious Netflix comedy Cunk On Earth, well, then let us be that friend.
British comedian Dianne Morgan — she played Kath on Rickey Gervais’ Afterlife — delivers deadpan humour delights as the adorable and ditzy BBC-esque documentarian Philomena Cunk, whose mangled understanding of history leads to surprisingly hilarious insights.
We will resist the urge to publish her punchlines and amusing misnomers out of context, but know that Cunk manages to hilariously misunderstand the entire history of humankind, from prehistoric humans (“We know they were stupid because they had bushy eyebrows and said ‘Ugh,’”okay we’ll stop) right up to modern day, all in five short episodes.
Like a British Borat, Cunk questions experts straight-faced, posing quite logical (to her at least) questions based on major misunderstandings of history with reliably dumbfounded and hilarious results. And under all of this confusion, like the best satirists, Cunk manages to make sometimes profound, though off-hand, observations.
The show is packed with enough drone and crane shots to fill a dozen David Attenborough docs; and the seemingly high production values as well as actor-powered historical reenactments all add an absurd gravitas to the proceedings.
The slim offering of five short, very-bingeable episodes were released on Netflix at the end of last year after the show had previously aired on the BBC. The good news is that there are a bunch more Cunks to be found, all available on YouTube — and they’re all just as good. We get 2016’s Cunk on Britain, a six-episode look at the history of Cunk’s homeland as well as 2016’s Cunk On Shakespeare, a short mockumentary about the Bard and Cunk & Other Humans on 2019 on that year’s British election.