Author Topic: Paul Merton - The Series  (Read 9336 times)

Egyptian Feast

  • Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels
Paul Merton - The Series
« on: January 07, 2020, 02:00:59 PM »
I have fond memories of Paul Merton - The Series from when it was first on almost thirty fucking years ago (I particularly remember a sketch about him knocking up an arcade machine in his shed that made the 13-year-old me laugh like a drain), so I've started rewatching it on the All4 app. I've only seen a couple of episodes so far, but it's good to see that it stands up really well. I'm impressed that Merton and John Irwin wrote the whole lot themselves, the quality control is pretty high for a sketch show. The Camera 3 sketch from episode 2 is incredible, like a mind-warping sci-fi short story.

I'm watching this along with Vic Reeves Big Night Out, the first series of which I never saw at the time. An hour of top quality comedy every night for the next couple of weeks, not a bad start to the year. I wasn't even aware Paul Merton did a second series, I must have missed it at the time. Hopefully the standard remains high. It's a shame he got derailed by cushy TV gigs, as he was a seriously talented comedian before he got lazy.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 02:07:23 PM »
Agree but no one believes me it exists when I mention it. Also hes a cunt now so fuck him.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 02:32:02 PM »
I've been having a bit of a Merton 90s binge recently and it still amazes how good he was then. Prolific too. The Channel 4 series, Whose Line, HIGNFY, the Comedy Store Players, his 'My Struggle' fictional autobiography, Just A Minute, some live stage shows. I'm missing a few things as well.

One of the funniest comics ever for about a decade. Completely coasting since then. The sharp comic mind that was happy to quit HIGNFY for a series in the mid 90s when he saw it starting to get a little lazy wouldn't have put up with all the shit he does now. To a certain extent maybe he earned the right to settle but it is a waste. If he did a sketch show now I wouldn't have any confidence it would be good.

I have a number of favourites from his sketch show. The Camera 3 sketch you mentioned being one of them. The POW one is obviously a classic. I love the simplicity of sketches like this too https://youtu.be/ReOUROH4EZo

neveragain

  • like those swamp tar pits that bubble and go Gloop
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 02:46:35 PM »
I'm pretty sure he took a series off due to depression (possibly following the break-up of his marriage).

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 02:57:10 PM »
No his marriage separation was later on. He's said he thought the show was coasting and needed a shot in the arm.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 03:42:46 PM »
Watched it as a nipper I believe. The one sketch/bit I can remember is of two cars on a narrow bridge and arguing about who needs to reverse and give way. Someone from AA comes and says Merton by fact of having smaller/cheaper car should give way before he realizes Merton is an AA member and the fancy car owner isn't. Can't remember much else.


Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 03:52:28 PM »
Coincidentally I watched some of this on All4 after not having seen it since it was first on and yes, it still holds up well.

There is so much good old stuff on All4. That the BBC doesn't do the same on iPlayer is yet another reason to hate them

Egyptian Feast

  • Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2020, 04:16:35 PM »
There is so much good old stuff on All4. That the BBC doesn't do the same on iPlayer is yet another reason to hate them

I was surprised at how much of their back catalogue they have available, considering much of it has been released on DVD. Add to this the Adult Swim stuff, such as the complete run of one of the greatest TV series of the century so far, The Venture Bros. And all it costs is the time spent watching some ads. Madness.

Blumf

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2020, 04:40:42 PM »
Anybody listened to The Big Fun Show?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Fun_Show_%28radio_show%29
Quote
The Big Fun Show was a short-lived radio programme that aired from January 1988-February 1988. There were six half-hour episodes and it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It starred Paul Merton, John Irwin, Tony Hawks, Josie Lawrence, Neil Mullarkey, and Julian Clary.

easytarget

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2020, 05:18:17 PM »
Watched it as a nipper I believe. The one sketch/bit I can remember is of two cars on a narrow bridge and arguing about who needs to reverse and give way. Someone from AA comes and says Merton by fact of having smaller/cheaper car should give way before he realizes Merton is an AA member and the fancy car owner isn't. Can't remember much else.

I remember that too - but it was a whole half-hour show, there were a couple of series where he performed old Galton and Simpson scripts. More about that here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Merton_in_Galton_and_Simpson%27s...
The one you mentioned is called Impasse

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2020, 05:25:25 PM »
Two lines that stick in my mind.

"I've got this book on the paranormal. I didn't buy it. It just appeared one day."

And

"The characters aren't up to much, but the places feel so real."
While reading an A-Z.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2020, 10:47:10 PM »
I liked the sketch where they were planning a bank robbery, though watching it again now (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRHOQD5zX_E, at about 13:18) it's a lot longer than I remembered.

Later I found out that Top Secret! had used a similar (though less elaborate) joke.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2020, 10:50:14 PM »
Anybody listened to The Big Fun Show?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Fun_Show_%28radio_show%29

I have, although I only discovered it the 2000s. I love it, it was more of the Paul Merton I loved, who I miss.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • Goodness me, it's Her Who Plays Villanelle!
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 11:32:50 PM »
Agree but no one believes me it exists when I mention it. Also hes a cunt now so fuck him.

That sketch was also a massive rip off of a Monty Python sketch from their third series from 1973, so,indeed, fuck him.


Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2020, 11:36:36 PM »
"The characters aren't up to much, but the places feel so real."
While reading an A-Z.

Wasn’t there also an advert for the show where he’s reading an A-Z, looks up and says “can’t wait to see what happens at the end”?

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 12:25:23 AM »
There was a nice pisstake of the legendary early 90s Rap'Tou advert, I recall.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 08:19:10 AM »
I've been having a bit of a Merton 90s binge recently and it still amazes how good he was then. Prolific too. The Channel 4 series, Whose Line, HIGNFY, the Comedy Store Players, his 'My Struggle' fictional autobiography, Just A Minute, some live stage shows. I'm missing a few things as well.

Just remembered that he had a column in the Sunday People.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 08:22:49 AM »
I was surprised at how much of their back catalogue they have available, considering much of it has been released on DVD. Add to this the Adult Swim stuff, such as the complete run of one of the greatest TV series of the century so far, The Venture Bros. And all it costs is the time spent watching some ads. Madness.

That's the reason isn't it? C4 get revenue from the adds. Don't know the details but the BBC would have to pay residuals if they put everything up on the iplayer, it would be massively expensive and cause remit problems.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2020, 12:24:22 PM »
That's the reason isn't it? C4 get revenue from the adds. Don't know the details but the BBC would have to pay residuals if they put everything up on the iplayer, it would be massively expensive and cause remit problems.
All 4 reputedly has one of the most advanced digital advertising platforms around with ads directly targeted to individual viewers, which makes it much more efficient and valuable to advertisers than conventional broadcast TV. Not that you'd know it from the amount of shampoo ads I get.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 04:22:06 PM »
I'm watching this along with Vic Reeves Big Night Out, the first series of which I never saw at the time. An hour of top quality comedy every night for the next couple of weeks, not a bad start to the year.

The thing that does my nut in about that first series of VRBNO is that V&B had known each other for less than two months when it was made. And Bob had performed on stage for the very first time in his life, aged 30, doing the BNO with Vic in New Cross, only six weeks before.

Off-topic, apols.

Dewt

  • ゴーリー! ゴースト!
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2020, 04:33:11 PM »
The thing that does my nut in about that first series of VRBNO is that V&B had known each other for less than two months when it was made. And Bob had performed on stage for the very first time in his life, aged 30, doing the BNO with Vic in New Cross, only six weeks before.

Off-topic, apols.
I had no idea it happened that quickly! I knew the circumstances of how they met, but they have such an "old friends" vibe that I figured they had been doing it for two years or so before the TV series.

Autopsy Turvey

  • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2020, 04:46:54 PM »
I went to see him on Paul Merton - The Tour in 1993 with a gang of mates, front row, we had a bedsheet on which we'd written 'I keep thinking it's Tuesday'. At the start of the second half he eyed it and promised to fit it in later. When he did the gag we all cheered and he explained to the audience about the kids with a bedsheet. He's the only artiste I've ever intercepted at the stage door, he was an absolute joy. Mortified to hear he's a cunt now, but I shan't ask why as cuntiness is often in the cunt of the beholder.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2020, 04:56:57 PM »
Actually, Wikipedia says Bob met Vic in 1986,so I might have imagined the above. I was sure he said it in an interview I heard recently.

Egyptian Feast

  • Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2020, 04:58:40 PM »
All 4 reputedly has one of the most advanced digital advertising platforms around with ads directly targeted to individual viewers, which makes it much more efficient and valuable to advertisers than conventional broadcast TV. Not that you'd know it from the amount of shampoo ads I get.

That's interesting, good to know. Mind you, I constantly get ads for Victor Chandler (who gave me a profane bollocking years back when I worked on a helpdesk) featuring Harry Redknapp as a kind of shit Alexa who refuses to help with any request ("Play something upbeat, Harry" "Ohh, I'm useless with music, mate") and instead encourages the user to play shit slot machine games on Chandler's app and presumably get into loads of debt. Given that I despise the betting industry, have direct experience of Victor Chandler being a total cunt and want to be sick at the sight of Redknapp's crumpled bollock of a face, I think their targeting may be a bit off. 

The thing that does my nut in about that first series of VRBNO is that V&B had known each other for less than two months when it was made. And Bob had performed on stage for the very first time in his life, aged 30, doing the BNO with Vic in New Cross, only six weeks before.

Off-topic, apols.

Wow, I never knew that! As Dewt says, they already seem like old friends and Bob features prominently in the title sequence. Hat truly fucked.

EDIT: Ahh, maybe not. Hat unfucked.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2020, 05:12:58 PM »
This was about the thing that was disproved, and I can't delete posts. Ooops!


the

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2020, 05:13:31 PM »
The thing that does my nut in about that first series of VRBNO is that V&B had known each other for less than two months when it was made. And Bob had performed on stage for the very first time in his life, aged 30, doing the BNO with Vic in New Cross, only six weeks before.

Where are you getting those dates from, out of interest? I know that Bob's recollection of it tends to vary, in a recent Athletico Mince he said there were about 14-16 live shows before they got on telly.

This biography claims that Bob first went to see the Big Night Out in autumn 1986. Later it says that it was after six weeks of going that he first got on stage there, and later that the show moved to the Albany Empire in autumn 1988. The pilot for VRBNO was recorded in 1989.

Dewt

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2020, 05:25:44 PM »
Little faker bitch I'll kill them, real threat

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2020, 06:52:57 PM »
Where are you getting those dates from, out of interest?

My arse, apparently. As I said, I'm sure Bob said it recently, but internet says no.

Autopsy Turvey

  • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2020, 07:17:15 PM »
I googled "the planet Susan" without much hope of finding any detailed quotes from that sketch. I reckoned without cookdandbloodybombd, bless it. The whole ruddy thing was transcribed in this very forum in 2004 by dear old Darrell, so cheers Darrell, wheree'er ye be, and here it is again:

Quote
A man is planing wood on his workbench, when his daughter Jennifer arrives.

JENNIFER: You wanted to see me, father?

FATHER: Oh, there you are, Jennifer, there’s something I wanted to tell you. Today is your birthday.

JENNIFER: Yes, father, I know. You bought me a chicken, remember.

FATHER: Yes, well, as it is your birthday, I think there’s something you should know. Something you’re entitled to know.

JENNIFER: Yes, father?

FATHER: Jennifer... you’re not adopted.

JENNIFER: But I must be!

FATHER: I’m sorry, Jennifer, but that’s the truth.

JENNIFER: But, why haven’t you told me before?

FATHER: It’s not easy to explain to somebody that they’re your own flesh and blood.

JENNIFER: So, who was that baby in all those photographs?

FATHER: That was you, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: And all those other children?

FATHER: They were your brothers and sisters, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: And who was the charming little girl in the ringlets who used to sing and dance?

FATHER: That was Shirley Temple, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: And who was the mad professor in the House of Wax?

FATHER: That was Vincent Price, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Oh, this is all so confusing!

FATHER: Look at it this way. It would have been so easy for me and your mother to go down to the orphanage, and look at all the children there, and pick out one we really wanted. Someone we could really care for. But you, Jennifer. You were a mistake.

JENNIFER: Oh, I see.

FATHER: Oh and there’s something else I’ve got to tell you Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Yes, daddy?

FATHER: I’m not a human being. I’m from outer space.

JENNIFER: Daddy!?

FATHER: I’m sorry, it’s true. I come from the planet Susan, a civilisation that’s millions of years ahead of yours. Unfortunately, the one skill we never mastered was woodwork, and so for the past fifty thousand years I’ve been in this shed, trying to make a magazine rack. And finally, I’ve succeeded.

Jennifer’s father holds up a large round section of tree trunk with a copy of ‘Caravanning and Camping’ nailed to it.

JENNIFER: But daddy, what does this mean?

FATHER: It means I must return to Susan next week, and I’m taking you and mummy with me.

JENNIFER: Oh, daddy, this is all so sudden.

FATHER: Oh, and Jennifer, we won’t be able to take Blackie with us.

JENNIFER: But why?

FATHER: Because he’s a hologram, Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Oh, really, this is too much. First, you tell me that I’m not adopted, then you calmly announce that we’ve got to live in outer space - at a week’s notice, mind you - and to top it all off you tell me that dear old Blackie’s a hologram! I’ve had enough. I’m going round to Lucinda’s to play some records!

Jennifer leaves and slams the door.

FATHER: Kids. You can’t tell them anything these days.

Had me on the floor this. To this day, if I'm leaving the room in a mock huff because Mrs T is watching something shit on television, I'll say "I'm going round to Lucinda's to play some records".

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