One of the funniest movies you might see this year also really stinks. "Kenny" could also very well be the "Citizen Kane" of portable toilet movies. Released in Australia in 2006, this little gem is just now circulating in the States and is a not-to-be missed, chuckle-a-minute, small miracle.
Dubbed "A Knight In Shining Overalls," Kenny is a hero in a world gone to, er, poo. Reminiscent of the best of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries, such as "Best in Show" or "Waiting for Guffman," "Kenny" plays its hand close to the vest, rarely winning the pot (no pun intended) by broad humor, but instead bluffing its way through with a relatively straight face.
The hilarity organically generated from the earnestness of main character Kenny Smyth, a wonderfully subtle comedic turn by co-writer Shane Jacobson. Kenny is the head (no pun intended) multi-tasker for the "Splashdown" company that specializes in the port-a-john delivery business. No event is too big or small for Kenny to ensure the right amount of "relief" stations are delivered and maintained. He takes his job very seriously and is so detail-oriented that, for example, he asks each and every customer if any curries or spicy equivalents are being served so as to have extra "facilities" on hand if needed.
Dealing with lazy co-workers, complaining clients, and port-a-potty vandals are issue simply all in a day's work for Kenny; he wipes them away (no pun intended) effortlessly. A bit harder to deal with however, is his insulting, grumpy Father (real-life dad Ronald Jacobson), an unruly son (real-life son Jesse Jacobson), and a surly ex-wife who harangues Kenny constantly. He is still a bit regretful about losing his wife "but when you spend more time with other people's poo than you do with your missus, there's bound to be a penalty," he philosophically states. What makes Kenny different is that he is a man with an almost zen-like acceptance of his lot in life. While others around him view him with pity, disgust, or disdain, he calmly lives his life with "no worries". Kenny is simple but not stupid, and seems genuinely satisfied, not just settling for less. When he gets a chance to attend a "plumbing and cleaning" convention in Nashville, Tenn., his wonderment is infectious.
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Don't worry, even though "Kenny" does have its charming and touching moments, it is first and foremost a riotous laugh fest, peppered with crude humor and smartly sly dialogue.
Directed and co-written by Shane "Kenny" Jacobson's brother Clayton, it's a family affair of spot-on comic timing and quotable lines. In fact, it was such a hit Down Under that it spawned a TV sitcom a few weeks ago ...that I have a feeling America will ruin with its own take starring someone irritating like Dane Cook.
So if you are feeling a bit constipated with recent U.S. comedies, I urge you to see "Kenny." It's a masterfully funny comedy colonic.