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July 24, 2024, 07:20:25 PM

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A few people chatting in the Boosh thread got me thinking about where certain shows or comedy "things" fall in our respective "journeys" (for lack of a less pompous term) to becoming probably-more-than-usual fans of comedy. I'm sure the majority of us ended up here because at some point or other we got really into Chris Morris or Cook/Moore, but I'm curious to see how that happened - especially with the diversity of age groups among us.

I'll start by breaking down what I consider to be my most "formative" comedy things I got into at various ages (being in my 30s now):

Age 7-10: Fawlty Towers, Alan Partridge, Blackadder, Father Ted, South Park, Coffee Friends (aye)
Age 11-14: Ali G, Monty Python, The Office/Extras, Peep Show, Lee Evans
Age 15-17: The Mighty Boosh, Stewart Lee
Age 17-20: Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, George Carlin, Doug Stanhope

Of course I've found plenty of other things since then that I would consider important or formative (I didn't get into The League of Gentlemen until I was in my mid-20s!), but I joined CaB when I was around 19 so I think it's fair to say I was already a bit of an obsessive by then.

Let me see yours, please.


A shtick (Yiddish: שטיק) is a comic theme or gimmick. The word entered the English language from the Yiddish shtik (שטיק), in turn derived from German Stück and Polish sztuka (both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *stukkiją), all meaning "piece", "thing" or "theatre play"; note that "Theaterstück" is the German word for play (theatre) (and is a synonym of "Schauspiel", literally "viewing play" in contrast to the "Singspiel").

There's a bit of chat about 'schtick' in the Stewart Lee Killed On Stage thread with some people saying they love his schtick, others saying he should change his schtick. In my opinion, he has changed his schtick from a static, cool, detached, studenty-type figure with gently surreal routines to this mercurial absurdist who embraces clown play, grotesquery, testing an audience's patience to the utmost limit and performing some of the most extreme outbursts of rage and self-flagellation ever performed on a British comedy stage.

But can a comedian ever truly change their schtick that much, if at all, if that's their general modus operandi? Are there many examples of comics who have done?

I'm not talking about comedians who found their voice after years of trawling the circuit, I mean already established performers. When I saw Eddie Izzard perform in the late eighties, the style was much less showy, meek even, a tubby man in a deliberately crap C&A suit with an unironed shirt hanging out, talking about the different ways to eat a Custard Cream, but by the early nineties, a glammed up Izzard was vamping away, taking complete control of the stage with bigger fish to fry than McVities biscuits. Was this because she became more confident as a performer or just wanted to reinvent the nerdy persona they had as resident stand up at the long gone Raging Bull club in Soho.?

Dave Allen's schtick in the '60s/'70s/'80s was this rueful, groomed Irishman perched on a bar stool, relaxing with a cigarette and glass of ginger ale scotch, but by the early '90s this wild haired man was up on his feet like a Northern club comic with a less intimate style, more exasperated with life and swearing like a trooper. Interesting to note, Mark Thomas was writing for him on those ITV shows.

Actually, Mark Thomas is a good example. When I first saw him perform over thirty years ago, his act was pure filth, no politics at all. He seemed like the least likely comic to become a serious political satirist.

Who else?...

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right okay it's up to me to make this

Laura Kuennsberg, one of the most universally loathed politics broadcasters, has a new flagship Sunday morning politics show. Loathed by the left for her clear bias against anything remotely left of centre, loathed by the centre for not being pro-Remain, loathed by the right simply because she works for the BBC really, but essentially because she's a self-described politics nerd who unquestionably accepts the status quo and her journalism essentially was reporting anonymous statements sent to her whatsapp.

For some reason, on this first show they invited Joe Lycett on. here is him being flippant about his upcoming appearance.
"Really excited to be on this new version of Would I Lie To You"

Then on air he is incredibly sarcastic to Laura about Liz Truss and sends up the whole charade of sensible politics shows.

The media establishment absolutely shit their pants about this.
Most notably Rob Burley, well known for platforming fascists like Le Pen and Farage for supposed balance

And Rachel Wearmouth, that is, the mouth of Keir

The Spectator's Steerpike has a column up within hours complaining

Also the show really does look Chris Morris, with its patronising and silly graphics including giant question marks:

anyway sorry this is a bunch of links to twitter. but I think the internet's PREMIER comedy forum should be talking about this, as arguably Lycett here has shown up our media machine really well with a very simple routine. And it's interesting. Has the jester really shown who plays the tune? Or is this just a load of old twitter shite! let me know in the comments. how do i do a finger pointing down. hang on 👇 ok there we go


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Do you identify with this at all?

And do you think it's part of being a comedy fan? Maybe that makes you more tunes in to certain absurdities, I think.

I spent ages howling at stuff today that I just can't really share with others, because it's so obtuse.

I'm completely fascinated by this bit at the moment and would love to learn more about it. A friend brought it to mind with a gif of this scene from Winnie the Pooh:

It has the same kind of misunderstanding and wordplay, particularly near the end.

So that got me to thinking about Who's on First. This is seemingly the earliest filmed version:

And I really like this later version as it has an audience:

As I say, I'd love to know more about the history of the bit, and also if there are any known antedecents to it, or whether it's just considered a product of music halls and such.

Fifty minutes of archetypal 1973 light entertainment. Dancing girls, guest stars, a pop group I had never heard of and lots and lots of really lame material.

Former comedy writer Graham Linehan has traded his career for ranting about trans people on the Internet.


NEW official thread theme song

Unofficiall thread theme song

For continuing analysis of the alleged Father Ted writer's exceptionally public breakdown and subsequent deterioration

Timeline of events:

- Done a bad transphobia in IT Crowd episode
- Instead of saying "soz", became the most notable transphobe on the planet
- Spent 21 hours a day on twitter misgendering, insulting and brigading trans people and their allies
- Attempted to have trans charity Mermaids' lottery funding pulled
- hbomberguy live stream to counter this raises $300,000 for Mermaids instead
- then Mermaids got the lottery money anyway, meaning Graham failed on every level it is possible to have failed
- Depth charged his own career, lost his family
- Starting calling people paedophiles on Twitter
- Again: threw away his wife and children, his career and any positive legacy in order to call people paedophiles on Twitter
- Got kicked off Twitter permanently
- Now subsists on thin gruel of his newly in-the-low-hundreds audience (down from 700k)
- Graham sleeps in a racing car, do you?
- Solicits sex from brothel called "Brighton Belles"
- Started sending things in the post to people like bizarre transphobic birthday cakes and white feathers (?!)
- Created false account on "Her" dating app to post peoples' private images
- National reportage of this incident painted him quite accurately as a pathetic moron
- Went to Parliament and made an absolute loser of himself, again
- Attended genuinely pathetic "Women Won't Wheesht" event with cum all over his jeans
- Sung Fairytale of New York at said event, pointedly leaving in the F-slur. And in July
- Attended further Women Won't Wheesht events to creep on fellow TERFs
- Shouted "Lesbians do not date women" at one of these events, baffling every living human being on the planet
- Has paid Substack blog on which his sanity has clearly evaporated entirely
- - Has paid Patreon blog that peaked at 23 subscribers and is now at 20 18 17 13 11 9 and hasn't been updated since July 2021
- Interviewed on GB News, came across as the fucking lunatic that he is, on verge of tears constantly
- Entire income is now tied to bigotry, no entertainment industry work forthcoming
- Again again: has literally lost everything in order to post hate on Twitter which he is now banned from
- Constantly boasts of buying new SIM cards to circumvent Twitter bans
- His sock accounts are instantly...

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(Airplane II is not a a ZAZ movie, but is still great)
Police Squad! (6x episodes)
Top Secret!
The Naked Gun
The Naked Gun 2-1/2
The Naked Gun 33-1/3

What's you're favourite? Mine is definitely Top Secret! - Enormously funny sight gags left, right and centre!

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