Bored to Death Recap: Tales of an Upbeat Hamlet

Zach Galifianakis in Bored to Death Photo: Jessica Miglio/HBO
Episode Title
The Black Clock Of Time

The legacy of Bored to Death could simply be “John Hodgman shows off his brilliant physical comedy chops,” and as my people say, “Dayenu.” In this episode alone, Hodgman trashes a green room, dangles from a rope over the set of The Dick Cavett Show, finds himself thrown into a prison cell, and combs his mustache. That’s some versatility right there, and it highlights one of the things Bored to Death does best: It’s sporting a killer ensemble, and it’s not squandering a single person.

But Jonathan finds his footing figuratively and literally, and soon he abandons talk of the book and turns to his missing father and the destroyed sperm bank (he neglects to mention the “semen screams,” regrettably). Cavett is so taken by Jonathan’s plight — it’s Oprah-caliber stuff, he says — that he bumps Green and decides to keep Jonathan on for an additional segment. Thus we get to see Hodgman’s craziness out in full force, which includes everything written above, plus an attempt to close the curtain that nearly kills Dick Cavett were it not for Jonathan’s sterling reflexes. Then George swoops in and tries to smooth things over with Cavett — a man he had lunch with once, a very long time ago — and Ted Danson gets to stumble through the awkwardness now that George has lost some of his suave. That scene is an awesome cacophony of every Bored to Death actor, a celebration of the uncannily talented ensemble the show has built, and continues to build.