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June 25, 2024, 05:19:30 PM

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Thanks to former CaBber Oliver Double, I found out about this exhibition at the library at the University of Kent.

There were coal mines in Kent and Kent miners took part in the strike, but in addition to info of local interest, Scargill, Thatcher etc, there was also a fair amount of stuff in the exhibition from the university's British Stand-Up Comedy Archive and British Cartoon Archive.



There were posters and flyers from benefit gigs, with frequently recurring names including Linda Smith and Jeremy Hardy. One poster is a lovely snapshot of the alternative comedy scene: Rik Mayall, Jim Barclay, Andy de la Tour, Jenny Lecoat, Ben Elton, Pauline Melville, Robert Llewellyn's old group The Joeys...









It did make me sad reflecting on how depoliticised culture is now and how many comedians were engaged in issues then compared to now. The other week on the Here Comes the Guillotine podcast, Frankie Boyle listed the TV comics have taken a stand on the genocide in Gaza and it was like 4 people including himself. Last I heard, Saint Stewart Lee continues to studiously avoid expressing compassion for Palestinians - correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, the Alternative Comedy era was awesome and let's never forget it.

6 Comments
The cast of Ab Fab are reuniting for a TV special ("Absolutely Fabulous: Inside Out") to be aired on GOLD later this year.

Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Horrocks and Julia Sawalha will all be taking part in the 2-hour retrospective, which will be the first time they have reunited on screen since 2016.

Fabulous!

8 Comments
This thread originally made me aware of Patti Harrison, and I really, really want to see more of her standup. She's in the Soho Theatre currently, and performing at Edinburgh festival again this year I believe.

She's got some other great bits and pieces on YouTube also, including "Convers(at)ion Therapy", where trans and non-binary people just chat about things. She comes across as being really likeable and down-to-earth, with an infectiously silly attitude and worldview.


38 Comments
Just flagging this up as I missed it myself, and am looking forward to reading it: link

Today's letters page is full of rather nice anecdotes about Lehrer, from people who grew up listening to him and met him at shows etc, I really enjoyed reading this: link

48 Comments
From an article in the Times when Rik died. What a terrible tribute:

QuoteAllen's maverick, contrarian impulses are impressive. They reveal themselves as we talk. My phone rings. I'm told that Rik Mayall has died suddenly. I tentatively break the news to Allen about his peer. His reaction is an instant critique of Mayall's work with long-time comedy partner Ade Edmondson. "I hated their work," he says. "I hated it." But you wrote some of it, I say. The Yob, The Bull*****ers . . . these were early "alternative comedy" classics.

Allen sighs and assembles a roll-up, like a teacher gearing up to make one final effort at explaining the difference between left and right to a notorious dunce. "Obviously condolences to his family," he says, "but there's personal tragedy and then there's the work. I enjoyed working with Peter Richardson (co-writer on The Comic Strip Presents . . .), but to me it was childish. And I felt Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson went on to produce just s***. Bland rubbish that the BBC laps up, the sort of b******s that makes you a national treasure. I think Rik was actually talented but, Edmondson, no. Absolutely talentless."
He waves away a bee. "I can't give you a eulogy," he says. "I'm sorry but this country has got to do something about applauding mediocrity."

188 Comments
Don't think there was a separate thread on this, and doesn't quite seem right jamming it into one of the Seinfeld threads, but this is released on 6th June so fairly soon. There is an audiobook version narrated by Richards which I will be on like a bag of chips, currently available for pre-order at a discount, no idea if it will come to Audible for a credit, it's not mentioned there yet.

https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details?id=AQAAAEBSL2VvJM

There's a blurb on Amazon, can't comment on the content of the book but he seems to be able to write:

"The hair, so essential, symbolizes the irrational that was and is and always will be the underlying feature not only of Kramer but of comedy itself. This seemingly senseless spirit has been coursing through me since childhood. I've been under its almighty influence since the day I came into this world. I felt it all within myself, especially the physical comedy, the body movements, so freakish and undignified, where I bumped into things, knocked stuff down, messed up situations, and often ended up on my ass.

"This book is a hymn to the irrational, the senseless spirit that breaks the whole into pieces, a reflection on the seemingly absurd difficulties that intrude upon us all. It's Harpo Marx turning us about, shaking up my plans, throwing me for a loop. Upset and turmoil is with us all the time. It's at the basis of comedy. It's the pratfall we all take. It's the unavoidable mistake we didn't expect. It's everywhere I go. It's in the way that I am, both light and dark, good and not-so-good. It's my life."

36 Comments
One of the many treasures uploaded this week by Bill Matthews on his amazing YT channel is Michael Palin's Comic Roots from 1983 including him listening to The Goon Show with Spike Milligan in a recreation of his childhood front room and then being a joyous fanboy.

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There's so much sound left over from NOBA: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVYUq7aYmz1PbyRhHJT-GnK9TGdpCArTM
And that's not even all.

But wouldn't you know it, there's three, four sketches from S1E5 that exist as mute film: Something about a commercial/job offer, catching the bus, canvassing Dracula... Dudley in the shower...
But no audio tracks to be found!

Or am I wrong?

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