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Philips tries sharpening their humor with Manalogues

Philips has just launched their third attempt to recapture the magic they found in the brilliant and original site from two and a half years ago. Their last attempt from January of this year called Second Puberty was a humorless attempt that felt like it was an homage to one of Saturday Night Live’s Robert Smigel cartoons. This new site brings forth the concept of “Manalogues,” which leaves behind the catroon stylings of the last version in favor of putting comedian and Mad TV alum Bryan Callen in the staring role. He performs as Frenchman, a Russian, a Brit and two Americans who offer up different tales about the shame of hairiness and how they overcame it using the Bodygroom. On paper it sounds like it could be a funny idea with a comedian like this but it is done with the level of humor and uncomfortable delivery you would expect to find at 2 in the morning on a public access channel. It’s clear I am not alone in this feeling when you look at the rating system they have created for the site where pressing the space bar lets you clap during and after each performance. The results are displayed in real time down the right edge of the video with the play head so you can see your reactions against the aggregate audience. I never saw it go over about 1/3rd approval and you have to wonder how much feedback was from people just trying out the functionality to see what happens. Once you are done watching the videos you can submit your own Manalogues for consideration and the best ones will eventually be performed. I keep wanting these sites to be able to return to their former glory but with each new version they only seem to be able to point out how uncomfortable the subject can become when the humor disappears.

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