Author Topic: 4 new episodes of The Harpoon (Includes free sachet of Daddies sauce...)  (Read 19609 times)

Hello, you may have noticed the links on the Blue Jam page have stopped working.  Sorry about this, unfortunately the space Toby was donating to host the shows is no longer available.  If anyone out there can donate space to store them then please get in touch, it's simply not fair of us to put the entire burden of the site on Nick Mailer (the awfully generous chap from Positive Internet who hosts this site) so c'mon, help us out, will you?  Until we can get some more space sorted for the Blue Jams, I'm going to stick the whole lot on Bit Torrent.  So, consider this a warning that in exactly two weeks from now, on the 3rd of June, myself or TJ will be updating this site with torrent links for each series of Blue Jam.  If you've not used Bit Torrent before, then please try and find out how it works within the next couple of weeks, there are plenty of FAQ's for it on the net.  Torrents are great as everyone helps upload while downloading, however they're fairly transient.  Toby has offered to help me "seed" the shows for a good while, however for the best download speeds you're going to want to get in there at the start, before all the selfish bastards close their windows.  If you think you'll forget about this happening on the 3rd then you might want to join one of our mailing lists so you get a reminder through email (we fire out an email to each list every time the site is updated.)  

Anyway, we've opened up another couple of new sections, I finally got round to converting all the old articles over to the new site design, you can read them all here, note that you can only post comments if you are logged in to a site/forum account!  Oh, this also lets you post new articles, although they won't appear until a moderator approves them.  TJ has written a  Chris Morris FAQ which you might want to read as well.

Now then, are you as disappointed as we are with Peter Baynhams new unfunny and badly-animated series, "I Am Not An Animal"?  Remember when he was doing genuinely hilarious and inventive comedy writing on shows like Brass Eye, Fist Of Fun, Friday Night Armistice etc?  Well then you'll no doubt be glad to hear that we've got four new Harpoon episodes for you to download, the fantastic Radio 4 comedy series he wrote with Julian Dutton.

Why is it that British comedy is going through such a dismal period of late?  Oh if only we Brits were knocking out shows of comparable quality to stuff like Arrested Devlopment, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show, Penn and Tellers Bullshit, Scrubs etc.  Instead we have to endure engine-faced cretin Jimmy Carr, cynically using stand-up comedy to manouevre himself into a position where he gets paid huge amounts of money to front insultingly awful Channel 4 shows like "Distraction," where women get their fingers broken...and this is what passes for entertainment?  Christ only knows why the Beeb haven't stuck Rich Halls Fishing Show on terrestrial TV as it's one of the few gems knocking about on British TV of late.  If you haven't heard or seen any of his Otis Lee Crenshaw stuff yet then please do so, and while you're at it seek out Lewis Black, a genuinely angry American comic who is one of the few people keeping the comedy album alive.  Oh, and BBC2 are finally showing the second series of the fantastic Sean Lock sitcom, "15 Storeys High", watch it and make Iannucci happy

...Anyway, it seems the worse British comedy gets, the lower peoples standards become, I'm so sick and tired of seeing phrases like "Well I didn't laugh, but I really enjoyed that anyway!" being used more and more.  Ugh, it just sounds like those tiresome Brass Eye Special apologists who never bother talking about the comedic failings of the show, and instead point to the fact that "it hits all its satirical targets!"

What a terrible decade it must be for teenagers, having to grow up with a Radio 1 that eschews comedy but keeps talentless fucks like Chris Moyles and Sarah Cox out of the dole queue, and a worthless dumbed-down Channel 4 that regularly broadcasts four episodes of Friends in a single day (and if you thought that was gutless enough then you'll no doubt he tearing your hair out to hear that the last ever episode will be preceeded by six episodes.)  It makes Iannucci's "We're so good at Telly" sketches seem far too tame..

Bah, let's hope the chaps on the Comedy forum are right about the return of Spitting Image pissing on sub-standard nonsense like Dead Ringers, 2DTV and The Impressionable John Culshaw...

Quote
engine-faced cretin


That's almost poetry.

Thanks for another great update Neil...

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Why is it that British comedy is going through such a dismal period of late?


It's like the boiling frog thing, isn't it? Standards get lower and lower gradually, and no-one really picks up on it until - bang - one day you find that Channel 4 has commissioned a show where professional panellists like Phil Jupitus boil frogs then gorge themselves on the soupy green residue.

People just want less these days - they don't want to be challenged. I blame political correctness. Being challenged used to be a good thing, but now young people assume that if a show is 'challenging' it's going to confine them to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, and make them incontinent.

Seriously though, it's very simple - it's because the current generation is just shit.  Has to happen every now and then, and we've drawn the short straw. We're rubbish.

Anonymous

  • Guest
What about Nighty Night? That's a genuinely great new British comedy show... I don't think there's any place for a mention of such utterly inane twaddle as Distraction on such a quality site as yours, though I was genuinely disturbed at your approval of Scrubs, third rate piss poor american bollocks that it is.

Quote from: "Neil"
...a worthless dumbed-down Channel 4 that regularly broadcasts four episodes of Friends in a single day (and if you thought that was gutless enough then you'll no doubt he tearing your hair out to hear that the last ever episode will be preceeded by six episodes.)

If this story on Digital Spy is true, then it'll be doubly frustrating for all of us.

Quote from: "Anonymous"
What about Nighty Night? That's a (snip) show...


We've been through this before...

And Scrubs is ver-ry nicely crafted stuff, if a bit ... american. I'm still giving I Am Not An Animal a fair go, though. But I did that with Nighty Night and wasted my life. Hum ho.


This Harpoon thang - never heard of it. Yum. Roll on Monday. Yikes, what am I saying?

Anonymous

  • Guest
Have you considered using freecache to host stuff? It's a new thing (well new to me) being piloted by the people behind archive.org .. It's a bit tempramental at the moment, but seems like it might be a viable partner to/alternative for bit torrent.

weekender

  • Member
  • **
Quote from: "Anonymous"
What about Nighty Night? That's a genuinely great new British comedy show... I don't think there's any place for a mention of such utterly inane twaddle as Distraction on such a quality site as yours, though I was genuinely disturbed at your approval of Scrubs, third rate piss poor american bollocks that it is.


This made me laugh on more than one level, if I've got the poster right.

Catchy

  • Guest
OK, I don't agree with Curb Your Enthusiasm, thats a bloody trainwreck of a program, as funny as nighty night. (i.e. not. like a brittas empire where the main character is not played for laughs)

I had a friend of mine over the other night, he's 17 (im 32 and no its not like that lol). It was Monkey Dust night on BBC3 and he was saying lets watch this. so we watched a few and after all the raving he had done over the programme i was a bit disappointed. ok we laughed a bit but not much. I then showed him Brass Eye, Absolutely, Till Death us Do Part, Marty Feldman, Spike Milligan which he had hysterics over.

Moral: He and his mates love Monkey Dust because its the funniest thing on telly. Because everything else is even worse. Monkey dust is mainly a copy of the Fast Show recipie - repeat the same joke every week. only its even easier as an animation as you can just reuse the same intro all the time (great benefit for the writers who are paid by screen time). Perhaps we can compare it with Catterik, which was the worst most ill concived idea for a comedy ever (ok perhaps with the exception of Comedy Nation and its push on Ricky Grover [talentless fuck]). The commisioning process for programmes like this is

Bankable Star: I've got an idea for a program
Program Commisioner: OK, we'll buy it

Funniest things i've seen recently i've been downloading from the states. Cartoons in fact, from Adult Swim (www.adultswim.com) which is the late night version of cartoon network which is not shown over here. US sitcoms leave me cold (30 writers sitting around making one liners), these cartoons are great, meandering all over genres, styles, film/book references and are bascially unpredictable (which to my mind is the root of comedy. if you can guess the gag its not funny)

so download in this order (emule, or BT from myspleen.com) :

Sealab 2021
The Brak Show
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Harvey Birdman

Oh and there is a canadian sitcom called 'trailer park boys' that is very funny too. download that as well.



anyway those are my recommendations for a laugh

Anonymous

  • Guest
why is it that i sat down, as an 18 year old, last night, with my friend, and introduced him to bill hicks. we were giggling like girls and STILL genuinely shocked at some of the stuff he was saying, and this was ten, twelve years ago? fucking hell

bbc 2 comedy zone is turgid, radio one needs to realise that comedy is a universal thing, unlike pop music nowadays where the majority of 18-24 yr olds hate the next 18-24 yr olds music tastes, therefore they should concentrate less on it and stop trying so goddamn hard.

i'm interested in what simon pegg and jessica stephenson do with another series of spaced, if that's whats going to happen, i'm interested in whether the bbc will commission adam and joe into a slot which isnt on bbc 3 or at the dead of night or covering glastonbury. and i'm praying jools holland gets shot.

for the good of man.

oh and re: dead ringers - man YES, but cant we just kill off all television impressionist on account of them having no funny jokes?

Quote from: "Anonymous"
i'm praying jools holland gets shot.

Why? He may sometimes be a little annoying but Later always has a few decent people on it. There's no other music program I watch on TV that I can think of, it's better than top of the fucking pops.

Anonymous

  • Guest
because he's so DULL

and his music taste is awful

saying it's better than TOTP isnt saying much whatsoever

His music taste is awful? That's quite a sweeping statement considering the large variety of stuff he has on his program. Do you not like any of it? I know saying his show is better than TOTP isn't an argument to say he's good  but he plays stuff that would never really get on TOTP, and that's a benefit at least.

Dr. Dongle

  • Guest
The Spam Avenger
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2004, 06:19:02 PM »
Nigerian Spammers, nuthin'. Look at thespamavenger.com. Vengeance  and psychological torture in MP3 format.

bah! The Times! The worst paper in britain, apart from the tabloids (but we all know they dont count). I'd rather read the telegraph and express at the same fucking time than read that. It's a 'tabloid in disguise'

Guest

  • Guest
'I Am Not an Animal' is good (and that is fact)

Quote from: "Guest"
'I Am Not an Animal' is good (and that is fact)


Well, you've certainly persuaded me with your extensive reasoning!

Tonight's wasn't too bad, to be fair.

Stewart Lee's Taxi Driver

  • Guest
Quote from: "Guest"
'I Am Not an Animal' is good (and that is fact)


Yeah, but you can prove anything with facts.

Comedy is just like music
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2004, 03:31:59 PM »
Great comedy and great music usually happen when they have something to rebel against, if it were not for steadfastly MOR sitcoms such as the goode life, open all hours and dads army The young ones would not have come about,
its the same for music the 'alternative bands who bubble under the mainstream produce more interesting stuff which spawns really great people with an entirely new and different sound eg aphex twin, stone roses, etc

Well; I don't know about anyone else, but I've just watched a documentary on that American President that's just snuffed it (George Reagan, or something), and I thought it was quite funny.

It showed this bit where he was having a debate with some other American politician in a suit. The 'compere', or referee or whatever, asked Reagan whether he thought his geriatric-ness was a hindrance to the nation, and Reagan replied that he wasn't going to stoop so low as to bring age into the debate, and he didn't want to talk about how young and inexperienced his opponent was.

I thought that if Chris Norris and his ilk could come up with gems like THAT baby on a regular basis, then they wouldn't be so much of a drain on the state; get off the dole; and make some comedy stuff for us to watch on the telly.

gazzyk1ns

  • "I don't give a shit if your dad's dead or anything else"
"Yeah but no but yeah but..."

Hmmm... Jutters made some points which I agree with up there but to me all the reasoning/concluding was wrong. What on earth do you mean by "Seriously though, it's very simple - it's because the current generation is just shit. Has to happen every now and then, and we've drawn the short straw."?. I know you were haing a bit of a laugh with the comment which succeeded that, but I assume that quoted passage there was serious? Apologies if it wasn't.

It's useless to say that, though. If you think that comedy is going through a bad patch and can't identify a single obscure/extreme cause (such as government censorship, etc.) then of course... it means that the current generation is not performing. But... well, again, it's useless to state that - you need to look at why they're not performing. People aren't born as talented comedy writers or otherwise (heh, Jas Mann interview reference, anyone?...) and  so we need to look at why the current crop, on average, isn't performing. I expect it's down to more people getting jobs in "the business" who have little talent and intelligence, and a lot of desire to get rich quick via a wanky media course and catchphrases or shock tactics which will be popular with 14-18 year olds.

That comes across as kind of patronising to jutl I think, I didn't mean it to... the wording of his post there sounded bizarre to me.

With your paragraph which begins:

People just want less these days - they don't want to be challenged.

...Again, I mostly agree, but think it's because of a slightly different thing. Well, maybe the same thing... but I think I can explain it a lot more literally.

I think it's partially down to the drinking/pissing about/buying endless DVDs from Play.com culture amongst 16-25 year-olds which has existed for the last few years. Before, say, the 80s, due to the lack of TV/Radio channels in this country, only the very best (or at least what TV execs considered to be the very best) got through because that's all there was room for. There was no opportunity for anyone to buy even VHS tapes, either. So only stuff which the execs considered a safe bet, quality-wise, would get an airing.

Conversely, nowadays, every completely skint and clueless first year Uni student with a credit card is bulk-buying My Family DVDs because their laptop and broadband connection is in front of them, they're bored, and they've heard it's meant to be a laugh. Also, what with their £30 a month Sky+ subscription at their Uni house by their second year, they can tune in to things like Nighty-Night... again out of boredom, or with that weird cinema pass-style logic of "getting value from your subscription".

Us lot on here were lucky, we grew up during the transitional period between those two above-described periods. TV execs allowed boundaries to be pushed a bit more, especially with Channel 4...and VHS took off. So there was room for a fair bit more good stuff - but not too much. Digital TV was still a little way off and Videos were fairly expensive to buy. That provided a good "quality control" mechanism, in my opinion. Students were, I assume, still lazy bums but they could still only watch what 4 channels offered them - they weren't given the opportunity to financially endose any old shite just out of boredom and the desire to lead a fashionable young person's lifestyle.

The other thing which makes most things, not just comedy, worse these days is the obvious trend of the masses loving people who pluck a "hero/genius" from the public. There are several adverts every day, asking if you'd like to be the next [whichever established famous person in whichever field]. A lot fo people, on here and in "real life", say things like "fucking lazy TV Execs, can't be bothered to do the work or scouting themselves" but I think that's complete rubbish, it's not lazy - I think they'd love to do it the way they know how - but it's fashionable, it makes them popular for several different reasons. For a start, the individual(s) who become well-known (even on a very temporay, c-list celeb level) through these "schemes" are always associated with the channel/programme. Think of Gareth Gates, think of ITV and Pop Idol... it's like they've created a walking advert for themselves. Secondly, doing that sort of thing makes them look very "down to Earth", "in touch with their viewers", and it makes them seem to be pro-actively hunting for stuff to please you.

I think I might have interpreted Jutl's post a bit literally, I guees I'm ultimately agreeing with him - these trends will pass with time but there's nothing we can do to force it, unfortunately. Jutl seemed to end on a fairly optimistic note, i.e. a great generation could be just round the corner.... but there's nothing to suggest that when these above-mentioned current trends pass, they'll be replaced with more agreeable or productive ones...

Criminally I've only just listened to the new Harpoons... always a pleasure!

What time and day on Radio 4 did these go out?

4 new episodes of The Harpoon (Includes free sachet of Daddies sauce...)
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2005, 06:38:58 PM »
I'm in some agreement, but, as well as this plethora of mediocre material available, we also have the technology to allow a lot more attempts at creating something sublime.   Almost anyone with an idea can get it into some sort of shape with a cheap camera and PC set-up.  I think the distribution is the problem.  all those TV execs aiming for an easy life, not taking risks, and unwilling to rake responsibilty for a 'miss'.  There are a lot of people creating fantastic work, which rarely makes it out of the local film night culture.  Try and check out if there's any running in your area.  As well as local new talent-spotting they usually show all kinds of great stuff you will never see on TV.  I've made a couple of episodes of a sitcom set within the world of the 'creative industries' (sound familiar), which we've shown at our local underground film night.  Whether the production values are as good as the stuff that makes it onto the box doesn't matter, it's the ideas, the material that makes you laugh anyway.  So give it a go and make your own work if you aren't happy with what is on offer in the big bad world of the media.  Play nicely...

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
*Yawns*