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What you should know about British imports

Comedian Greg Davies, also known as Taskmaster, and his “assistant”, also known as series creator Alex Horne.
Photo: Avalon UKTV

As we dive deeper and deeper into the COVID-induced content vacuum, which has virtually eliminated the upcoming Fall TV panels, there has never been a better time for it Taskmaster, one of Britain’s many hidden television gems to finally get to the United States. Though A’s comedy panels are practically not a genre in the U.S., they’re a dozen on British television Task master owns his own unique, indefinable kind of insanity that has caused viewers to return for nine series, soon ten. The popularity of the show in the UK is hardly a coincidence. Since broadcast in 2015, international adjustments have been made in Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Finland. However, no remake could ever hope to compare to the original, which is so successful that Channel 4 has dedicated itself to six more seasons when it acquired the show from UKTV late last year.

Aside from a short-lived American remake by Reggie Watts – more on that below – Task master hasn’t made much of a footprint in the US, but that will change this Sunday as the CW airs the show in all its British glory. If you are one of the many unfortunate Americans who have not yet discovered the glory from the wall Task masterHere’s the full overview of what you need to know about the show before series eight and nine air in America.

Although a Google search gives mixed results (especially because the show shares its name with a Marvel comic book villain), Task master is based on a fairly simple premise: five stand-up comedians use their quick minds to do “tasks” to different extents in order to please the task master (comedian Greg Davies) and win a golden head bust.

Yes and no. Greg Davies, the “task master”, is a British comedian and actor, and while playing the role of the task master, it’s a mix of his actual personality and a cold, sophisticated character that was invented for the show. At his side is the submissive doormat of a man named Alex Horne, who acts as his assistant but also plays a role – because in reality Horne is the director and executive producer of the show, as well as its creator.

Again yes and no. It’s a game show in the sense that a group of participants is fighting for a price, but it’s not a game show since the participants are all already famous (at least in the UK – most of them are less familiar to the US audience than this Should consider the opportunity to broaden his comedic horizon), and the award is a golden bust of the head of the task master. The driving force behind the show is not the competition for a cash prize, but the effortless and often unconventional humor that results from the participants’ attempt to get the job done.

The tasks presented by Alex Horne, but supposedly set up by the Taskmaster, vary widely in content, but always require unconventional thinking and the willingness of the participants to mock themselves. There are several tasks that are consistent from week to week: The first task of the episode is always a prize task in which a participant brings in one of his own possessions and the episode winner can take over all possessions at home.

It would be a breeze to try to connect the dots between the remaining tasks, but the easiest way to explain the chaos is to give examples. Past assignments included everything from commands like “Make the Best Noise”, “Impress This Mayor” to “The Best Gift for the Task Master,” the latest being comedian Josh Widdicombe, who tattooed the Task Master’s name on his leg has won permanently – so far the participants are ready to go to win what essentially brags.