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Andy Samberg spoofs cycling in goofy, cameo-heavy Tour de Pharmacy: EW review

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John P. Johnson/HBO

Tour de Pharmacy

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a B+

It takes only two minutes for this lovingly crafted and extremely goofy mockumentary to show us the prosthetic penis of a dead man, played by Orlando Bloom, flopping off the side of a bicycle.

This is what happens when Andy Samberg spoofs the Tour de France.

Working with the same team behind 2015’s terrific tennis comedy 7 Days in Hell, Samberg and company mercilessly ridicule the prestigious contest’s long history with doping. Set at the 1982 Tour de France and narrated by America’s narrator-in-chief Jon Hamm, the 40-minute parody centers on a core group of colorful, easily distracted (and very fictional) riders played with utmost silliness by Samberg, Bloom, John Cena, Freddie Highmore, and Daveed Diggs. They’re all insane human beings who not only hate each other but also seem to hate cycling in general.

The race is barely the point, of course — it’s instead simply a canvas to showcase the creators’ marvelously absurd sensibilities. You don’t have to know or care much about the sport to enjoy the broad sight gags, amusing tangents, and cartoonish accents. (“Are you saying cheetah or cheater?” a journalist shouts at Cena. The answer remains unclear.) In one section, several minutes are spent dissecting the Finnish credit card industry. It has almost nothing to do with anything, and it might be one of the best parts of the movie.

All that ridiculousness is buttressed by short, joke-packed cameos from Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum, J.J. Abrams, Phylicia Rashad, Kevin Bacon, and a dozen more respectable figures who I can only assume owe Andy Samberg money. Especially strong are James Marsden, as a hammy telecaster, and Nathan Fielder, as the artistic leader of the World Anti-Doping Agency (“This is what I painted while I was on amphetamines”).

Even Lance Armstrong shows up — though it might’ve been better if he didn’t. Sure, it’s an incredible get for Samberg, but probably not worth it; Armstrong is exactly as funny as you’d expect. His involvement is one of the few things going against this otherwise breezy, fun time.

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