Ok, yesterday I did my yearly round-up of the Top Ten comedy DVDs, according to Amazon. Some of you have complained. Some of you don’t like this comedian, or that comedian. Well guess what you lot! Me neither! Some I like, some I don’t. I don’t get to choose the Top Ten. I guess sales do, or something.

Did any of you notice that all the Top Ten are male? And 9 out of 10 are white? And the only comedian who isn’t white is described as “dangerous”? Like I say, I don’t pick. I just watch and-

Oh no! The Top ten has changed today! How’d that happen? It’s a minor change; Bailey’s out, Mack’s in.

For the sake of this poll coming up, I am going to use the Top Ten from yesterday. Now remember! this is very important! You are NOT voting for who you think is the funniest. There are two polls: the first one is for the best cover, the second one is for the worst cover. Got it?

Here’s an example. You can’t stand McIntyre (not necessarily you, but someone on Twitter did express annoyance that he was in here), but you do love his cover… then you must vote for him. THESE ARE THE RULES! Please stick to them.

Ok, here goes:

Oh no! First a quick reminder. Here they are:

Henning Wehndylan moranalan carrChris Ramseybill baileyPaul ChowdryMichael McIntyreDara o BriainJohn BishopKevin BridgesNow here goes:

And now the opposite. Which do you think is the worst?

 

Over the past few years, in the build up to Christmas, I have been reviewing the Top Ten Comedy DVDs to help you make those difficult Christmas present choices. I’ve left it a bit late this year, but here goes: all ten in one go.

And here (for those new to this exercise in futility) are the rules: The Top Ten is taking from today’s Amazon Stand-Up comedy recommendations. I’ve not watched any of them. I don’t read anything about them. I merely look at the covers (pictures of the covers) and come to undoubtedly unfair conclusions. Yes, I am judging a comedy DVD by its cover.

That’s it. Happy shopping. Let’s countdown!

10: Nina Conti

Nina conti 2

Nina Conti

Nina Conti is “Brilliantly funny, outrageously hilarious”. But we don’t know who said this. Perhaps it was her dad, the Liverpool boxer John Conti.

It’s a “live” DVD but I cannot tell you where from. The show is called “Dolly Mixtures”. I remember Dolly Mixtures from my childhood. They were/are sweets. Nina’s teeth are perfect suggesting she doesn’t eat them, or she brushes well. Her smile is rigid. If I were Sherlock Holmes I would put this with the puppets below and conclude that she is a ventriloquist with a penchant for confectionery nostalgia. Suitable for 15 year olds and above.

9: Harry Hill

Harry Hill

Harry Hill

No. 9 is Harry Hill. He is the “Lord of Misrule” and this is his return to stand up. It is also a “Brand New Live Show”. Unlike Nina’s we know the location of this live show. It is Leeds. The show is called “Sausage Time” and the cover suggests the sausages that are taking up the time are meat sausages and also “sausage” dogs; dogs resembling sausages in shape alone.

This DVD is suitable for anyone above the age of 12.

8: Frank Skinner

Frank Skinner

Frank Skinner

Well now, this is fascinating. It’s that rare thing in the world of stand-up comedy DVD cover art; something that looks, almost, well… designed. As if someone has put some thought into it.

Here’s what we know for sure. It’s Frank Skinner “live”. Location unknown. The show is called “Man in a Suit”. The comedy comes from Frank being in a suit and a suit alone. No shirt, no tie. We cannot see, but I guess he has no shoes too. It’s traditional, it’s subversive. And possibly a little Christ-like.

The Mirror (representing the ordinary left-wing folk) call it “A masterclass in stand-up”. The Telegraph (representing the extraordinary right-wing folk) call it “Outrageously funny”. Something for everyone. Over 15.

And if you think you’ve seen that cover somewhere before, try this for size.

Frank Scanner

Frank Scanner

7: Roy Chubby Brown

Roy Chubby Brown

Roy Chubby Brown

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

18 and over.

6: Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson is “Back and Live”. We don’t know where he is live, or where he is back from. The quote from The Mirror (none from The Telegraph here) says “Standing ovation to packed houses every night” so perhaps Jim did a door to door tour.

The DVD is subtitled “No further action”, which is, I assume, an Operation Yewtree reference. Jim also reveals the “Unseen story of Celebrity Big Brother”, unseen by any who didn’t watch it.

He stands, cheekily, clutching his mic like a big cock whilst hiding his other hand in his pants! Spotlights play over his groin area, saucily. It’s a 15 and over affair.

5: Al Murray

Al Murray

Al Murray

Covers don’t come any better than this. It’s a work of art with something for everyone. Firstly, Al is painted. Take a close look; he could be by Michael Sowa, or a painteralike. That pint of beer is a masterpiece waiting to appear in an unwritten Paul Heaton drinking song.

Look at that maroon strip along the bottom; worthy of the discontinued range of HD DVDs (the ones that lost out in the 2008 BluRay/HD DVD war). It’s an all-new live show. We don’t know where, but look! A bonus is a full-length live show from somewhere we do know; Edinburgh.

The Times says; “Murray is on exuberant form, splashing the audience with both his beer and his ideas”. Yes, it’s an odd quote, but no doubt well meant.

The cover references the Carlo Goldoni classic, “Servant of Two Masters” (aka One Man, Two Guvnors”) and there is an added joke in the subtitle “20 years at the lager top”.

It is suitable for 15 years olds and it is 20 past one.

4: Still Game

Still Game

Still Game

I’m a little clueless on this one, but I think it may be Harry and Paul.

15 year olds welcome.

3: Jack Whitehall

Jack Whitehall

Jack Whitehall

Ah! Jack Whitehall! Frankly, I’ve never heard of him, but he must be a big cheese because he is “Live from Wembley Arena”. That’s a big place.

Going off his hi-tech microphone it’s possible that he may be connected in some way or another with Justin Bieber.

Minimal research shows that he is the son of someone.

15.

2: Russell Howard

Russell Howard

Russell Howard

Sorry folks. I’m really letting you down now. I haven’t a clue. Possibly Jack Whitehall’s son?

This guy could be an illusionist. He’s performing a ‘trick’ on the cover, making it look like he can hoverfloat a cup of coffee. Closer inspection shows that he is lying on the floor, shot from overhead.

This is “Wonderbox” live. We don’t know where live. My research yields no results for Wonderbox. I will have to hazard a guess that his Wonderbox is where he keeps his rabbits and his silk handkerchiefs.

Suitable for ages 15 and under.

1: Lee Mack

Lee Mack

Lee Mack

And back on dry land once again. I know where I am now. “Slick, sharp and very funny” Time Out says. Swearing too, which is good. But clearly no “cunts” as it is a 15 certificate.

It’s your traditional comedy cover, right down to missing foot behind a big ‘C’. Well done Lee.

But which is your favourite (and least favourite)?

Remember, play by the rules. Don’t pick your favourite comedian. Pick your favourite cover. Then least favourite.

 

 

 

 

 

All ten DVD covers have been reviewed… and one bogus one that sneaked in at the last minute as a result of Amazon’s Top Ten changing so radically between the 11th December and the 20th! Who knew Amazon could fiddle around with their lists so much; seemingly basing best on sales? Click here to catch up on yesterday’s Number 1.

And now it’s your turn. Three polls to vote in. Firstly, the best cover. Then, the worst cover. And, finally, the funniest.

Here’s a quick reminder of the contenders:

Comedy gala 2013

10- Channel 4’s Comedy Gala 2013

Peter Kay 2013

9- Peter Kay double pack

Kevin Bridges

8- Kevin Bridges: The Full Story boxset

Jimmy Carr

7- Jimmy Carr: Laughing and Joking

eddie izzard

6- Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure

Sean Lock

5- Sean Lock: Purple Van Man

Jack dee

4- Jack Dee: So What?

Bill Bailey

3- Bill Bailey: Qualmpeddler

Greg Davies

2- Greg Davies: The back of my Mum’s Head

Micky Flanagan

1- Micky Flanagan: The ‘Back in the Game’ Tour

And here’s the polls:

And for the last one, since a comedy gala has an unfair advantage, I have removed it and replaced it with yesterday’s surprise No. 1 choice on Amazon, Jethro!

Now it’s glasses

March 6, 2012

A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about a certain pastor’s/prophet’s/wizard’s watch. look! Here it is again if you missed it, and you can read about it here.

It’s a poster in one of those electric light hoardings, somewhere between Morley’s chicken hut and Babur’s tiger palace, in a place that could be Honor Oak Park, or, perhaps, Forest Hill. Maybe, but not quite, Crofton Park? Bromley? Brockley? Narnia anyone?

I don’t know. All I know, it’s not a place to advertise. It’s doomed to failure. It’s a cursed electric light advert zone. First it was the watch. Now, it’s the glasses. What gives, Paddick?

This man wants to be mayor. Of London. Of course, he won’t be. That’s not me being mean. It’s just the truth. And look! He knows it! He’s taken an advert out in the ‘This Watch’ zone. And he’s swapped the watch for glasses. Let’s look closer at those glasses.

What, on Earth, does he want this poster to say to us? Other than, ‘I’ve given up’? Is he hoping, somewhere in a dark place where he hasn’t even realised it yet, for a ‘we all love our patios, don’t we’ John Stalker style ad campaign? For glasses? One day, when he is still not mayor, will he drive a saloon, with a personalised number plate? SPEC5AVERS?

And what of the slogan, You break it. You fix it? It’s a bit much, isn’t it. For someone who’s naturally clumsy like me. I’m always breaking things. I do my best, for sure, but really Brian ‘Specsavers’ Paddick, I can do without further pressure.

I know. I’m being silly. He’s talking about the criminals. As the poster says; ‘I will make criminals repair the damage they’ve done’.

It doesn’t really comfort me. When I was 15 I was attacked by some lads. I had my nose badly broken and spent five days in hospital. I’m still grateful that a qualified surgeon operated on me and not some crack-crazed scobber out for watch related kicks (‘ave yer got the time mate? Looks at my watch. That’s not the time. Whomp! Blackout. I come round, three lads hovering over me. That’s not ‘im, that’s not ‘im. They run and I swim home in a pool of blood.)

I’m glad someone who’s reshaped noses before sawed and hacked and pushed back into place my gristly conk. Brian ‘Specsavers’ Paddick may mean well. This mayor hopeless may well say to the anti- semitic thug; come on lad, you broke it, you fix it. But honestly, no thanks. You’ve done enough damage. Please keep away from me. Please, don’t even enter the operating theatre.

 (The attack was anti-semitic, though I am not Jewish. I was mistaken for being Jewish as I walked through the grounds of King David School in Crumpsall whistling the current no.1, I Will Survive).

But again, I’m being silly. He doesn’t mean that, does he? He means he’ll make them mend doors and locks and glasses (the drinking types) and jewelry and fences and bites from vicious dogs and… Oh, Lord alone knows what he means.

He won’t get to mayor. Look! There’s Red Ken peeking over his shoulder, thanks to some crafty framing by me. And look! Here’s ‘Blue Cock’ Boris giving you a chicken run for your money.

He hasn’t got a hope.

Though all is not lost. The money for this useless campaign with its truly rubbishy slogan may not have been spent in vain. The hundreds, maybe thousands, of pounds will have been used wisely if Brian carries the slogan forward for when he gets his Specsavers job. It’s a cheap insurance policy isn’t it; you sit on your glasses and hey… You break it. You fix it.  And if you can’t, just use your second BOGOF pair.

Who will be mayor? You decide:

Passing though town I happened upon the newly erected fourth plinth statue in Trafalgar Square. No doubt some dignitaries had been there earlier in the morning, but by 1pm there was just a podium, some bouncers and a golden boy on a golden rocking horse high up on the plinth. Here it is.

It’s called Powerless Structures, Fig.101, but I’m going to call it the Golden Rocking Horse and Boy. That’s the best way to approach public art. For me.

I’ve seen the Ship in a Bottle, the People, the Little Jesus, the Airman, the Pregnant Armless Lady, the Upside-Down Plinth, and the Bird Hotel.

Here’s another picture. This time more of a Shadow Rocking Horse and Boy.

Here’s the blurb:

Let the mayor know what you think. If you want.

Here’s what I think; it’s ok.

Here’s what it’s up against:

The Golden Rocking Horse Boy thing is ok. It’s not bad. But I’ll be happier when the Big Blue Cock’s up there.

Image courtesy of (ie. stolen from) Art History News

What’s your favourite? Please vote.

My last two posts have rudely looked at the comedians DVD’s on sale over Christmas, and then judged them solely on the artwork of the cover. Now let’s see which is the worst.

Remember! You are judging the artwork alone. Not the content. Let us all just judge the comedians by their covers.

You can see all the covers in my two previous posts.

Hey, let’s have two polls! One for the worst, one for the best. Worst first.

And the best cover.

What is Brigitte Nielsen?

August 12, 2010

Yes. That’s my question today. What is Brigitte Nielsen? It’s not intended to be rude. Clearly she’s just a person, like you or I. So that’s one answer. But is she a movie star? A model? A singer? A reality TV star? The daughter/wife/sister of funnyman Leslie Nielsen? All of these things?

Heading off to see Step Up 3D before going on to the monthly BFI Film Quiz (Hey! We won!) I saw Brigitte (with ‘film stars’ we all feel like we know them well enough to use first name terms. Don’t we?) standing outside Cafe de Paris (Cafe of Paris) just passing the time. look! Here she is!

Look at me! I’m a paparazzi! look at that guy on the right. He didn’t move once during the 60 seconds or so I stood and gawped. I think he might be a heavy. I think he might be looking out for her. I also think he might have a nail-biting problem, but he knows he can’t do it in public so he’s settling for a good pick.

I wouldn’t normally dream of taking pictures of strangers without first asking. It’s just rude. But with these Hollywood folk it’s a little different. I still felt impertinent but I relaxed when I saw others taking pics and Brigitte not minding; in fact actively smiling and looking to the camera. Look! Almost my way!

What’s with the guy to her left? look at the first picture. Both of them can’t look her in the eye. It can’t just be because she is eight feet tall. Perhaps looking into her eyes turns men to stone. Maybe I had a lucky escape.

She posed with the public for a few photos, but I didn’t dare. It’s not often you can get this close to proper Hollywood stars. I once saw De Niro and Pacino in Leicester Square, but they were standing on a balcony above the Empire cinema (Brigitte could have walked passed and had a face to face conversation with them).

So well done Brigitte. Well done for stopping and shooting the breeze with the folk of London. For smiling for photos. And for having a nail-biting minder.

But what exactly are you? I’ll let the poll decide.

Magician’s Knee

July 27, 2010

I’m catsitting in Richmond. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. I’ve also got to read over the second draft of our film (I write with Trev Neal). I’ve been told to prepare myself for the cuts ahead (no dopey, not the removal of the UK Film Council, the cuts in our screenplay to get the running time down). I also know, from all the e-mails flying around, that Trev is happy (ish). So, looking forward to a good read and, hopefully, a screenplay that might possibly someday somewhere get made, I went out to buy two things; a cigar and a beer. Then, a sit in the garden and a read.

Out on my cigar and beer hunt I overheard a woman on a mobile phone. She kept saying “magicians knee, magicians knee.”*

I like it. I wish I had it. I wonder what it is.

It’s got to be one of two things. Maybe three. Or four.

Most likely it’s a fake knee, a little like a hidden pocket. A prosthetic knee “cap” that flips open and in which you can store a pigeon.

That’s the most likely thing it is.

It could also be a medical condition. One of those medical conditions, like Tennis Elbow, where, until you get it, you have no idea what it is.

Possibly it is just the knee of a magician. It’s not all smoke and mirrors.

Or, and this is, sorry to say, the most likely explanation; she wasn’t saying Magicians Knee. She was saying something else, in a foreign language. Something I don’t understand.

Now to read and have a cigar, like the man in Misery.

* Magicians knee, magician’s knee, magicians’ knee- you decide.

I’ve messed up. I’ve denied myself my right. On Thursday, when you can all vote I, like the insane, prisoners, and the aristocracy (and sometimes these groups do overlap), won’t be able to. I’ll be in Manchester, visiting my mum who’ll have just had an operation. And I live, and vote, in London.

These things are covered. You can vote by post or by proxy. But the deadline for a proxy vote was Tuesday 27th. I checked my poll card. On the back it says “In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply to vote by proxy after the deadline. To change any of your voting arrangements please contact the helpline number shown overleaf as soon as possible”.

I’m not too good at as soon as possible. I left it too late. I phoned today. I explained my certain circumstances. But they weren’t good enough. I asked what would enable me to apply for proxy after the deadline. They said I’d need to be in a car crash. This is true. This is what they said to me.

I want to vote. I’m tempted to plan a car crash but my worry is that, once executed, my plan would clearly indicate that I am insane. It’s one of those catch 22 things.

I’m happy to come clean. if I were to vote I’d vote Lib Dem. If I were dead I’d describe myself as a lifelong Labour voter, but I’ve still some time to go so I’m happy to change and give my vote (that I can’t give) to the man who’s shagged less than 30 women. I’ve shagged less than 30 women too, so I feel a kind of kinship. Give the Sheffield shagger a shot.

My daughter is dating David Platt and I’m not happy.

For those who know me you know I believe Coronation Street to be real. For those who don’t know me, you’ll most likely think I’m just being funny, or weird, or perverse. But the great thing about beliefs is that that’s all you need. Reason goes out of the window. I believe Coronation Street is real… so there!

And psycho David Platt is going out with my daughter!

My daughter is Kirsty Leigh Porter.

Kirsty Leigh Porter (pic courtesy of Holy Soap)

Kirsty was only my daughter for a day. Trev and myself were writing for a show called My Spy Family. Kirsty played Marcy Desmond, and in one of our episodes, The Quiz Night Affair, I played her father Mr Desmond. He was a wild haired weirdo. I didn’t have to do much. Just turn up.

But now she’s changed her name to Zoe and is slowly creeping into Corrie as bloody Platt’s girlfriend. I’m going to have to put my foot down.