After a two year gap since the first series went out, series two of the Pozzitive Productions sketch show Bigipedia began this week - and for me it has been worth the wait, as this is one of my favourite radio shows.
For those not familiar with the show, Bigipedia is a parody of Wikipedia featuring all sorts of odd articles, debates and features. The last series ended with Bigipedia enslaving 88% of the human population and creating a gigantic hive mind in the Philippines, but the new upgraded 2.0 version has reportedly gotten rid of these problems.
Before I go on I should point out that other than the great quality of humour in this show, I have other reasons for liking Bigipedia, namely that I have helped co-writer Matt Kirshen with matters relating to Wikipedia and Bigipedia. I tried to get myself credited as a consultant on the show - I didn't, but it was worth a try none the less!
Bigipedia still retains some of its original features, such as its sponsor, the nightmarish wine-like drink Chianto (the only drink which is the antidote to itself), a new range of Bronson's baby products (such as diving bells), and children's section Bigikids which offers some unusual and disturbing advice on how to avoid being attacked by sharks.
Among the articles which featured in this week's episodes include Plinky, a 1960s educational children's show about wildlife that was so confusing nobody had any idea what animal Plinky was and therefore the show had no educational merit. There was also Elvis Presley's segmented pip worm, which was the real reason behind his famous singing voice.
However, for me, the best sketches in Bigipedia are the "Disambiguation" pages. The format for these sketches is very simple, but it pays off. You simply come up with a term, which helps serve as a punchline for a series of jokes later on. For example, the disambiguation page on "Circus complaint" has articles linking to a self-made spandex millionare, and the stamp of cannibal quality.
One cannot help but admire the writing that goes into this show. There is so much content that you cannot let your concentration slip for a moment. A show which grabs your attention so much has to be good.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 18th July 2011
Can I urge you to listen to Bigipedia on Tuesdays at 11pm on Radio 4? It's been touted as "the Sunday format for the internet generation" and is a hilariously mad portrayal of information overload in the computer age. Last week's episode came complete with pop-up advertisements for "baby epilators" designed to leave your newborn's skin "smooth as, um... a baby".Elizabeth Day, The Observer, 17th July 2011
Welcome to Episode Four ... incredibly we've managed something new for four weeks on the run now.
This week (week! Not fortnight, or "18 month period") Rob and Nick have been talking about their various jobs in the world of radio.
AND as if that wasn't enough, there's some previously unheard footage of Bigipedia. Our longest episode yet, probably.Nick Doody and Rob Heeney, Doubling Up, 16th November 2009
Ever wondered what Wikipedia would be like as a radio show? Well, me neither, but it's certainly a concept you can't help but feel drawn to.hindleyite, Retro Yakking, 27th July 2009
It seems as if the time for mocking computers and the internet has probably passed us by (after all, everyone and their granny has a super-fast broadband connection these days) so I was prepared to be underwhelmed by Bigipedia (Radio 4, Thursday), a show that takes the wisdom and inanity of the internet as its inspiration. Yet it was only a minute or so into the show that a joke about Nazi Gold (a Wikipedia-style "disambiguation" menu listed expositions including a "now discontinued breakfast cereal", an "unacceptably nostalgic radio station" and "the colour of Jimmy Savile's tracksuit") caused me to choke on my coffee, and it remained consistently amusing.Clare Heal, Sunday Express, 26th July 2009
Who imagined the internet could be so wikidly comical?Chris Maume, The Independent, 26th July 2009
Parodying print media is getting old hat - here it's Wikipedia getting spoofed.Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 24th July 2009
This is a comedy, about computers and their systems for finding out anything and being often slightly wrong. It's also about commercial broadcasting, in that it's sponsored by Chianto, a beverage that grows more noxious with every announcement, and ghastly contests between rock bands. But it's the first late-night comedy in ages that has made me laugh, about computers and why I'm scared of them, about vile TV shows and meaningless commercials. Written by Nick Doody and Matt Kirshen, performed with zest by a sparkling cast. Bound to become a cult.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 23rd July 2009