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July 18, 2024, 08:18:43 AM

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Paul Whitehouse's Sketch Show Years - Gold, 27th June

Started by Pink Gregory, June 05, 2024, 05:05:53 PM

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Pink Gregory

https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/paul-whitehouses-sketch-show-years/episodes/1/1/

From British Comedy Guide

"Series 1, Episode 1 - The 1970's

Paul Whitehouse begins his celebration of sketch shows with its roots in music hall and post-war radio, including live radio performances from Tommy Handley and his gang, gloriously baffling to us now, but they paved the way for short-form comedy's growth in years to come - and clearly influenced Paul's own Arthur Atkinson character."

Sounds like it's going to be more than a standard talking heads nostalgia-thon, with the possibility of getting a bit more in depth.  Sadly I don't have Gold, but like the Bottom documentary, worth catching up with eventually.

Matthew Dawkins Jub Jub

Hoping for some Roy Jay material. Not known for his sketches, of course, but someone needs to give the man his flowers.

Glebe

Lucky enough to have access to Gold (we got Virgin Media chez Glebe) and saw a trail for this.

lauraxsynthesis

If someone can do me a naughty fileshare when the time comes, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this loads.

Paul Merton did something similar that didn't work at all for me*, so I hope PW can do something different with the concept. (Merton's version involved him in a mock-up sitting room watching comedy clips on a telly, fake laughing aloud and pausing the tape to deliver some patronising comedy analysis to camera.)
Cheer up, Maureen. All right mate, I'm just wary of these cheap clip collections. With a bit of luck it'll be fine.

* it was on youtube but I can't see it now

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Maureen Brontë on June 06, 2024, 02:46:01 AMPaul Merton did something similar that didn't work at all for me*, so I hope PW can do something different with the concept. (Merton's version involved him in a mock-up sitting room watching comedy clips on a telly, fake laughing aloud and pausing the tape to deliver some patronising comedy analysis to camera.)
Cheer up, Maureen. All right mate, I'm just wary of these cheap clip collections. With a bit of luck it'll be fine.

* it was on youtube but I can't see it now

The one with Merton I saw was a long time ago and called Paul Merton's Life of Comedy with Paul Merton.  The set-up was that it was a personal look at comedy and about how he watched it with his family; there were actors playing the latter and Merton played his father.

There wasn't really any analysis or much of a history being presented, from what I remember. There was interlinking material with the family interacting with each other or Merton narrating - he'd saw something about his mum cooking convenience foods and then a clip from Butterflies about Ria's terrible culinary skills. It didn't really hang together.

Paul Jackson had an interview programme about comedy on Radio 4, Whitehouse was on one episode and he was brilliant talking about comedy. He disputed that there is ever a 'golden age' for comedy and made some great points... I notice that the show's PR does reference golden years, so that was interesting!


gilbertharding

Quote from: Maureen Brontë on June 06, 2024, 02:46:01 AMPaul Merton

As time marches ever onward I find it harder and harder to believe Paul Merton ever did a funny thing in all his life. And yet I know I really liked his Channel 4 sketch show (of '...is it a dolphin in a bathtub?' fame).

McDead

Quote from: gilbertharding on June 06, 2024, 03:24:09 PMAs time marches ever onward I find it harder and harder to believe Paul Merton ever did a funny thing in all his life. And yet I know I really liked his Channel 4 sketch show (of '...is it a dolphin in a bathtub?' fame).

I'm much the same, I can't even imagine laughing at anything Paul Merton does now, but back in the nineties I thought he was incredible. Must be an age thing.

Any way, I am looking forward to this Paul Whitehouse thing, particularly if it includes a few rarities and oddities, which it sounds like it will.

#9
Quote from: Ignatius_S on June 06, 2024, 01:19:23 PMThe one with Merton I saw was a long time ago and called Paul Merton's Life of Comedy with Paul Merton.  The set-up was that it was a personal look at comedy and about how he watched it with his family; there were actors playing the latter and Merton played his father.

There wasn't really any analysis or much of a history being presented, from what I remember. There was interlinking material with the family interacting with each other or Merton narrating - he'd saw something about his mum cooking convenience foods and then a clip from Butterflies about Ria's terrible culinary skills. It didn't really hang together.

No I don't think it was that, although it sounds similar. Bit more research and I found out it was 'Paul Merton's Perfect Night In'.
Even when the clips were good, if familiar (I think The Blood Donor was in there as usual), the effect of him laughing over them and stopping the tape to tell us why he found it funny became irritating very soon.
Here's the only clip I can find - embedding disabled.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoLV3pgfH4o

EDIT: Just found out that Paul Merton's Perfect Night In was more of a theme night which also included other shows he'd selected – he chose the film The Magic Christian and a sitcom or two, probably Hancock – so maybe the show you're thinking of was also that night. I don't remember it but maybe I'd gone to bed by then.

lauraxsynthesis


Pink Gregory


thr0b

Quote from: Pink Gregory on June 30, 2024, 08:54:49 PMme too!

Didn't Gold used to be part of UKTV?

Still is.

And shortly to be U&Gold. Which is a shit name.

SpiderChrist

On first watch, I can't say that this is good. Whitehouse is a poor narrator, and narrates all over the footage. No full sketches or particular insightful comments. Probably great if you're not familiar with Pete & Dud's Art Gallery sketch, Morecambe & Wise with Andre Previn, and all the other clips that get shown over and over and over again.

neveragain

Alternatively, I enjoyed Whitehouse's commentary and opinion. It felt like his genuine perspective. As a documentary, it wasn't much cop (missing out things like Beyond The Fringe or The Frost Report) but as a clipfest it was fun enough.

Gulftastic

The funniest thing Merton ever did was the funeral sketch he wrote for Smith & Jones.

lauraxsynthesis

#16
It was an enjoyable watch, and I found what little analysis Whitehouse did provide interesting. It seemed to me that he was, either by choice or taste, particularly including working class performers and giving less time to the Oxbridge Mafia. Not a criticism of course, but an observation. I wondered if that was the reason the Mary Whitehouse Experience lot, Lee & Herring, Armando Iannucci and privately educated Chris Morris were all excluded. It can't be that they were less influential or had smaller audiences than, say, Big Train. Then I assumed that for the same reason we wouldn't see Armstrong and Miller, but there they were. Mitchell and Webb I suppose couldn't have been left out, but I mean...

So my supplemental theory is that because in the 21st century sketch shows are dying, there was less to choose from so more was included and some stuff was crowbarred in like The League of Gentlemen. I wasn't enthralled enough by this series that all this wasn't going through my mind while watching.

An alternative theory though is that Whitehouse just included what he liked. There were very different amounts of time and numbers of sketches given to different programmes/performers with no particular justification other than them being Paul's favourite bits. It is also possible that he excluded people he doesn't personally get on with of course. I imagine someone here knows some dirt. I mean, we all know Baddiel is a cunt so.

I was happy that Ruddy Hell was included, particularly I Saw You Coming.

Anyway, I hope some kids end up seeing the programme and learning about older comedy they wouldn't have otherwise.

What I really want is to just listen to Paul speaking with his comedy pals unscripted about the genre. A 10-part radio series with minimal archive. That would do for me.

Two Headed Sex Beast

I would be interested in an exploration of how sketch comedy moved from TV to the web and social media, was that covered? He touched on it in that Chortle interview but there's lots that could be said about it.

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