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July 18, 2024, 09:24:57 PM

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Lee and Herring rewatch

Started by Shaxberd, May 12, 2024, 11:37:16 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

frajer

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on May 13, 2024, 08:28:49 PMThe set with the two series is still in print, but the initial 4-disc 'book' sets are deleted, so that's all the studio tapes and assorted extras no longer legally available.

I picked up the first series in its 4-disc book form but somehow missed the second series. Cheg on frajer, you am a twart.

(Happy I've at least got the first one though. It's a lovely thing.)

markburgle

I missed FoF at the time and have no nostalgic bias towards it, so I didn't really like it other than as a curios(e orange)ity.

It's fascinating watching Stew trying - fairly successfully, aided by youthful trendy handsome-ness - to fit himself into this mainstream mould, but still peppering the kind of learn-ed and obscure references that foreshadow where his heart truly lies. Here his whole cleverer-than-thou schtick is the fuel for his straight-man persona, whereas it later became one of the ways he made himself the fool (part of his "Clown" as he would put it).

The show comes off as a strange mish-mash of Lee and Herring tropes fed through a dated 90's prism of steam-punk settings and knock-off G-Funk music stings. Fables. Ians. "Ahhh". The opening line of Lee's first standup routine. This may have been the birthplace of those tropes, but watching it cold from this vantage point the attempted "cool" of the setting is totally jarring.

My 2 laughs were "and uh, these are the people that have said that", and Ian Hupmhreys of the Midland bank (I enjoyed thinking about what became of him and if he ever knew he was on the telly. Maybe the commentary will reveal all!).

I thought Peter wasn't funny enough to justify his grossness. Was interested to see that apart from him L&H wrote the whole show, rather than a team of writers, which is impressive.

imitationleather

Was watching it with someone who'd never seen any of their shows before and I ended up really wishing I'd skipped the pilot. Although they probably wouldn't have been too impressed with Fist of Fun proper either.

iamcoop

I really like their fascination with silly phrases or wordings.

Right at the start of the pilot when they jump out of the box "I'm Stewart Lee" "And I'm called Richard Herring" really made me laugh.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and it wasn't supposed to be a deliberately funny thing, but I've read both of them say before they used to make each other laugh by just added unnecessary words into phrases just to make them funnier. "I'm called Richard Herring" to me is funny when placed directly alongside Stewart just saying "I'm Stewart"

Rankersbo

Quote from: Stinky Lomax on May 13, 2024, 07:59:18 PMI encourage everyone here to support Rich & Stew & Chris Evans not that one by ordering these on DVD (I assume they're still available). I bought two copies of each season back when they were first released, for myself and a mate who's a big fan, so I feel justified in watching them on YouTube now rather than digging them out and dusting off my old PC with the DVD drive!

Famously not still available

madhair60

series 1 is: https://www.gofasterstripe.com/cgi-bin/w.cgi?showfull=11569

Quote from: iamcoop on May 14, 2024, 10:20:01 AMRight at the start of the pilot when they jump out of the box "I'm Stewart Lee" "And I'm called Richard Herring" really made me laugh.

it was supposed to be funny, and it was funny

Mobbd

Quote from: Stinky Lomax on May 13, 2024, 07:59:18 PMI encourage everyone here to support Rich & Stew & Chris Evans not that one by ordering these on DVD (I assume they're still available). I bought two copies of each season back when they were first released, for myself and a mate who's a big fan, so I feel justified in watching them on YouTube now rather than digging them out and dusting off my old PC with the DVD drive!

Or indeed download/streaming from/at the GFS website. That's how I'm watching it.

Everyone support GFS please! That they exist at all is a miracle. They are v. important.
https://www.gofasterstripe.com/cgi-bin/w.cgi?showfull=11569

Rich is also selling FoF DVDs on tour, so check if he's coming to your shitty town. https://richardherring.com/gigs/

Re: "called", the opening line of Herring's website is to this day "Hi, I am called Richard Herring and this is my website." https://richardherring.com/

Mobbd

Quote from: iamcoop on May 14, 2024, 10:20:01 AMI really like their fascination with silly phrases or wordings.

In Sunshine on Putty (a comedy history book somewhat reviled at CaB), L&H (and Coogs, Marber et al) are described as "the school of linguistic exactitude."

Magnum Valentino

Yeah Rich uses a different intro every week on the radio shows "my given name is", "I answer to the name" etc

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on May 13, 2024, 07:35:03 PMHere's episode 1.1 with commentary. If I can figure how to easily add the subtitles for the episode audio I'll add it later. Enjoy!

I've done a quick OCR pass of the subs for S1. I've only briefly scanned through them but they looked okay so should do the trick.

https://easyupload.io/6cj27a

Jerzy Bondov

I think Herring is the funnier of the two in the double act but Lee is funnier solo. Is this correct

Magnum Valentino


Magnum Valentino

Quote from: waste of chops on May 14, 2024, 11:37:47 AMI've done a quick OCR pass of the subs for S1. I've only briefly scanned through them but they looked okay so should do the trick.

https://easyupload.io/6cj27a

Cheers!

Mobbd

Quote from: Jerzy Bondov on May 14, 2024, 11:38:55 AMI think Herring is the funnier of the two in the double act but Lee is funnier solo. Is this correct

Yes. Which is why the breakup is so especially sad. Herring has lost his strongest hand after putting so much into the project on their joint behalf.

In Her Master's Voice, Nina Conti describes ventriloquist dummies whose humans have died as "uniquely bereaved objects." I think Herring is one of those.

Endicott

I have very fond memories of Fist of Fun's original broadcasts and I bought the GFS DVDs when they first came out. Now I'm being reminded why I've only ever watched them once. It's all very disjointed, barely hanging together and it is a bit inconsistent. Some obvious stand-outs, Quinlake being one of them, but Herring and his various animal fucking stories just aren't funny anymore. It's a shame and I still like his various stand-up tours that came after their split, but this is just tedious. With Lee at least I can see a trajectory and some of his later persona still developing. Still, they're all tedious by the time I'm done with them.

Did the second one and would say it is ever so slightly more consistent but is spoiled by the rat fucking segment. Which animal is it next week Rich?

non capisco

Quote from: Mobbd on May 13, 2024, 10:23:05 AM- I love the way The Man pointedly says "The Tortoise" as the reason for having to leave the pub. It's so invested with the seriousness of a job he has to do.

That was the best bit for me, along with John Thomson's fairly naturalistic acting in the admittedly very dated dating agency sketch ("D'ya see that bloke on the tube?" *pulls face*). Also enjoyed the incongruity of a green faced Rentaghost style witch being present at the start and finish line.

The "have you spoken to Ian Humphries?" bank leaflet is exactly the type of stupid real life minutiae I still laugh at to this day with my friends on a daily basis to take the sharper edges off life and I think that's fundamentally why L&H always worked for me. Fist Of Fun was never at the summit of comedy where you're marvelling at something created beyond your own capabilities but it was entirely on my wavelength and coming when it did I can absolutely recognise how its syntax affected the way I talk and think.

Nothing he hasn't said himself but Stew's persona works much better as a knackered looking fat middle aged man than a thin young dreamboat, though.

Stinky Lomax

12.5 hours to go until next episode! \o/

Magnum Valentino

This week's bonus stuff for episode 2:

Commentary with Rich and Stew -

Commentary with Ben Moor (!) -

Surviving studio rushes -


Shaxberd

Thanks for the bonus content MV!

Here's the link to episode 2 - if you happened to see the earlier version of this post, I thought it'd been taken down from Youtube, but turns out I'd fallen foul of some content blocking on a cafe WiFi.

Looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts later.

lauraxsynthesis

Episode 2
In the commentaries, they said they got a nice letter from Bill Oddie after this went out. Also, Stewart said that lots of '90s comedy attributed to them, Chris Morris or Armando Iannucci was actually written by Peter Baynham. The dentist and former comedian Simon Godley was referred to - I first heard of him last weekend when Robin Ince said he's his dentist.

First appearance of Ben Moor. I haven't yet listened to his commentary for this one.

Love the Urban Man sketch.

Baynham's trembling less so I guess he's getting over his stage fright.

On the rewatch with commentary I noticed Jesus had stigmata on his hands.

The week's events include digs at Eric Idle and Rory Bremner and possibly Steve Punt. Idle actually is my fave out of Python and I liked Bremner's show at the time so I'm nonplussed.

About 28 mins into the rushes linked above you see Kevin Eldon looking very cool all in black and apparently doing the warm-up. I'd like to see more of that.

Stinky Lomax

This episode stronger already. Possibly down to me being used to the misjudged elements of the presentation, but also they're already doing callbacks to the previous episode and the lads feel more relaxed. Some really good sketches as well.
Also, it's just straightforwardly pleasing to look at the gallery and see lots of 90s ephemera like Mr Blobby, Louise Wener, sitcom Birds Of A Feather, Shadow-from-Gladiators branded 3D glasses presumably for some gimmicky tv special, Ant & Dec.
We should probably organise a CaB trip to Barometer World.

Trivia: the bald man is played by future prolific comedy producer Phil Clarke, who also shows up later as a driving instructor.

jamiefairlie

Quote from: lauraxsynthesis on May 19, 2024, 01:18:22 PMEpisode 2


The week's events include digs at Eric Idle and Rory Bremner and possibly Steve Punt. Idle actually is my fave out of Python and I liked Bremner's show at the time so I'm nonplussed.


Just checking in, are you "nonplussed" or some other thing?

Shaxberd

Episode 2, then!

Urban Man sketch also a highlight for me, although the absence of Urban Women made me wonder how they reproduce. Perhaps one gigantic Urban Queen who lives underground and lays hundreds of eggs. Took me a moment to recognise young Al Murray! I think that it's because I'm not used to him with hair, he looks like a hybrid of Charlies Higson and Brooker.

Quite a few recurring Lee and Herring themes in here tonight - parables, "no, not aah!", and a use of the "So now who is the (blank)? Is it me, or is it (blank) with his (blank)?" format with regards to Neil, the man in the audience who doesn't really work on an oil rig.

Of the religious content, though, the vicar sketch interested me the most as it's ultimately quite affectionate towards the church. Plus Rich and Stew as luvvie bishops is just inherently fun.

I'm overthinking it, but a little confused about the concept with Peter. Is he supposed to live on the set? Does the BBC basement just coincidentally contain a squalid flat, or have they recreated his living conditions in Balham? The whole thing would have probably worked better if shot on location, but it's a minor niggle.

Quote from: Stinky Lomax on May 19, 2024, 04:04:25 PMWe should probably organise a CaB trip to Barometer World.

Alas, it closed in March 2022, according to the Wikipedia page that I am almost certain was written by the people or person who once ran the place.

Favourite line of the show: "Sorry to trouble you, I'm a small bald man, and my hairless head offers little protection against the freezing night."

And for Richard's shirts roundup, just the one this time but it's a fetching blue and white number:


Stinky Lomax

Quote from: Shaxberd on May 19, 2024, 06:05:15 PMAlas, it closed in March 2022, according to the Wikipedia page that I am almost certain was written by the people or person who once ran the place.

Dammit, first the DVDs go out of print and now this! I really should research things before recommending everyone do them.

Mobbd

#54
Quote from: lauraxsynthesis on May 19, 2024, 01:18:22 PMthey got a nice letter from Bill Oddie after this went out.

That's really nice. Remember when Bill was treated badly on Never Mind the Buzzcocks? Stew told the story of that somewhere (RHLSTP maybe, can't remember - EDIT: It was in this! On the commentary. Listening to it now) and he seemed to have a lot of affection for Bill. Maybe it started there.

The audience didn't laugh at the mere mention of Bill Oddie but but worked for Partridge! They were there for the rest of that routine though and I loved it too.

Quote from: Stinky Lomax on May 19, 2024, 06:35:57 PMDammit, first the DVDs go out of print

Just buy these ones from Rich for a hundred quid! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/186443207690

Quote from: Shaxberd on May 19, 2024, 06:05:15 PMI'm overthinking it, but a little confused about the concept with Peter. Is he supposed to live on the set? Does the BBC basement just coincidentally contain a squalid flat, or have they recreated his living conditions in Balham? The whole thing would have probably worked better if shot on location, but it's a minor niggle.

Haha, my nerd ears similarly pricked up when Stew said to Rich "you see me in your house every day." But they don't have houses! They are stored on shelves in a warehouse with all the other BBC personalities! I want to believe.

Mobbd

#55
My highlights from and pointless thoughts about Episode 2

"Nae hose nor jerkin" made me laugh. I am 28 years old.

"Yes, I'm a stand-up comedian, that's the kind of comedian I am" is a line I often think about. I like that he's in a sketch at that point but the ideal form of S. G. Lee is a standup comedian. He knew it then and he knows it now.

"He is as real as the day" really made me laugh. I think Rod Hull says similar about his arm later on. Wonder if Kev ad-libbed the line.

Rich describes Peter as a "Welsh misfit." He uses the term for Chris Evans (not that one) now, which has long amused me but I didn't catch that it was a FoF callback until now. Lovely stuff.

That Rich doesn't like the Welsh hats in the photograph on the gallery wall really made me laugh. As did "the continent we call imagination" in the same segment.

A big part of their comedy relies on slightly fusty ideas and turns of phrase older people must have come out with at their schools and churches. "The continent we call imagination" and "Were you there, were you there" and "as real as the day," and "the idiot's lantern," etc. I can see Rich noticing all that stuff with his comedy eye. Stew's clearly into it and uses it later in his macho standup too.

There's a bit where Stew says "of the first water" but I couldn't tell if it was the sort of humour described above or if he was just genuinely saying it.

Interesting that Lee is the first to curse Marber!

Why are Deana Troi and Jim Davidson on the Elephant and Castle?

Mobbd

History corner. Pete posted this on social media a couple of years ago.


Alberon

Quote from: Mobbd on May 19, 2024, 07:17:25 PMWhy are Deana Troi and Jim Davidson on the Elephant and Castle?

Famous East-End Londoners? There is a Star Trek reference in a later episode that comes from Rich (IIRC) being a fan. And both did appear in Davidson's sitcom.

But I do love the deliberately over-literal set design that has an elephant and a castle in it.


Twilkes

Quote from: Mobbd on May 19, 2024, 07:23:15 PMHistory corner. Pete posted this on social media a couple of years ago.



I'm a big aficionado of the bumchin, but I've never seen a vaginachin before.

TommyTurnips

I always slept on the fist of fun dvds because I thought they'd be edited to pieces but it's just series 2 that has jokes removed because there are jokes in series 2 about a man who has since died in the years after it was made right?

I just managed to snag series one but the four disc series 2 dvd seems rarer than hens teeth. The only person selling a copy is ebay business man Richard Herring in his suit and tie.

Any way we can petition Chris Evans not that one for a re-release?