Offbeat comedy has changed quite a bit in the past few decades, influenced by the rise of the internet, meme culture, and the influence of Dadaist, absurd comedy shows like “The Tom Green Show,” which embraced being aggressively bizarre as a form of humor. Enter the Loiter Squad: Tyler, the Creator, Jasper Dolphin, Taco Bennett, Earl Sweatshirt, and Lionel Boyce. They’re five young Black men who skateboard, rap, produce music, and create ridiculous comedy sketches. The series was produced by Dickhouse productions, the same team behind “Jackass,” for its first two seasons, while the third season was produced by “Jackass” director Jeff Tremaine’s production company, Gorilla Flicks, and Tyler the Creator’s production company, Camp Flog Gnaw, and the “Jackass” familial vibe is there, too. “Loiter Squad” is occasionally problematic and often vulgar, but it also has the same warm, weirdo-embracing heart as the rest of the Dickhouse franchises.
Each of the main cast members brings a different style of comedy to the table, and each shares enough of themselves that by the end of the third season, it’s hard not to feel a bit attached. We get to meet Jasper’s dad, Dark Shark, an ex-convict with a big personality who eventually stars in some of the skits. We get to see the guys process their fame, the hypocrisy of the record industry, and the dangers of living in America while Black, all within the context of 60-90 second skits meant to make a bong smoke-filled dorm room erupt into laughter. The skits range in style from spoofs like “Catchphrase Jones” or “The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion” to bits like Tyler dressing as a period and a wet dream to give PSAs on puberty. There are also stunts and concert footage (all of the Odd Future guys are also musically talented), further bridging the gap between reality TV and scripted comedy.
In addition to the main cast, who are all brilliant in their own ways, “Loiter Squad” features an incredible number of celebrity guests. Seth Rogen appears as a “six-year-old girl” in a tutu who attacks Jasper and Earl. Blake Anderson of “Workaholics” fame shows up a few times, with a running joke that he’ll do anything to impress the guys, even if it kills him (repeatedly). Several of the “Jackass” guys show up, and there are rap stars and other celebrities galore, including Channing Tatum, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, Tony Hawk, Master P, Mac Miller, George Clinton, Xzibit, Boots Riley, Lil Wayne, Nelly, and Kel Mitchell. The guests all get to go a little wilder than they do on any other shows, and it’s fun to see them goof off with the Loiter Squad guys.