Tour de Pharmacy: The World of Cycling According to Samberg

Tour de Pharmacy Plot Summary:

After the officials disqualify the rest of the cyclists for taking part in bribery, the remaining five competitors duke it out to win the 1982 Tour de France. Unbeknownst to everyone else, the five are all cheating.

Whereas some comedians make us laugh with their wit and expertly crafted jokes, others focus on being completely ridiculous. If you’ve seen anything from Andy Samberg in the past 10 years or so, you know he falls into the latter category. That’s not a knock against Samberg. I’ve liked Samberg for a while now. This is just my way of telling you what Tour de Pharmacy is. From what I can gather by watching the 7 Days in Hell trailer, the two mockumentaries are very similar.

The humor in Tour de Pharmacy boils down to a couple elements. The first is the kind of humor that Andy Samberg can only get away with on a channel like HBO. The mockumentary makes that pretty clear in the opening minutes, when Orlando Bloom’s character dies relieving himself during the race. This brings me to the second element, our amazement that Samberg and HBO convinced so many stars to appear in this farce. HBO didn’t keep these appearances a secret, but it doesn’t lessen the surprise when you see them introduced in increasingly absurd ways. A good example of this is John Cena’s character, which Dolph Lundgren plays in the present-day segments.

But, despite the plethora of personalities, none of them can compete with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. He’s not just a part of the show. He’s a major part. It baffles me that he would appear in a comedy that no doubt owes its existence to his doping scandal. Is it because he’s moved past all that, or is he trying to gain sympathy by being all hip and self-deprecating? Then again, it might be to help pay off the $100 million lawsuit by the U.S. Postal Service. Only Lance can know for sure.

I have to give the production crew a lot of credit. They do a tremendous job of making the race look like it really took place in 1982. I know it didn’t, because I recognize the actors and know it’s a parody, but the aging of the footage is quite impressive. I appreciate that HBO went the extra mile, no pun intended.

Tour de Pharmacy didn’t elicit any hard laughs from me, and it’s not going down in the pantheon of great spoofs, but it did make chuckle. It’s amusing and a fine way to spend 45 minutes. So, if have HBO and extremely crude humor is your thing, I recommend catching a rerun or watching it On Demand.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (Good)

Aaron Sarnecky is The Pop Break’s Television Editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of staff writer Josh Sarnecky. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed.