Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

Russell Brand’s brand new show

January 24, 2008

If you’re not up to much tomorrow night, watch Comedy Live Presents: Russell Brand and Friends at 10 on Channel 4.

If, like me, you are, then fret not as I was actually at the recording on Monday – in the BBC of all places – so I can tell you all about it.

Apart from watching a real-life TV show being filmed in general, what was quite weird was they recorded a good two hours of material for what is scheduled in the Guardian Guide as a one hour programme. So it’ll be interesting to see what they left in.

Mind you, I’ve got a good idea of what they’ll cut out because they were recording the audience’s response and I doubt they’ll broadcast anything that failed to raise a titter.

Russell Brand was very good – I hated him when he first appeared on TV but he’s turned out to be a rather intelligent comic. With wanking jokes. Which is what I like. God, I hope they leave in his ten-minute bit on wanking.

The format of the show was a bit like that BBC2 one a while back which was compered by Dara O’Briain, and it was all a little contrived for what is billed as a one-off special.

His sidekick during the show was an Irish gentleman called David O’Doherty with a crappy keyboard and some nice whimsy.

They had some vaguely topical celebrity-based sketches by some comedy troupe which included the racist in Peep Show and were a bit forced and died.

Also on VT was a welcome revival of the classic Bo Selecta! character Craig David, who was trying to relaunch his pop career with Kanye West lookalike Ken West, who had a Tourette’s style tic that made him keep saying “Pigs and dooses” or something similarly messed up.

The audience’s median age was about 18 but that didn’t stop them wheeling out Roseanne Barr of popular US 80s sitcom Roseanne who told some jokes about the menopause and basically died on her arse. She kept starting jokes by checking stuff like, “do you have Viagra over here?”

Apparently Paul “Dennis Pennis” Kaye has a foul-mouthed new character called Mike Strutter and they had him present a game show called Mr and Fuckin’ Mrs which wasn’t so much a little near the bone as amputating the whole limb. I wouldn’t have minded the gratuitous offensiveness if it had actually been funny.

The last guy I can think of was Michael McIntyre. He was the final act and the off-air compere was trying to get the audience to be enthusiastic about him after our response to all the weak stuff we’d been subjected to had probably made us seem a bit moody. He needn’t have bothered because McIntyre was a class act and got it spot on. Seinfeld-style observational comedy from a vaguely posh English guy. If you listen closely think I was the first one to clap after the Keyser Soze line.

Tune in tomorrow for what ought by rights to be an hour of ol’ Russ, DOD, Craig David and Michael McIntyre.

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Stewart Lee’s new TV programme

November 28, 2007

I got a free ticket to see Stewart Lee, of This Morning With Richard Not Judy and Jerry Springer: The Opera fame, do some filming of a BBC2 pilot last night in a working men’s club up in the other end of London.

All the big names were there: I saw Armando Ianucci reading a comic.

While I loved TMWRNJ, Lee’s stand-up hasn’t really done it for me. His Edinburgh show got amazing reviews so I thought I’d give him another chance. It being free helped, of course.

But this performance, which was basically for recording Seinfeld-style interludes for his new programme, and, according to the mates I went with, was lifted from said stand-up routine, rather confirmed my belief that he is actually a bit over-rated.

He kinda went over similar ground that Charlie ‘Preach’ Brooker has already covered in Screen Wipe, only more angry and repetitive, so I don’t really know how original the finished show is going to be.

His piss-take of Russell Brand was spot on, mind.