I'd like to introduce a new feature for the Nose. I shall call it The Flaming Stumble. It's for the odd program we stumble upon and may never watch again, but recognize that its inherent weirdness might appeal to someone out there in television land. Hence, it's worth a shout out, however brief.
As my inaugural Stumble post, I'd like to recognize An Idiot Abroad, a strange little reality/comedy/travel program now running on (of all places) the Science channel. I don't actually get the Science channel on my too expensive HD Comcast line-up. I found the Idiot accidentally while sniffing around On Demand.
An Idiot Abroad features round faced Brit comic Karl Pilkington, as he travels to exotic places around the world. He's xenophobic, politically incorrect, mystified and miserable wherever he goes. His clueless persona has developed a cult following in the UK, as well as on XFM, and Gervais himself has proclaimed the hapless chap "the funniest man alive in Great Britain today". I watched an episode where Mr. Pilkington was sent to China, where he marveled more at the street food (roasted toad and scorpions on a stick) than the Great Wall. His head is as round as a billiard ball, and it is sort of riveting to watch him trudge through alien lands. Ricky and Stephen call him on a satellite cell phone occasionally to offer advice or howl with glee at his exploits.
Ubiquitous comic Ricky Gervais hosts An Idiot abroad along with his friend (and Extras regular) Stephen Merchant. He calls the show "the most expensive practical joke ever". The Science channel has buried it on Saturday nights at 10pm, where only the lonely, the curious and seekers of human oddities will find and love its eccentric charm.