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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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…