Author Topic: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.  (Read 24504 times)


  • You Go Careful There Now My Love
If you don't think Morris would ever say something like that in character, then I'd have to point you to hours and hours of Wayne Carr bits.

Ah you misunderstand. I meant that Petula was right to name Brooker in respect to some of the lexis in the article. Chav Street, monster munch for example seem quite Brooker-esque.

I'm more on your wavelength when it comes to the article though Neil. I don't think it's Morris but I did enjoy reading it, and also found it funny. If it hadn't been for the distracting menu-things and the odd poor choice of phrase/moment of self-indulgence it could've been a great parody of that sort of stuff.

Aah ok.

Our fellow diners were a teasing compote of hee-hawing nonentity, racism and wasted education. "This is absolutely what Brixton needs" we chirruped (for we never disagree), now stuffed like gluttonous dictators in our eerie perched high above Chav Street. Somehow it was all so deliciously reminiscent of the sacking of the Jewish ghettos during the 1939 45 war, I ruminate retrospectively as I pen this now, at this moment, myself, here.

See, I still can't even work this bit out, which is partly why I love it.  There is more public self-affirmation in there, but it also strikes me as being the sort of material Morris does, where it folds back in on itself.  It seems like it's playing with tense. In other words, can you 'ruminate retrospectively, now, at this moment?'  While reminiscing. 

I don't think it's just 'I'm thinking about it now.'

See, I just can't work out if I'm parsing it correctly, still.  To me it seems to say 'I was thinking about the past, back then, at this very moment presently in time.'  So it's occuring in the past and present tense at the same time, which would be very Morris - it's such a 'Ten Ways To Change The World' idea.  It's the biggest clue for me. 

Or am I just not reading it correctly?  I hope I am reading it right, because it's brilliant.

I had the notion of getting my pal Doug Sklenki to record this, mostly for fun, but it's nice to listen to it and hear the language.  My brain works best with audio.  So he recorded it today, and I edited together a few takes, and put the whole thing over some music.  Check out Doug Sklenki's vids, and his Facebook page. Sklenki - Appeals To Snobs.mp3

The link was broke - here it is again, but we could do it a totally different way now, as I'm starting to see the piece in very different ways.  Particualrly after discussing it on CaB Radio with eluc55, who made me think about the amount of parantheses - this and the Mike Leigh thing is fascinating to me. Sklenki - Appeals To Snobs.mp3

Have you got a time and date deadline for the comp for us Neil?

Friday the 14th, gives newbs the chance to join in.  More audio contributions, please!

Thanks, definitely going to enter this.

Some kind of comment on Mike Leigh, obivously.  A parody?  It's the way it constantly comments on itself. 

There appear to be some paralells with their approach to direction, c.f the usage of improvised comedy, and the immersing of him and the actors in local culture.  Morris' most vicious parodies can be loaded with respect, but desperate to strip away the most ridiculous excesses, because that's where the funny is. 

The parody of Patrick Marber in Blue Jam is coming to mind.  I need to hear those monologues again.  They are so good, that I can't believe I haven't listened to Blue Jam in so long.  We've got to get this CaB Radio repeat of it under way within the next few weeks.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 02:40:53 PM by Neil »

That is such a good piece he's written.  Still unwrapping it, and currently fascinated again by the relationship between the author, and his wife.  Also "Chacun a son gout" - "To each his own (taste)" "Each has his taste" the author not only is unable to understand the language, despite using it earlier in the piece, and even dining in a French-themed restaurant, he also simply has no idea that such a concept could even exist!  Interesting link on the phrase. 

EDIT:  A man so painfully insecure about his attempts to appear arrogant, he has it tattooed around his neck.

Finally I'm making headway. 

A chacun son goût

Over and over again, I see this mistakenly written as "Chacun a son goût" by English speaking people, including a tattoo around Robbie Williams' chest.

The correct expression is "à chacun son goût" -- "to each his own (taste)."

It is most certainly not "Each has his taste," which is the translation of that other formulation.

Bilingual fucker.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 04:10:11 PM by Neil »

He's ripping the living piss out of VLS.  He even does the syllable thing.  Final answer.

Ensconced at a window table we were able to observe omnibuses and passing ethnics in the street below, certainly a diverting pre-prandial human zoo I mused, while quaffing my somewhat recidivist champagne. Our waitress was an apotheosis of sneered disdain as she took our order. Her indulgence of our guilt a titilating frisson. The menu? Extensive, if a little derelict – a nod to the inner city locale mayhap?

That is such a great parody of over-wrought prose that thinks it's a lot cleverer than it actually is.  "Ensconced at a window table..."  "We alighted on an eighteen course repast..." Thanks again for this.  It's brilliant.

Around 2005/2006, the Wikipedia entry for VLS was updated with a link to Chris Morris' Loose Ends demo tape, and it's still there, and it's still hosted on Associated Rediffusion webspace, along with a clip of Victor Lewis-Smith for comparison.  It's Morris doing a brilliant VLS homage/pastiche, but it's described like this - with an extra knife-twist that I don't recall before tacked on the end:

Radiohaha, the online encyclopaedia of contemporary British radio comedy,[2] describes Lewis-Smith as having been "almost entirely eclipsed by the rise of Chris Morris, who tends to occupy similar ground". Morris (then working in BBC Radio Bristol) in fact sent a Lewis-Smith-style tape to Loose Ends in 1988, asking if he could be on the programme (doing something similar a couple of years later by writing to Time Out editor John Morrish, asking to take over Lewis-Smith's column when the latter was on holiday).

Morris was also working at GLR at the time - and references the station in the piece!

Here are Victor Lewis-Smith's snobby, arrogant, name-dropping, hilariously florid (yet still entertaining, I mused) restaurant articles.

We did better with the drink, however, a decent bottle of Alsace gewürztraminer (Müller 2002) being vastly preferable to the feeble Swiss house white (11.5%, I ask you), and organic ginger beer a welcome sight on any menu. But the Yorkshire curd tart that accompanied it was a pale imitation of the wondrously authentic confections I willingly used to queue for years ago, outside Scotts the butchers near the Shambles in York. A good curd tart is all about generosity, but here the chef had seriously stinted on the currants and spices. Ah well, at least the parsimony was reminiscent of Dickensian England at its bleakest, so in that sense it was traditional.

What made me pleased to be here? Certainly not the food, nor the speed of service. But I was pleased that my guest seemed pleased by the experience, even vowing to visit the related olde worlde tearooms in York, Ilkley and Northallerton (all run by Bettys & Taylors). The American visitors at a nearby table also clearly loved the opportunity to step briefly into an anachronistic Britain that only really ever existed in Agatha Christie novels, and why not? I must seem equally naive and ingenuous when I visit Katz's Deli in New York in search of an "authentic" American experience, and grin contentedly at the 1940s "send a salami to your boy in the army" sign that was probably made in 1975.

My guest (a brilliant harpist) and I were discussing the possibility of using a Celtic harp as a cheese cutter when the corpse of milk arrived. Here, alas, the evening struck its one false note, because if (as Brillat-Savarin once said) a meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye, then this poor woman was positively blind. With Paxton & Whitfield just down the road, there really was no excuse for the bland, pasteurised selection we were offered, so we were both relieved when the waiter asked, "Would you like to see the exotic dessert trolley?" We did, and although the trolley itself wasn't particularly exotic, many of the desserts were, notably a coconut soufflé with Malibu liqueur, surely the Platonic ideal form of all those imperfect coconut macaroons from my childhood.

Last month, I, too, was blizzarded into the Cross Hands, where the maître d' solemnly warned me, "I can't get you a table for half an hour", even though the place was like the Mary Celeste. So I sat on a tattered, frayed chair by a piece of ripped carpet, wondering if this was where Her Maj had sat all those years ago, and whether the decor had been deliberately left untouched for 24 years as a mark of respect. Then, as I was perusing a poster advertising a "Fawlty Towers Theme Night next Saturday ... with John Parkin as Basil Fawlty", I was handed the menu and realised that life was now imitating art. Because the fare included such irredeemably pretentious 1970s concoctions as duck à l'orange, prawn marie rose and breaded brie, all sounding remarkably similar to Basil's menu for his own gourmet night.

The restaurant's proud boast that it is "popular with golfers, motor racers and horse racing fans" seemed all too believable, but claims that it is "renowned for its excellent cuisine" could well attract the attention of the trades description people. Call me a miserable Old Sodbury, but I wasn't impressed by the bread arriving halfway through the first course, while my guest, the daughter of a fine Forest of Dean baker, was appalled by its poor quality, complaining that "it has no inner texture - it's been frozen". Her melon starter was straight out of Play School, with grape buttons almost placed in a smiley face arrangement that contrasted starkly with her own grimace as she tasted, then asked, "How can a melon be simultaneously bitter and sweet?" As for my king prawns (cooked in butter, white wine and garlic), they were covered in what looked like garlic bits, yet had not the faintest whiff of the genus Allium about them. Until they repeated on me the next day, and the day after that. Then the fragrance finally came through.

Victor Lewis-Smith visits Little Chef

"salty and creamy thanks to the cocos beans, which did something enjoyably indecent to my dendrites and axons"
"I hope so, otherwise I may have uncovered an oenological and fiscal paradox that even Zeno of Elea would have been unable to fathom."

« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 07:05:15 PM by Neil »

William Hannant

  • Guest
I know that you've all seen Four Lions (because you are basically amazing) but I have this horribly feeling that it will be just...ok.  I must admit, the fact that so-called "Neil" is so enraptured worries me ALOT.  Judging from his beyond lame 7/7 "gag" I think he has perhaps lost the ability ever to speak (using only words) ever again.


  • Twiglets for the guys

One day left on the poster compo - remember, your entry doesn't have to be in text.

I just renewed my voicemail too, for this, or anything else you folks want to leave.  Anything at all, fire away at it:
02895 81 1976

I'm not sure if it's Morris but I did find it very enjoyable to read and very funny. I'd say it was a direct parody of AA Gill, the style, ridiculous menu and general sneeriness is his trademark as well as comments from his 'Mrs Posh' or 'The Blonde' as he calls her.
This one is a case in point, even using words like topography and references to Madagascar

There followed more bits of unwanted, unasked-for mouthfuls of culinary Tourette's, then a chocolate ganache from Madagascar, with raspberry sorbet and a galangal brûlée. Intense, salacious and rude. A hit of cocoa that was the elegant, organic, sweetie version of Rohypnol in the mouthwash. More petits fours and chocolates and goodie bags arrived, with their faltering interruptions. I asked for coffee, and they in turn asked me what sort and where from and how old. At this point, I gave up. I really don't have an opinion on whose house my coffee comes from. Let me choose, the waitress said, as if I'd given her two quid for the condom machine. Then she added something like, we recommend you don't take sugar, because it interferes with the musky top notes and the spicy motifs. It was coffee. It was fine.

Aha!  Thank you for the input, glad to see someone else is interested.  I did have a quick look around other restaurant reviewers, including AA Gill, but was convinced by the seductiveness of the VLS idea.  It's entirely possible, too, that it has NO specific target, and is just a parody of restaurant critics in general, but it seems too focussed for that. 

Gonna have a look over some of his columns now...I don't notice any brackets there, though, and the constant asides in parantheses are something VLS does a lot in those columns.

Any idea how the Mike Leigh thing could fit in?

Fair do's, we all want him to transcend his best don't we?

Having just reread it, it's not bad writing at all, and Neil you are spot on with the musicality of it, but Morris, really? Nah. It bashes home the brownfolk outside way too much instead of meandering to the surrealism it aspires to. Even as a 'character piece' it hides behind the characterization of such an overtly VLS pastiche and comes about halfway up the mark. It is very easy to hear CM when reading this but dubbing his voice onto a Liz Jones' column would be stridently funnier, both mentally and visually. That said, it isn't too far fetched to assume he did type it purely because it's still bloody funny.

Whoever wrote it, good job that man!

If you liked that (& why wouldn't you?) you might also like this sort of thing At least, I hope there's more chance you do than the recommendation I got from Amazon -they decided because I was looking at the latest David Mitchell (the novelist, not the comedian in this instance) logically I'd like Jamie Oliver. Mind, I'm not a robot working on behalf of a corporate publishing giant. Not insofar as I'm aware, anyroad.

Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #49 on: February 18, 2011, 06:24:37 PM »
Sorry to drudge up an old thread... but thought those who analysed this restaurant review as much as I have might be interested in this.

Evan (the person who initially found and sent this restaurant review through to CaB) and myself met Chris Morris last night and had a good chat with him. As Evan and I had been discussing whether or not this review was the work of Morris or not for some time, we thought we'd ask him about it.
I described the review to him (it is from 2008 after all) and how it had become the subject of a worryingly long debate on CaB, and although I would never take a Morris reply at face value, from his reaction - not only his denial but also his slightly bewildered expression! - I now definitely don't think this was his work.

So - if you're interested in the position of the man himself: 'Nope, it wasn't me.'

Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #50 on: February 18, 2011, 06:27:54 PM »
Thanks for that.  I've been thinking about this again myself of late, and how it is almost certainly a parody of AA Gill, but that I really enjoyed the narrative I created for it anyway.  My brain lusts after these rich comedy worlds that collide and intersect.

The look into VLS' wiki was certainly very interesting!  I should podcast the CaB Radio discussions of that, if I can find them, fascinating battles being played out on his wiki over the years.

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2011, 06:36:50 PM »
On a thread-related note, any word on the posters?

Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2011, 06:38:44 PM »
Yes, as I mentioned to Harpo Speaks earlier this week, I was finally able to track down some big enough tubes.  The prices on Amazon and the like are ridiculous, and I simply can't afford 30 quid, plus postage.  However, I got a tube from a painting shop on Tuesday, which they were just going to throw out, so I'll be sending those off in the next week.  However, people will then have to mail back the two tubes I have to me, so I can send out the other posters.  You didn't even send me your address till mid-December anyway, An.

Still other prizes lying about, can't seem to give away the Four Lions DVDs or copies of Lucian's book.  A DVD went out to Jay-bizz in America before Xmas, but she was literally the only entrant to that latest competition.  I refuse to do generic question and answer based shit, people are going to have to be more creative.

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2011, 08:30:17 PM »
Sorry, I didn't mean to see impetuous; I had no idea those tubes were so costly.

Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2011, 09:41:17 PM »
It's fine, I just feel a bit guilty about not being able to get them sent out before now.  When I bargained for 5 extra posters, I didn't realise it would then cause so much searching for decent tubes, but as I say, I got hold of one on Tuesday, so all I can do is send them out in batches now.

Re: Chris Morris... RESTAURANT CRITIC? Win some Four Lions posters, as well.
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2013, 08:15:38 PM »