I had completely forgotten about this one. I saw a trailer for this comedy show many years ago. But when it was so unceremoniously cancelled by those numpties at NBC after only 4 episodes, I assumed it would never see the light of day.
But I recently discovered that there is actually a Region1 DVD out there, comprising the only 6 episodes ever produced of that show.
Andy Barker is an accountant who recently opened his own office. Unbeknownst to him, the office space he has rented used to belong to a private investigator, and sure enough some clients start to turn up who are not looking for help with their taxes, but with various criminal cases. And Barker more often than not finds some of his accountancy skills quite useful in uncovering the truth…
It is rather difficult to balance these two lives anyway, but Barker also has to keep his office neighbours under control who are very eager to help with his detective work.
The show was co-created by Conan O’Brien and starred his long-time collaborator and side-kick Andy Richter in the title role. I have seen all six episodes and find the show very funny. I like O’Brien’s humour anyway, and the team around him wrote the character of Andy Barker to play to Richter’s strengths. Richter gives a very nice performance as our accountant-turned-investigator, playing him as the straight guy in a world full of loonies.
These loonies are the main supporting characters played by Tony Hale (of Arrested Development fame) and Marshall Manesh (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), as well as the late Harve Presnell. Not to mention Clea Lewis as Andy’s supportive wife.
Unfortunately, the final episode is the weakest of the bunch. But they probably did not know it would be the final one when they shot it …
Andy Barker, P. I. is a comedy show that is quirky but simple. It is neither following tired old sitcom paths, nor is it some edgy modernist crap that is just not funny. I strongly recommend you give it a try. Although this Region1 DVD set contains some extras, you must not forget that these are only 6 short episodes, so you should adjust the price you are willing to pay accordingly.