In Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD (Radio 4) Steven Seagal was the hero of the half hour. Tuck was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2011 for his show about a quest to watch all 54 Disney movies that never made it to the big screen. For this four-part sequel he continues to watch the films that no one else will, starting with Seagal's late period action movies - a scarcely feasible "1,883 minutes of hitting" since 2002.
It's an excellent concept. Tuck's eagle eye for absurdity - Seagal's face is "like someone trying to draw Bruce Lee on a marshmallow" - is evident, but so too is his clear affection for his terrible source material. I can't wait for the Olsen Twins episode.Alice Jones, The Independent, 4th April 2013
There's comedy on the radio, and there's comedy for the radio - they're two different things.
One just happens to be on the radio; the other is devised for a non-visual medium. When the audience is laughing, and you don't know what they're laughing about, that's comedy on the radio. Sometimes, as funny as a programme is, I feel as if I'm standing at the stage door listening to the laughs.
There was an element of that in the otherwise excellent Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD, which is based on his show at last year's Edinburgh Festival. I say "based on" - in fact, it clearly is his show, simply recorded and transmitted, unmediated for radio. Several times there'd be a laugh provoked by something he'd said followed by another laugh, clearly provoked by something he'd done. This isn't to scapegoat Tuck - it's common in radio comedy - but it was irritating.
The show is a neat idea, all the same - Tuck set himself to watch all 54 straight-to-DVD films made by Disney, while exploring the issue of "why I fall in love at the drop of a hat - and why people drop so many hats near me". He had plenty of raw material, with movies such as Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, with Iago the parrot and the comedy sidekick Ab-Ismal, as well as obvious gems such as Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, and Beauty and the Beast III: Belle's Magical World. And there was a nice running joke about ex-girlfriends' names: "My first love was a girl called Shanah - I can't tell you her surname: it's genuinely still my password for everything." And later, there was Beth: "I'm not going to tell you her surname because she's seen the show and politely requests that I don't."
It seemed a bit scattershot - I'd imagined something more systematic: the films dealt with one by one, with the life lessons following on. Instead there seemed to be two shows, one about the films and one about Tuck's romantic tribulations, intercut more or less at random. It was enjoyable, though - and I'd have enjoyed it even more if I'd been there.Chris Maume, The Independent, 19th February 2012