Anyone who has watched Conan O’Brien over the years has no doubt come across Pale Force. Jim Gaffigan, a frequent guest of the show, would often show up with these animated clips to show. The results were often the same, with O’Brien lamenting the uselessness of his character on the animated show and Gaffigan backing up his reasoning’s with often hilarious results. The series lasted for thirty-three episodes, although the episodes were so short that they could hardly be called as such. Still, the series was loved by fans and through it all nearly an hour and a half worth of material was created by Gaffigan.
Nominated for a Daytime Emmy, PALE FORCE follows the adventures of the muscle-bound Pale Man, voiced by comedian Jim Gaffigan (Beyond the Pale; My Boys), and his scrawny sidekick Conan O’Brien (also voiced by Gaffigan)–a crime-fighting duo with the superpower of paleness. Whether thwarting their archnemesis Lady Bronze or uncovering who is behind the scandalous tanning of Miss Pale America winners, Pale Manand occasionally even the wimpy Conan–always save the day, shooting lasers from their nipples and blinding criminals with their pallor. Now you too can join the Legion of Pale with all 33 hilarious episodes on this DVD.
I’m a huge fan of Gaffigan (the “Hot Pockets” bit is one of my all-time favorites) and Conan, but I must’ve missed his appearances on the show because I only vaguely remember these shorts. Not so much a specific short so much as just that they existed. Regardless, they’re all very funny and very much in the Gaffigan style of humor, so if you don’t find him entertaining then you’re likely not going to laugh much at these shorts. You may also find them overly awkward, as the animation is rather wonky at times, although considering the budget this was likely made on its pretty commendable.
Of course the big treat for fans who want to see and own these episodes on DVD is that there is no laugh track from Conan’s audience. Prior to the release of this DVD I scoped out some clips of the series online, but more often than not I was running into clips from the show which obscured the dialogue portion of the series. Which is a shame if you’ve only seen it that way, as Gaffigan provides the voices for all of the characters and while they each have a different tone of voice, they all have that Gaffigan undercurrent that runs throughout them. So while the voices are diverse, they aren’t diverse enough to not know that it’s Gaffigan doing them all…but that’s all part of the joke.
There’s plenty to love about the series but I was really rolling when Philip Seymour Hoffman showed up. The entire show consists of people that are jealous of or want to be like Gaffigan, so when Hoffman shows up and is all jealous…it was really just executed brilliantly. The episodes also got longer as the series went on, although they never breached more than a couple minutes (although there may have been a few that lasted longer than that). Still with 33 episodes in one set with a 84 minute run time, it’s pretty clear that the average length of an episode was under three minutes (although most were multiple parts).
Overall this is a hilarious series, but whether or not you pick it up will depend on your love for Gaffigan. Although his Conan impression is pretty solid, this is really just Gaffigan’s show. Blinding chests, laser shooting nipples, and chocolate guns in all. Recommended.
New Video NYC unleashes Pale Force with blinding results (see what I did there?) with a cover boasting both Gaffigan and Conan. The art is repeated on the interior and the disc menus are simple and easy to navigate. Video is a solid transfer but seeing as this is animation (of the Flash variety, most likely) it’d be kind of hard to screw up the transfer anyway (although I have seen studios do that). Audio is a DD2.0 mix which, as you can probably surmise from the title already, is more than enough.
But wait, there’s more! Yes, there are actually extras here. Included:
Jim Gaffigan’s Appearances with Conan O’Brien on the Late Show
Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Making-Of Featurettes
That may not sound like a whole lot but all total it’s over seventy-five minutes of extras. And considering Gaffigan’s interviews on Conan were pretty hilarious anyway, this is a great little package all around. Definitely Recommended for Gaffigan and Conan fans and considering how cheap it is, it’d make a great stocking stuffer this holiday season as well.
Pale Force arrives on DVD on December 1st.