Who are the most genuinely talented comedians? Page 4

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Rood Eye

  • Friday 15th February 2019, 12:41am
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 14th February 2019, 11:02 PM

Yes it's down to the delivery

I'm not sure an actor who, in reality, is no funnier than the average man or woman in the street can be described as a "naturally talented comedian" simply because, when performing a stand-up routine, he has learned his lines and how to deliver them for maximum effect - exactly as he would do for any other acting role.

The day is surely not far off when a machine will be able to verbalise a stand-up script to an audience, speaking not like a Dalek or even like "Lost Voice Guy" but with all the verbal skills of a world-class stand-up comedian. When that day arrives, it will surely not be very much longer before that same machine can demolish hecklers with brilliant and situation-appropriate verbal putdowns to equal the best stand-ups in the business.

The day will never arrive, however, when that machine will be described as a "naturally talented comedian".

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Friday 15th February 2019, 7:18am
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

Delivery and reading the room to select your next joke is a definite 'Natural Skill' You could have a thousand great jokes in your file but telling the wrong ones in the wrong manner would be through lacking this skill. In my humble opinion of course .

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Old Lady Leg

  • Friday 15th February 2019, 10:02am
  • Complete and utter Kent, United Kingdom
  • 449 posts
Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 15th February 2019, 7:18 AM

Delivery and reading the room to select your next joke is a definite 'Natural Skill' You could have a thousand great jokes in your file but telling the wrong ones in the wrong manner would be through lacking this skill. In my humble opinion of course .

I agree with this, but I also agree with Rood, that some comedians do work to a well-rehearsed script and it works brilliantly for them. Each to their own, as it were.

I think the natural skill Teddy is talking about is the one that comes with being the sort of person who can already read a room wherever they are, be it in the pub, at work, at a family get together. Some people just can't do that and will blurt out witty asides that might work with one group of people, but not another...and pretty much turn a blind eye to any negative reaction, basically because they just don't want to feel like they're not 'winning' the room...if that makes sense.

I know someone like that and it's so hard to change their minds about which jokes work and which ones are just going to leave people thinking...why would anyone find that funny? To them, stand-up isn't a two-way thing, it's something they do to show off their jokes, whatever it takes. Going back to what Rood said, their acting ability is spot on, but impro can be somewhat overwhelming - very one-way, which makes it difficult to maintain a volley of ideas.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 12:54am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

In deciding who is one of the most genuinely talented comedians, I'd rule out anybody who doesn't write their own material. I'd also rule out anybody who is significantly different offstage from the person they are when onstage. In that way, we get rid of the "actors" some of whom are, of course, hugely talented at playing the part of a comedian but none of whom are, in my view, imbued with natural comedic talent.

I've already nominated a number of people and, some time ago, I would have nominated Frankie Boyle mainly because he has probably the most original and hilarious turn of phrase I've ever heard. I have to admit, however, that I've gone off him since he submitted to the PC Brigade and toned down his offensiveness from 11 to about 4½.

In fairness to Frankie, I realise that toning his TV act down is preferable to being unemployed but I still wish he hadn't done it.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 6:37am
  • England
  • 17,504 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 16th February 2019, 12:54 AM

In fairness to Frankie, I realise that toning his TV act down is preferable to being unemployed but I still wish he hadn't done it.

Max Miller wouldn't succumb to threats of unemployment, and although his material would be considered inoffensive in today's market, at the time it was VERY risqué and he got himself banned by the BBC; but coming back to not knuckling under, there is the now oft quoted anecdote that varies from teller to teller, the bones of which after Max refused to come off stage because he thought it unfair that the American comedian Jack Benny was given a longer spot at the Royal Variety, Val Parnell told him that he would never work in his Moss Empire theatres again (which included the London Palladium) to which Max told him he was £85,000 (? Fill in your own figure but it was a LOT of money then!) too late.
However, Max became an even bigger star and Val Parnell finished up being the one going cap in hand to Max as he was proving such a hit in rival's theatres.

I NOMINATE MAX MILLER (Ken Dodd is a given)

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Stephen Goodlad

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 8:44am
  • Mirfield, England
  • 3,729 posts

That story was also attributed to Chubby Brown with him being told he'd never work on tv again.
(£8M too late)

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 10:00am
  • England
  • 17,504 posts

I reckon Chubby Brown pinched it as it such a good one and is the epitome of "revenge is a dish best served cold".

It certainly happened in the wings of The Palladium to Max, the only thing disputed is the figure and one of those was a quarter of a million, which in 1950 would be worth £8,400,000 today - so there I see your £8 mill. and raise you 400 grand......... :P

The other thing to point out regarding Max Miller and Ken Dodd was they NEVER used swearing in the acts.
I know somebody who would certainly approve of my nomination................rest his soul :-

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Tursiops

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 12:08pm [Edited]
  • Welwyn Garden City, England
  • 9,788 posts

The late Jeremy Hardy was a special talent. His politics put some off, but he always eschewed the obvious and the ranty and approached topics sideways on with a self-deprecating, home counties English understatement. I did not always agree with him, but he always made me laugh all the same, and often made me suspect that he was right and I was wrong. And when on ISIHAC he left the politics at the door, he could be just gloriously silly.

When The News Quiz was in its prime with him, Linda Smith and Alan Coren, it was rare conjunction of comic talents, where not only did they raise one another's game but also that of those around them, much as happens today on WILTY with Lee Mack, David Mitchell and Rob Brydon.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 12:09pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 16th February 2019, 10:00 AM

the only thing disputed is the figure

It was the 1950 Royal Variety Show at the Palladium and the figure I heard was £100,000.

In translating that figure into modern money, it's insufficient just to take account of inflation (which would bring it to about £3.5 million). We have to take account of the average person's chance of ever acquiring such a sum.

Today, any one of us could invest a couple of quid in a lottery ticket and be worth tens of millions the following Wednesday or Saturday. To most people in Britain, the prospect of such a win appears very real.

Similarly, any one of us could appear on a TV reality show or, if we are young enough and pretty enough, a TV talent show and be worth that sort of money very soon afterwards.

In stark contrast, to the average working person in 1950 who was earning £7 per week or to the average pensioner in that year who was living on the princely sum of around £1 per week, the chances of ever having £100,000 were as close to zero as makes absolutely no difference.

To all but the super-rich, was an unimaginable sum of money.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 12:24pm
  • England
  • 17,504 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 16th February 2019, 12:09 PM

It was the 1950 Royal Variety Show at the Palladium

Yeah, and over the two posts I said exactly that.................................. Unimpressed

..............and the figure, like all these anecdotes, can go all over the place. I have various video and audio recordings of Max Miller and his life and each sum of money is different.

Just sayin'

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 16th February 2019, 1:28pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

On the subject of Max Miller and Ken Dodd, it's interesting to note that if you went to a Max Miller gig, he'd be on stage for about 25 minutes whereas Ken would frequently do four hours!

It's also interesting to note that, although Ken didn't swear on stage, his language offstage could be as colourful as that of any other Scouser!