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.

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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.

The Comedians

December 18, 2010

All the comedians have got their DVD’s out for Christmas. Loads of ’em. Comedians and DVD’s. How do you choose? It’s tricky isn’t it. Everyone likes a laugh at Christmas, but what if you buy the wrong one? What if you buy a DVD by one of the unfunny comedians? Or a rude comedian? Or an offensive one?

Of course, there are some simple rules that are always worth following. One is never buy a DVD by a comedian who has a supposedly comical and  endearing middle nickname.

Then, well, that’s it. There’s only one rule really. Oh yes! Rule two; be wary of yokels.

That’s it. Beyond that you’re on your own out there, scooting down the aisle only to find yourself faced with a fake top fifty supermarket countdown of smiling faces and stickers.

I’ll try to help. I’m going to review a handful of DVD’s available and it might, just might, help you reach that difficult decision of which to buy.

I should point out that I have seen none of these DVD’s, and, in many cases, seen little or none of the comedians work (Oh! With the exception of one). In some instances I may have even gone out of my way to avoid their work. (Oops, it’s just occurred to me that this idea is a little like The No Show– a great site where shows are reviewed without ever being seen. I don’t mean it to be, and if this post causes offence please let me know and I will destroy it!)

Oh, and I will base my review on one thing alone. The artwork on the cover of the DVD. That’s all. How it looks. I will judge a comedian by his cover.

Here we go.

Remember, I don’t necessarily know what I’m on about here.

I’m just going off the pictures, ok?

Right, first up:

Michael McIntyre

It’s Michael McIntyre. A complicated one. Is he live and we’re laughing? Or is it just him doing both? He seems to be laughing; possibly in rather a cruel way having turned his back on the paying punters seen in the background. Shouldn’t he be facing them? Just what’s going on, Mr. Pink shirt?

There’s an ambiguous quote from The Daily Telegraph (a paper I know little of, though I have been assured they are good for sports… at least that’s the excuse of most right-wing fanatics). They say “If there’s a funnier, slicker, warmer hour of comedy, I haven’t encountered it”.

But how much do The Daily Telegraph get out these days? And considering this DVD is 84 minutes long, what did they think of the remaining 24 minutes?

It’s a tricky one to start with. You decide.

Lee Mack

He’s live too. There’s no audience being neglected here. Instead, he’s walking straight at you. And he’s not laughing. Or smiling. It’s almost like he knows that sometimes not smiling is funnier than smiling. There’s a quote that makes Lee sound funny, but potentially painfully so. And it’s a quote from a man rather than a paper. Optional swearing (swearing is, generally, funny), a funny walk, a too-tight suit, an almost serious expression; I’d say this one is a winner with guaranteed laughs. It’s also a nice shade of green.

Jason Manford

This is very odd. Is he trying to speak through his ear? Is he mistaking the microphone for a Q-Tip? Did the photographer just say “Hey, Jase, stick it in your ear! Ha ha ha!” and he just did, just for the hell of it?

He is “a true master of observational comedy…” the BBC said. But then, at the time of printing, they were most likely his employers. And what follows the little dots? What if the next word was “sometimes”? Or “only on Tuesdays?” An enigma at the least. You decide.

Kevin Bridges

He’s “the master of stand-up at just 22” The Daily Mirror tells us. And the use of a Mirror quote suggests he’s one of us, an ok bloke who may possibly be just mildly left wing. And he’s humble too. Look! A smile that says  “that’s me that! That’s my name up there! In Lights! Little old me, photographed from above to make me look little.” But look in the background; his audience, yet again ignored. You decide.

Frankie Boyle

No newspaper quotes for this comedian. He’s not smiling, but we can assume he is live as we are told it is a new stand-up show for 2010. He tells us that if he could he would reach out through the TV and strangle you. Well, TV is developing all the time. 3D. HD. What next? Just remember, if he could, he would. Well, one day soon he may well be able. It’s a risk. It’s up to you. You decide.

Stewart Lee

He’s put his face on a cup. If that doesn’t make you laugh you most likely wouldn’t laugh at Steve Martin’s Pizza in a Cup in The Jerk.

Look! Stewart Lee’s face on a cup! And he is almost smiling. None of the other comedians have put their face on a cup.

So this is the ideal Christmas comedy DVD.

Buy this one. You decide.

Stewart Lee

January 24, 2010

I went to see Stewart Lee perform his latest show, If You Prefer a Milder Comedian, Please Ask For One. This was a few nights ago. Last Wednesday. I’ve wanted to write about it. Not a review as such; I’m incapable, I’d get word-tied. I’ll leave the reviews to journalists like Nigel Pauley writing in the Daily Star. Here’s his take on one routine executed by the “posh comic”.

I’ve wanted to write about it but I’ve been unable to. I’ve put it off. And off. And off. And the reason is, I’m scared.

Not scared like as if Stewart Lee was a ghost or something; or a madman who might track me down and hurt me. I’m scared because he is so good. I almost have to stop thinking, because I know no matter how much I think, I will never be able to think like him. If I was a stand-up comedian I would see Stewart Lee and I would give up. There and then. I wouldn’t just give up stand-up comedy. I’d give up standing up. I’d give up moving. I’d devote myself to inertia. Nothing I could do would ever be as good and ………………………………………………. ………………………. …………….. …………………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………….. ……………………. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ………………………………………………………………. See? I just can’t……………………………

…………write now.

I laughed out loud throughout the show.

That’s it. That’s my review.

I’ll continue waffling on though because I can and I have license to. My licence was granted to me by one of Lee and Herring. I can’t remember who now, because this was many years ago and I am old and………………………… …………………………………………………… ………………………………….. …………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………. ………………………………………hell

………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………….

……………………….did the following even happen?

They gave me the licence to write this because I have nothing to live up to. I can’t fail because I am starting from the standpoint of being an idiot.

I met them at a radio station. They had copies of their Fist Of Fun book with them. They kindly gave me a copy………………………………………

…………or did they? Did I steal it? Was it given to me by the radio host who may or may not have been Danny Baker? I can’t remember.

Somehow, I had the book. And I asked them to sign it. They did. They wrote, To Simon, You are an idiot, best wishes, Lee and Herring.

Maybe.

The To Simon, You are an idiot bit they definitely wrote. I’m not sure how they signed off. They may have put Stewart and Richard, or some variation. They may have written all the best or lots of love, or swing um pant or something. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I’d check, but the book’s in storage and going there brings me out in a sweat and reminds me of all the mistakes I’ve made in my life and drags me down and

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………………I wish my storage unit would disappear………………………………….. …………………………………………I’m paying money I don’t have for things I don’t need….. ……………………………

No! I need my Fist of Fun book.…………………………………………………………

It makes me laugh, still- Simon, You are an idiot – but I don’t know why. What did they mean? Am I an idiot? Is that good or bad? It’s got to be bad really, hasn’t it? But maybe it was a joke. Just a joke. But we’re all products of that weird thing from the past that was Alternative Comedy, and the one thing we all know is there’s no such thing as just a joke.

Stewart Lee. He tells a great joke about Richard Hammond. See the review above. It’s merciless and cruel and funny and true and hurtful and sometimes not true but still true. If I was Richard Hammond I would see it and be rendered inert.

I’ve searched the internet. I want to know what Richard Hammond thinks. There’s nothing. He’s inertiad by Lee. In the same way that Pasquale has been inertiad (I know there’s no such word. What do you take me for? An idiot? But I know what I mean. I think. I……………………………………………………. ………………………………. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………….it keeps happening

Pasquale. Watch Stewart Lee’s Pasquale routine. It’s there; on You Tube. I’m not putting up a link. Fear eats away. I’m not sure what Stewart would think. And that matters to me. But it’s there. Take a look. If you don’t laugh and laugh and laugh then maybe he’s not for you. I laugh and then I have no choice but to remain still and useless for at least an afternoon.

Pasquale must be inert. He’s never said How dare you, Lee! He’s kept quiet. There is no comeback to such a perfectly formed routine. Stewart Lee is a ninja………………………………………………………. …………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………… …………………….. ……………….. ……………..now I’ve written that and it’s, it’s meaningless. Of course he’s not a ninja. He’s not even like a ninja, though he does tend to wear black. He’s more Mick McManus to Pasquale’s Jackie Pallo. Except Stewart and Joe’d never wrestle and……………………….. ……………………………………………… ……………………………………………though Bob Mortimer did once box Les Dennis

I really don’t know how to go on

Not much comedy makes me laugh. I like to laugh, it’s just that

………………….I’m not one of those comedians (I could just stop that there). I’m not one of those comedians who stroke their chins and nod and say that’s funny. If something’s funny, I laugh.

Frankie Boyle can make me laugh. I’ll laugh out loud at his rudery on Mock the Week, though I have rarely laughed at the show. He’s gone now. Stewart Lee does a routine about Mock the Week, without naming the show, that again is so perfect, so formed, that all comedians on Mock

………………………………………..just stop

Comedy makes me laugh when, well, it’s funny but also when I feel that the comedian has no choice but to do and say what he or she is saying. They are compelled. It drives them. It is them. And we know it’s them, it’s all them, it’s not an act, it’s

……………………………….Stewart Lee, Johnny Vegas, Richard Herring, Frank Randle, Andy Kaufman

not Bill Hicks.

Have I gone too far? Have I proved  my idiocy? He’s never made me laugh. All comedians love him. He’s the comedian’s comedian. I’ve never got past 7 minutes. I feel I’m being lectured. He says funny things but he seems smug. He also famously said Do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call, every word you say is suspect, you’re a corporate whore and eh, end of story. That’s just some big mouth, clever enough to earn money doing what he loves, getting all self righteous. I did a commercial in 1995. I earned enough to buy a car, a Ford Fiesta. I’m still driving the same car. Bill Hicks can fuck off.

Stewart Lee is my Bill Hicks (even if he’d say the same about commercials, spit in my face and damn me to

…………………………………… ………………………………………………………….. …………………………………….. ……………………………It was only the one.

…………….It wasn’t even a commercial. It was an advert. I wasn’t and still am not clever enough to get by without them.  I’d do another if I was offered. I’ve got a 15 year old car and no home

………………………………………………………………………………………….I wouldn’t do one for guns or anything like that

……………………………or poison

……………………………………………………..or fascism

……….just sweets, or beer, or cheese, milk

………………………………..flowers

pets

……………………ciggies

Where was I?

Stewart Lee opened with a routine about Cafe Nero loyalty cards. Before getting into it he asked an audience member to name their favourite coffee franchise. The audience member said Starbucks.

I’d’ve said Muffin Break. I went there today. They have a loyalty card they hole punch instead of marking with ink. And you get a free coffee every five goes. Also, all their muffins are baked on the premises and the staff in the Lewisham branch are unglamorous and say hello and smile

…………………..maybe I can be the face of Muffin Break

….I’ve lost this post completely.