Dom Joly is an English television comedian and journalist, well-known as the star of Trigger Happy TV, a hidden camera show in which a deadpan Joly does absurd and preposterous acts in public settings. Originally on Channel 4 from 2000-2003, Joly later moved to the BBC with a similar, Friday-night show entitled World Shut Your Mouth (2005). Joly has also run for parliament, written award-winning political journalism, and led a podcast, Earworm, which revolves around this signature practical-joke format.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon to British parents, Joly speaks French, Arabic, and Czech as well as English. He attended two independent schools in the UK before studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
He shot to fame in 2000 when his hidden camera/practical joke reality TV series, Trigger Happy TV, directed by Dom Joly and Sam Cadman, was broadcast on Channel 4 from [y]2000[y]-2003. Redefining the genre in one fell swoop, Joly is the sole star of the show, which saw famous sketches such as Joly shouting "I'm on the phone!" at the top of his voice into an oversized, novelty, clearly fake mobile telephone, in very public, and usually quiet settings, such as libraries, cinemas, and golf courses. Another recurring sketch included Joly dressed as an old man or a snail, using pedestrian crossings at extremely slow speeds.
The programme returned in 2016 for a one-off Christmas special on the same channel. Members of the public are never made aware of the fact that they are being filmed, with humour coming rather from Joly's willingness to make a fool out of himself. The show never used a laugh track, emphasising the comedy instead through brief instrumental and sometimes sad musical interludes. Indeed, music from bands such as Eels and The Crocketts are common features.
Three DVDs were released, containing the 'best of' both series alongside the Christmas specials. In 2005 Joly also made the series World Shut Your Mouth for BBC One and two series of This Is Dom Joly for BBC Three, both of which continued in this same hidden-camera vein, as well as two series of Fool Britannia, a prime-time Saturday night comedy show for ITV1.
In 2016 he returned with two seasons of Trigger Happy, a new Channel 4 sketch show containing 21 episodes in which, as per usual, he pranks the public. Although it features a whole host of new character, the massive mobile phone man now possesses a smartphone!
As well as the success of Trigger Happy TV and its offshoots, Joly has directed a wide range of pop music videos from such artists as Bang Bang Romeo and Leisure Society, and has released the chart-topping podcast Earworm, featuring music from Stephen Jones of Babybird.
Alongside his career in comedy, Joly is a former diplomat (Prague) and political producer (ITN), as well as a columnist and award-winning travel writer, whose work has featured in the Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Mail on Sunday. He has won the Silver Rose of Montreal, BBC2 Award, Loaded Lafta, and is a three times nominee for the British Comedy awards for his TV work.
- Wednesday 15th November 1967 (52 years-old)
Non-comedy TV and film credits might be found here:
Dom Joly on IMDb