Before Loqueesha: The Early, Appalling Youtube Work of Jeremy Saville
It’s crazy to think that a mere month ago, I had absolutely no idea who comedian, filmmaker and problematic human being Jeremy Saville was. None of us did. Saville was more or less completely anonymous, just another struggling comedian desperately trying to make a name for himself by any means possible.
Then the trailer for Loqueesha hit, and with it a richly merited hurricane of mockery and condemnation directed squarely at its hapless and oblivious creator and star. Suddenly the comedian and director went from unknown to infamous. It was a true reverse Cinderella story.
I became more than a little obsessed. I watched and wrote about Saville’s 2012 directorial and starring debut, The Test, convinced that I had found a true garbage auteur, a man with a strong, terrible and distressingly consistent vision. Then I tackled Loqueesha and was mortified, horrified and, I will concede, a little impressed that it somehow managed to be substantially worse, and more offensive, than a trailer that made it look like pretty much the worst, most offensive movie ever made.
I am nothing if not obsessive, and exhaustive. So in a trademark fit of questionable judgment, I vowed to become the world’s preeminent chronicler of the works of Saville, cinematic and otherwise. I decided to head over to Saville’s Youtube channel, which is filled with sketches and what could very generously be described as short films, as well as the kind of recurring characters that fill the audition tapes of comedians who want to be on Saturday Night Live.
What kind of characters? Well, Saville, and seemingly only Saville, seems pretty damn tickled by a character named “The Judger” who looks like a cross between Dieter from Saturday Night Live and someone wearing an off-brand Andy Warhol Halloween costume, the kind that has a name like “Pop Artist” to avoid having to pay Warhol’s estate.
The Judger looks like Dieter but for the sake of consistency he talks like Dieter, in a broad caricature of the thick accent of a pretentious Teutonic bohemian intellectual. To be fair, The Judger also sounds a lot like Dr. Evil, and the “Crushing Your Head” guy from Kids in the Hall, so it’s a pastiche, really, of terrible, shameless Mike Myers knockoffs.
The Judger judges people and then gets his ass whooped for being judgmental. That’s it. That’s the gag.
It’s asinine but at least it passes quickly. The same cannot be said of the all too telling titled, “The Girlfriend Trainer”, which begins with a quivering mess of a man being yelled at and emasculated by his rage-choked girlfriend.
Saville then introduces himself as “Brad Alex, the Girlfriend trainer” then shares his story: “Years ago I was in an abusive relationship with my girlfriend. I was distraught. I was deeply in love with a woman who was simply out of control. I would have left her but I realized most women are like this.”
Then this horrible man in a camouflage tee shirt talks about a Eureka moment when he saw a dog trainer working with a Labrador puppy at a dog park and decided to use the same techniques dog trainers use to “women-training.”
He touts his accolades and promises lessons that will “bring your girlfriend into submission.”
First technique? The strong No.
To illustrate this approach, an evil nightmare girlfriend angrily insists on getting a Chihuahua.
“Quiero Taco HELL?” The awful man quips, before offering an example where a girlfriend bought a 400 dollar dress, only to have Brad tell her, “No! Bad girl, bad girl!”, rub her face in the offensively expensive dress while she whimpers and cries softly, and hilariously, like the dumb, female animal she is.
Next up: Treats and verbal approval.
“As we all know, women, like animals, respond to treats. Always be sure to reinforce the good behavior with verbal approval. Your girlfriend will come to crave the positive validation” the Girlfriend trainer implores.
In our next illustration, the validation, approval and treat-obsessed girlfriend buys a big screen TV AND the big NFL package so her boyfriend can watch the big game with all his bros and is immediately rewarded with something all women want: shoes. Or rather a shoe!
“Shoes are among the most effective treats. But be sure to only give out one shoe at a time. This will instill a sense of something to work towards for your girl and you’ll be able to keep her in line for the next few hours with just the anticipation of being able to earn the other shoe.”
If the Men’s Right Movement were to launch a sketch comedy show, “The Girlfriend Trainer” would be perfect for it.
We’re then treated to all of the wonderful things properly trained girlfriends will do in exchange for “treats” like shoes, jewelry and fancy cruises, including vacuuming, performing oral sex and wearing lingerie so that they can hump their grateful boyfriend’s leg when he comes home and rewards her with the basic approval and validation all women crave.
The Girlfriend Trainer ends his spiel with, “Always be sure to give your girlfriend plenty of love and affection. Take her out whenever she needs to go and play with her and she’ll remain loyal, faithful and happy to see you whenever you come home.”
Then comes the big old switch: the woman behind the camera offers Brad Super Bowl tickets in exchange for, making an incredibly sexist and degrading infomercial? Cause she’s the BOYFRIEND trainer!
It’s decidedly too little, too late. For nine endless minutes “The Girlfriend Trainer” depicts women as stupid, easily led animals who can be controlled completely through stern discipline combined with positive approval. When properly controlled, the girlfriends here behave like sexy little puppies wiggling their behinds in delight when their boyfriend treats them well, and panting with canine excitement at every crumb of affection and approval. When punished, these well-trained girlfriends have a child-like look of shame and regret, sometimes accompanied by actual crying.
Even the closing reversal reeks of frat boy smarm. Is there a bigger hack comedian cliche than, “Men are dogs, amIrite?”
The one joke premise of “GayDate”, the most popular short on Saville’s channel is given away by its title. It begins with an attractive woman gushing about how excited she is for her online date with an Ivy League-educated lawyer.
The twist, or rather non-twist, given the short’s title? The man, as played by Saville with a broadness that makes his turn as Loqueesha look as restrained as an actor in Robert Bresson film, is a screaming caricature of an effeminate homosexual. Think Rip Taylor but more over-the-top.
“I’m apparently not as photogenic as I’d like to be but in person I’m FABULOUS!” The effeminate gentleman yell-sings, accentuating his “Fabulous!” with a wrist snap seemingly stolen from the old “Men on Film” bit on In Living Color.
The man’s confused date keeps asking him if he’s gay and he keeps asserting his heterosexuality in the most stereotypically gay fashion imaginable, gushing about how he loves to watch sports with all those strapping men playing with their bats and balls and the hunkiness of Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp.
But the man keeps telling his gorgeous date that she’s gorgeous, which has the effect of causing her to doubt her fierce conviction that date is only sexually attracted to men.
In the world of Jeremy Saville, if you tell women they’re beautiful, or give them things, they will put up with any kind of treatment.
“GayDate” ends with what it imagines is a sassy, satisfying capper when it’s just more of the same hackneyed nonsense: the “straight” dude asking his date how she feels about strap-ons.
It’s hard to say what’s more offensive: the broad stereotypes or the punishing length.
From its title to its tone to its weird use of smooth jazz as a distractingly loud audio background, “Gaydate” is a pure reflection of Saville as a writer and performer. That is NOT a good thing. In fact, it’s fucking terrible.
In “Switch”, one of the least terrible clips on the comedian’s channel, Saville plays Bob, an everyman sitting at home one quiet night when AT&T makes him an offer he can’t refuse: they’ll buy him a Winnebago in exchange for him switching to their services. Then MCI tops that seemingly unbeatable offer by offering the sexual services a Swedish sex bomb named Inga who will not only have sex with the Jeremy Saville character but “loves him” as well. The MCI representative purrs, “She’s totally subservient and will do whatever you tell her. All you gotta do is switch.”
From there, the short film escalates in an increasingly dramatic, increasingly unfunny way. Next up a terrible Bill Gates impersonator other than the terrible Bill Gates impersonator who won our hearts and made us cry in the emotionally shattering series finale of Nathan For You offers to share a third of his fortune with Bob if he’ll only switch his phone carrier.
Next up is then-President George W. Bush, played by Saville in what appears to be a melting latex mask that makes Saville look like a cross between the former President and Freddy Krueger. “I’m counting on you to do the right thing for your country…AT&T is the backbone of this country. Without them, no communication, no communication no civilization, no civilization, no United States of America, no USA, no (Bob). That’s right. No USA, no you!”
Saville doesn’t really look or sound like Bush, but he does capture his famous love for wordplay. Then, at a certain point everyone shows up and starts pointing guns at each other because Saville, like 95 percent of sketch comedians everywhere, can’t think of a satisfying, organic ending to his sketch. So he closes things out with a flurry of amateurish violence.
“Switch” is not funny. It goes on forever but it’s not actively hateful or pathetic, which is more than can be said for most of Saville’s work. Hateful and pathetic certainly apply to another short film on Saville’s channel, “The Britney Mouse Club”
“The Britney Mouse Club” has wracked up 39 views as of this writing. 39 views! That’s astonishing yet totally appropriate. The Cinema Saville production opens with a woman who looks nothing like Britney Spears, yet is playing the troubled former Mickey Mouse Club alum, weeping uncontrollably in a dark bedroom.
“My kids are gone! I’m never going to see them again! And my album didn’t debut at number one because of the stupid Eagles, and now it’s not even on the charts! And Sarah Silverman is making fun of me on all the awards shows! Everyone thinks I’m a drug addict! My career is a joke” “Britney” wails, pausing to swig from a bottle of cheap hooch.
Then, as if by magic, a silhouette of Mickey Mouse, voiced by Saville, appears on the wall to offer Britney counsel in her time of need.
But this is not your daddy’s Mickey Mouse! This rascally R-rated rodent tells her she’s supposed to be a “Mouseketeer” not a “hoe-skateer.” When Britney asks if that’s like a Mouseketeer but for horses Mickey, in a somewhat out of character turn, replies, “No you stupid drunk bitch. A Whore-Sketeer like the little sluts that hang out with Goofy.”
You better laugh uproariously at Mickey’s potty mouth and debauched past because other than Saville’s trademark misogyny, that’s all there is to the sketch. “Mickey” calls Justin Timberlake a “homo” and Britney “trailer trash” and trots out open-mic night level material like “When the judge thinks K-Fed’s a better option for your kids, you know you have a problem.”
The one joke, nearly eight minute long bit closes with Mickey threatening to have Britney killed by Chip and Dale unless she cleans up his ways, bragging that he’s like a mob kingpin, only it’s the “Mousefia” and he’s the “Mousefather.”
Now that Britney Spears is once again making tragic headline due to her very public battles with mental illness, “The Britney Mouse Club” feels even uglier and more vile, the juvenile work of cheap shot artist with a mind and a mentality stuck somewhere in elementary school.
Saville also has an APP, for some reason but I need to stop writing about Saville at some point. He’s gotten inside my head with his terrible brand of offensive yet amateurish and stereotypes-and-sexism-based comedy.
You could say that I’ve got a talentless yet driven white comedian inside my head infamous for playing a white character with a black woman inside his own fractured psyche. With this piece I hope to purge Saville from my mind completely, because I don’t want that man living inside my brain rent-free anymore than I want his movies to play in even a single movie theater. If even one deluded soul is tricked into paying money to see Saville’s work, that’s one person too many.
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