Comedy you want to like, but don't Page 14

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Monster Scum Bag

  • Saturday 3rd March 2012, 8:51pm
  • England
  • 195 posts

Simon Munnery. His comedy just really pisses me off. Stewart Lee constantly name checks him in his book and I thought if Stewart Lee liked him he's got to be good.

But after watching things like Attention Scum, I just come away feeling annoyed. It just seems like he's desperately flinging random words trying to be "surreal".

So what is it, do I simply not get it?

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Matthew Stott

  • Saturday 3rd March 2012, 9:00pm
  • Yemen
  • 19,296 posts

Oh, I love Simon Munnery; there's a lot of different things he's done though, not all are as odd as Attention Scum was. That's probably towards the very oddest end of the things he's done and is certainly an aquired taste.

He's performed as characters, such as Alan Parker: Urban Warrior, and more straight ahead stand up too; as well as, yes, some odd stuff.

His live DVD 'Hello' from Go Faster Stripe is a fantastic mix of all the different things he can do.

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Monster Scum Bag

  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 4:17pm
  • England
  • 195 posts

Yeah, in all fairness I haven't seen much of his stand-up so I guess it's not fair for me to judge all his work based on one series.

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DeathbyMonkey

  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 10:32pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 683 posts
Quote: Harridan @ February 20 2012, 3:17 PM GMT

I'm still waiting for the boom of brilliant satire now that we've got a Conservative government. Have all the satirists died in the interim?


It always annoyed me that with the last Labour government there was so much material to hang them with but none of the comics really touched them (because they were left leaning) and it made them hypocrites for it. I can't help feeling that maybe satire has lost it's teeth because many comedians feel that they sold themselves out the with last prime minister - just a theory.

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sootyj

  • Sunday 4th March 2012, 10:43pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 51,287 posts

Oh come on the Comic Strip Presents monstered Tony Blair.

After David Cameron and 2 terms of Gordon Brown.

Cutting edge eh?

I think political satire of the 80s fun as it was became a bit of a cliche.

I think the satirists believed in 2 things. Conservatism was bad, Labour was better. So when Labor got in by using Conservative policies and Conservatives confronted them with their own policies.
It all became to weirdly bland and indistinguishable to protest.

I mean you can support anarchy or communism but you'll just look silly.

Perhaps satire like a dystopian thriller always needs a positive alternative to aspire to. I mean you couldn't dream of Millerband as some of heroic alternative to anything. Even cottage cheese.

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Aaron

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 12:05am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,345 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ March 4 2012, 10:32 PM GMT

I can't help feeling that maybe satire has lost it's teeth because many comedians feel that they sold themselves out the with last prime minister - just a theory.


More likely, it's lost its teeth because no one wanted to do it for 15 years, so now no one knows how to!

Quote: sootyj @ March 4 2012, 10:43 PM GMT

Oh come on the Comic Strip Presents monstered Tony Blair.


Yeah, more than 4 years after he'd ceased to be of relevance, and at least 7 years after they could and should have done it. The way they presented Cameron and Brown was certainly comical, but hardly biting.

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Tokyo Nambu

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 10:50am [Edited]
  • England
  • 189 posts
Quote: sootyj @ March 4 2012, 10:43 PM GMT

Oh come on the Comic Strip Presents monstered Tony Blair.


Quite. A bunch of washed-up comedians who hadn't been relevant for a decade made a laboured, tedious "comedy" about a washed-up politician who hadn't been relevant for years; a politician who had, more to the point, left office, and Parliament, some years earlier. Perhaps Channel Four might commission The Chuckle Brothers to make a two hour drama about the later years of the Campbell-Bannerman administration. The Chuckle Brothers, however, might manage to raise a smile with a few "to me, to you" gags: The Comic Strip's offering was so busy being referential (including, of course, to Alistair Beaton's far superior "Trial of Tony Blair") it neglected to be funny. Although to be fair, it had Stephen Mangan in it, who is to "funny" what Gordon Brown is to "electoral success", so I suppose you can't make bricks without straw.

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sootyj

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 10:54am [Edited]
  • England
  • 51,287 posts

All good points.

Except the Trial of Tony Blair was even smugger and more self involved than the Comic Strip.

The uncomfortable problem is years after she left office, Thatcher's heritage is far more complex and nuanced than I realised at the time.

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Tony Cowards

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 5:26pm
  • Wiltshire, England
  • 1,762 posts
Quote: DeathbyMonkey @ March 4 2012, 10:32 PM GMT

It always annoyed me that with the last Labour government there was so much material to hang them with but none of the comics really touched them (because they were left leaning) and it made them hypocrites for it. I can't help feeling that maybe satire has lost it's teeth because many comedians feel that they sold themselves out the with last prime minister - just a theory.


You obviously never saw Mark Thomas or Rob Newman's shows and on TV you had "Bremner, Bird and Fortune", as well as "The Thick Of It" (and the film version, "In The Loop") all of which were pretty scatching about New Labour and Tony Blair.

This reminds me of the arguments from Christians when they complain about "blasphemy" and say that comics never make jokes about Muslims, an argument which is patently untrue and clearly made by people who rarely stepped inside a comedy club.

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Aaron

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 5:29pm [Edited]
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,345 posts

The Thick Of It's storytelling though, it's not really attacking satire, is it? It just reflected the ... environment, the tone of politics, rather than picking clear targets personally in the way that Spitting Image or Peter Cook did. I'd less expect Iannucci to mock Blair to his face than kiss his hand.

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sootyj

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 5:38pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 51,287 posts

Good examples.

Except Mark Thomas's Comedy Product wound up in 2002 (it was great and very influential, I'd really not count his much tricksier and comedic manifesto show as biting satire).

Rob Newman, did he have a proper solo show? (Again great performer)

Bremner Bird and Fortune was amazing but look how isolated it is.

The Thick of It? Meh, it made fun of the tabloidy side of Blairite soft politics, but not the actual policies.

Now compare that to NT9ON, Frost Report, Young Ones, early Comic Strip, Spitting Image, Ben Elton, Saturday Night Live etc etc

Quote: Aaron @ March 5 2012, 12:05 AM GMT

Yeah, more than 4 years after he'd ceased to be of relevance, and at least 7 years after they could and should have done it. The way they presented Cameron and Brown was certainly comical, but hardly biting.


I was being sarcastic.

Oh and Whoops Apocalypse was great.

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Aaron

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 6:28pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,345 posts
Quote: sootyj @ March 5 2012, 5:38 PM GMT

I was being sarcastic.

Oh and Whoops Apocalypse was great.


Ah. Ok then! :)

And yes, it was.

One of the best satires I've seen, perhaps ever, is Hot Metal. Not political, but incredibly relevant today.

https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/hot_metal/

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Tokyo Nambu

  • Monday 5th March 2012, 8:21pm
  • England
  • 189 posts
Quote: Tony Cowards @ March 5 2012, 5:26 PM GMT

You obviously never saw Mark Thomas or Rob Newman's shows and on TV you had "Bremner, Bird and Fortune", as well as "The Thick Of It" (and the film version, "In The Loop") all of which were pretty scatching about New Labour and Tony Blair.


Up to a point. Bird and Fortune were and are excellent, but Bremner himself is just Mike Yarwood with O Levels and is nothing like as incisive, or funny, as he believes he is. He can only make jokes about things about which he has an impersonation available, which is a huge limitation. The Thick Of It was superb as comedy, but had absolutely no politics at all: it was completely about process and presentation.