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Speakers Corner


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How Quick is Your Sense of Humour?


fourm member

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When I went out this morning a new comedy started on Radio 4. After about a minute, I decided it wasn't my sort of comedy and changed station.

It made me wonder about how people evaluate new comedy (and then I realised that includes an assumption).

So, the first question is, are you receptive to new comedy programmes or do you look for comedians you know you enjoy and only try a new programme if one of them is involved?

And, second, if you are willing to give unknown comedy a try, how long does it take for you to decide if it suits? Are you willing to sit through a full programme to see if it comes right?

For example, at 9pm tonight, is it Dave Allan on BBC2 or the new sitcoms on ITV?

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Forum Editor

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I tend to stumble upon new comedians - usually when my wife is out, or away on a trip, and I'm channel-surfing.

I find that where comedy is concerned reality often exceeds expectation - 'Vicious', the new series with Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen is a case in point. I looked forward to last night's first episode, but within fifteen minutes I was struggling to keep watching; it was, in my opinion, quite awful.

I find many of the 'new' comedians, with their apparent reliance on obscenities, rather juvenile.

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Batch

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I haven't watched Vicious yet (maybe tonight), but you've rather confirmed my suspicions. Oh well!

There was that other thing recently also with Derek Jacobi (where an elderly couple get reacquainted after never quite getting it together when they were young). I really didn't see the point and gave up.

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Woolwell

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Some of the reviews on both of the ITV shows have been quite poor.

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interzone55

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I suppose that my answer would depend on a few factors.

For instance I would seldom give a sitcom on ITV a second glance, as it's very rare that anything on that channel has made me laugh, Same would be true for BBC 3, but a sitcom on BBC2 or Ch 4 would raise my interest if I knew anyone in it or the writers.

I find sitcoms to be tiresome on the whole though as I can't abide canned laughter.

Instead I prefer stand-up, or their off-spring the panel show.

Most years I attend the Latitude music & arts festival in Suffolk, and they have a very reliable comedy tent where we spend most days, watching a mix of new stand-ups, famous TV stand-ups and students on the open-mic spots. From this stage I've found many comedians who I try to see when they appear at the Grand in Lancaster (over the Easter break we saw Marcus Brigstocke, Terry Alderton & Phill Jupitus there).

I suppose the problem is similar to discovering new music, a good friend has a music web-site and she's regularly inundated with demos (they used to be tapes & 7" singles, now it's emails with MP3s attached or you tube links). Her problem is that some days she'd have to spend several hours listening to them all, which isn't ideal when she also has a full time job and a young child, so she generally gives the track 30 seconds at the most to grab her, otherwise it's skipped...

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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Found Vicious disappointing

Tired old jokes more suited to the Seventies.

I did think Derek Jacobi sounded very much like Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served.

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Woolwell

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I often find that my enjoyment of a programme is in inverse proportion to the amount of trailers ie a high number of trailers = poor programme.

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Aitchbee

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... a topnotch football pundit said tonight, during the half-time interval of the big match;- " there's a lot more football to be played in the second half. " [Lee Dixon] That was funny.

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john bunyan

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Tastes change. I used to like the Goon Show, Monty Python, but they seem dated now. The "Round the Horn" radio show was well ahead of its time and I still find it funny (Tapes). These days I like Victoria Wood. The "Vicious" program looked boring in the trailer so I avoided it.

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Batch

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What get's me with the likes of The Wright Way and Vicious is that the writer presumably thinks it funny, as do the producers to the extent that a series is commissioned and "good" money is spent churning out such dire programmes.

Maybe there is a section of society that really does appreciate such poorly written and badly produced trash (maybe the same people that like Coronation Street, Eastenders, Towie etc.).

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Woolwell

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I think its like the "emperor has no clothes on". They all say how good and wonderful it is, what a great writer, what a great cast but no one says "what a load of rubbish".

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