Case Number 17809: Small Claims Court


New Video // 2009 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 1st, 2009

The Charge

Extraordinary valor, matched with freakish pallor.

The Case

This series of animated shorts aired on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and was somehow nominated for a Daytime Emmy. It stars comedian Jim Gaffigan as the voices of the "Pale Force," a superhero duo that consists of Pale Man, the muscle-bound Alpha male, and his sidekick Conan, the equally pale little twerp who no one seems to respect.

Each micro-episode sees the Pale Force engaged in such wacky misadventures as a Law and Order spoof, a pale pageant, and a battle against global warming. There are also special installments, like the Christmas show and the two-parter where Conan is in a coma and no one seems to care. This tomfoolery continues on for 84 minutes, to varying degrees of success, ranging from "no success" to "the farthest thing away from success."

I like Conan O'Brien, but this drivel is not worthy of him. Pale Force is sad, unfunny crap that sports as many laughs as a thyroid cancer diagnosis. You can expect lots of pop culture references (Larry Bird is the chairman of the Pale Council! Get it?!), some piss-poor celebrity impersonations, and one joke beaten over and over and over until its lifeless corpse is reduced to nothing more than a stain.

That one joke? Here it is: Jim Gaffigan is awesome and Conan O'Brien is a weakling. Now I can see how that would play on Late Night, feeding right into Conan's effective brand of self-deprecating humor. These Pale Force episodes, spread out over time, should work moderately well with an audience clamoring for the show's host to get harpooned (that doesn't excuse the peripheral attempts at humor from being hugely pathetic). But all of them in a row? Awful. Amazingly, relentlessly, profoundly awful. That one joke overstays its welcome in the second episode and its very presence simply bolsters the unflinching hate for this animated abortion that burned white-hot in my gut after minute ten.

Seriously, Pale Force sucks balls. Don't waste your time.

If, however, you are intent on wasting your time, the DVD isn't bad. The episodes look fine in their 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers, sporting a 2.0 stereo mix. Extras include Gaffigan's Conan appearances, a deleted scene -- which, surprise!, isn't funny -- and a look at the rough animation.

The Verdict

Guilty. You know what will darken our heroes' complexions? The electric chair.

Review content copyright © 2009 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 30

Perp Profile
Studio: New Video
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scene
* Featurettes

* IMDb