December 18, 2015
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:
And now the opposite. Which do you think is the worst?
December 17, 2015
It’s that time again. Christmas-time. And Here I am with the annual round-up of Top Ten Comedy DVDs, helping you make those difficult Christmas present choices.
This is how it works: The Top Ten is taken from today’s Amazon Stand-Up comedy recommendations. I’ve not watched any of them. I don’t read anything about them (not even the Amazon blurb). I look at the covers and come to unfair conclusions. I’ll say the same as last year: “Yes, I am judging a comedy DVD by its cover.”
Here goes, counting down from ten to one.
10: Henning Wehn
It looks like we’re off to a good start. Henning is “a superb social commentator” with “great likeability”…. Woaaaaahhhh! Hold your horses! He’s only gone and said that about himself! Where’s the quotes from The Sun, or the guardian, or anyone else. Ah! There is a quote from Everybody Else! He’s “that German bloke”.
There’s a clue to his Germanness (Germanity? Germanicity?) in the title Eins, Zwei, DIY. And we can also tell that this is a DVD of his live show from the use of the word “Live”. As far as titles go, I like puns, and this made me laugh. But then I laughed a little less when I remembered a similar comedic use of the 123 thing from a German zombie film a few years back.
Still, it’s a good start to our Top Ten. And Henning looks like Frank Skinner in a never-made Ronnie Barker shop sitcom called Spanner’s Manor, where Frank/Ronnie/Henning would have played Sam Spanner, a DIY shop owner who’s a private dick on the side.
Henning’s DVD is a 15 certificate, shown twice (once in blue, once in red) making it suitable for 30 year olds. It is available on Amazon for £10.
9: Dylan Moran
There’s going to be a pattern here with the certificates. Why they have to do it twice is anyone’s guess. Globalisation or something.
Anyway, this is Dylan Moran. Live. It’s called Off the Hook. No one knows why. Here’s some suggestions: Dylan has been let ‘off the hook’ by someone… a family member? The police?; the DVD has a fishing theme; it’s a bit like Off the Pegg– a not-yet-made one joke-fits-all fest by funnyman Simon Pegg; It’s a DVD of jokes stolen from New Order funnyman Peter Hook; it has no meaning.
Dominic Cavendish, from The Telegraph, says: “This show makes the world seem a better place”. It may well be deliberate but I have no idea what that means. He does give it four stars though, and that is good.
Unidentified writers from the guardian, The Times, and the Evening Standard also give the show four stars. One must assume that, unlike the brazenly out there Dominic Cavendish, these other writers are spies.
Nevertheless, it gives the DVD a total of 16 stars. That means it is good and funny. You can get it at Amazon for £10.
8: Alan Carr
15 + 15. This is Yap, Yap, Yap! Live. It is described by Guardian (not the guardian, so really, it could be anyone!) as “Hooting jabberfest”. (What in hell’s name has happened to the definite and indefinite articles here? Have they gone on holiday for Christmas?)
Anyway, let’s get to the point. Dogs yap, owls hoot. I’m guessing Alan is an animal impersonator. Available for £9.79.
7: Chris Ramsey
15 x 2. Lots of info here. It’s Live. And you get a full-length bonus show thrown in too. It’s All Growed Up, which means… it’s not… ’cause it’s said in baby talk. And Chris is holding a microphone made out of Lego (I wonder if he had to buy it, like Ai Weiwei?) It’s “Stand-Up gold” too (from the proper the guardian). So, everything’s looking good for this one, except…
“Frighteningly talented… tearing up every stage he lands on.” GQ
This is really worrying. Why does he land on stages? Has he only ever performed in Miss Saigon? Is he an alien? And then why on earth would he tear them up? Has he a Hulk complex?
And how is he managing to lean on a blue sticker that isn’t a sticker at all but they’ve still gone and made it curl up at the edges to try and fool us into thinking it is a sticker after all?
Putting aside these worries and doubts, Chris’ video takes us back up to the £10 mark.
6: Bill Bailey
It’s a first this year! A 12 certificate DVD. 12 + 12 = 24. Fun for (most of) all the family!
You know where you are with this one. “Sublime hilarity” and “Blissfully funny”… from proper papers. And then there’s jokes on top! The big joke is the plug pun (it made me laugh). The smaller joke is the “high voltage comedy” bit. And the surreal joke is the tick showing that the DVD is “approved by most goverments” (I’m guessing that the missing ‘n’ is a joke I am missing out on, rather than a spelling mistake).
5: Paul Chowdhry
Man, this one gives me the heebiegeebies!
Seriously, what gives? “Imperiously on top of his game”? Is that good? From the Mail on Sunday too? maybe it’s a spoof. Five stars though. and another five from the Daily Mirror to show that he’s cool on the left too. No quote from them, but the stars are adding up. Ten stars so far.
But then Eastern Eye lets Paul down. No stars and “Dangerous comic genius”. Dangerous? What!? Surely a comedian to be avoided?
Imperious? Dangerous? Genius? Is he after a part in the next Bond film?
But, ever fond of the cheaper stuff, PC’s World is funny.
As a little aside; when me and Trev worked on Going Live! and Live & Kicking our producer, David Mercer, was responsible for deciding if our content was acceptable/broadcastable. At times, he could be harsh on us (or so we thought), and so, in the face of BBC right-on thinking, we would always sing the same song at him. And it went like this; “Where in the world? David Mercer’s PC World”. That’s all. Not even funny. It just stuck. But if you ever meet him, do sing it to/at him.
4: Michael McIntyre
You knew he’d turn up. What would the Top Ten be without him? If anything, it’s scandalous he hasn’t made the Top Three!
No newspaper quotes here, because he doesn’t need them. “The record-breaking comedian returns with his brand new show!” A brand new show! It’s a shame they don’t tell us what record(s) he has broken. I’m going to plump for World’s Greatest Curtain Peeper.
It’s Live at The 02 Arena (does it have red curtains?) It’s called Happy and Glorious but where’s the trademark McIntyre smile? If anything, he’s looking sneaky. As if he’s about to rob the 02. With a prosthetic hand.
3: Dara O Briain
Here’s Dara O Briain spoofing a Phrenology Head, looking a little like the third of the Three Wise Monkeys. “Devilishly sharp” says Metro. What’s devilishly sharp? Dara? The scalpel that separates the sections of the brain? A Kitchen Devil knife?
Look closely and you’ll see what to expect: audience chat, highbrow, lowbrow, Gloria Estefan, Not bumping into things. Oh, and a formula I don’t understand, and gags! Gags! Right by his left eye.
2: John Bishop
Possibly the most understandable cover amongst the lot. John Bishop. Live. At The Royal Albert Hall. “Britain’s top comic”, the Daily Mirror.
But hang on… Supersonic Live? Supersonic? As in Syd Little? I guess this is John’s tribute to Cyril Mead, the Little half of Little and Large, always referred to by Edward McGinnis, the Large half of Little and Large, as Supersonic. It’s a nice touch. And always welcome to see the new wave of comedy acknowledge the old wave. Or whatever.
Nice arrows. 30 year olds. £7.99! Cheapest so far! (unless you price Bill Bailey’s per disc).
And so to Number One. The Top DVD on Amazon today! Beating “Britain’s Top Comic”! Who can it be?
1: Kevin Bridges
It’s Kevin Bridges! “Kevin Bridges might just become the best stand-up comedian in the land” says The Times. That’s … ummm… treading carefully. Might just become!? “Kevin Bridges might just become the best replacement Letter I on the cover of his DVD in the land”. Me.
Perhaps comedians just like to have a laugh with the newspaper quotes. Or perhaps Kevin can’t bring himself to do the usual cheeky trick; the one where you go – “Kevin Bridges… the best stand-up comedian in the land”.
It’s A Whole Different Story… Live 2015 . There’s also one of those stickers that aren’t stickers (though at least this one isn’t fake peeling) stating that the DVD “also includes Kevin’s set from BBC1’s Live at The Referendum”. Like Live at The Apollo I guess, but I have no idea where The Referendum is. It might be in Scotland.
Come back tomorrow and we’ll do some polling. Have your say. Which are the best covers, which the worst. Voting commences tomorrow.
December 21, 2013
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:
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!
December 13, 2013
It’s Kevin Bridges: The Full Story Boxset!
Now! A quick reminder of the ‘rules’. I haven’t seen any of these DVD’s. In many cases I haven’t seen the comedians. Even on the Apollo show. I am simply reviewing them by their covers alone. Here goes.
I don’t know Kevin Bridges story. But it goes something like this: Kevin Bridges talks about what it’s like being the unsung son of Hollywood actor Jeff Bridges. There’s some amusing anecdotes about boyhood fishing trips with Uncle Beau and an alarming tale of an onset visit to see Grandpa Lloyd when he starred in the comedy Jane Austen’s Mafia!
Maybe he’s not related. Maybe he is! You decide.
The Full Story Boxset is possibly a little misleading. How many DVD’s make a Boxset? How many stories make a Full Story? Well, in this case, two. Two DVD’s. Two stories.
The stories so far are, ahem, The Story So Far and The Story Continues. Perhaps, next Christmas, the Full Boxset will become a Triple Boxset and, in typical three act story style, the story will end with the third DVD, The Story Ends.
Comedians come in two forms; the grumpy comedian and the smiley comedian. In first place, at the moment, are Jack Dee and Michael McIntyre. (I was going to say respectively, but I’ll leave it for you to figure out- you can always click on the names above to see photographic evidence). Kevin, as his legs suggest, is straddling the two styles; it’s not a smile, it’s not a grimace. I cannot tell what it is. He is a third kind; the enigmatic comedian.
He possibly has no arms.
He’s looking up. The camera is either very high or Kevin is very short.
This is “unmissable stuff” and, with two 15 certificate symbols, it is suitable for thirty year olds.
There is a lot of yellow.
Tomorrow, number 7.
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 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.
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.
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
December 19, 2010
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.