Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Comedy capers

Another one of my occasional forays into the hilarious world of tv comedy - all inspired by the return of my favouritist sitcom The IT Crowd on Friday, and the lovely Harry Hill's TV Burp being back too.

Both are such likeable shows - was it in the profile of Harry in the Guardian at the weekend that the word 'daft' was used to describe him? It fits both shows perfectly -they're silly and lovely and funny and daft. On my recent flight to the US I watched the episode of IT Crowd where Chris Morris kills himself. I was in bits...

It's actually really hard to do daft. Father Ted, another top Graham Linehan shows, was stunningly daft. (His blog has good things on it - go there - clicky herey) But what else? Morecambe and Wise, obviously, but I'm struggling to think of anything recently.

The comedy of embarrassment and cruelty, from The Office to Fonejacker is what da yung kidz seem to like. Hmmm. Cringing as Mr Gervais puts his foot in it yet again, to me, is just that - cringing. Yes it's amusing, I may even crack a smile. But it's not boom-boom funny joke haha time.

(Note to self: write comedy show called Boom Boom Funny Joke Haha Time)

Listening to someone doing crank calls, no matter how well done, reminds me of Noel Edmond's Radio 1 Breakfast Show. As in being cold, wet, twelve and wishing he'd shut the fuck up and play some music.

I know I bang on about it but there's nothing quite like a really good proper normal sitcom, a one with a studio audience (real laughter!), filmed on tape (warm, bright pictures, not nasty, filmy reality!) with jokes (one-liners! catchphrases!) and a few simple story threads designed simply to be funny (no character development at all!) and make you laugh (out loud!)

As for t'other sitcoms on air, I watched Outnumbered, the second series (I think) of that sitcom with improvising kids in it, and it was rather meh. The child actors weren't as child actor-like as usual in a sitcom but it was all just too generic for me. I started to watch that thing with Jack Dee in it playing a grumpy twat (quite a stretch!) but switched off after a while as it seemed not to have any jokes in it.

My bestest tv news of the week was that Will and Grace twosome Jack and Karen might make a sitcom together. Please, if anyone involved from US tv is reading this (yeah, right) just LEAVE THE CHARACTERS AS THEY WERE - don't make them run a little cafe together, or put them in a motor-home, or have them married in some hilarious fake relationship... just have them being campy-queeny-idiot-man and bitchy-stupid-squeaky-rich woman. Hire Rosario back too, stick in some bland-but-pretty heteros and you've got a winner.

Well, you haven't got anything, nothing is guaranteed - hire back the same writers, producers, get a good slot, not be on against anything else that's a massive hit, and you've got a slight chance of being Frasier replacing Cheers (best characters, great writing) instead of Joey replacing Friends (worst character, OK writing).

Right, off to watch Charlie Brooker's Screenburn. He's not daft in any way - he's the anti-daft - and his spin on telly is the opposite of Mr Hill's, but it's a great show. Yay the telly!

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