Comedian Greg Davis, also known as the task manager and his “assistant”, known as the creator of the series Alex Horn.
Photo: Avalon UKTV
As we are immersed deeper and deeper in the vacuum of content caused by COVID, which has almost all the upcoming autumn TV sets cleared, there has never been a better time to supervisor, one of Britain’s many hidden television gems to finally make its way to the United States. Although comedy panel shows are a virtually non-existent genre in the US on A, they are in the top ten on British television, but supervisor has its own unique, indefinable brand of madness, which made viewers return for nine series, soon to be ten. The popularity of the show in the UK is hardly insignificant. Since it began airing in 2015, it has spawned international adaptations in Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Finland. However, no remake can hope to compare to the original, which is so successful that Channel 4 committed to six more seasons when it acquired the show from UKTV late last year.
A short-lived American remake hosted by Reggie Watts is banned – more on that below – supervisor didn’t make much of a mark in the United States, but that should change this Sunday when the CW begins airing the show in all its British glory. If you are one of the many unfortunate Americans who are yet to discover the glory of the wall supervisor, here’s the full broadcast of what you need to know about the show before the eighth and ninth series begin airing in America.
Although a Google search will yield mixed results (especially since the show shares its name with a Marvel comic book villain), supervisor relies on a fairly simple premise: five stand-up comedians use their quick wit to perform “tasks” with varying degrees of absurdity in an attempt to please the task manager (comedian Greg Davis) and win a golden bust on his head.
Yes and no. Greg Davis, “Task Teacher”, is a British stand-up comedian and actor, and while he plays the role of task manager, it’s a mix of his real personality and a cold, demanding character invented for the show. Next to him is the subordinate door of a man named Alex Horn, who acts as his assistant, but also plays a role – because in fact Horn is the director and executive producer of the show, as well as its creator.
Again, yes and no. It’s a game show in the sense that it involves a group of contestants competing for a prize, but it’s not a game because all the participants are already known (at least in the UK – most of them will be less familiar to the US audience, which should consider this an opportunity to expand your comedic horizon), and the prize is a golden bust on the head of the Taskmaster. The driving force behind the show is not the cash prize competition, but the easy and often quiet humor is the result of the contestants’ attempts to complete the tasks.
Presented by Alex Horn, but supposedly set by the task manager, the tasks differ greatly in content, but always require non-standard thinking and willingness on the part of the competitors to make a complete mockery of themselves. There are several tasks that are consecutive from week to week: the first task of the episode is always a prize task, in which a contestant carries one of his own possessions, and the winner of the episode receives to take all possessions at home.
It would be wrong to try and connect the dots between the other tasks, but the easiest way to explain the chaos is to give examples. Previous assignments have ranged from orders like “make the best noise” to “impress this mayor” to “get the best gift for the task manager”, the latter of which was won by comedian Josh Widicombe, who tattooed the name of the leader of the foot constantly – this is how far the competitors are ready to go to win those who essentially boast of rights.