Author Topic: Paul Merton - The Series  (Read 9335 times)

BeardFaceMan

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #90 on: November 11, 2020, 05:10:55 AM »
In s02e03 he does a worse version of Harry Hill's "what is it about people who repair shoes that makes them so good at cutting keys?" joke. A favourite joke of mine, but who did it first? (fiiiigggght). I suspect thievery on Mertons part but could be wrong.

He later redeems himself with "he was a workaholic, he sometimes drank 3 bottles of workahol a day"

I think Merton would have been doing that joke a good decade before Hill came on the scene.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #91 on: November 11, 2020, 05:49:09 AM »
I think Merton would have been doing that joke a good decade before Hill came on the scene.

Not necessarily, if Harry Hill won the 1992 Edinburgh newcomer award he must have started stand up around 1990 or possibly earlier? I simply must find the origins of this (potentially widely made in the 80's) comedic observation.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #92 on: November 23, 2020, 11:14:05 AM »
I got this delivered this morning and I'm hugely disappointed with it. Not only has it been edited, it's been edited really badly. I thought at first it was just the end of a sketch removed, but entire sketches are gone. I already own the first series on iTunes and the first episode is 24:14. On the DVD, it's only 19:57.

Here's how it goes on iTunes:

Pre-credit Kiosk sketch ("I'm just looking.")
Credits
Train sketch ("He's wearing a wig")
Publisher's office (masks/Alfred Lord Tennyson) (running 3:36)
Kiosk sketch (desk on head/the paranormal)
Sauna sketch
Kiosk (cigarette papers/"Anything in the way of cigars?")
Jennifer is not adopted.
Kiosk sketch ("Condoms used to be made out of wood.")
Exercise bike.
WW2 escape sketch.

Here's how it goes on the DVD:
Kiosk (cigarette papers/"Anything in the way of cigars?")
Publisher's office (masks/Alfred Lord Tennyson) (running 2:50)
Kiosk sketch (desk on head/the paranormal)
Sauna sketch
Jennifer is not adopted.
Kiosk sketch ("Condoms used to be made out of wood.")
Exercise bike.
WW2 escape sketch.

So that's two sketches gone, one moved, and at least one edited (I skipped through the rest, to be honest, just to see if anything else was gone.)

The worst part is they aren't missing for some rights reasons or technical issues. If you listen to the commentaries, Paul Merton says they've been cut for quality reasons. Personally, I always loved the "I'm just looking" bit. I never liked the train sketch that much, but without it the reappearance of the man in the bad wig later means nothing. The sketch with all the masks is still funny, but not as much as it used to be.

I was hugely looking forward to this, but I'm thinking about sending it back.

EDIT: Here's a comparison of the episode lengths, with iTunes first and the DVD second:

EPISODE ONE: 24:14/19:57
EPISODE TWO: 23:29/23:29 (Paul Merton must have really liked this one)
EPISODE THREE: 23:47/19:22 (had a quick look and it's missing the sketch where the guy dies on the operating table and goes to Heaven)
EPISODE FOUR: 24:21/24:03
EPISODE FIVE: 23:58/21:51 (missing the sketch where Paul Merton is the priest at a funeral who doesn't know anything about person whose funeral it is. I always liked this one)
EPISODE SIX: 23:15/20:54 (the first sketch with the two royal guards is gone, but the second one is still there. The Great Pimento has performed his greatest trick by completely escaping from the episode)

« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 12:12:58 PM by Edgar Balloon III »

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #93 on: November 23, 2020, 11:27:59 AM »
Paul, you are an odd fellow

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #94 on: November 23, 2020, 12:24:15 PM »
That's pretty fucking pointless. If you don't like a sketch just say on the commentaries that you don't think it worked.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #95 on: November 23, 2020, 12:44:11 PM »
I got this delivered this morning and I'm hugely disappointed with it. Not only has it been edited, it's been edited really badly. I thought at first it was just the end of a sketch removed, but entire sketches are gone. I already own the first series on iTunes and the first episode is 24:14. On the DVD, it's only 19:57....

The worst part is they aren't missing for some rights reasons or technical issues. If you listen to the commentaries, Paul Merton says they've been cut for quality reasons. Personally, I always loved the "I'm just looking" bit. I never liked the train sketch that much, but without it the reappearance of the man in the bad wig later means nothing. The sketch with all the masks is still funny, but not as much as it used to be.....

Thanks so much for flagging that and taking the trouble to illustrate what's happened - very, very much appreciated.

Really odd decision. As you say, callbacks can become incomprehensible.

Also, by their nature, sketch shows usually are inconsistent but opinion will obviously often vary which sketches work better than others.


Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #96 on: November 23, 2020, 01:23:06 PM »
A good example of why artists going back and editing their own work from years ago is a bad idea.

neveragain

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #97 on: November 23, 2020, 02:32:04 PM »
Exactly, and thanks again Edgar for the info.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #98 on: November 23, 2020, 02:39:15 PM »
That's a pisser.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #99 on: November 23, 2020, 02:56:30 PM »
That's a shame, the version I watched recently was a very poor quality torrent. You'd think with his interest in film history and comedy archive he would know better.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #100 on: November 23, 2020, 03:00:22 PM »
Fuck. It’s sitting in my letterbox at home according to Amazon’s latest email to me. I’ll be sending that straight back.

It seems it’s not just a neck that Merton shares with George Lucas.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #101 on: November 23, 2020, 06:47:20 PM »
I don't own series two, but I had a look on the running times on the DVD vs the running times on Amazon Prime Video and they seem to be intact - with the sole exception of episode five. I'm quite tempted to pay the £5.99 to buy series two, purely find out what was the sole part of series two of which Paul Merton no longer approves.

I believe episode six of series two includes the endless bit with the opera singer, which is presumably intact. It boggles my mind that Paul Merton could cut some great bits of comedy, but leave in such a pointless and humour free waste of time.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #102 on: November 23, 2020, 07:21:06 PM »
Exactly. Sketch shows are always a mixed bag. Everyone has an individual perception and fondness for certain sketches, different from everyone else. So editing such a show down is a pointless exercise and will always only please one person: The one who is editing it down.

So after previously only an edit of the show was available on the old „Paul Merton Collection“, they have decided to release another (longer) edit of the show. Thank you for the infos and analysis, Edgar. This will spare me the huge disappointment buying the set. I have never forgiven Peter Richardson for his butchering of several of the Comic Strip films.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #103 on: November 23, 2020, 09:51:34 PM »
he could do an edited special director's cut thingy, but let us see the original. but cutting bits totally out - even if they are shit - is bizarre. does he say why on the commentaries precisely he cut bits out?

but then, i've probably said this before, at some of his live things when he was doing low-key touring stuff on silent films in the 00s, he was bizarrely detached in his opening commentary and frankly seemed like he didn't give a shit. odd fellow.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #104 on: November 23, 2020, 10:22:52 PM »
I put my copies of TMWRNJ up on YouTube after the DVD release failed to happen. I’ve half a mind to get the bits Merton has cut out and get the best scan I can from my old VHS copies so I can put them up.

Haven’t watched them in years so I’ll have to see how they stack up against what’s already out there.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2020, 12:51:09 PM »
I saw an acquaintance on Twitter say that it's in the wrong aspect ratio as well.

Oh well, another DVD I won't be buying.  I wonder if anyone advised him that this sort of thing hits sales?  If they did, he clearly didn't care.  It's not like leaving them off the DVD prevents them from being seen, but then he doesn't use the internet so he might not realise that.


Thank you for the infos and analysis, Edgar. This will spare me the huge disappointment buying the set. I have never forgiven Peter Richardson for his butchering of several of the Comic Strip films.

I refused to buy the Comic Strip box set myself, despite having eagerly awaited it, after reading all the disappointed & hostile reviews of it on here regarding the cuts, lack of adcaps, etc.

Silly people.

thenoise

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #106 on: November 24, 2020, 01:39:26 PM »
Ffs Paul. I was looking forward to revisiting these as well, and hearing his commentaries.

Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #107 on: November 24, 2020, 03:06:22 PM »
I saw an acquaintance on Twitter say that it's in the wrong aspect ratio as well.

They've certainly gone a weird way about authoring it, in that it's got vertical black borders on the video itself to pad the image out to 16:9. It's like they don't trust the people buying it to not have their TV's set to "stretch".

Even with that and the cuts I don't have the same buyers remorse as with the Get A Life set which is an all time botch job of a release I'd waited decades for.

Ambient Sheep

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Re: Paul Merton - The Series
« Reply #108 on: November 24, 2020, 11:10:01 PM »
They've certainly gone a weird way about authoring it, in that it's got vertical black borders on the video itself to pad the image out to 16:9. It's like they don't trust the people buying it to not have their TV's set to "stretch".

Oh good, so of the 720 horizontal pixels available, the active picture is only using 540 of them.  Even better!

With a bit of luck they'll even have set the flag to 4:3, so those of us with correctly set-up equipment will have the joy of seeing the picture auto-squashed horizontally to a nice square 1:1, with just 405 pixels effectively, if my arithmetic is correct.

Fuckssake.

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