Let Me Entertain You


 Conley and the gang

If you need further proof, aside from Big Brother that is, that moronic dimwits are ten to the penny, then just sit down at half past six on a weekday and watch Let Me Entertain You. In fact, don’t. I’ve suffered so you don’t have to. If you’re not familiar with this shocking volcano of horseshit, then allow me to enlighten you – it’s basically a variety show hosted by Brian ‘arse-juice’ Conley, who freakishly doesn’t seem to have aged at all in the last 15 years. Conley kicks off each sorry episode by singing a song, usually one already completely overplayed such as ‘I’ve got you under my skin’ or some other such shit. Each act featured must keep the live studio audience entertained for three minutes. If they manage to do so, they win £1,000 and make it through to the final heats, covered in later episodes.

The catch is that each audience member has a button (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? style) which they press when they’ve had enough. When 50% of the audience are sufficiently bored, the act is cut short and must leave the stage. The trouble is that audience members are suckers for talentless and thoroughly sickening little brats. When I say sickening, is a medley of songs from The Sound Of Music performed by two young sisters – in nun’s clothing, no less – sickening enough for you?

The guiltiest of this particular parade of idiots though are not so much those who appear onstage (at least they’re trying, bless ’em), but the ones who make up the majority of the audience, as whenever a half decent act takes the stage (on one occasion a group of breakdancers, for example) half the twats have pressed their buttons about 30 seconds or so through the performance, meaning that often the act are off the stage after a minute as the audience silently take the piss.

Other than small children, the only others who seem to flourish in such a harsh environment are karaoke-type parrots who mindlessly mimick their way through hideous ‘chart busters’.

Like all variety shows, tackiness is key and although this, the second series, clearly has a more substantial production budget than the first, it still feels inexcusably cheap. What’s worse, however is that this show emphasises the very worst aspects of the two sides of the coin. On the one hand is the quality of entertainment available and more importantly what people qualify as being entertainment in the first place. Jugglers, can-can dancers, dated magic acts and Christina Aguilera wannabes make up the bulk of the show’s content; forms of entertainment which are either well past their prime or just plain horrific. Secondly, the format of the show. Regardless of how good the acts will be, the very concept of the show only serves to highlight the tragic point we appear to have reached in our desperation to be adequately amused for three minutes.

It is now a celebrated fact that the general British public is an extremely fickle lot, whose attention span is so pathetically short that it is in danger of sliding out of existence altogether.

I suppose the success (if that’s what it is) of this show, lies within the concept of giving the public their very own chance to be a Simon Cowell for half an hour by crudely putting an abrupt end to those performances deemed crap. Like Cowell though, the studio audience have no idea what constitutes real talent and in the end, it simply comes down to personal preference. Add this aspect to the fact that the age of the average audience member is between 40 – 60, and it’s no wonder the less offensive and more middle-of-the-road acts are the ones emerging most successful. Let Me Entertain You truly is fodder for Britain’s X-Factor generation. A phenomena which seems to have practically taken over not just most of Britain’s youth culture, but seemingly three quarters of Britain in general – regardless of age. In fact the word culture is a misnomer in this sense, as that is seemingly exactly what is lacking.

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18 Responses to “Let Me Entertain You”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    It’s pretty bad, but have you seen Britain’s Got Talent?
    It’s inexcusable shit.
    Basically the same premise, except a Trisha audience is transplanted into the spectators area and allowed to bay, boo and scream blue murder at the acts before three berks (Cowell, Amanda Holden and P Morgan) fascististically (if that’s a word) buzz them off. Compared to that, Let Me Entertain You is a vision of democracy and good manners.

  2. piqued Says:

    Frankly, I don’t know how you can sit through this stuff without wishing to get hold of a firearm and nipping off down the high street randomly taking pot shots at passers by

  3. Joe C Says:

    *looks guilty*

    I watched Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday night, and there was a man with a monkey puppet that mimed along to ‘Earth Song’ by Michael Jackson. I laughed an awful lot. Then a phone salesman came on and sang ‘Nessun Dorma’ and it was pretty incredible, although Holden’s patronising of the man afterwards made me want to climb in the telly and slap her.

    I dunno, maybe I was just a bit tired and suggestible, but when the people actually WERE talented, it was quite good. The format was awful mind you. It’s probably best to skip the heats and just wait until the finals, when all the chaff will hopefully have been booed to death.

    And Proudfoot is right about the general public – they are idiots. I can’t stand it when kids sing – Winifred’s School Choir and the Mini-Pops destroyed that for me. But Grannies seem to love it, especially when the children are missing their front teeth. Makes me wonder if there aren’t parents out there, forcibly bashing out their offspring’s gnashers with hammers to ensure votes.

  4. Swineshead Says:

    JC, the episode I saw featured an old man with obvious mental deficiencies doing some sort of yoga dancing. The crowd booed like mentals and screamed ‘OFF, OFF, OFF’. It was hard to watch, so I turned it off.

  5. piqued Says:

    What were you doing watching ITV by the way?

    It’s good for Formula one, apart from that the entire network is pitched at those who wear jogging pants to Iceland and eat KFC on the street with their mouths open

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Because I don’t ban myself from watching any particular channel and don’t have a superiority complex.

  7. piqued Says:

    Superiority complex? Moi?

    Oh come come you silly little man

  8. Dave Medlo Says:

    Brian Conley showed me his arse once, and it’s got a ‘No Entry’ sign tattooed on it.

    That’s a true story. Also, my Dad used to write for him. Also true.

  9. Joe C Says:

    I was banned from watching ITV when I was a lad. It’s amazing how many people I have met over the years for whom this was also true. It seems that lots of parents shared Piqued’s view.

  10. Swineshead Says:

    JC – that means you missed out on Dave Allen, Clive James and a fair few other TV treats. It’s not all bad. 99% is shit, admittedly, but Harry Hill flies the flag for the good stuff at the moment.

    Dave – please detail the circumstances of the arse-bearing Conley immediately.

  11. piqued Says:

    Actually, let ME entertainment you

    *high kicks*

    *splits ball bag*

    *slips on fluid*

    *breaks femur*

    *snaps femoral artery*

    *blood blood blood*

    *dies to applause*

  12. Swineshead Says:

    Is it possible to get your ballbag surgically split into two so that you have a bag for each ball?

  13. piqued Says:

    Yes, I think Gucci do them

  14. Rosszszsss Says:

    Joe C – I feel your pain.

    Some of the things I was banned from watching as a child included:
    – nearly all of ITV
    – Grange Hill
    – Dallas
    – Dynasty
    – Anything that made my mother tut, which included most things on television, as the very sight of a television makes my mother tut, filled as they are with depravity and swears.

    I was allowed to watch Press Gang though.

    These constraints mean that as an adult I rarely watch anything on telly unless it is almost entirely devoid of merit. Yesterday I watched Big Brother, Big Brother on the Couch and Big Brother: Where Are They Now. Then I killed myself dead.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    I was allowed to watch whatever the bloody hell I wanted, which is probably why I’m addicted to rubbish horror films.

  16. piqued Says:

    I wasn’t allowed to watch Tiswas, which is ironic as my parents have had personal ‘dealings’ with Tarrant and they like him


    I wasn’t allowed to watch the Hammer House of Horror either which well pissed me orf don’t you know

    NOR was I allowed to watch Scatting Danish Spunk Nurses, my parents R SO UNFARE

  17. Badger Madge Says:

    JC: I saw the same ep and cried like a girl when the fat, yglu opera man got thru (sorry folks).

    As for banned programmes:
    Grange Hill
    Aliens (something about Aliens in the Family?)
    Nightmare (after it gave me them)

  18. Matt Says:

    I wasn’t allowed to watch Starsky and Hutch or OTT (the adult version of Tiswas) but only because they were on at 10pm. Then I was allowed my own TV so basically watched what I (and my bro) wanted.

    Oh, and Benny Hill..but I’ve never found it funny so don’t think I missed out.

    My nan used to tut at some of the stuff we were allowed to watch, but my mum sneeringly told me she laughed at her when she suggested we watch something like Blue Peter instead.

    I think my mum got the balance just right.

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