Andy Barker, P.I.: The Complete Series

TV Reviews Andy Richter
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DVD Release Date: Nov. 17
Creators: Conan O’Brien, Jonathan Groff
Starring: Andy Richter, Tony Hale, Clea Lewis, Harve Presnell, Mashall Manesh
Studio/Length: Shout! Factory, 132 mins.

Short-lived detective spoof showed promise but never had time to develop

Andy Barker, P.I. is all about what happens when you take clichéd murder-mystery investigations and make someone other than Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe the detective. The titular P.I., played to perfection by longtime Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter, is fascinatingly boring—an accountant by trade, Barker is both highly unqualified and highly uninterested in solving crimes. In his heart, he’ll always prefer Form 140s to femme fatales.

Despite O’Brien’s influence, Barker had no real chance of surviving. Its comedy was too niche to find much of an audience. A few episodes are excellent, but there’s not much consistency. The show was still finding its tone when it was cut, and never had the chance to grab even a cult following. For such a talented cast and crew working around such a unique premise, it’s unfortunate—more because of what could’ve been than what was.