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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 08:04 pm:   

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11840828
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 08:59 pm:   

Come on, this is just unfair. What are we reducing ourselves to, gaff Nazis?! People mess up all the time speaking! Attack her on issues and policies and stances, fine; but why attack her for doing something EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE PLANET has done? How many times have we all typed the wrong thing here alone? Surely you have too, Gary Freich - whooooops!
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 09:11 pm:   

Craig - Gary, or anybody else round here isn't considering running for the presidency of the world's most powerful nation. The more she makes an ass of herself, the more I welcome her chances slipping away like so much of the bullshit she keeps on spouting. Besides, after Bush, I would have thought one more right wing lying scumbag would be one too many.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 09:33 pm:   

Funny, I was thinking of posting that story here too!

It scares the hell out of me to think that she might end up as President of the USA. It was a scary enough time when Bush was President - you never knew what the fool was going to say or do next - but the thought of that woman as President ... arghh, I don't even want to think about it!
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 86.31.118.252
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 10:14 pm:   

Still bend her over the table and give her a good seeing to mind...
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 86.31.118.252
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 10:15 pm:   

Not in a sexual way of course. I was just going to let Gary of his lead and let him bite her on the ass... :D
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 11:59 pm:   

In either case, I've gone to a truly terrifying place. Thanks, Johnny.

On the plus side with Palin, there's always the hope they'll let her go to the toilet unsupervised one day; with any luck she'll stick the wrong end in the bowl and drown...
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Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 03:29 am:   

Craig, you'll notice that she doesn't say "sorry, yes: North Korean allies, obviously" what she says is as follows:

quote:

"Obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies."

Corrected by Mr Beck, she replied: "Yeah. And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes."


Notice that she says "also", adding the reference to "prudence" of the matter, suggesting she was saying something in addition to the matter of supporting North Korea. More than likely she would have referred to the N.Korean leader as "the well-known Rap star L'il Kim" given the chance.

I read a similar article about this 'slip of the tongue' that said this was another example of her long-standing misunderstanding of World Affairs. During the 2008 Presidential Election campaign she was briefed by Republican handlers who had to walk her through the entire history of the World for the 20th Century, including both international wars and Iraq conflicts. Even when her son was sent to Iraq as part of the recent campaign, she was of the opinion that her son was there to fight the single nation responsible for the attacks on NYC on 9/11. This is someone who has served as both a Mayor and State Governor (neither time for a complete term), and was at the time supported for filling the job of the USA's Vice President.

She is, in no exaggeration of the matter, the single most dangerous idiot in the world. the fact she's physically close to my location terrifies the shit out of me. One can only hope that she fades into history's vast pantheon of ignominy as rapidly as humanly possibly.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 06:31 am:   

Ian, Frank, et.al., I ask... tell me what's the difference between Palin's gaff here, and Obama's gaff here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws

Honest to God, pound for pound, what's the !@#@! difference?!?
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 06:40 am:   

She's a right-winger with love or hope in her heart, that's the difference. She's the enemy. Simple.
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 08:09 am:   

The difference, Craig, is that Palin's gaffe supports a widespread preconception -- specifically, the preconception that she's a semi-retarded ex-beauty queen pretending to be a well-informed politician.

Obama's gaffe is different because it supports no such preconception. Now if he'd said "When I was born in Kenya ..." or "I've always admired Karl Marx ..." -- that would be a similar gaffe.

Of course, it should be pointed out that these preconceptions are not equal: Obama in fact wasn't born in Kenya and isn't a Marxist, no matter what the crazies on the right think. On the other hand, Sarah Palin is indeed a semi-literate ex-beauty queen pretending to be an intelligent political sophisticate, and in this she's fooling only people stupider than she is, which would be a blessing if only that description didn't fit roughly half of all US conservatives.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." -- John Stuart Mill
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 08:35 am:   

I think I'd vote for Paris Hilton over Sarah Palin. That woman scares me. Actually, they both do, but only one's properly dangerous.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.164.51
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 09:18 am:   

Paris Hilton is a faux-naive entertainer with some nice flashes of wit. There's no humour and no humanity in Sarah Palin. And whereas Dubya played the fool to disguise his manipulative, conniving, vicious personality, Sarah Palin is wilfully, sickly ignorant and dull in a way that speaks not of low intelligence but of festering psychosis. The world isn't real for her, so she consistently blanks out the most basic information about it.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 10:42 am:   

She's a brainless bimbo, end of story...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 10:58 am:   

It's amusing that Craig twits someone pointing out such a gaff by calling them a "Nazi"!

Whatever I was implying about Palin, it wasn't as strong as that, surely!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 02:15 pm:   

Stevie, I wish it was that simple. You don't get to be a candidate for Vice-President without many years of dedicated and crafty politicking. Palin's wilful ignorance of history, geography and politics is a psychotic symptom – it amounts to a belief that reality isn't worth her time, because she will be President anyway if God wants her to be. And if her hand is on the nuclear button, it will be because God wants her to press it.

On a lighter note, I don't think Paris Hilton is brainless either. She's doing what a significant minority of young people do: playing dumb in order to appeal to the opposite sex. Sadly young women still seem to do that rather more often than young men, though the 'himbo' syndrome is endemic among male footballers. Hilton's 'dumb' remarks are too poised and self-conscious to be anything but a game. Occasionally – as when she said "Dress cute at all times" – she shows a certain narcissistic awareness. She has infinitely more class than boorish louts like Ricky Gervais who attempt to prove their mental superiority by insulting her.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 03:41 pm:   

Yes, Joel, but the "many years of dedicated and crafty politicking" were carried out by her, what Swift called, "flappers", & what Heinlein called, "intermediary unofficials". And the reason she was ridiculously shunted forth from obscurity as the Vice-Presidential candidate is because the panicking Republicans (how I wish they'd pick another name for themselves) saw the only way to counter the "threat" of the "first black President" as the Thatcherite "promise" of the first "hardline conservative female President". This woman is no political whizzkid, but a "brainless bimbo" i.e. a superficially pretty girl with no opinion of her own, who follows all the instructions from her "betters" that keep her in the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed, because life is good and why should she change a winning strategy. She is the political equivalent of a gangster's moll... with not one boss riding her bendy, but a whole party of them. Whoopee!!
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 04:22 pm:   

I guess, all, I just have a hard time when people are attacked for "gaffs," when again, everyone on Earth makes gaffs. The mote in your own eye, beam in the other reaction, is what I rankle at....

Chris, I think then the maliciousness comes from such prefabbed preconceptions. I'd say half the reason people think her stupid, is because of her accent. If she spoke with an Oxford BBC accent, no one would be saying half the things they do about her being stupid. Just mho. It shows a baseless and elitist prejudice on the part of her detractors.

Again, attack her all day long for her positions, her connections, her agenda, etc. But must we really sink to the level of bashing others when their words don't come out perfectly right? God knows I'd not want to be judged under such strictures... would anyone else here, honestly?... preconceptions or not?...

Gary, I was of course just having fun with you. But there is, you know, a reason why everyone uses Nazis and Hitler to illustrate stark examples of the "bad" - it's because you can't use anything else! Those are the only "baddies" left that everyone agrees are beyond the pale anymore. Even using Satan will bring some crazy dissenting voices ("You know, you just said I was being a tad Satanic, but Satan was really quite misunderstood... for example, in Milton..." [etc.])
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 04:32 pm:   

Tell the truth man, you fancy her, don't ya...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 04:39 pm:   

Sure, Stevie. Johnny mentioned something about bending her over a table, I seem to remember?... vividly?...

But leaving that aside, I'd bend her over a table, and... wait a minute. No, I'm talking about... her intelligence or something... there's a table, and... she's bent over it, and... someone made a gaff, right?... gangster's moll something?... anyway, back to the bending her over the table....
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 04:44 pm:   

Ha! I swear, I had no idea about this when I posted my link above....

Good for her, fighting back, whatever you may think.

Warning: Many of you here will have eyes bleeding as a result of this - http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=463364218434
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 05:02 pm:   

Craig loves Sarah! Craig loves Sarah!
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 05:07 pm:   

Craig, these preconceptions can indeed be malicious, particularly, as in Obama's case described above, when they are baseless, deliberately fabricated, and spread by zealots, many of whom don't even believe the accusations but know they will somehow harm their target anyway.

In the case of Palin, however, I'm afraid it's beyond reasonable doubt now that she's an arrogant, dull-witted, uninformed, vindictive fame monger and a compulsive liar. Anyone who's been paying attention to her for the past twenty four months cannot easily dispute any of these adjectives, harmful as they are, and her infamy has nothing to do with her accent (although that doesn't help).
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 05:42 pm:   

RE: your link, Craig -- Sarah doesn't write that, you know.

She doesn't write this either, but it's closer to the truth:

http://twitter.com/fakesarahpalin
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 08:44 pm:   

Craig - dear me, mate. Maybe my humour radar is turned off. A

ny reasonable person wouldn't give two hoots about Sarah Palin's accent,dialect, or whether she spoke with a BBC accent or not. That's more than ridiculous, mate. Why on earth would her accent make any difference to the stupidity spilling out of her mouth? Are you insinuating that we 'Brits' are all Oxford educated and running round with the proverbial silver spoon in our mouths???? That unless mimicked or authentically droll in our mocking of the classes below, we find everybody else lacking somehow?

Mate, you know better than that.

And you know perfectly well why she deserves roasting alive every single time she opens her mouth.

She's a female Greg Stillson come to life before our very eyes.
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Johnny_mains (Johnny_mains)
Username: Johnny_mains

Registered: 04-2010
Posted From: 86.31.118.252
Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 - 09:52 pm:   

Does that mean a Johnny Smith will soon be going mental with a .243 I feel...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 02:44 am:   

We do tend to think of everyone in England having that stuffy accent, Frank, by turns seeming incredibly intelligent and daunting, and, well, stuffy. But then there's those other less refined British accents, like whatever it is Michael Caine has going there... but I would say that unless the Brit talking is clearly drunk, Americans just knee-jerk assume anyone with any English accent, gets the default position of being at the very least not-stupid. Not so here, with some of our accents, alas....

There does seem to be something about Sarah Palin that makes you think she's never really talking to whomever it is she's talking to, whether it's giving a speech or one-on-one. There's this way she has of speaking that makes it seem like she's always half-concentrating on WHAT she's saying, on the very act of talking itself. I can't describe it. It's like whenever her mouth opens, half her mind has faded away, and gone inwards - I don't mean she's stupid here, I mean it seems like half her mind has shut off the person/s she's speaking to; as if she's concentrating on what she's saying purely as an act, rather than communication. Maybe it's just me being anal, picking up something that's not there. The only other performer I've noticed it in, myself, is the American comic George Lopez - half the time he talks or more (to me), it's like everyone else in the room/scene has vanished, and he's merely reciting lines to himself....

Chris - that twitter page is pretty damn funny.....
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 02:50 am:   

Craig- that's an interesting observation on Palin, and one that rather chimes with Joel's comments on her above.

She's ridiculous in many ways, but also frightening- and often for the same reasons. A little like Torquemada in Nemesis The Warlock or Ezra Fricker in Howard Barker's play The Loud Boy's Life.
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 03:28 am:   

I don't mean to dis Paris Hilton. After all, she was in Repo: the Genetic Opera and House of Wax (even though the latter was rubbish), so she can't be all bad.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 11:03 am:   

(I quite liked House of Wax, Kate. Good mindless fun.)
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.172.153
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 11:23 am:   

"boorish louts like Ricky Gervais who attempt to prove their mental superiority by insulting her."

So I am not alone in finding Gervais somewhat overrated!

I loved The Office, but can't see the appeal of much else he has done.

gcw
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 11:35 am:   

He needs to change his act quickly. He's still doing the ego jokes and transgressing PC issues. It's getting tiresome.
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.172.153
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 12:17 pm:   

Yes, comedy can be incredibly lazy, I recently went to a comedy night in Norwich and was amazed at how little we seem to expect to laugh...The comedians supply the mostly 30-40 something male audience with a few morsels they can identify with about lack of sex, gender 'Men from Mars women from Venus' cliches & if in doubt, sling in a bit of football.

It's all a bit 'meh' as the youngsters say.

gcw
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 01:06 pm:   

Thank god, it's not just me then. I find Gervais unbelievably annoying and his smug face incredibly punchable. Not quite as much as Russell 'talent void' Brand, but close.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 02:21 pm:   

Yeah, I'm not too keen on Gervais either. There's a rather insincere, bitter, cruel undercurrent to everything he does that leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 90.195.182.42
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 02:25 pm:   

I love watching Ricky Gervais. The material, the timing, pretty much every single mannerism. Stand-up, interviews, series... bring it on.

BUT unlike most comedians I like, I wouldn't want to go for a pint with him.
I'll happily watch other people having to deal with his clever arse, but wouldn't want to myself.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 03:51 pm:   

I agree, Matt.

And I thought Extras was brilliant.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 04:16 pm:   

He's got some genius, but at present he's resting on his laurels. The act isn't evolving.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 05:34 pm:   

Still, at least Gervais believes in evolution. Unlike Palin. Now if you want proof of stupidity...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.82.196
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 06:10 pm:   

I wonder how much Merchant brought to Gervais's reputation, too. The Office and Extras were clearly joint efforts. Now, Gervais does Hollywood and Merchant voices Barclays adverts. Hmm.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.209.217
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 06:16 pm:   

Neither sounds a particularly edifying spectacle..
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Barbara Roden (Nebuly)
Username: Nebuly

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 216.232.180.184
Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 07:07 pm:   

If - and it's a big 'if' - Palin runs for the presidency, she won't be able to hide herself behind staffers and handlers and handpicked interviews with select media people who are sympathetic, or guaranteed to pitch pre-screened softball questions to which she's been given carefully prepared answers. She's able to do that now, but running for the top job in the nation - even the world - means the scrutiny will be intense, and beyond her control. And if anything is going to dissuade her from a presidential run, it's this very fact: she won't be able to hide.

Something that bothers me about Palin and her ilk, ranting on about the 'elites' running the government, and how she and her kind are 'ordinary folks', is the fact that I look around at the ordinary folks around me and there's no way in hell I want them running any government, thanks very much. I LIKE the idea that the people in government are 'elite' in that they're well educated, thoughtful, aware of what's going on in the world, know their history, are fairly well up in things like political science and economic theory (or that they have people around them who are), can meet other world leaders without coming across like an ignoramus. Put it another way: I don't want an 'ordinary person' operating on me, or fixing my teeth, or representing me in court: I want someone who's trained and studied to do those jobs. Politics is, or should be, no different, and Palin - for one - seems to think that it is, viewing with suspicion people who are well-educated and well-travelled and know something of the world and how it works.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.203.93
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 11:04 am:   

Tried watching The Office again last night - it's become very flat now Gervais isn't a surprise any more. You can predict every gesture.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.30.195
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 11:29 am:   

I never saw The Office as a comedy. It was a straight analysis of the corrupt nature of office life. The episode where a disabled woman was stopped from using the lift so her manager could assist her in a fire drill, and then he left her on the staircase because her wheelchair was too heavy to manage, was absolutely spot on but in no way funny. At the time I was a trade union rep and my company's HR team were talking about The Office with some anxiety: they felt it was damaging to them, encouraging the wrong attitude towards management.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 12:35 pm:   

'The Office' works as a painfully recognisable and very funny satire.

Gervais has undeniable talent but, like all the great British comedy exports that moved across the pond before him, he has become somewhat diluted by Hollywood success. However, I thought he was very good, playing to his strengths, in his recent guest appearance on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. But then Larry David could make Michael McIntyre seem funny!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 01:46 pm:   

Doesn't satire imply exaggeration? There's no exaggeration in The Office. It remains true throughout. And painfully hilarious. It is a comedy, and one of the best: one that doesn't strain credibility to get its laughs. Up there with Ayckbourn et al.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 02:01 pm:   

I agree, Gary - when I first stumbled across The Office (I'd never heard of it), I actually thought it was a documentary rather than a spoof. I've worked in offices my entire adult life, and find the show achingly true.

Fucking brilliant, too.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 02:36 pm:   

Since The Office, I think Gervais and Merchant have given in too frequently to silliness. They're better than that and should try harder. Don't get me wrong, Extras was hilarious, but - aside from the last episode - it lacked the credible human factor that made The Office so wonderful. The Office is the closest sit-com ever got to literature. Extras is just daft fun. And Life's Too Short is funny but just treading water.

Their first film - Cemetery Junction - had strong moments, too. But it lacked the devastating painfulness of The Office.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 02:49 pm:   

In Extras, Gervais makes it clear that he wants carte blanche from commissioners to do exactly what he wants. And although in this day and age, that's probably a good thing, it has its downside in that, like so many greats in the comedy world (Cleese, Elton, et al), he has his excesses and blindspots that need editorial control.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 02:53 pm:   

Nowt wrong with a bit of silliness...it's funny.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:02 pm:   

Yeah, but they can do better.

But as a lover of Bottom, I'm hardly likely to disagree.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:06 pm:   

I would say 'Steptoe & Son' passes the "literature test" too, Gary. Brilliantly performed human drama that was as painful as it was devastatingly funny. I'm sure there are others as well...

But in the world of sitcoms it is the timelessness of the characters and their situations and the universality of the laughter they raise, above all else, that equates to greatness.

Must dig up that old sitcom thread again!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:13 pm:   

Porridge. Best sitcom ever. Followed by Rising Damp and Steptoe & Son. None of those was conventionally "funny".
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:20 pm:   

I loved the first couple of episodes of Life's Too Short, but now I reckon it's done all its jokes.
Warwick Davies has moments of pure Brent, in mannerism as well as dialogue. But sometimes they're too much so.

I loved the 2-second appearance by Les Dennis, who just got told to fuck off (His Extras episode is my all time favourite)

Bottom rules! It's also fun late at night on Dave, when the sign-language person has appeared in the corner. They have to spend half their time making various rude gestures and wanking actions.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:31 pm:   

I think Life's Too Short is one of the best things on TV - the other one being American Horror Story, which is hilarious.

Anything that makes me laugh out loud, I treasure. It's such a rare thing.
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:34 pm:   

Bottom has one of my favourite comedy lines ever. Eddie and Richie have just selotaped a burglar to the ceiling and are trying to appear normal as the police come to their flat. Eddie is sat pretending to read a newspaper:

POLICEMAN: Are you aware, sir, that that newspaper is upside-down?
EDDIE: Yes. So are my eyes.

Life's Too Short is superb. Gervais does come across as a bit of a twat but he and Merchant are very fine writers.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:46 pm:   

Mine: the one in which Eddie gives Richie a dead cert horseracing tip called Madam Swiz. Richie thinks he's set him up with a callgirl and gets all excited, until the realisation kicks in.

Eddie: I've just given you a red-hot tip.
Richie: Yes, and there's nothing I can do about it now, is there?
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 03:54 pm:   

"How about Pin the tail on the donkey?"
"We haven't got a donkey."
Pin the tail on the chicken?"
"Or a tail."
"Pin the sausage on the chicken?"
We have got a chicken."
"Pin the sausage to the fridge???"
"Or a pin."
"Sellotape a sausage to the fridge!!!"
"We haven't got a sausage."
"Put a bit of sellotape on the fridge!!!"
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:12 pm:   

Brilliant. I love the way they keep changing the acting style. Sometimes it's Kenneth Williams, others it's Leonard Rossiter, others Stan Laurel. Class act.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:13 pm:   

The best episode, imo, was when they were trapped on top of a ferris wheel. Tour de force.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:43 pm:   

Comedy gold!

Anyone remember 'Filthy, Rich & Catflap'? I haven't seen that since it first aired but remember laughing myself sick at it. Loved all their stuff. People criticised them at the time for their "crude slapstick" but those shows haven't half stood the test of time.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:45 pm:   

'Filthy, Rich & Catflap' was the best thing they ever did - brilliant.

The best thing Mayall ever did was Kevin Turvey.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:51 pm:   

'The Young Ones' remains their crowning glory, for me.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:54 pm:   

I've got F, R&C on DVD: haven't watched it yet.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 06:28 pm:   

"The best thing Mayall ever did was Kevin Turvey."

Controversial... I'd go for Alan B'stard myself. I always thought the New Statesman was more documentary than sitcom.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 06:31 pm:   

There was an episode with Mel Smith in it that reduced me to tears. Can't remember a thing about the plot or much about the characters... probably because I was in hysterics half the time I was watching it. Must get that DVD!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 10:12 pm:   

I've got F, R&C on DVD: haven't watched it yet.

It's definitely the bridge between The Young Ones and Bottom - some great moments but some bits don't work.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 194.176.105.145
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 06:26 pm:   

"The best episode, imo, was when they were trapped on top of a ferris wheel. Tour de force."

Absolutely. Because it was just the two of them, arguing and talking, without much need for plot. It shows good writing if you can pull that off, and also that your characters are strong enough to carry it.
Like that brilliant episode of Porridge that's just Fletcher and Godber chatting in the cell for a full half-hour.
And similarly, one of the best Red Dwarf episodes is "Marooned", which is a similar set up: just Lister and Rimmer waiting to get rescued, passing the time and getting on each other's nerves.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 06:52 pm:   

There were a few one foot in the grave episodes that carried off similar tricks. One with just Victor and Margaret in bed trying to sleep. One stuck in a traffic jam (although there were another two characters in that one) and one with just Victor sat in the living room waiting for a phone call, no one else in the entire episode. Oh and the Doctor's waiting room as well.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 07:08 pm:   

GF - I fully agree about the ferris wheel episode; it's easily my favourite.
"Uggy uggy uggy"!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.102.71.214
Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 11:54 pm:   

Weber: one of the funniest moments in British sitcom --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrsNT8lx_cs

However, I found the other three episodes you mention less successful and rather self-indulgent.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.151.145.202
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:44 am:   

The hedgehog slipper is one of the funniest moments ever...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JhHdwuZ8gg

It's in this clip - about 8 minutes
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 11:33 am:   

""The best episode, imo, was when they were trapped on top of a ferris wheel. Tour de force."

Absolutely. Because it was just the two of them, arguing and talking, without much need for plot. It shows good writing if you can pull that off, and also that your characters are strong enough to carry it.

There were a few one foot in the grave episodes that carried off similar tricks. One with just Victor and Margaret in bed trying to sleep."


All of which takes us back to the greatest comedy duo of them all and describes to a tee one of their funniest early talkies, 'They Go Boom!' (1929). I saw it recently for the first time since I was about five years old and laughed just as hard as I did then. I'm grinning helplessly now just thinking about it. The very essence of timelessness.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 129.11.76.229
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 11:53 am:   

Little and Large?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.151.145.202
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 11:56 am:   

No! Cannon and Ball you fool! How can you top material like "Rock on Tommy!"?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:02 pm:   

Just Stan & Ollie in a room, trying to get to sleep, arguing and talking, and gradually demolishing the place... and it's bloody hilarious!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 12:23 pm:   

"E sipto factotum"!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 01:05 pm:   

Still working my way through them in chrono order, Mick, and 'Ladrones' (1930) was the last one I watched. Apart from the weirdness of them talking in Spanish it's actually superior to 'Night Owls', imo. Couldn't get over all the extra footage and the much more satisfying ending. If you've watched it did you spot the moment when Ollie started corpsing as they were pretending to be cats? To see the real man show through the iconic character, just for an instant, was indescribably thrilling.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011 - 02:56 pm:   

Yep, Stevie - I recall laughing out loud at that!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.88.253
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 11:44 am:   

For me if you're laughing something's working at a deep level with comedy. I watched another Office episode last night and just found it strained, a 'nowt nor summatt' kind of thing. I find myself liking Mackenzie Crook and feeling the Martin Freeman character the really bully. I feel pushed into liking the 'good' people, disliking the bad. They aren't rounded enough for me. In real life nobody is as cut and dried as they are in this. There's a feeling (maybe because of the documentary style) that this is truth being shown but it isn't. It's just a veneer of it. At work this year I knew a man who was a racist and a sexist but he was a lovely man, very helpful and kind. None of this happens in The Office - in my opinion.
One Foot in the Grave is superb though. And even Father Ted feels more populated with real people than The Office.
That's it - the Gervais looking down the camera thing is forcing us to comply and agree, and I don't.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 12:41 pm:   

Sorry, Tony, I completely disagree. Victor Meldrew has no real depth; that show's more about the world in which he has to live. It's brilliant, but not layered.

Father Ted is pantomine, one-watch-and-it-bores comedy.

The Office is complex, never obvious, and - yes - slightly romantic. I can see what you mean about Tim being the bully, and that's a hallmark of the writing's quality. He's a moral snob, perhaps. And that kind of repudiates your claim about him being too good, doesn't it?

But come on, Gareth is really appalling: sexist, deluded, homophobic, etc. And you know, Tim is the only character who has any time for Brent, acknowledging the tragic character behind the eagerness-to-be-liked. When Brent asks his staff who wants to go out for a drink with him, only Tim agrees.

I don't think he'd have agreed to go out with Gareth.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 12:51 pm:   

Tim is also a coward. He constantly expresses silent contempt for his colleagues yet refuses to take the risk and go do that degree to aspire. He's still procrastinating even when Dawn leaves. Maybe it's better the Devil you know for him, but he's only 30 and has options. I don't think his parents would have had them. And he bottles it.

It's layered, you see. Not as cut and dried as you make out. Even Brent redeems himself at the end, making us realise that for all his faults, all he ever wanted to do was entertain us, make the soulless, dispiriting life that is working for a living a little more bearable.

The real cunts in The Office are Gareth and Finchy. And they're all too real (in my experience).
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 12:53 pm:   

Gareth doesn't want to entertain anyone: he just wants others to think he's great. And Finchy wants to fuck them or belittle them. They're both sadists.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.191.189
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 02:00 pm:   

Gary - I think your probably right. I think much of my not being sure of the Office comes from a bit of a dislike I have for Gervais. A lot of The Office is spot on but I seem to have gone into hyper-critical mode on it. I think it does make errors of judgement but I've not been very forgiving. Yes, Foot in Grave does lack depth but recently it made me laugh out long and loud at a time when I needed it and so I took it as being 'great art.' Office makes me uncomfortable most of the time and I'm resenting it those feelings. Maybe I need to watch it in a better frame of mind. Same goes with Family Guy - right now it just makes me wince and be a bit upset. I still find casual death in comedy - and especially cartoons - hard to take.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 02:12 pm:   

Fair enough, mate. We always bring our various selves to these things. I have a real dislike for Richard Curtis's stuff, but it's probably too strong for material that is essentially amiable.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.191.189
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 02:33 pm:   

No - his stuff grates on me too. In fact I hate it.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.191.189
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 02:34 pm:   

(Apart from his Doctor Who episode!)
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.26.180
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:18 pm:   

I certainly don't find one viewing exhausts Father Ted for me or Jenny. I first watched it after someone attacked it on Channel 4's Right to Reply for being anti-Irish and Graham Linehan referred to Flann O'Brien while defending it.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:39 pm:   

Maybe I'm being a little unfair, Ramsey. I do remember loving it on first viewing on TV. My second viewing - when I'd bought the DVDs - was a bit of a letdown. The jokes felt like traditional jokes - once heard, never the same. Whereas the laughs in, say, The Office just get funnier and funnier upon repeated viewing. Maybe because the comedy is grounded in realistic psychological observations. Father Ted's characters are not socially realistic - which is not a criticism, just an observation. And for me, at least, that kind of comedy fades quicker than the other, perhaps more theatrical stuff (Moliere/Ayckbournesque).
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:44 pm:   

Thing is, I have a real problem with sitcoms that include unrealistic idiots as comic characters. I find them cheap and obvious: here's an idiot and s/he's about to say something stupid . . . Even Blackadder (Baldrick)falls into this camp. Others include Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, Only Fools and Horses (the Trigger character). Yes, they're often hilarious (except VoD), but it just isn't good comedy. IN MY OPINION.

Great comedy, for me, generates its laughs without straining credibility. The Office, Fawlty Towers, Auf Weidersehen Pet, Porridge, Steptoe and Son, and more.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:47 pm:   

I suppose exceptions include comedy that seems to exist in a world of its own, often a slightly surreal one. Bottom, Laurel and Hardy, Mighty Boosh. And yes, OK, Father Ted can be located there.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 03:48 pm:   

[Cue Weber coming in with anti-Boosh rant:-)]
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 04:16 pm:   

Analyising comedy is like dancing about architecture, man. It's either funny or it isn't, and what's hilarious for one person is unfunny for another.

Personally, I treasure anything that genuinely makes me laugh. Laughter's too thin on the ground these days not to.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 04:17 pm:   

Thing is, I have a real problem with sitcoms that include unrealistic idiots as comic characters.

Basil Fawlty? Manuel? Derek Trotter?

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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 04:25 pm:   

None of them are unrealistic idiots. Not in the same way that the characters in, say, Vicar of Dibley are. Basil Fawlty in particular in a masterpiece of psychological observation. Derek Trotter is not in the same class as a creation of depth, but he's at least realistic.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 04:32 pm:   

Manuel isn't an idiot, either. He just doesn't understand English very well.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 04:37 pm:   

Whereas this character is just cheap and moronic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MsbvGmLaU4
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.130.45
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 05:02 pm:   

I do actually know a couple of people that stupid... I used to work in a warehouse and she would have been intelligent in comparison with a couple of the guys there.

First time I watched father Ted I wasn't all that keen, but the next time I watched an episode it suddenly clicked and I've loved it ever since.

Funniest home grown programme on telly for me at the moment is Mongrels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNRHLXKuXpQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lefH8cAzDco&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFslNAqY0uM&feature=related
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 05:54 pm:   

Hmm. If you say so.

Even if that's true, loads of people in Vicar of Dibley are like that. The cumulative effect is ridiculous.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 07:15 pm:   

while Father Ted might be panto, I find it one of the most rewatchable of all the above.

Regarding the Office, I think Finchy was the only true villain. Gareth had a nervous fragility that I think saved him to some degree, despite his mountain of shortcomings. But Finchy was nothing but an arrogant bully, and I loved the way Brent was matey with him (subserviently so) because of the confidence and wisecracking, but finally realised he's a wanker. That "Fuck off" was a great moment of closure, amongst many.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 07:27 pm:   

Yeah, Matthew, you have a point: when Gareth starts crying when Brent announces he's moving on. Playing with the hole-punch paper: "It's like confetti." Great moment. (Life's Too Short has none of this tragi-comic complexity.)
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 08:35 pm:   

It does. I just feel as though Life's Too Short has run out of steam.

And regarding the Office, I like what you said about Tim's cowardice. I'd not really thought of him like that before, just very passive, but you're right.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 09:53 pm:   

"It does" was supposed to be an agreement, sorry.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 10:17 pm:   

Life's Too Short is the funniest thing on telly, for me...it's absolutely hilarious.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 10:21 pm:   

I started off really liking Life's Too Short but it's not really going anywhere, somehow. It still makes me laugh but The Office it ain't.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.125.199
Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 11:40 pm:   

"come on, Gareth is really appalling"

Not at all. He's ignorant, but rarely malicious. But unlike Tim, he's true to himself.

I found the same thing eventually happening with his counterpart in the US OFFICE. Though it's far below the UK version as a performance, Dwight Shrute is resourseful, independent and again, true to himself.

I actually found the new boss, Neil, was possibly the least trustworthy of any character, Finchy included. That little look to camera he gave after he goads Brent into asking for two tickets to the Christmas party indicated malicious intent and sadism. It deftly suggested that the man was a crocodile.

I found LIFE'S TOO SHORT both offensive and offensively unfunny, I'm afraid.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 08:21 am:   

My feelings, too, Mick. It lacks the depth of The Office and the cleverness of Extras. It's funny, yes, but it's not a classic like the other two are. (But the Liam Neeson sketch was arguably the funniest thing I've seen in years.)
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 08:25 am:   

Gareth not malicious?

What about his homophobic comments ("I'm not homophobic. Come round my house and look at my CD collection: George Michael, Queen, Elton John - they're all bummers.")?

His fondness for jokes about disability ("I like the one about the wanking mitt.")?

The way he chats up the new woman in the office ("Just so you know: if you expect me to go in there [points at her groin] after him, you'll have to wear a condom. It's kind of a rule.)?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.141.211.203
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:48 am:   

I like Gareth though. There was a really sweet little bit where he was compering the quiz and when Tim's team won he really cheered, and was unhappy when Finchy initially got up to contest it. Gareth wants to go with the flow and wants to be liked, too. But he wants to be stronger than he is. He's the one I worry about the most actually, the most childish.
Oh, blow it - The Office must be good if we're still talking about it like this and seeing all these things in it.
Life's Too Short had one great epsiode - the one with Johnny Depp. I was almost ill laughing at that. I hope it gets some good parts for the little bloke, who's been fantastic in it.
()
(BTW a funny thing - it's hilarious to listen to the Willow commentary now after LTS. It's like he's in character. At the end he describes Val Kilmer having to throw a cigarette away at the beginning of a shot and having to 'fish it out of an extra's blouse'. It's straight out of LTS.)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.141.211.203
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 11:50 am:   

And to go back to the top of this thread - looks like we don't have to worry now, doesn't it?
Funny how things turn out. A career shorter than the memory of The Office.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 12:03 pm:   

"Gareth not malicious?"

Yep. None of the examples you cite are malicious, just ignorant. He used the word "coloured" too. The point being, he was trying to be sensitive.

No, the only time Gareth was at all malicious was when it looked like he was going to be the new boss and hinted that he was going to start bossing TIm about.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

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Posted From: 86.141.211.203
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 12:09 pm:   

There were times we saw Tim being quite subtly mean to Gareth, feigning friendship, and Gareth was like a puppy, thought Tim was putting out an olive branch and being really quite sweet. They were quite sad, those bits - and yes, realistic.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:01 pm:   

>>The point being, he was trying to be sensitive.

I think the point in The Office is that both Gareth and Brent try to say the right thing to the camera, in the disclosure interviews. But they give away their true attitudes in action. Brent often looks at the camera, aware of the contradictions between what he's told the interviewers and what he constantly gives away. The show brilliantly examines the guft between the way we account for our behaviour and the things we do. What George Herbert Mead calls "I" and "me".

This is why I find later work disappointing. In The Office, it was like Gervais and Merchant were hilariously funny guys influenced as much by Dostoevsky as by any comedian. But now they've settled for the simpler, shallower stuff.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:15 pm:   

(Incidentally, Proto, how can telling a woman to use contraceptive in case she wants to shag him later be regarded as "trying to be sensitive"?!)
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:40 pm:   

"The show brilliantly examines the guft between the way we account for our behaviour and the things we do."

Yes, and my point is that that gap is smaller in Gareth than it is in either Brent or Tim, which is an admirable trait.

(Incidentally, Proto, how can telling a woman to use contraceptive in case she wants to shag him later be regarded as "trying to be sensitive"?!)

It wasn't, I was just referring to the example I gave in context. To summarise: he's more ignorant than malicious and regarding that one incident his attempt at racial sensitivity was an attempt at racial sensitivity.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:41 pm:   

(To clarify, by "one incident" I mean him using the word "coloured")
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:44 pm:   

>>>>Yes, and my point is that that gap is smaller in Gareth than it is in either Brent or Tim, which is an admirable trait.

Er, well, I don't agree with that at all. But it's cool. I hear what you're saying.

PS I don't think we could talk about LTS or Extras in this way. Case closed. :-)
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:49 pm:   

He's living an authentic life and is true to himself. While Tim and Brent hang around uncomfortably in Chasers nightclub, he goes up and talks to women. He talks bollocks, but he makes an effort. While Tim pines over Dawn and refuses to take control of his life, Gareth is sitting in a sidecar being taken home for a threesome. He's an idiot and I wouldn't want to work in the same building as him, but he at least not lying to himself and rationalising cowardice like the others. He's probably the most alive of any of the characters.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:51 pm:   

Good points. I never thought of it that way. I shall rewatch the show (for the umpteenth time) with those notions in mind. Cheers!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:52 pm:   

Yes, Tim = Fear of Freedom a la Erich Fromm.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:55 pm:   

Yeah, The Office must be good if it can be rewatched through different lenses. Every two years or so I dig it out and give it another spin. Good character comedy doesn't date.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 01:58 pm:   

Absolutely. That's the point I was trying to make above. There's something enduring about comedy that emerges from character and situation, and all the better if it's rich and real. Much of the rest is just punchline stuff, once known always known.

Do you like Ayckbourn, Proto?
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 02:04 pm:   

I'm not familiar with his work, Gary.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 02:05 pm:   

Seek it out. He has the same tone and range as The Office: dark, hilarious and true.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

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Posted From: 78.152.204.65
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 02:26 pm:   

Thanks!
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 03:03 pm:   

I thought it was great when Gareth started bossing Tim around, once in charge. His ignorance and crass behaviour pushed me away early, his insecurities and moments of heart drew me back, for my opinion then to be challenged again.
So many layered and real characters.

Thanks to Gary, Tony, Proto and all for some great food for thought. The Office is going on the rewatch pile. Superb television.
And I need to keep a closer eye on Tim, and definitely Neil, this time around.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

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Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 03:36 pm:   

Future GCSE question: Tim and Dawn in The Office scapegoat Gareth as a way of achieving forbidden intimacy, endorsing their own suppressed heterosexual desires by alluding to his latent homosexuality. Discuss.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.36.203
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 07:38 pm:   

More likely: The X-Factor panel repesent a sit-specific cross-section of British culture and sub-culture while positing the thesis that she is not, in fact, all that, innit. Bicker.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.36.203
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 07:38 pm:   

site-specific
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 07:43 pm:   

And there I was thinking you'd missed an "h" out of "sit" instead, Proto!
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 12:02 am:   

Aussie Steve Hughes did a good routine talking about X-Factor (which he recently watered down for Live at the Apollo)

Went something like this:

"If you watch X-Factor, you should self-harm. It’s virtually what you’re doing anyway to your intellect, spirit and human dignity.

England, the country that brought you Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Venom, Motorhead, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, The Damned, The Jam, The Clash, The Smiths, The Cure, The Sex Pistols, Queen, Jarvis Cocker, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Supertramp, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy.

After that resume, if you watch the X-Factor, you're a cunt.
You're a corporate shell taking part in the downfall of your own country's cultural history."
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 11:55 am:   

Sample conversations to prove that her from VOD is not unrealistically stupid. These are absolutely genuine as much as I wish they weren’t.

Me – Bloody hell, they’ve put petrol prices up again
Isaac (second stupidest person I’ve ever worked with) – It doesn’t bother me, I only ever put £10 in
Me – What?
Isaac – I only ever put 310 in so I’m not bothered
Me- But you’re not getting as much for your £10
Isaac – but it doesn’t matter because I’m not spending any more am I?
Me – but you’re not getting as much so you’re spending your £10 more often…
Isaac – but I’m still only spending £10 a time so it doesn’t matter.

At about this point I gave up.

Me – What’s 20 per cent of 100?
Isaac – How the fuck should I know!

Not a conversation as such, but a quote from Bernard (the stupidest person I’ve ever worked with…

Bernard – You know when we put pre-noon down for the delivery time… what time’s noon?

And finally we’ll have a short conversation with a girl called Lauren, the third stupidest person I’ve ever worked with. She thought she looked like Jordan but was more like a fat and not quite as pretty Jade Goody but thankfully without the racism. This took place on 5th November

Me – Damn, it’s raining. Hope that doesn’t put out the bonfire tonight.
Lauren – Why would it do that?
Me – because it’s raining…
Lauren – but water doesn’t put out fires?
Me - Erm… yes it does, what do you think firemen spray on fires?
Lauren – I don’t know.
Me – what’s in that fire extinguisher there?
Lauren – I don’t know
Me – Read the label
Lauren – It says it’s water
Me – That’s because it is
Lauren – but water doesn’t put out fires. Why would they put it in a fire extinguisher…

At this point about 3 other people chipped in to explain that she was wrong. After a quarter of an hour we’d managed to explain it to her.

I’ve also had conversations with a girl who was totally convinced that the first auditions you see on X-factor are actually the first round of auditions and not the 6th round that they actually are. She still didn’t believe me even though I was explaining to her that I was there at the first set of auditions and the judges certainly weren’t and I pointed out the simple maths, at 5 minutes in front of the judges each, it would take more than a week with no breaks to audition 25,000 acts. To this day she still doesn’t believe me.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 12:26 pm:   

So for you, Weber, Vicar of Dibley is a documentary . . .

Sorry, whatever 'evidence' you provide, it's still cheap comedy, getting laughs out of obvious sources. It's pantomime. It has its place, but it's just not very good. It might even make my laugh, but the humour won't stay with me. It has nothing to say.

I'm not saying comedy has to say something, but I am saying that good comedy says something. That's what make it good comedy.

Just my opinion.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 01:01 pm:   

Father Ted is far more pantomime humour than VoD. Every performance is overplayed, every character (like VoD) has their own eccentricity and next to Father Dougal, Alice belongs in Mensa.

I'm not claming VoD to be a masterpiece - it certainly isn't - but it makes me laugh, and that's all that really matters. I was simply refuting your claim that the characters are unrealistically stupid.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 01:28 pm:   

Yeah, but Father Ted has a surreal brilliance; it occupies its own world. VoD is an attempt at creating something like a socially realistic world, but embeds inside it a cast of morons. I can take one moron in a sit-com - eg, Trigger in OFaH - but not loads of them. The OFaH spin-off Green Green Grass was the same: cheap and nasty. I don't expect Curtis to know better, but I did expect Sullivan to.

Sorry. Just my view.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 01:29 pm:   

>>>but it makes me laugh, and that's all that really matters

I can't argue with that at all. But in fairness, that's isn't what I've been trying to do here.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:05 pm:   

A bloke I know once stared thoughtfully at the turbines of a wind farm, and then asked in all seriousness, "Do they run on electricity?"

I think Weber's right in that the stupidity of any individual line is perfectly realistic. But I think it's the cumulative effect of relentlessly daft characters and dialogue in the likes of VoD and Father Ted that make it panto, and therefore unrealistic as a whole.

I can enjoy VoD in small measures, but I adore Father Ted. It doesn't have any of the layers, pathos, psychology or development of The Office, but I'm glad to be honest. Top of its game.
And while I'll never forget Tim and Dawn's relationship, or Brent finally getting that genuine laugh during the Christmas party photo, I'll also treasure 8 priests lost in the largest lingerie department in Ireland, and Sister Assumpta whipping Dick Byrne around the garden in his underpants.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:18 pm:   

"Yeah, but Father Ted has a surreal brilliance; it occupies its own world. VoD is an attempt at creating something like a socially realistic world, but embeds inside it a cast of morons"

I agree with that. My previous post was cross-posted.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:25 pm:   

So there, Webbyboy.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 02:52 pm:   

I liked the sprout-eating contest, but Blackadder is much more my thing with Curtis.

Incidentally, my mom is a retired priest and she likes VoD, but howled when I tentatively introduced her to Father Ted (Cigarettes and alcochol and rollerblading). Currently trying to get her to watch Rev.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 03:04 pm:   

'Father Ted' is in the great nod-and-a-wink tradition of the Irish poking fun at ourselves while showing how damn clever we are at the same time. Like all the best zany comedy it creates its own fractured reality that is ever so slightly disturbing for all the hilarity.

Sadly the same thing cannot be said of genuinely pantomimic, and crassly unfunny, Irish sitcoms like 'Give My Head Peace' or 'Mrs Brown's Boys'. They make 'The Vicar Of Dibley' appear to have all the wit and elegance of an Oscar Wilde play by comparison!
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.254.46
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 03:28 pm:   

Weber - I laughed out loud at your office discussions! Cheers for brightening up a miserable, rainy day!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 05:40 pm:   

I knew a guy at university who had a grade A in history A level. But he just couldn't get it into his head that the black keys on a piano keyboard can be both sharps and flats. Weird.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 05:58 pm:   

Zany visual comedy, that presents the impossible happening as everyday reality, belongs squarely in the fantasy genre and is my favourite brand of comedy. This can be used for broad slapstick laughs (Stan drinking the contents of a barrel of water and ballooning nightmarishly) or as grotesquely exaggerated satire (the Ministry of Silly Walks). We have the endlessy imaginative visual invention of silent cinema and cartoons to thank for all the best of these kind of gags. For me this is the realm in which comedy and horror are most closely linked... from Vyvyan losing his head in 'The Young Ones' to exploding pets in 'The League Of Gentlemen', etc. That's why I'm particularly fond of the early works of Peter Jackson and people like Frank Henenlotter.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.151.148.65
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 09:50 pm:   

Personally I think that people falling over is a far cheaper laugh than any spoken comic line, no matter how moronic, could ever be.

http://www.youtube.com/v/-_AiM0zzEIM&fs=1&source=uds&autoplay=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbGpPyDyyvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLKvponqV4Q
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 10:13 pm:   

I used to like Father Ted, but now I find it shrill and annoying.

Personally I think that people falling over is a far cheaper laugh than any spoken comic line, no matter how moronic, could ever be.

Damn right, Weber...
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 02:21 am:   

You're both talking shite.

The greatest and most hilarious comedy has the visual and verbal element in perfect synchrony. As evidence I would present; Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Brothers, Popeye, Bugs Bunny & friends, Sgt Bilko, the best of the Carry On films, early (funny) Mel Brooks, early (more obviously funny) Woody Allen, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Not The Nine O'Clock News, The Young Ones, Blackadder, Red Dwarf, Father Ted, Brass Eye, The League Of Gentlemen, etc, etc, etc.

Literary comedy; such as Hancock, Steptoe & Son, The Likely Lads, Porridge, The Office & Extras (which is every bit as clever and multi-layered as its forerunner)... exists in a more sedentary comedic world that goes right back to Dickens. And Ricky Gervais realised this in his juxtaposition of the two in Series 2 of 'Extras'.

The difference is in the medium and the full use of its visual possibilities as evidenced by the amount of belly laughs this results in - even amongst the intelligentsia. The only time literary comedy gets instinctive belly laughs is when it is matched with the visually hilarious. Just think about the stand-out scenes in 'The Office' that first made you warm to the show and prove that it is indeed exaggerated satire... the silly dance, the motivational speech, the lady in the wheelchair left on the stairs, etc...

I rest my case!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 09:29 am:   

>>>The only time literary comedy gets instinctive belly laughs is when it is matched with the visually hilarious.

Nonsense. Have you never heard of the "Ayckbourn roar"? It can be achieved on the radio, you know.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 10:01 am:   

The things that made me laugh most in The Office were not (necessarily) the visual stuff, but the most painfully accurate: Brent scurrying back and forth to his reference book to learn a little bit more about Dostoevsky to get one over on the student; Gareth trying to interrogate folk in military fashion in his own "invetigation[sic]" room; and the "I think there's been a rape up there!" sequence.

All very wordy stuff you could close your eyes and enjoy.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 10:51 am:   

I apologise for having an opinion which differs to yours, Stevie. How dare I be so bold.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 10:58 am:   

I'm a huge fan of the Marx Bros, but what's so resonant about their films are the witty lines from Groucho. Genius.

Conversely, I loved The Three Stooges when I was 8, but now can't watch them without cringing in embarassment.

And I agree with Gary Fry re: The Office. Clever writing outlasts cheap pratfalls.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 11:35 am:   

I nearly bust a gut laughing at 'Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story' last night. Inspired silliness! "You've gone smell blind", etc...

The Marx Brothers are the very epitome of visual and verbal humour in perfect synchrony. They wouldn't be half as hilarious if either element outshone the other. The walk, the moustache, the glasses, the cigar, as well as the machine-gun delivery of those lines are what make Groucho stick in the consciousness. While Harpo cracks me up every time just looking at the guy. Surreal madcap genius!

The Three Stooges are indeed pants. Abbott & Costello are bearable when in a strong enough vehicle. I'm a great fan of their Universal monster crossover films but their TV show was bloody awful.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.155.48.119
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 12:27 pm:   

We just watched all the Father Teds and it was better than the time previous. These characters felt real, and the performances just as layered as in The Office. When we got to see the final montage, knowing 'Ted' was dead and we'd never see the show again, we almost had to turn it off in misery.
Is there ever a 'both' argument here? Can two forms not exist happily in parallel?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 01:10 pm:   

Comedy is about laughing at the absurdity of life whether it be something we see or something we hear. My only point is that the laughs come hardest when both senses are stimulated simultaneously. Even Shakespeare understood this.

However, purely visual comedy, when performed with originality, death defying skill and impeccable timing - as in the silent era - is the most timeless of all, imho. Verbal humour tends to date and restricts the universality of the laughs. Interestingly I've been watching some Spanish language versions of old Laurel & Hardy shorts recently and have found myself laughing just as hard despite being unable to understand a word.

Well almost... the club singer's cry of "Horrible!" as he sprayed out a mixture of cold tea, tabasco and drain cleaner in 'La Vida Nocturna' (1930) was a priceless moment. And the extended drunk routine is actually superior to the English language version - the part when Stan starts weeping uncontrollably at some tragic ballad and Ollie tries to console him is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Stitches in the side hilarious.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 01:30 pm:   

Even Shakespeare understood this.

Yeah, even him - and he was as thick as a whale omelette.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.213.192
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 02:34 pm:   

Yeah, but he had to ask Christopher Marlowe first. Even he didn't know. So then they popped round to see Ben Johnson. Another blank. So finally, the three of them went to consult the greatest comedian of their age, who sorted them out instanter: Sir Bruce Forsooth.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 04:07 pm:   

Would 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' have been remotely as funny or lasted anywhere like as long without the silly costumes and sillier voices? I think not... for all its cleverness:


(Opening Scene : A sitting room straight out of H. Lawrence. Mum, wiping her hands on her apron is ushering in a young man in a suit. They are a Northern couple.)

Mum (Terry Jones): Oh dad, look who's come to see us. It's our Ken.

Dad (Graham Chapman): (without looking up) Aye, and about bloody time if you ask me.

Ken (Eric Idle): Aren't you pleased to see me, father?

Mum: (squeezing his arm reassuringly) Of course he's pleased to see you, Ken, he...

Dad: All right, woman, all right I've got a tongue in my head - I'll do 'talkin'. (looks at Ken distastefully) Aye... I like yer fancy suit. Is that what they're wearing up in Yorkshire now?

Ken: It's just an ordinary suit, father. It's all I've got apart from the overalls.

(Dad turns away with an expression of scornful disgust.)

Mum: How are you liking it down the mine, Ken?

Ken: Oh it's not too bad mum, we're using some new tungsten carbide drills for the preliminary coal-face scouring operations.

Mum: Oh that sounds nice, dear...

Dad: Tungsten carbide drills! What the bloody hell's tungsten carbide drills?

Ken: It's something they use in coal-mining, father.

Dad: (mimicking) 'It's something they use in coal-mining, father'. You're all bloody fancy talk since you left London.

Ken: Oh not that again.

Mum: He's had a hard day dear, his new play opens at the National Theatre tomorrow.

Ken: Oh that's good.

Dad: Good! Good? What do you know about it? What do you know about getting up at five o'clock in t'morning to fly to Paris, back at the Old Vic for drinks at twelve, sweating the day through press interviews, television interviews and getting back here at ten to wrestle with the problem of a homosexual nymphomaniac drug-addict involved in the ritual murder of a well known Scottish footballer. That's a full working day, lad, and don't you forget it!

Mum: Oh, don't shout at the boy, father.

Dad: Aye, 'ampstead wasn't good enough for you, was it? You had to go poncing off to Barnsley, you and yer coal-mining friends. (spits)

Ken: Coal-mining is a wonderful thing father, but it's something you'll never understand. Just look at you!

Mum: Oh Ken! Be careful! You know what he's like after a few novels.

Dad: Oh come on lad! Come on, out wi' it! What's wrong wi' me? You tit!

Ken: I'll tell you what's wrong with you. Your head's addled with novels and poems, you come home every evening reeling of Chateau La Tour...

Mum: Oh don't, don't.

Ken: And look what you've done to mother! She's worn out with meeting film stars, attending premieres and giving gala luncheons.

Dad: There's nowt wrong wi' gala luncheons, lad! I've had more gala luncheons than you've had hot dinners!

Mum: Oh please!

Dad: Aaaaaaagh! (clutches hands and sinks to knees)

Mum: Oh no!

Ken: What is it?

Mum: Oh, it's his writer's cramp!

Ken: You never told me about this.

Mum: No, we didn't like to, Kenny.

Dad: I'm all right! I'm all right, woman. Just get him out of here.

Mum: Oh Ken! You'd better go.

Ken: All right. I'm going.

Dad: After all we've done for him...

Ken: (at the door) One day you'll realize there's more to life than culture. There's dirt, and smoke, and good honest sweat!

Dad: Get out! Get out! Get OUT! You... LABOURER!

(Ken goes. Shocked silence. Dad goes to table and takes the cover off the typewriter.)

Dad: Hey, you know, mother, I think there's a play there. Get t'agent on t'phone.

Mum: Aye I think you're right, Frank, it could express, it could express a vital theme of our age.

Dad: Aye.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 08:52 pm:   

Stevie, I love you for posting that! Now *that's* what I call real comedy! None of yer poncy "Office" stuff, just good honest comedy ...
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.151.148.65
Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 09:11 pm:   

And now for some high brow humour. One of my favourite ever sketches

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhJQp-q1Y1s
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 07:31 am:   

Er, wasn't Stevie's "point" that the script without the acting/costume/gurning isn't as funny?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 09:56 am:   

Yes, and clearly he's wrong. That's hilarious even in script form.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 11:52 am:   

Hilarious in script form, side-splitting when listened to and positively pant-wetting when watched.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 12:57 pm:   

Hey, now that's strange because I hadn't noticed that at all. As I read the script Stevie posted I was also "watching" the sketch in my mind's eye (I'm a visualiser, so I visualise everything I read). I wonder if that does make a difference? Do you folks not visualise when you read?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 01:34 pm:   

>>>Hilarious in script form, side-splitting when listened to and positively pant-wetting when watched.

Stop that, that's silly.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 01:54 pm:   

When reading the script of something familiar like that, the words end up basically only acting as gentle prompts for the sketch running in my head.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 03:33 pm:   

Exactly.

Great comedy is every bit as visual as it is aural and cerebral. In that respect it is unique among all the genres. Which explains why it is so damn hard to pull off successfully in the purely written form. Larger than life characterisations with precise physical descriptions and intricately described outrageous events - as with Dickens or Sharpe - help us to visualise what any comedic narrative needs to provoke genuine belly laughs (rather than an appreciative grin or chuckle). IMHO.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 03:36 pm:   

So blind people can never enjoy great comedy?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 03:51 pm:   

They'd have problems with Chaplin or Keaton
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 03:58 pm:   

At least blind people can get the flavour of great comedy - and laugh just as hard at what they never missed - which is something forever denied the deaf when it comes to great music.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 04:49 pm:   

>>>At least blind people can get the flavour of great comedy

Have you asked anybody who is blind about this or are you just surmising?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 04:49 pm:   

This gets my vote as the most pointless debate ever on the RCMB - and there's some pretty stiff competition.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 04:57 pm:   

Yeah, sorry, I should have stuck to your thread on Facebook this morning about the human condition and Newt Kong.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 06:07 pm:   

Yep. That might have been wiser.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 11:33 am:   

As a great man once said:

"If it bends, it's funny, if it breaks it isn't funny."
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 11:44 am:   

Oh yeah?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybie0KEKDx0
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 11:47 am:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSDFUAoKmxI
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.183.126.98
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 12:55 pm:   

"Oooh, that's a bit of a nasty nick, isn't it?"
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 01:20 pm:   



And so we come full circle...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 03:24 pm:   

So Life's Too Short is over. The last episode was jolly good fun. My overall impression of it is that it was great fun but lacked the depth of G/Ms' earlier work. A good solid 7/10 (where The Office is 10 and Extras 9).
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Saturday, December 24, 2011 - 07:06 pm:   

Perfectly put: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/21/lifes-too-short-review_n_1162317.html
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 04:00 am:   

And now for something completely different:


(Cut to a city gent in his office. A sign on his desk says a 'Charman Knebter'. He is waiting to answer his phone. It rings; he answers.)

Banker (John Cleese): Hello? Ah, Mr Victim, yes, I'm glad to say that I've got the go-ahead to lend you the money you require. Yes, we will of course want as security the deeds of your house, of your aunt's house, of your second cousin's house, of your wife's parents' house, and of your grannie's bungalow, and we will in addition need a controlling interest in your new company, unrestricted access to your private bank account, the deposit in our vaults of your three children as hostages and a full legal indemnity against any acts of embezzlement carried out against you by any members of our staff during the normal course of their duties. No, I'm afraid we couldn't accept your dog instead of your youngest child, we would like to suggest a brand new scheme of ours under which 51% of both your dog and your wife pass to us in the event of your suffering a serious accident. Fine. No, not at all, nice to do business with you. (puts the phone down, speaks on intercom) Miss Godfrey, could you send in Mr Ford please. (to himself) Now where's that dictionary. Ah yes - here we are, inner life... inner life... (a knock on the door) Come in. (Mr Ford enters, he is collecting for charity with a tin) Ah, Mr Ford isn't it?

Mr Ford (Terry Jones): That's right, yes.

Banker: How do you do. I'm a merchant banker.

Mr Ford: How do you do Mr...

Banker: Er... I forget my name for the moment but I am a merchant banker.

Mr Ford: Oh. I wondered whether you'd like to contribute to the orphan's home. (he rattles the tin)

Banker: Well I don't want to show my hand too early, but actually here at Slater Nazi we are quite keen to get into orphans, you know, developing market and all that. What sort of sum did you have in mind?

Mr Ford: Well... er... you're a rich man.

Banker: Yes, I am. Yes. Yes, very very rich. Quite phenomenally wealthy. Yes, I do own the most startling quantities of cash. Yes, quite right. You're rather a smart young lad aren't you. We could do with somebody like you to feed the pantomime horse. Very smart.

Mr Ford: Thank you, sir.

Banker: Now, you were saying. I'm very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very rich.

Mr Ford: So er, how about a pound?

Banker: A pound. Yes, I see. Now this loan would be secured by the...

Mr Ford: It's not a loan, sir.

Banker: What?

Mr Ford: It's not a loan.

Banker: Ah.

Mr Ford: You get one of these, sir. (he gives him a flag)

Banker: It's a bit small for a share certificate isn't it? Look, I think I'd better run this over to our legal department. If you could possibly pop back on Friday...

Mr Ford: Well do you have to do that, couldn't you just give me the pound?

Banker: Yes, but you see I don't know what it's for.

Mr Ford: It's for the orphans.

Banker: Yes?

Mr Ford: It's a gift.

Banker: A what?

Mr Ford: A gift.

Banker: Oh a gift!

Mr Ford: Yes.

Banker: A tax dodge.

Mr Ford: No, no, no, no.

Banker: No? Well, I'm awfully sorry I don't understand. Can you just explain exactly what you want.

Mr Ford: Well, I want you to give me a pound, and then I go away and give it to the orphans.

Banker: Yes?

Mr Ford: Well, that's it.

Banker: No, no, no, I don't follow this at all, I mean, I don't want to seem stupid but it looks to me as though I'm a pound down on the whole deal.

Mr Ford: Well, yes you are.

Banker: I am! Well, what is my incentive to give you the pound?

Mr Ford: Well the incentive is to make the orphans happy.

Banker: (genuinely puzzled) Happy? You quite sure you've got this right?

Mr Ford: Yes, lots of people give me money.

Banker: What, just like that?

Mr Ford: Yes.

Banker: Must be sick. I don't suppose you could give me a list of their names and addresses could you?

Mr Ford: No, I just go up to them in the street and ask.

Banker: Good lord! That's the most exciting new idea I've heard in years! It's so simple it's brilliant! Well, if that idea of yours isn't worth a pound I'd like to know what is. (he takes the tin from Ford)

Mr Ford: Oh, thank you, sir.

Banker: The only trouble is, you gave me the idea before I'd given you the pound. And that's not good business.

Mr Ford: Isn't it?

Banker: No, I'm afraid it isn't. So, um, off you go. (he pulls a lever opening a trap door under Ford's feet and Ford falls through with a yelp) Nice to do business with you.


Silly, moi?

A Very Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to all here...

Vive la Révolution!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.67.130
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 08:35 am:   

Stevie, I'm sorry but we may have a copyright issue with all this.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 12:37 pm:   

You couldn't make it up!
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.37.147
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - 11:10 am:   

We do have a copyright issue. A brief quote or brief summary is fair usage, the entire script of a sketch (however enjoyable) is not.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.131.110.92
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2012 - 12:08 pm:   

Just watched the end of series one of The Office now. I do like Gareth, faults and all. That bit where he was crying nearly had me crying, too.

'It's like confetti...' :-(
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.29.56.240
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2012 - 12:15 pm:   

Yes, but having rewatched a few episodes with the above in mind, I still think he's a cunt. And Tim, for all his minor faults, is the one I'd pal up with.

To hell with this contrarian attitude.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.131.110.92
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2012 - 12:18 pm:   

But I think he could be won round, or made friendly. I've known people like him. Tim actually makes a huge shift at the end that would be quite devasting for his peace of mind in reality. Gareth is actually making a kind of clumsy, steady progress.
In all, there are few really horrible people in the show - just sad ones.
It's great!
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.29.56.240
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2012 - 01:54 pm:   

>>>In all, there are few really horrible people in the show - just sad ones.

Yes, that's true, Tony. Even Finchy seems like a sad single bloke. You get the impression that nobody will live with him because he's such an sadistic shit. Hence him chasing skirt all the time. When he's fifty, he'll probably gas himself.
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Matthew Fryer (Matthew_fryer)
Username: Matthew_fryer

Registered: 08-2009
Posted From: 94.12.171.50
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 01:46 am:   

I get Gareth's potential, but still wouldn't want to hang around him. Tim would be pleasant to work with.

"When he's fifty, he'll probably gas himself."

Very probably. He never progressed beyond cocky teenager, and getting too old for all that will hit him hard.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.116.62
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 02:28 am:   

In the last ep, Poor Gareth was genuinely hurt when Lee told him he was being wound up.

Doesn't anyone watch the US version? Once you get past the first season, in some ways it's better than the UK one. I think Michael Scott is one of the truly great comic characters.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.49.77
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 05:06 am:   

Proto, I watch it, and I agree with you. Dwight is a great character too.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.102.71.240
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 08:27 am:   

I really must watch the US version, but why do they always have to make so many?
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 03:58 pm:   

Michael Scott, on having to admit to a class of school kids that he won't honour his promise to pay all their college fees.

"Of all the lies I've ever told, this was, by far, the most generous."
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 04:14 pm:   

but why do they always have to make so many?

Exactly my problem with most American TV shows as well... they never know when to leave well enough alone.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 04:35 pm:   

>>Exactly my problem with most American TV shows as well... they never know when to leave well enough alone.<<

Unlike shows like Fawlty Towers, where they said they'd do just 12, and they did just 12 - leaving the viewer thinking "why, oh why, can't we have more like this?" Always leave 'em wanting more, that's a good philosophy!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.50.57
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 04:47 pm:   

I'd rather watch a TV series with anything from 12-24 episodes a year than one with a paltry 4-8, which seems to be an average number for many UK shows. I don't buy the 'less is better' argument. There are plenty of non-UK shows that maintain their high standards despite a higher episode count. On the other hand, shows are often longer in the UK - nearly an hour in some cases, as opposed to the usual 40+ minutes in the States.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.183.126.48
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 06:21 pm:   

I don't buy the 'less is better' argument.

Personally I don't buy the 'more is better' line either! I try to judge everything on quality, not quantity.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.5.2
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 11:26 pm:   

"but why do they always have to make so many?"

Are Shakespeare's sonnets of lower quality because he wrote 154 of them?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.133.110
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 12:16 am:   

Well.... actually...

That one that goes - Shall I compare thee to a summer's day/ Thou makest me hot and sweaty - is a bit pants.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.202.2
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 01:07 pm:   

"Personally I don't buy the 'more is better' line either! I try to judge everything on quality, not quantity."

Me too, Mick. Ultimately it's the quality that counts.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.40.152
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 04:18 pm:   

I'm more concerned about having zero time to watch them. Once I've finished work and then done some writing or whatever, I have about an hour spare.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.16.41
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 04:51 pm:   

That's true. The good thing though is that without adverts each US Office ep is just only about 22 mins long; a mere amuse bouche.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.40.152
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 05:36 pm:   

I tried to watch The West Wing. Even season 1 (of 8) is gruelling.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.17.71
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 10:13 pm:   

I hate to be the one to break this to you, Gary, but you don't like The West Wing.

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