Friday, 3 December 2010

Comedy round up and random bits that crossed my mind this week.

Some days you wonder if it's worth getting out of bed at all. This last week has been one of those days. Between the flu, the cat costing us the entire budget for Hanukkah in meds, and the filthy disgusting cheating things that run football robbing England blind, makes me wonder if it wasn't all a nightmare I just need to wake up from. Let me pinch myself.... nope still here.

I'm told it snowed 3 feet in Newcastle and a catastrophic two inches in that London, considering what happened next, I was pissing myself laughing. You'd think the only snow that ever fell on Borisland was in a film. If I may point out something rather important,  this is the third year  at about this time, it's snowed, maybe it's time to get some snow tires and send out a quango to Canada or Finland to find out how it's done. Not that any of this matters as we've been housebound for the last three weeks, missed a funeral, the 100th anniversary of Polish Scouting and was made to suffer through some intensely bad music on the current play list at Radio Newcastle.  There's an alleged song by "The Script" that is more lament for the terminally tone deaf so bad it feels the need to start rapping/talking dramatically, then sandwiched in between the regulars like Julio Iglesias who has always made me want to slit my wrists, they threw in the Yech factor cover of a Bowie song, then poor Amy Wino and Elton John also have songs murdered by different cover artists. I may just decide to stick to the all news format till I get better. You have to feel for Simon Logan, some of the stuff he's forced to play.  Thanks Simon for the Queen and Pogues tracks this morning. Life for Simon has been hard this week, a normal 10 minute trip up the Salter road now takes several hours till the gritters come and "SALT " Salter road.  You're right Keef, there is a joke in there.

The other joke of the week is the alleged scandal fact from the House of Commons. Apparently MPs from the North of England are the most prolific users of  expenses this year since they last told us what our elected representatives are up to. Just tossed out with not so much as a crumb of explanation, these poor MPs are left to dangle out there with untold innuendo and the mild smell of wrong doing about them. Could it be , oh I don't know, that it's far from London, maybe it cost money to drive, take the train, run two residences, keep  surgery hours without using the moped issued by David Cameron for MP's who live farther north than Kent. How are we expected to keep quality politicians of any party if they are made to feel deep shame for travelling in any logical way with a modicum of comfort or care for their family lives? If ever made public, the private sector expense accounts for mid level management and travelling salesmen would make these expense claims seem like the trivial fluff they are, but that's not how the news spins it. I sympathize with some public interest policy bodies intent on claiming news and the right the know; they need something, anything to create monsters where none exist, but are they prepared for the same level of scrutiny and  intrusion in their lives? I doubt it. My hat is off to the men and women of any party  who have given up normalcy for life in the fish-bowl to serve their constituents. One day some sense of perspective and rationality will come over these people, but I suspect not before they themselves stand for Parliament. Must be fun taking shots at people who are damned if they defend themselves and damned if they don't  Very brave indeed.

Thankfully not all the comedy however tragic was in the news. I had the pleasure of watching several excellent  sketches by Armstrong and Miller. They are, as some of you know, on a new series 4 eps in. Best new characters are the vampires based on the Gary Oldman version and the classic Bela Lugosi Count. These two continental gentlemen must try to understand the charvification of the world and still feed. They get help from teen vampire porn denizens more at home on Being Human than a Hammer set, and the results are hilarious. Not content to get one set of new characters, they created a brave amount of personas to replace stale bits that stopped working some time ago, Hairy Bikers piss take Flint and Rory  had me on the floor . The reworked antiques wrecking crew should have been left to die and the new Man from Reading is only funny if you don't speak French. Best running gag is the "Damn, I've forgotten to take the bins out" routine. I'm never sure when it comes but now I'm looking for it.

Two other efforts by the BBC are not so lucky as Armstrong and Miller. The outrageous lie entitled LOL from Northern Ireland  was billed as fresh new writing from brilliant new talent. I should have listened to that little voice telling me it was unadulterated compost worthy only of the big garden in Countryfile.  Despite being only 12 minutes long, it managed the near impossible, ...... being without a single  funny moment from the start to the instant I turned it off 7 minutes in. It was like watching a youtube video by two uni mates who film the completely unfunny thing they came up with the night before when on too much lager. Surely somebody must check these things before they go out?

The other disaster I risked my fragile health on was the Stephen K Amos show.  This washed up stand up comedian recycling jokes that weren't funny 20 years ago, has the comic timing of diarrhoea and a sneeze. I take that back, a sneeze during  diarrhoea is a 100 times funnier than Mr Amos.  He then brings in his mam  and alleged brother, who both stink up the room, doing ill performed jokes and routines done much better by Omid Djalili and that Nigerian comedienne Andi Osho. I love ethnic humour, but this was old and smelled like it had been in the attic to long. The less said  about these two so called breathes of fresh air the better. I will be sticking to Russell Howard, Mock the week, Qi and the rest of the safe side of the street. My life is too short to spend more than a few minutes to have a whiff of the new droppings from the increasingly desperate BBC comedy boffins who haven't found the new Python in such a long time one wonders just where the comic genius is, or is it that they're just not looking in the right place.

It's not hard you know, Getting on fits a niche and is good, Whites deserves a new series, Mongrels, despite not being able to rise above working/middle  class humour, was brilliant, Rev did for God what Father Ted and Vicar of Dibley did in their day. The fact is that a massive streak of humour infuses more than a few programmes, Top Gear, Man lab and Toy Stories, and yet the people who approved those projects have somehow lost the plot and have laid eggs like the desperately unfunny Impressions show, The Pursuasionists, Big Top and few other horrors I've since successfully put out of my mind. I would like to think that in the coming inspired times where ironic and dark humour, humans thrive on in difficult times, becomes abundant and  less difficult to spot. While I'm at it, the upper classes, the educated, the highly imaginative have a right to a laugh as well. Bring us the next league of gentlemen, Python and Of the manor born, charvs are not the only ones who watch telly. Rare tip of the hat to ITV, thanks a bunch for the latest series of Ladies of Letters. Please play it again  and make some more.

C4 has had it's new entries as well and I'm going to have a marathon of Peep Show next. I'll let you know how that went in due time. Good news if you haven't heard, Johnny Vegas surrealistic oddball comedy IDEAL has been approved for a new series, Thick of it is now writing scripts for the next series which will now of course include a third party. and Live at the Apollo has a whole new batch of stand ups just in time for Christmas. Remember if it's not funny, change the channel, and something else might be. Happy goggle boxing all.

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