Thank God You're Here - Paul Merton Page 7

Thank God You're Here. Image shows from L to R: Clive Anderson, Hamish Blake, Sally Lindsay, Michael McIntyre, Rufus Jones. Copyright: TalkbackThames.

Thank God You're Here

Improvisation comedy show hosted by Paul Merton. Each week four celebrities walk through a door into an unknown situation

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Richard Wells

  • Monday 21st January 2008, 3:01am
  • Northamptonshire, England
  • 1,016 posts
Quote: shaggy292 @ January 20, 2008, 9:47 PM

I'm going to sound like a complete bloody snob here, but I'm going to say it anyway.

I think that the main audience for improvisation shows should be for comedy fans who appreciate the art, not just for the typical ITV audience who haven't seen an episode of Whose Line in their life, and for who Fern Britton is the main attraction.

Sorry. I sound like a nob, but there it is. Don't hate me...

I think it should be given a chance though.

I mean Fern Britton wiped the floor last week with the other so called comedy performers so why shouldn't other non comedy performers try.

Sure Fiz out of corrie will be on next week but who knows, she might be good.

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Badge

  • Monday 21st January 2008, 6:57am
  • London, England
  • 9,490 posts

I thought the second episode was much weaker, but I'll still watch if nothing else on (and I don't say that about too many light entertainment shows).

Hamish Blake is the most consistent but from what others have said he is also the most experienced from appearing on the Aussie version.

Format-wise I am happy with three comedians and A N Other. Like someone said, Fern Britton was great. When I was growing up there was a kids show called Star Turn with Bernard Cribbins, and that had people off the telly being funny - they didn't have to be comedians to be good on that.

But if ALL the non-comedians ended up being from ITV1 shows, that would be a bit poor.

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swerytd

  • Monday 21st January 2008, 2:39pm
  • Guildford, England
  • 7,524 posts

I've sort of enjoyed it. I think it's quite good, but it's the *other* actors that are making it stilted. They've obviously got to stick to a script which renders the improvisations pointless with nowhere to go. If some of them had a remit to explore some of the things the guests were saying it would make it a lot more interesting and give the guests the chance to get comfortable.

In the 'Superheroes' game in Whose Line..?, the thing that made it so good was the fact that *all* the contestants were improvising so it looked a lot more polished. The 'proper actors' scupper that here.

Oh and get rid of the ridiculous interview bits as they're not interesting nor long enough for an interview -- just use the extra time to extend scenes.

I'm a bit disappointed with Paul Merton. His improvisation on HIGNFY and Just A Minute is superb and here, though he reacts well to stuff, he still looks a bit confused. This is probably down to the rigid scripts again though.

Dan

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Aaron

  • Monday 21st January 2008, 4:07pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,367 posts
Quote: swerytd @ January 21, 2008, 9:39 AM

I've sort of enjoyed it. I think it's quite good, but it's the *other* actors that are making it stilted. They've obviously got to stick to a script which renders the improvisations pointless with nowhere to go. If some of them had a remit to explore some of the things the guests were saying it would make it a lot more interesting and give the guests the chance to get comfortable.

In the 'Superheroes' game in Whose Line..?, the thing that made it so good was the fact that *all* the contestants were improvising so it looked a lot more polished. The 'proper actors' scupper that here.


I'd kind of subconsciously noticed that, and you're right. Their sudden deviations from the line in which the person is heading is really off-putting. Like a teacher trying to lead a child towards the correct answer when there's an Ofsted inspector in the room.

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Nick

  • Monday 21st January 2008, 4:56pm
  • Japan
  • 818 posts
Quote: Aaron @ January 21, 2008, 11:07 AM

I'd kind of subconsciously noticed that, and you're right. Their sudden deviations from the line in which the person is heading is really off-putting. Like a teacher trying to lead a child towards the correct answer when there's an Ofsted inspector in the room.

Indeed. Also some of the guests didn't seem to understand this format. For example, during Sally Lindsay's scene the set up was something like, 'You've been out shopping for...' Now the intention obviously was for her to come up with some crazy product but instead she said, 'what have I been shopping for?' in a slightly confused way.

It all just seems very confused and awkward.

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Chappers

  • Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 1:37am [Edited]
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,455 posts
Quote: shaggy292 @ January 20, 2008, 9:47 PM

I'm going to sound like a complete bloody snob here, but I'm going to say it anyway.

I think that the main audience for improvisation shows should be for comedy fans who appreciate the art, not just for the typical ITV audience who haven't seen an episode of Whose Line in their life, and for who Fern Britton is the main attraction.

Sorry. I sound like a nob, but there it is. Don't hate me...

I don't think we hate you - but are you a snob or a nob?

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Mark

  • Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 2:46am [Edited]
  • Hampshire, England
  • 2,672 posts
Quote: swerytd @ January 21, 2008, 9:39 AM

it's the *other* actors that are making it stilted. They've obviously got to stick to a script which renders the improvisations pointless with nowhere to go.

Quote: Aaron @ January 21, 2008, 11:07 AM

Their sudden deviations from the line in which the person is heading is really off-putting.

By God, you're right... I couldn't work out why the Oz version had a upper hand on this, but it all makes sense now! There is so little opportunity for the stars to actually improvise scenes - it's just one question, followed by another, followed by another. In the Oz version the actors follow the stars lead, not the other way around.

Prime example - in Clive Anderson's sketch he made one of the actors German. The actor quickly reverted to a British accent though as it was deviating from their pre-planned script. If he'd stayed German there would have no-doubt been more jokes to follow.

I guess you can't blame the actors for trying to have a script though - certain people (e.g. the shopping lady out of Corrie) clearly need dragging through their sketch which as much prompting and help as they can get.

I'm trying to avoid criticising too heavily as I think it's great to see ITV giving over an hour of its Saturday schedules to comedy again. It might not be perfect, but give me Thank God You're Here over another talent contest any day!

(In the unlikely event they give it a second series they should come to us - I think between us we've got the route to success sorted - ditch Merton's over-long intro and pointless time-filling small talk and just bung in more improvisational scenes!)

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Chappers

  • Tuesday 22nd January 2008, 3:00am
  • Surreyish., England
  • 30,455 posts

Yes - I thought that. If the improver goes off at a tangent the extras are stuffed basically and look really stupid.

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Lee

  • Saturday 26th January 2008, 4:43pm
  • Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  • 36,341 posts

Lee Mack, Adam Buxton, Phil Nichol.

^^ With a line-up like that, surely tey can't mess it up? I love Buxton, but my guess for the best will be on Phil Nichol who will no doubtable trash the set. Lee Mack should hold up well too.

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Spagett

  • Sunday 27th January 2008, 3:18am
  • Manchester, England
  • 450 posts

Lee Mack has been brilliant. By far the best one of the series.

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Spagett

  • Sunday 27th January 2008, 3:28am
  • Manchester, England
  • 450 posts

Brilliant

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Spagett

  • Sunday 27th January 2008, 3:37am [Edited]
  • Manchester, England
  • 450 posts

Awesome Show Great Job.

You Got Spooked

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Richard Wells

  • Sunday 27th January 2008, 4:10am
  • Northamptonshire, England
  • 1,016 posts

I loved tonight's show, I haven't laughed so much in ages.

Pity Jenny was so bad though.

I had never heard of Phil Nichol till tonight but he is hilarious.