Current radio comedy Page 118

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chipolata

  • Wednesday 10th July 2013, 6:18pm
  • England
  • 29,781 posts
Quote: Snafu @ July 10 2013, 11:27 AM BST

The Brig Society is a bit of a shocker so far, too. Like observational comedy in a sixth form revue, the laughter is polite more than genuine.


Yeah, it's a weird pudding of a show.

I agree about the patchiness of Radio 4 at the moment, although it does tend to dip during the summer months.

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Tokyo Nambu

  • Wednesday 10th July 2013, 9:19pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 189 posts
Quote: Snafu @ July 10 2013, 11:27 AM BST


This week's ISIHAC (8/7) was dire.


Someone needs to put it out of our misery. It's being produced by recording performances held in front of paying audiences, so presumably it has the advantage of costing the BBC almost nothing. But that I suspect means that the BBC don't get to exercise much control beyond topping and tailing the tape delivered by the production company and making sure it's 28:30 long. It's one thing being funny in front of a provincial audience who, having paid to see their heroes, are going to be entirely uncritical. It's another to extract twenty eight minutes of material which is actually funny to someone cooking dinner.

The trick of taking part in a legendary format is that you need to take it seriously, rather than ride the wave of goodwill from the studio audience. Minute just about manages that, on its day: the audience love being there, and are tremendously warm towards Parsons, but most of the participants are willing to put the effort in. I suspect it's still, just about, listenable to people who aren't long-term fans. But Clue is a shambles, and they are all too obviously relying on the audience being impressed that they aren't dead; when the audience are that excited, there's no need to try too hard.

But Clue's like your fantasy best episode of Round the Horne ever compared to most of the the rest of the 6.30 slot. There's Miles "overexposed" Jupp's variation on Mr and Mrs. The Brig Society, which is like the sweepings from the edit suite floor after the The Now Show has been in, which has the problem that it's not as though The Now Show has sufficient laughs to spare any. My First Planet which is simply unspeakable. And The News Quiz, which is incredibly hit and miss, although has managed a couple of laughs lately.

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Nogget

  • Friday 12th July 2013, 10:56am
  • England
  • 6,617 posts
Quote: Tokyo Nambu @ July 9 2013, 11:48 AM BST

It's essentially Douglas Adam's "B Ark" concept, stretched out to series length. But without the wit and invention that is needed to justify resurrecting a trope from 1978.


You know what, I just listened to the third episode, and I actually laughed. On several occasions. It's taken me this long to get over the nagging feeling that this is an old idea redone less well (which it is), and just listen. I think I might be alone here, but I thought that episode was quite good.

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Oldrocker

  • Thursday 18th July 2013, 12:05am
  • Near my beloved Black Country in Wolverhampton, England
  • 13,416 posts

I caught some of The Brig Society tonight.

Dear God, is this what we've come down to?

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A Horseradish

  • Thursday 18th July 2013, 1:22am [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 6,633 posts

Surprised by just how much I agree with the likes expressed on this thread. Can only guess most peoples' ages but it is easy to identify broad consensus. Yes, there are variations in style across the eras but classicism is clear if also diverse. Commissioners should therefore bin their calculated audience research.

My theory is that things tend to go wrong when middle aged executives think youth. That isn't actually a problem with age but rather one with reality. Being in a boardroom for three decades is like choosing to live without colour. That's hardly regained by going to Glastonbury with a daughter and comparing it with 1984.

Don't wish to be harsh. Radio is better than in the 1990s but then that was the decade of cultural struggle. And now we are in an economic war, R4E is so essential that it really must take precedence on the network. For let's face it, the news media industry is everywhere else and generally as invigorating as Lord Haw-Haw.

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Tokyo Nambu

  • Friday 19th July 2013, 6:30pm
  • England
  • 189 posts
Quote: Horseradish @ July 18 2013, 1:22 AM BST


My theory is that things tend to go wrong when middle aged executives think youth. That isn't actually a problem with age but rather one with reality. Being in a boardroom for three decades is like choosing to live without colour. That's hardly regained by going to Glastonbury with a daughter and comparing it with 1984.


This.

They have an incredibly patronising view of "youth", assuming that they have the attention span of Goldfish. That may, in general, be true, I don't know. But given Radio 4 has an average listener age of 55 (fact), an audience centre of gravity somewhere around South Mimms (informed guess) and an average education of a first degree (just throwing it out there), the chances are that the tiny, tiny handful of people aged under 35 who are listening are doing so while writing up their PhDs. They are not listening while preparing to go for a night out cruising around Brixton in a stolen Corsa.

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AJGO

  • Friday 16th August 2013, 2:10pm
  • London, England
  • 4,987 posts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0388kgj/Summer_Nights_Episode_4/

When should we laugh? And are there occasions when it is inappropriate? Laurie Taylor asks what is fair game for comedy and whether what we laugh at should be governed by aesthetic or political considerations. Guests including Howard Jacobson and Martin Rowson join him to explore humour, the offensive and taking offence.


Haven't got round to listening to it yet, but is available until Thurs 1st January 2099, so plenty of time.

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A Horseradish

  • Friday 16th August 2013, 2:34pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 6,633 posts

Ah yes, dear old Laurie. I almost feel wistful.

Just glad I turned down Reading.

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Tokyo Nambu

  • Friday 16th August 2013, 8:34pm
  • England
  • 189 posts
Quote: Horseradish @ August 16 2013, 2:34 PM BST

Ah yes, dear old Laurie. I almost feel wistful.

Just glad I turned down Reading.


One of the most shameful articles the THES ever published was Laurie Taylor having a hard-on for John McVicar, going on about how bank robbers were working class heroes sticking it to the man in what were, largely, victimless crimes. In the tedious manner of academics of a certain age getting excited by the thought of a bit of rough.

You can get a sense of the sort of idiocy Taylor writes here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/how-we-met-laurie-taylor-and-john-mcvicar-1462755.html


I found it all very romantic, and it seemed right, with me being a criminologist, to actually know a criminal.
I called myself a Marxist at the time and I had this romantic notion that certain notorious criminals were heroic models of how people could attack capitalism. I found John McVicar ideally suited to that role, being an adventurous, confrontationist criminal, a bank robber, you know, not some kind of con-man...


My brother's mother-in-law was as authentically working class as you like, and never worked again after getting a shotgun shoved in her face while working as a cashier for pin money. But still, as long as Taylor can get all sexed up by romantic bank robbers, who cares about working class women who are frightened to leave the house? Laurie Taylor really is a complete and utter c**t: excited by crime, excited by criminals, utterly dismissive of victims.

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Tursiops

  • Sunday 18th August 2013, 9:22am
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts

Quite enjoying Paul Sinha's Citizenship Test.

And having belatedly recognised the genius of John Finnemore am catching up on Cabin Pressure, which is being repeated on 4 xtra from episode one.

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A Horseradish

  • Monday 19th August 2013, 4:12pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 6,633 posts
Quote: Tokyo Nambu @ August 16 2013, 8:34 PM BST

One of the most shameful articles the THES ever published was Laurie Taylor having a hard-on for John McVicar, going on about how bank robbers were working class heroes sticking it to the man in what were, largely, victimless crimes. In the tedious manner of academics of a certain age getting excited by the thought of a bit of rough.

You can get a sense of the sort of idiocy Taylor writes here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/how-we-met-laurie-taylor-and-john-mcvicar-1462755.html

My brother's mother-in-law was as authentically working class as you like, and never worked again after getting a shotgun shoved in her face while working as a cashier for pin money. But still, as long as Taylor can get all sexed up by romantic bank robbers, who cares about working class women who are frightened to leave the house? Laurie Taylor really is a complete and utter c**t: excited by crime, excited by criminals, utterly dismissive of victims.


Sorry to hear about your brother's mother-in-law. Sounds like a terrible experience. I used to listen to Laurie on "Stop The Week", a programme I quite enjoyed. A few years later, he would be on the adjoining pub table to me, holding forth, but it wasn't my group. He has now made a lot of programmes with Sky. Think that sums it up rather well. To be taken with a fair pinch of salt - but he's mainly harmless. There are far worse.

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Oldrocker

  • Friday 23rd August 2013, 12:12am
  • Near my beloved Black Country in Wolverhampton, England
  • 13,416 posts

I heard a bit of Davis Sedaris tonight on R4.

Not bad I thought.

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A Horseradish

  • Friday 23rd August 2013, 6:16pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 6,633 posts

Unlike the OP, I am more of a radio person than a TV one. Currently I'm very enthusiastic about Radio 4 Extra. For example - and as indicated in a previous post - there is so much news in the media. By contrast, R4E is news free. I think it is the only place to be at breakfast time. Just in that way, it's a vital service.

I'm wondering what other people think. How many are regular listeners? Is the content too variable? Are the newer shows good enough? Do you like the fact that it has serious drama too? This thread is popular so a separate thread might be unfair. And one about the station when it was BBC R7 only led to three replies.

(I accept there have been comments on BBC radio comedy and specific shows but not on R4E as a service)

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lofthouse

  • Friday 23rd August 2013, 7:43pm
  • Nowhere, England
  • 9,032 posts

They do tend to repeat Hancock, round the Horne, Steptoe, Likely Lads, Dads Army etc over and over and over again

Not a bad thing as they are classics

I just wish they would be more imaginative

There's loads of loads of great shows in the BBC archives that hardly get a look in

On the whole though 4e is pretty good - but let's face it , there isn't any other similar stations out there anyway