British Comedy Guide

I HATE NEWSJACK

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Alan Shaw

  • Saturday 8th September 2018, 3:38pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 4 posts

Newsjack is coming back I hate the show with a passion.

About half of the material on the show is written by the teams writing room and not listeners. The problem is these people aren't very good so if one of them writes a sketch about cats and you've sent in a far better sketch about cats then you have no chance of getting on air. They will use THEIR sketch regardless of how terrible it is, and if you've heard the show you know just how terrible many of them are. It's meant to be a show submitted by listeners not the shows own writers!

Friends of the production team are given preferential treatment and get their material used regardless of quality. There's someone on this very forum who seems to somehow magically get "the good email" or "the nearly email" every week. Is it because they are comedy genius? No just look at their profile and you'll see that they know the NJ team. In fact they claim to get the "nearly" email so often they should get blacklisted as their jokes apparently keep making it to the recording (due to their mates on the show doing them a favour) and then bomb when the audience hears them and get cut, which shows just how biased the selection process is and how poor their jokes are. It's meant to be a show submitted by listeners not the show's friends!

The jokes used on the show are mostly simplistic, predictable and dull. It's all lowest common denominator stuff with all cleverness or originality filtered out. So the show encourages people to write terrible jokes with hackneyed formats and obvious punchlines. They love that stuff!

But the worst thing about Newsjack is the way it treats the people who send in jokes and sketches. They should be the lifeblood of the show but they're treated like crap. Here are a couple of suggestions. Make the show 100% submitted material and each person can only have one joke/sketch used per series (whether broadcast or cut after recording). This way we don't have to suffer the garbage from the show's in house team and we maximize the number of people who can get something onto the show. But they won't do this because then they couldn't boost their own egos and help get their mates on air.

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Scott Kingsnorth

  • Saturday 8th September 2018, 7:29pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 1 posts

Comedy is subjective. If it's not for you, then it's not for you. Write something else.

I don't recommend slagging of these shows publicly though, as a lot of people work on them and they might be responsible for hiring you in the future.

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Will Cam

  • Saturday 8th September 2018, 9:05pm
  • England
  • 7,975 posts

Alan Shaw, you are coming across as a bit of a prat. Please stop.

Ps welcome to the site.

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Alan Shaw

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 9:04am [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 4 posts

When I first tried my hand at comedy I spent a couple of years sending jokes to NJ. Nothing ever got on the show, even though my material was excellent. I'd listen to the show to hear what jokes they selected and most of them were garbage. It was maddening and made me doubt my own abilities. However now I have a weekly comedy column for a major US website and have been published in a number of magazines. THAT is why I hate Newsjack. Its biased format and incompetent team of humourless idiots do positive harm to up and coming comedy talent. If you've been sending stuff to the show and wondering why nothing gets on it's because the show is made by people who have only a very basic understanding of what makes something funny. Don't let them get to you, their opinion on what jokes are good or bad is worthless. Listen to the show over the next few weeks for proof.

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beaky

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 1:15pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,703 posts

Having no axe to grind, never having submitted, I don't find Newsjack particularly funny either. It comes across as very amateurish.

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The Green Man

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 4:37pm
  • England
  • 11 posts

Newsjack isn't as good as Radio 2's The News Huddlines and Radio 4's Week Ending were back in the day.
They were a joy to listen to and a joy to submit material for! If I had a time machine I would go straight back to the days of Huddlines and Week Ending. I loved those days. Sorry, I'm feeling very nostalgic today :P

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MargateSteve

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 6:52pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 posts

I have had one one-liner accepted by Newsjack and it was probably the weakest of all that I sent in. The trouble for me is that I also do not find the show very funny simply because it is not my sense of humour.
I gave up sending things in as I found it hard to come up with gags that I thought they would find funny rather than things I found funny. If the panel had been Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle then I would have had a better chance.

Having said that, it keeps getting renewed so guess there is a fair chunk of people who enjoy it,

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Winger

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 10:16pm
  • 52 posts

Well since we're having a bit of a moan I'll add my two pence worth.

Newsjack used to be funny, it really did. It was well made and had it's own unique character.

There were writers that got through enough times to the point that they started script editing the show and if you didn't get material on the show it was because other people's material was better.

You could listen to it and see why they went with a certain joke, why they used that story as a sketch and you could learn how to expand things yourself from listening to it, the whole thing was well done for the audience and the writers.

However I'm speaking about when Miles Jupp and Justin Edwards were hosts, and they had a cast of incomparable talents such as Margaret Cabourn-Smith (who should have succeeded Edwards) and the impressionist Lewis MacLeod.

Then new producers came in and they changed the whole format. The whole thing used to be driven by the writing. Everything including the intros could be written by the general public.

But now it became a vehicle for quite frankly C grade comedians to boost their careers. The producers got in to bed with a large talent agency that provided them. Now the intros were the comedians doing their bits, the contribution of the writers being cut down by almost a third and if said comedians wanted to cover an easy laugh story then any sketch or one liner was out regardless of if it was better or not.

Around this time they also seemed to start reaching out to other C class comedians to provide material so once again the contribution of the general public was diminished. These same comedians would round out the rest of the cast but without the experience of those they replaced they sounded amateurish and could worsen an already badly written sketch or line.

(Although no one will ever sound as if they have been forced by their wife to contribute to their child's school play as much as Romesh).

And no longer was the best material getting on, quite the contrary jokes with punchlines like 'does the pope shit in the woods' were happily read out. The script editing duties seemingly having been handed to people who thought The Big Bang Theory was the comedic pinnacle we all aspired to.

Basically it's now a completely different show seemingly edited and cast for a BBC Three audience who would never listen to radio comedy anyway because there aren't any bright colours to hold their attention...

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MargateSteve

  • Sunday 9th September 2018, 10:33pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 27 posts

After my earlier post, I thought I would give it another go and have got a sketch done (bar edits) and managed 6 one-liners.

Again, I looked at stories from the last few days and thought up better stuff that would be more suited to a 'Mock the Week' style show, but would not have been usable on NJ so went with much tamer stuff. The Big Brother and Elon Musk/British diver stuff could have been goldmines but no way anything around those would get on.

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Lazzard

  • Monday 10th September 2018, 12:03pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,648 posts

I find topical comedy pretty dull at the best of times.
And anyway, Twitter does it better.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Monday 10th September 2018, 12:07pm [Edited]
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 4,702 posts

There was one week NJ didn't reject me. It was when I didn't send anything in.
My closest was a one-liner but it was c**t at the last minute.

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Lazzard

  • Monday 10th September 2018, 12:45pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,648 posts

Hate the last-minute c**ts.

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Chris Hallam

  • Tuesday 11th September 2018, 10:32am
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 286 posts
Quote: Alan Shaw @ 9th September 2018, 9:04 AM

When I first tried my hand at comedy I spent a couple of years sending jokes to NJ. Nothing ever got on the show, even though my material was excellent. I'd listen to the show to hear what jokes they selected and most of them were garbage. .

Do you have any examples of the stuff you were submitting?

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Will Cam

  • Tuesday 11th September 2018, 3:26pm
  • England
  • 7,975 posts

I think there is a liberal left wing bias going on. Nothing edgy seems to get on, nothing that might upset anyone. It's trying to be very includive, maybe over inclusive. I was looking at the last sketch I sent in and wondered at the time if it had been discounted because the female characters were stereotypes (so was the bloke character). Or maybe it just wasn't funny. I agree with Winger about the intro being written by the host.

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Lazzard

  • Tuesday 11th September 2018, 4:37pm
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,648 posts

Come on, let's be honest, it's third-rate at best.
It's one saving grace was that it gives newbies a decent shot at getting stuff broadcast, and possibly a foot in the door - if that's now being called into question, I'm not sure its worth the air-time.