Michael Bolton Needs You…To make babies.
That is really the premise of this mildly amusing yet absurd hour long special featuring Michael Bolton, and directed by Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang Bang) and Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod).
The musical comedy begins with a joyous Michael Bolton celebrating with song that with the arrival of Valentines Day means it is only 10 months till Christmas. During his opening Santa approaches Michael asking for his assistance, it turns out Santa’s elves have made too many presents and need more children to compensate for the excess gifts. The only salvation from this shocking problem is Michael Bolton and a Valentines Day special, with added telethon, to encourage the world to copulate.
It’s a bonkers premise but one that proves an entertaining watch. Fans of the odd comedy styles from Aukerman’s and Schaffer’s others works with Comedy Bang Bang and The Lonely Island will be at home with the antics that ensue. The comedy special weaves together musical numbers and comedy sketches laden with cameo appearances from a range of comic actors and SNL regulars which more often than not raise a wry smile. The musical numbers are superior to the sketches, playing on musical tropes with great success; Maya Rudolph’s key change number is a small delight and the Misty & Blair crude duo performance is also great fun. The sketches though are where the special becomes inconsistent. The weakest come as we break away to a custom chocolatier played by Fred Armisen, and a segment with guest chef Roy that don’t really do anything. However like every show that contains sketches, there will always be ones that fall a little short.
Despite the hit and miss nature of the sketches the way the special ties up is delightfully mad. A mattress salesman becomes infuriated with the number of refunds for broken mattresses during the special and decides to take action. It rounds out a comedy special that is easily one of the best to exclusively hit Netflix, succeeding where A Very Murray Christmas failed by actually being funny and having entertaining musical numbers. Polishing the special up nicely are corny transitions between segments that include slow mo Bolton, galloping white horses, and animated hearts sweeping across the screen. A big part of the specials charm is Michael Bolton himself obviously tries to contain laughter throughout the special as he has to face off with Andy Samberg impersonating Kenny G, and Will Forte playing his less impressive twin brother Michael Fulton.
As far as comedy specials go, this is one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time. It nails the execution, contains a host of cameos some of which you don’t expect (Sinbad’s in the house!) and you get to listen to Michael Bolton sing. What more could you possibly ask for?