almostwitty: (monkey)

Back in the 1980s/1990s when I was very very interested in British comedy, I used to collect the odd scrapbook of newspaper/magazine articles of anything related to Blackadder et. al. This was mostly because this was pre-Internet, and I was stuck in mid-Wales and thus very much out of the loop. (Although ironically, I’m now living in West London, working for the BBC and still as out of the loop as ever. Who’s this Miranda woman?)

Fortunately, some kind person has seen fit to share their collection of articles from that time with the world by scanning it all in and posting it to that there Internet. So if you want to revisit articles about comedy gems from Absolutely to Whose Line Is It Anyway (by way of Alan Davies, Ardal O’Hanlon, Ben Elton, Blackadder, Comic Relief, Eddie Izzard, Frank Skinner, French and Saunders, Fry and Laurie, Harry Enfield, Have I Got News For You, Ian Hislop, Jack Dee, Jo Brand, Julian Clary, Monty Python, Paul Merton, Peter Cook, Private Eye, Rab C Nesbitt, Red Dwarf, Reeves and Mortimer, Richard Curtis, Rik Mayall,
Robbie Coltrane, Rory Bremner, Rowan Atkinson, Ruby Wax, Spitting Image, Steve Coogan, The Fast Show, The Mary Whitehouse Experience, The Young Ones / The Comic Strip Presents, Tony Slattery and Victoria Wood), pop along to this list of scans from tourmaline1973.

(Really ought to revive my British Comedy Library site one of these days)

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (evil)

I’ve always wanted to be a stand-up comedian. But after doing a mini-course on it and being part of a British-Chinese comedy sketch troupe, I’ve been aware that I have zero perfomance skills, and gave up on the idea, while trying in vain to groom my wife for the job.

And then I stumbled across Andrew Wong the stand-up comedian. He’s British, and at least half my age. Fortunately, he’s not a professional – but at the same time, his YouTube channel is the 19th most subscribed channel in the British comedian category.

However, I’m too far in to tell if he’s actually funny or not. Is he?

There’s also an Andrew Wong who was a ninja contestant on Australia’s Got Talent … who got mistaken for another Andrew Wong with suspected benefit fraud. Apparently.

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Sarah Cameron not quite standing by her man, David Cameron
 


So… on the night when David Cameron finally became Prime Minister, HyperHam and I had the following conversation:

HH: “Why is Mrs Cameron standing at the back, pregnant and far away from her husband?”
AW: “Well, we’re living in Tory times now.”

To me, this was so amazingly funny and of-the-moment, that I immediately posted it on Twitter and Facebook. After all, what’s a joke if it’s not instantly shared to as many people as possible?

While a couple of friends graciously shared the joke with credit, another friend of mine reposted the joke without attributing it towards me. Indeed, when I pointed out that I wrote the joke, she deleted the comment, and then we had a slight disagreement before she decided to delete the joke to begin with. But she genuinely thought she was in the right to just copy a joke without any form of attribution.

Record companies and artists everywhere bemoan how we now live in an age where people copy works without even thinking of paying for it. But at least we all know a song by Lady GaGa is by Lady GaGa. How soon is it going to be before people can’t even be bothered to acknowledge that someone else wrote that song or book or joke?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Sarah Cameron not quite standing by her man, David Cameron

So… on the night when David Cameron finally became Prime Minister, HyperHam and I had the following conversation:

HH: “Why is Mrs Cameron standing at the back, pregnant and far away from her husband?”
AW: “Well, we’re living in Tory times now.”

To me, this was so amazingly funny and of-the-moment, that I immediately posted it on Twitter and Facebook. After all, what’s a joke if it’s not instantly shared to as many people as possible?

While a couple of friends graciously shared the joke with credit, another friend of mine reposted the joke without attributing it towards me. Indeed, when I pointed out that I wrote the joke, she deleted the comment, and then we had a slight disagreement before she decided to delete the joke to begin with. But she genuinely thought she was in the right to just copy a joke without any form of attribution.

Record companies and artists everywhere bemoan how we now live in an age where people copy works without even thinking of paying for it. But at least we all know a song by Lady GaGa is by Lady GaGa. How soon is it going to be before people can’t even be bothered to acknowledge that someone else wrote that song or book or joke?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

So, it has come to pass that four minutes of the failed US version of that seminal British classic sitcom Spaced has made it onto YouTube:

It’s amazing how the mere addition of American accents and standing studio sets make it seem more polished, more ‘other’ and more glamorous. Which takes away the original charm of Spaced in that it was rooted in an earthly reality we could all recognise.

Worst of all – the American version of tortured artist Brian has somehow become Jim Belushi with an easel. It’s pretty much the same dialogue, but he seems less of a sweet, likeable tortured artist and more of an escapee from a fraternity who’s convinced himself that being arty with an easel will get him ladies. Though all he’s gotten so far is Marcia (at least that plotline stayed).

The interludes also seem bizarre to the point of pointlessness. Why have a disappearing tram?

On the plus side, Daisy somehow seems more real with an American accent, because in my head a flighty not-sure-what-to-do young woman seems more real with an American accent. Having said that, it’s very hard to see her miming a gunfight with such fabulous gusto as what happens later in Spaced…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

If you have any love of stand-up comedy, and an interest in the way it’s crafted and the dilemmas between pleasing yourself and pleasing the audience, then get thee hence to the Lyric Theatre (before Friday!) to go and see The Comedians, which I went to last night with @zsk and her husband.

It’s set in 1970s Manchester where a veteran Northern stand-up comedian runs a comedy class – and that night, his students will perform for the chance to get a contract with a venerated club promoter.

It’s often said the past is a different place, but it’s amazing to watch this recreation of 1970s Northern club comedy in 2000s West London, and marvel at the difference between then and now. Jokes you would not possibly get away with these days, mixed in with constant references to localities and local comedy clubs that reinforce the sense of community, from Liverpool to Leeds, that you just wouldn’t get today, especially in Southern England. Plus watching the on-stage collapse of a brotherly double-act is always highly amusing in a horrifying way.

There were, alas, moments when it seemed we were watching Mind Your Language instead, especially when the token comedy ethnic character popped in to steal the show for two minutes. Only, to my mind, made sadder by the realisation that the role was taken by one of the cast of the then ground-breaking Goodness Gracious Me. From being one of the co-stars of one of the most diverse sketch shows to a three-minute role, in ten years.

Of course, now we live in a world where vindictiveness is returning to comedy in a way it never has done before. Frankie Boyle, a Scottish teetotaller comedian, constantly stereotypes Scottish people as racist miser alcoholics, and refers to an Olympic athlete as being so ugly, she must be “very dirty”, and everybody laughs. Even I did. Indeed, tonight, the sick jokes website Sickipedia (don’t visit if you have any sensitivities to any jokes) is putting on a gig.

Still, if you have any love of comedy, go and see it before it closes on Friday!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

If you have any love of stand-up comedy, and an interest in the way it’s crafted and the dilemmas between pleasing yourself and pleasing the audience, then get thee hence to the Lyric Theatre (before Friday!) to go and see The Comedians, which I went to last night with @zsk and her husband.

It’s set in 1970s Manchester where a veteran Northern stand-up comedian runs a comedy class – and that night, his students will perform for the chance to get a contract with a venerated club promoter.

It’s often said the past is a different place, but it’s amazing to watch this recreation of 1970s Northern club comedy in 2000s West London, and marvel at the difference between then and now. Jokes you would not possibly get away with these days, mixed in with constant references to localities and local comedy clubs that reinforce the sense of community, from Liverpool to Leeds, that you just wouldn’t get today, especially in Southern England. Plus watching the on-stage collapse of a brotherly double-act is always highly amusing in a horrifying way.

There were, alas, moments when it seemed we were watching Mind Your Language instead, especially when the token comedy ethnic character popped in to steal the show for two minutes. Only, to my mind, made sadder by the realisation that the role was taken by one of the cast of the then ground-breaking Goodness Gracious Me. From being one of the co-stars of one of the most diverse sketch shows to a three-minute role, in ten years.

Of course, now we live in a world where vindictiveness is returning to comedy in a way it never has done before. Frankie Boyle, a Scottish teetotaller comedian, constantly stereotypes Scottish people as racist miser alcoholics, and refers to an Olympic athlete as being so ugly, she must be “very dirty”, and everybody laughs. Even I did. Indeed, tonight, the sick jokes website Sickipedia (don’t visit if you have any sensitivities to any jokes) is putting on a gig.

Still, if you have any love of comedy, go and see it before it closes on Friday!

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

I have been caught massively enthusing about the genius that is Spaced - the finest sitcom a pop-culture/nerdy obsessed person could ever possibly hope to have. Complete with strong characters all round. It’s so hip it hurts…

Anyway, skip to the end - and some kind soul has put up the first episode of Spaced online on Google Video. So here it is: watch it!

Then buy Spaced: The Collectors Edition from your friendly Amazon UK dealer.

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

Profile

almostwitty: (Default)
almostwitty

June 2017

S M T W T F S
     123
45678910
1112131415 1617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 22nd, 2017 06:20 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios