Spring is shaping up to be a good season for Danny McBride. The fringe Apatow player and his friends (christened a “North Carolina mob” by HitFix’s Drew McWeeney) are all over the place. Of course Mr. McBride stars in the HBO series, East Bound and Down, which he co-created with his long-time buddies Jody Hill and Ben Best (friend David Gordon Green has also directed a couple of episodes). Then there’s Observe and Report, which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival to reviews that pushed the use of the word “transgressive” into critical levels; Mr. McBride has a small cameo in the film, which was written and directed by Mr. Hill. And! As if that weren’t enough, the actor announced at SXSW that he and Mr. Green are teaming up yet again, this time for the medieval comedy Your Highness. If you’re looking for an heir to the Judd Apatow throne of comedy, this group of guys could take the crown. Of course, there is just one problem: They aren’t funny.
Whenever Danny McBride pops up in something, we find ourselves reacting like our parents did when they found us watching The Simpsons in fifth grade: We shake our heads, roll our eyes. We just don’t get it! He’s like Will Ferrell, only without the charm or talent. Mr. McBride and his cohorts create these ugly and unredeemable characters and presume that we’ll find them funny. It takes a deft touch to pull this type of humor off—think Ricky Gervias. But Mr. McBride isn’t even playing the same sport as Mr. Gervais. As one of our friends so aptly put it: Danny McBride is basically the 11th funniest person in Tropic Thunder.
And what of David Gordon Green? There was a time when Mr. Green was favorably compared to Terrence Malick and Michael Cimino. He seemed to possess the soul of a lyrical ’70s filmmaker in the body of a 34-year-old. Think about how ridiculous this sounds: The guy who directed All the Real Girls is using his talents to create a medieval comedy with Danny McBride. Come on! Who is giving him career advice? Tommy Chong?