Reviewing comedy is both incredibly easy and largely impossible.
It's easy because what makes for good comedy is pretty simple: Did ya laugh? If yes, it works; if no, it don't.
At the same time, what makes you laugh isn't necessarily what makes me laugh, so while I may fall head over heels for a comedy series or film, you may watch the very same bits and have no reaction whatsoever. This is especially true when it comes to your more edgy brands of comedy — scatological humor, especially sharp satire, politically incorrect gags.
TV Funhouse is packed to the rafters with all three of the above, from monkey poop jokes to note-perfect parodies of old after-school cartoons and black-and-white educational films. Every scene seems to push some boundary or another, whether through coarse language, controversial content, or uncomfortable characters. It's comedy at the fringe, dancing back and forth across every conceivable boundary of acceptable behavior and content.
It's subversive, unspeakably profane, relentlessly sharp... and damned fantastic.
It's also one of TV's great cult classics of the past ten years. A spin-off of the popular recurring animated parody segments on Saturday Night Live, TV Funhouse was itself a parody of kids' television, with a friendly and earnest host participating in brief "educational" live segments and introducing the cartoon parodies. Except the live-action segments inevitably devolved into following the Anipals, intentionally silly-looking animal puppets, as they engaged in various misadventures that no self-respecting childrens' entertainer should be caught dead doing — a cockfight in Tijuana, for example, or getting drunk and laid with Robert Goulet in Atlantic City.
Like the SNL segments, TV Funhouse was largely the brainchild of writer/performer Robert Smigel, the hand up Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's ass and the first head writer for Conan O'Brien's late night show. TV Funhouse acts as a summation of his work, to get a little high-falutin' about it — with his writing and performances, he's constantly challenging societal morays and pushing the audience's boundaries of decency or comfort. This is a series where over the course of eight episodes, you get to see a young chicken masturbate, animals snorting Christmas cheer like it's cocaine, and a stuffed cat graphically give birth to real kittens.
There are also the cartoon parodies, which are more sharply defined comedic instruments, cutting deep and hard, taking no prisoners. "Steadman" chronicles the lengths to which Oprah's boyfriend will go to avoid having sex with her. "Wonderman" is a note-perfect parody of the old Fleischer Superman cartoons, except the titular superhero only performs heroic acts to get his alter-ego laid.