Over the last few years there has been a quiet and largely unnoticed slice of comedic genius floating around the BBC. Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience is by far the funniest thing on television. The premiss of the show is that Rhod, who has been told that being a stand up is the hardest job around, decided to have a go at other jobs. A simple premiss you say? Do I want to watch a welsh comedian be terrible at a random selection of jobs? The answer: yes, you definitely do.
Every episode has made me laugh out loud consistently throughout the whole thirty minutes. I have caught up on whole series if three hours without regret. This weeks show, sees Rhod attempt to be an RAF fighter pilot. The comedic diamonds of Gilbert’s work in this show are his beautifully weird and laugh inducing similes, for instance this episodes starts off with him being as ‘confused as a footballer trying to open a plain yogurt’. They leave you duped for a second until the image comes into your head, then your completely engrossed in the show, just waiting to be taken into his weird and hilarious mind once more.
Rhod’s sympathetic view of all the jobs he undertakes allows the viewer to develop an unwavering admiration for every single job, whether they be teachers, fishermen, or RAF fighter pilots. Rhod learns early on that ‘like a man with a million milk bottles on his doorstep I was finding it hard to take it all in’, he admits that he does not have what it takes to be a pilot, and duly realises he has found the true meaning behind RAF: Rhods Absolutely F****d. Even the flight simulation leaves his ‘head was spinning like a panda in a lap dancing club’. As the show progresses there is a question raised about the morality of the job. These £15million fighter jets are used in real life war. Rhod asks his training officer if he has used the missile buttons in real life, the officer answers yes and asks whether the question Rhod is asking him is one of personal morals. This brings a break from the comedic milieu, a break that causes you to ask yourself the question: would you press that missile button in real life because you were ‘following orders’? In Rhod’s case it was a direct no, followed by his raspy laugh, thus breaking the tense scene and bringing you back into the hilarity of the situation.
Personally, my favourite episode was series four’s Scout Leader experience. The combination of Rhod’s insanely weird quips and children was perfection in thirty minutes. Nevertheless, every episode I have watched has been perfection, or close to it at least. You will never regret discovering Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience.