The Comedians- The Top Three

December 24, 2012

Ok, I’ve been a little slow over the last few days, but I’m determined to get this Top Ten finished in time for you to nip to the shops and get your last minute stocking fillers.

If you look back over the last few posts you’ll see I have been counting down the Top Ten Comedy DVD’s for Christmas. And, importantly, this is an official Top Ten provided by Zavvi. One or two of you have mistaken it for my Top Ten. It’s not mine. I’m just the messenger.

Also, I’m judging these DVD’s solely on their covers. I’ve not seen any of them, and, in some cases, I have never heard of the comedians.

So far we have seen:

Dara o Briain, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Roy Brown, Frankie Boyle, Jack Whitehall, Peter Kay, and Sarah Millican.

In third place:

Kevin Bridges

No.3 Kevin Bridges

Kevin Bridges adopts the Dara O Briain man in a dark suit look, but perhaps the reason he’s no.3 and Dara is no.10 is all down to getting the shadow right.

It’s a simple cover that tells it straight; he’s a five star act and Billy Connolly thinks he’s brilliant; or his act is; or something is. When the quote is a simple one word “brilliant”, there is a bit of guesswork needed.

He’s another act aimed at 30 year olds.

The title is “The Story Continues…” suggesting the DVD is a sequel and that Kevin Bridges tells very long jokes.

John Bishop

No.2 John Bishop

The pattern continues; another DVD that’s 15 and 15, making it a 30 certificate DVD. Here’s John Bishop; Brand New and Bigger than Ever; though it’s unclear as to what is brand new and bigger than ever; him, his act? I applaud him doing a new act, but how is the act (if, indeed, it is the act) bigger? Longer maybe? It’s a confusing sticker.

There’s another sticker on this declaring it to be Ultraviolet. This is even more confusing. At first I took it to be a spelling mistake and assumed his act was ‘ultraviolent’, but then surely his DVD would have been an 18 certificate. Or even a 36. Just ignore this sticker.

It’s his Rollercoaster Tour 2012. I doubt this means it is set on a rollercoaster. More likely it is a reference to either the up and down style of his comedy or to Ronan Keating (for reasons I cannot help you with).

John is ducking down and (unusually for a comedian) smiling. He holds his hand up, as if to say “Whoa! That bright light of celebrity has taken me off-guard”. In doing this he also shows us he is married. He looks like a young Mark Owen from Take That.

Michael McIntyre

No. 1 Michael McIntyre

Time is passing and the shops will close so this one has to be quick. It’s Michael McIntyre. He turns his back on his audience and balances on one leg. Watch out for him on The Cube.

Happy Christmas everyone. x

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Ok, here’s the last 5.

If you’re new to this, I’ve been taking a look at the Top Ten Comedy DVD’s according to Zavvi’s website. And I’ve been judging the DVD’s by their covers. Not the comedians, not the content.

They’re all, no doubt, excellent. Hey: they’re the Top Ten! But, occasionally, their covers confuse. Or enlighten.

One thing’s for sure; they are all ideal Christmas stocking fillers.

Here’s a reminder of 10 to 6 before we hit the Top Five.

No.10 – Dara o Briain.

No.9 – Mrs. Brown’s Boys

No. 8 – Roy Brown

No.7 – Frankie Boyle

No.6 – Jack Whitehall

Ok, no.5. Oh, and a little reminder; it’s nearly Christmas… all of my assessments are fueled by martinis.

No.5…

Peter Kay no.5

No.5 Peter Kay

It’s Peter Kay! He’s live, and he’s Back on Nights!

Here’s the thing; I hate daytime stand-up comedy. it just doesn’t fit. Unless it’s stand-up for kids. All proper grown-up stand-up comedy must take place at night. It’s a job prerequisite. If Peter is back on nights what was going on before?

With the exception of the job of stand-up comedy, being on nights suggests a working class necessity; a need to bring in money, a need to work unsociable hours to make ends meet. To be frank, I’m stumped.

The DVD includes over 55 minutes of NEW live stand up. But it doesn’t say how much over 55. I’m plumping for under 56, otherwise it would surely boast ‘over 56 minutes of NEW live stand-up’. And, without seeing the back of the DVD, there is no way of knowing what percentage of comedy time the new material takes up. Concluding this point, we can state with certainty that the DVD is at least 55 minutes long.

Peter has turned his back on his audience as he sneaks up on an (unqualified) ‘World Record Breaking Comedy’ plinth of sorts. His eyes twinkle, but his grin is yet to be revealed. He may, or may not, have some fingers missing.

The DVD is suitable for 15 year olds.

Here’s another take on being on nights.

Sarah Millican

No.4 Sarah Millican

No. 4 is Sarah Millican. It’s a brand new 2012 show.

She is the Queen of Comedy; that’s official; it’s a British Comedy Award. As far as star ratings go, she is rated a 15 star act; 5 from The Mirror, 5 from Metro, 5 from The Telegraph. That also manages to cover the three main political parties; Sarah has something for everyone.

She is thoroughly modern; a reference that manages to make her quaintly dated too.

30 year olds will like this DVD.

Join me tomorrow, when I’ll try and finish this off.

The Comedians part 5

December 22, 2012

Ok, I’m a little behind. And there’s barely any shopping days left til Christmas. So let’s get going on this Comedy DVD countdown lark. You can find the first three in Zavvi’s Comedy DCD chart here. You can find the next one, in at no.7, here.

Now, onto no.6. Oh, and please do remember the ‘rules’; I am judging these comedy DVD’s by their covers alone. Not the content; not the comedian.

Mostly.

Jack Whitehall no.6

No.6 Jack Whitehall

It’s Jack Whitehall Live. Not much to go on with this cover. It’s his debut stand-up DVD. There’s no quotes. Possibly because it’s so new, so debut, it’s as yet unseen.

He’s got the look of a Noel Edmond’s son about him. He’s crossed his arms in such a way that his left thumb is either missing, or gently feeling his right bicep. I don’t know how to read this.

His jacket, with a lapel accoutrement, is very with it. He’s possibly wearing blue contact lenses.

Suitable for 30 year olds.

Ok, the Top 5 countdown, comes along tomorrow.

I apologise. I’d planned to do more. My wife has returned from Christmas shopping and, being the usual ordeal, I had to make her a gin and tonic. Me? A martini.

It’s a Saturday night for crying out loud!

So, the Top 5 tomorrow. Giving you all Christmas Eve to shop for the top of the comedy pops.

Here’s a Jack Whitehall related thing to end on.

The Comedians part 4

December 19, 2012

Ok. I know. I said “to be continued tomorrow” and now it’s the day after tomorrow and tomorrow was yesterday. I’m sorry. I lied. Or failed.

To recap: I’m counting down the Top Ten comedy DVD’s (ideal Christmas presents) according to Zavvi’s chart. I’m assessing them on artwork alone. I have no take on the comedy or the comedians. I’ve seen none of the DVD’s. Some of the comedians I am familiar with, others not. But this is not, I repeat not, a judgement on the comedy inside the cover.

I am (literally) judging a comedian’s DVD by his/her cover.

Oh, ok then. A little bias may creep in. But it’s not on purpose (or, to pinch a bit of fun from no.7 in the chart, tit’s not on purpose).

No. 10 was Dara O Briain.

No. 9 was Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

No. 8 was Roy Brown.

And so to No. 7

Frankie Boyle no.7

No. 7 Frankie Boyle

He’s as hairy as he was last time round in 2010. Possibly hairier. And it’s a brand new show for 2012.

The Hairy Pornflake has possibly calmed down a bit. Last time round he said he’d strangle you if he could. Now he’s just cryptically referring to the last days of Sodom, looking diagonally downwards, shiftily, cheekily, hiding in his philosopher’s beard.

But which Sodom? Sodom from the Street Fighter computer box games? Declaring “Die job death car?” Unlikely.

Sodom, the Canadian logging town that fell into disrepair in the first half of the 20th Century. Still unlikely.

It’s got to be the Sodom that went with Gomorrah. Surely. Or perhaps the Marquis De Sade’s/ Pasolini’s The 120 Days of Sodom. Maybe the last two days or so.

Oh, who knows.

He’s looking down, he’s smirking: Fundamentally, he’s going for the anal sex angle.

Happy Christmas.

The countdown will continue tomorrow. Maybe.

The Comedians part 3

December 17, 2012

Way back in 2010, Christmas time, I mocked the comedians and their ill-conceived covers (DVD covers, not covers in the pop sense, or like when Stewart Lee took Pasquale to task for ‘covering’ a Michael Redmond joke).

No! I mean the often poor artwork used to sell us their funny antics. There were so many I had to do a part one and a part two. Part one is here. Part two is here.And the poll to decide the best and the worst is here.

Let’s see if things have improved over the past two years. Here’s part three.

Oh, and please do remember, I am only judging/mocking/ridiculing the artwork. Not the comedian. Not the jokes. Most of the time.

I’m off to the Zavvi website for my material as it seems to be the only place where I can (easily) find a Top Ten of comedy titles. So… let’s start with Zavvi’s no. 10.

Dara O Briain

No.10 Dara O Briain

it’s a clean-cut look for Dara. Both for himself and his cover. Hands in pockets, shifty look upwards to something out of our sight; a winning gambit that goes some way to proving comedians are at their funniest when they stop smiling.

It’s the first (but it won’t be the last) of our comedy DVD’s to go for a pun-based title. Dara is our ‘craic dealer’; it’s a fun pun, it makes sense and it works.

Its subtitle, ‘Live 2012’, explains itself.

Then a quote from a newspaper; “One of the most dependably entertaining stand-up comics in the land”. That doesn’t tell us too much. One of? How many dependably entertaining stand-up comics are there? And dependably entertaining makes Dara sound as exciting as a sipping bird (not necessarily a bad thing). If quotes could shrug at the end, I think this one would.

Dara’s shadow is slight for such a hefty man. Perhaps his presence on this cover has been faked. Like the moon landings.

The DVD is certificate 15. But, as with other DVD’s coming up, the 15 has been printed twice; suggesting this DVD would be perfect for a 30 year old.

Interestingly, the cover makes no mention of the Mocking show Dara is closely associated with.

All in all, a good start.

Mrs Brown

No. 9 Mrs Brown’s Boys

Here’s a busy cover. It’s old school, with smoking and a pearl necklace. Death is here, and, again, no smiling. It’s Mrs. Brown’s Boys Live Tour. Too rude for TV. Suitable for 36 year olds.

And here’s another pun; morning/mourning.

Last Christmas, at the in-laws (though back then they lacked that title) we watched Frost in that thing where he plays the Queen’s bodyguard. It was a little like dying.

Straight after it came Mrs. Brown’s Boys. The relief was so strong we literally rolled on the floor laughing. Literally.

Roy Brown

No.8 Roy Brown

Roy Brown, aka Chubby, is not one of Mrs. Brown’s Boys. It is rumoured that Mrs Brown (from Mrs. Brown’s Boys) is a man. Going off Roy brown’s DVD cover, he may possibly be a woman.

This much we do know: he has tits (known, I am told, as moobs), and he wears a bikini.

He may also be a pilot.

Whereas Dara O Briain took his newspaper quote from a broadsheet in existence for over 200 years, Roy Brown has chosen to reference a defunct and disgraced tabloid. The, presumably, fake front page headline, “Chubby probed my inbox”, references both the lewd nature of his act and his, presumably, satirical take on the tabloid hackers of phones and emails.

The DVD is called Roy Chubby Brown’s Front Page Boobs. It’s difficult to know what this means. It’s possibly a pun; boobs for ‘news’?

it has a subheading: Read All About Tit. This is, more clearly, without meaning. It isn’t a pun. And, to make sense, it would need to be either ‘read all about tits’ or ‘read all about a tit’. The chances are it’s just a spelling mistake.

Or perhaps a bit of fun. Why not take other examples of common phrases or titles with the word ‘it’, and turn that into ‘tit’? See if you can make yourself laugh. Here’s some to get you started: Five Children and Tit; Stephen King’s Tit; Tit Happened One Night; Tit’s a Wonderful Life.

Have fun.

To be continued tomorrow…