Happy Finish. Image shows from L to R: Daniel Kaluuya, Nico Tatarowicz, Sara Pascoe, Mike Wozniak, Nadia Kamil. Copyright: Hat Trick Productions.

Happy Finish

Channel 4 sketch show. 1 pilot in 2010. Stars Nico Tatarowicz, Daniel Kaluuya, Sara Pascoe, Mike Wozniak and Nadia Kamil.

Press Clippings

A Ghost Whisperer pastiche hit the mark ("Get her to ask me a question only I'd know the answer to." "Where did we have our first kiss?" [Long pause] "Get her to ask me another one"), while a skit about the quotidian vapidity of time travel played impishly with expectations. But the high point was the introduction of the Department of Internet Hate - an underground government arm that writes those ferociously derisive comments that appear under YouTube videos, with invective just short of Malcolm Tucker's finest. Only an odd piece about the fatal consequences of illegal downloading really failed - puerile and not nearly as clever as it thought.

Robert Epstein, The Independent, 25th April 2010

Taking a quirk recognisable enough to be funny; and stretching it far enough away from reality to make it really funny - it's what 30 Rock does so well and it's what you could see substantial flashes of in Comedy Lab's iCandy, and especially in Happy Finish, which lived up to its name as the stronger second offering. For Happy Finish, the nascent gems were many; including a Department of Internet Hate - a ministry focused solely on posting mean comments on web forums ("that was gay to the power of Freddie Mercury times Brokeback Mountain."); and a dead boyfriend failing to reconnect with his live girlfriend through a medium, because he can't remember identifying traits such as her favourite film.

To get to a 30 Rock, you have to break lots of eggs, and it's encouraging to see glimmers of its superbness in Comedy Lab. Now the challenge goes out to us as viewers to be patient enough when some bits of shell get into the mix - and to the commissioners, to give the best bits room enough to grow.

Alex Hardy, The Times, 20th April 2010

Happy Finish, the second Comedy Lab, fares much better. It's not as character driven as iCandy so benefits from a bit more variety and the time to develop some sharper gags.

Sketches like the girl who doesn't understand how any drinking game works is repeated once too often, but there are no real problems with Happy Finish. Downloading an episode of Lost, overly aggressive children's entertainers and the message from Jesus are among the best sketches and prove that the writer's are thinking outside the box but need to work on the crux of the gag a little more.

These first episodes are a good start and will hopefully get some of these performers noticed, Psychoville's Daniel Kaluuya in particular.

Emily Moulder, On The Box, 19th April 2010

Happy Finish wins out for the burning originality of its ideas.

Highlights include the Department of Internet Hate, whose job is to compose the rude put-downs on YouTube comment boards and another about an illegal download of the next episode of Lost which goes horribly wrong.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 19th April 2010

There are two solutions to the problem of insufficient TV comedy. You either remake classics like Reginald Perrin. Or you try and do the honourable thing, like C4's Comedy Lab, and experiment. This, then, is the start of a week-long strand of double bills. Happy Finish is edgier than iCandy which preceeds it, if edgier means the using the C-word a lot, but is actually genuinely odd, mad and even funny.

The Guardian, 19th April 2010

The Comedy Lab strand showcases up-and-coming comic talent, allowing comedians the chance to experiment and the right to fail. But, my goodness, it's a hit-and-miss affair. Take tonight's two sketch shows. You would be well advised to give iCandy a wide birth, but the second, Happy Finish, is a much funnier affair and showcases show fresh new comedic talent.

The Times, 19th April 2010

Happy Finish is edgier and more stylish than iCandy, spinning out sophisticated sketches drawn from the everyday absurdities of the internet and high-concept TV dramas.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 19th April 2010

The venerable try-out series returns with two quite funny sketch show pilots. The first, iCandy, comes from Irish comic Liam Hourican, but for my money there are more laughs in tonight's second showcase, Happy Finish. Highlights include a sketch about a government department devoted to writing hateful comments on YouTube clips.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 19th April 2010