British Comedy Guide

Cardinal Burns. Image shows from L to R: Dustin Demri-Burns, Seb Cardinal. Copyright: Left Bank Pictures.

Cardinal Burns

Channel 4 and E4 sketch show. 12 episodes (2 series), 2012 - 2014. Stars Seb Cardinal, Dustin Demri-Burns, James Puddephatt, Aisling Bea, Lucinda Dryzek and Clare Warde.

Press Clippings

The comic duo breathing new life into the sketch format

The bizarre creations of Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns have earned them cult status; now they're embarking on their first UK tour.

Alice Jones, The Independent, 28th September 2014

Bad timing: when the news makes comedy uncomfortable

After the Rotherham abuse scandal, the sleazy taxi drivers in Cardinal Burns's sketch generate unease. What should comedians do when their material suddenly becomes sensitive?

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 22nd September 2014

Radio Times review

Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns wrote a sketch for this series where they played two horror writers, shut up in a room to finish a screenplay, who end up killing each other. They rejected it in the end but, watching this apocalyptic series-closing double bill, you can see where the idea came from. Episode five boasts a tale of festival-going gone wrong that could be by Shearsmith & Pemberton, while the finale gives a couple of long-running characters an icky end.

There are still great little gags popping up here and there, though. Look out for the ultimate "man sneaks away from a one-night stand" sketch.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 28th May 2014

It's been a near-stellar run for Cardinal Burns, and they end the series with a double bill filled with regulars. The Office Flirts have to find new hunting grounds in the back streets of the city after being expelled from the office, Young Dreams' Rachel finds her inner Ellie Goulding, and airline pilots Malcolm and Geoff encounter variousproblems with the intercom. Paranormal investigators Phil and Jase pop off for a spa break, and Hashtag and Bukake are forced into defending their minicab firm from a rival company.

Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian, 28th May 2014

Cardinal Burns psychoanalyse each other

Channel 4's hit sketch comedy duo Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns get on the couch to psychoanalyse each other

Cardinal Burns, The Guardian, 16th May 2014

Radio Times review

Dustin Demri-Burns spends an almost uncomfortable amount of time as playfully stereotypical foreign characters as telly's most confident sketch duo continue swaggering about like the rudest kids in school. He's Le Rat, the French street artist who comes to Hadley Wood to visit his British counterpart Banksy ("Well, you've certainly brought the weather with you. Entrez, entrez!") but turns out to be a touch too anarchic for our man's taste.

That's a longform sketch that fulfils Cardinal Burn's brief of delivering miniature sitcoms - as does Demri-Burns' wicked turn as a fake karate sensei who just wants his young charge (Seb Cardinal, with fat suit and pre-pubescent screech) to do up his house. The performance of the night, though, comes from Cardinal, reimagining Daniel Day-Lewis as a gossiping ninny.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 14th May 2014

Cardinal Burns: 5 of the best sketches

Despite videos from the pair popping up from these two for years, their style is so refreshing, it's almost as if they've only just got started.

Danny Walker, The Mirror, 7th May 2014

Radio Times review

Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns have more faith in their running characters than their one-off sketches. That seems a shame when, as we saw in the series opener, their one-offs can be world-beaters. The good news is, Cardinal Burns gives its regulars much more to do than simply repeating the same gag in a different setting: each sketch has its own mini-narrative.

In this episode, 70s-throwback minicab drivers Hashtag and Bukake are bewitched by a siren in a red dress, while a virile new temp comes between the office flirts. The biggest laugh? Rubbish lads Jonesy and Metcalfe arrange a stag night for their mate. "3-2-1, organised fun!"

Radio Times, 7th May 2014

It feels as if there's been a dearth of "silly for silliness's sake" sketch comedy recently, so thank heaven for Cardinal Burns. The duo have a wonderful way of inhabiting each and every character they portray, perhaps because they are fans of the tropes that they mock so expertly. This week has the remarkably camp paranormal investigators Jase and Phil (their "Ooh, stigmata!" is snortingly funny), while The Office Flirts are shaken up by a brash newcomer, and there's more from Hashtag and Bukake, two Turkish minicab drivers.

Bim Adewunmi, The Guardian, 7th May 2014

Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns's Cardinal Burns, on to a welcome return series, is still just a sketch show. Hit-and-miss, as even the best in this genre tend to be, but it was more former than latter: nudging a little near to the bone admittedly, but it's on at 10.30pm. The one where a post-office storage-depot worker has to collect a parcel from the bowels of what turns out to be an elaborate game of Crystal Maze was gleeful, and too long, which was its point, and I do hope this becomes a running gag about where people go when they're off collecting utterly simple stuff: your kettle from Argos (it's there! I can see it on the belt!), your x-rays from next door. Sinister watchmakers (as if there's any other kind) limping into the "back shop".

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 3rd May 2014

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