Commercial Breakdown


According to the biography on his website Jimmy Carr is “one of the most original and distinctive stars on television, radio, stage and the big screen” which is particularly interesting as he’s currently reading an autocue of other peoples material to a canned laughter track, having taken over a position once filled by not only Jaspar Carrott, but also Rory McGrath, Jim Davidson and Jon Culshaw. Wow. Jimmy Carr must be a megastar.

There’s two sides to Jimmy Carr – one is an award winning stand up comedian and the other is a clip show veteran who has a penchant for taking anything offered to him, both of which cancel each other out. Carr may very well be a talented performer but his work on the stage is eclipsed by his shit-trawling TV work, equally his variety-act level TV patter would be perfectly acceptable were it not for the fact you know that at heart he believes himself to be an edgy comedian who’s taking the money and reigning himself in.

Take Commercial Breakdown, for example. It’s a footnote in the schedules, a lazy half hour filler of foreign purchasing that was barely noticed when it reappeared on our screens so exactly why does it need to be hosted by “one of the most original and distinctive stars” on TV? Actually, it needs to be hosted by someone famous so it’s not just like searching for ‘funny advert’ on YouTube and surfing for half an hour, but why would Jimmy Carr feel the need to take it when it’s clearly below the quality threshold of someone meant to be “one of the most original and… blah blah blah.”

The thing is, Carr knows his days are numbered. Like a fat man at a buffet he is grabbing all he can because tomorrow he may not eat – Commercial Breakdown may fucking awful TV aimed at people who can’t find the remote and teenagers hoping to see a nipple, but at least it’s work.

And so Carr stands behind some kind of funky podium and expands his views on the adverts we’ve just seen – well, I say his views but what I really mean is the views of some junior production runner who was allowed access to the typewriter. He stands alone, the backdrop some kind of leftover virtual shimmy from Auntie’s Bloomers and the laughter clicks on and off when necessary.

No need for an audience, no need for a set and no need to make a programme; just grab some shit adverts off a foreign broadcaster, throw a ‘personality’ for hire infront of an automated two camera vision mixer and have him read the autocue until the egg timer goes off and the tape stops recording. It’s pretty much the same format as You’ve Been Framed, except that’s voiced over by Harry Hill who makes the programme worth watching, Commercial Breakdown is just a bit sad because you’re not sure which are more desperate – the adverts or Jimmy Carr.

So the programme is an autopiloted piece of filler, barely worth anyone’s time let alone a viewer’s, but you want to know the saddest thing is? The truly deep down heartwrenching proof of the pointlessness of Jimmy Carr and his involvement with the show? He couldn’t even get his name above the title, and it would have been aliterate as well… Jaspar Carrott managed it, hell- so did Jim Davison and he’s a racist dinosaur whose name doesn’t even begin with a C. Jimmy Carr, though, “one of the most original… etc” comedians is usurped and beaten in importance by funny adverts from foreign countries.

There’s one important thing to mention, though, before this post is over. The biography on Jimmy Carr’s website where it claimed him to be “one of the most… etc” comedians goes on to say “with 2007 looking just as exciting”. That actually explains a few things. Back in 2006 or whenever his promotions company commissioned a copywriter to squeeze out some nondescript bumpf it looked like Jimmy might actually be “one of the… etc” but now, in the harsh light, he’s just another smug talentless lump taking the money and running.

It’s a commercial breakdown alright, just a different one to what we were expecting.

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82 Responses to “Commercial Breakdown”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    He’s an abomination.

  2. indy Says:

    the evil man’s david mitchell.

  3. charliemingles Says:

    very well put sir.

    He does have some very sharp one-liners in his stand-up, so I suspect when his bubble bursts as it does for comedians on tv regaulrly as you say, he’ll still make a very good iving as a backroom boy writing gags for jonathon ross, have I got news etc.

    Maybe thats a more appropriate place for him anyway. A lot of people find his stage persona grating. And, lacking any real warmth or the courage to use the sort of material that shows his true fragile nature like all the best comedians ( chris rock, connelly on good form, bill hicks etc) he’s always going to have limited appeal and shelf-life.

    INdy: I love david mitchell

  4. Quincy Phd Says:

    I always hated Jimmy Carr until I saw this video…

    and then I developed an intense liking of Stephen Hawking and an even stronger dislike of Jimmy Carr. Good story, mind, and well told…

  5. Napoleon Says:

    He’s never bothered me that much. Obviously, he’s not a patch on proper comedians such as Jim Davidson, the late Bernard Manning, Jethro or Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown, but that’s no reason to loathe the man.

    And you have to give him credit for his neatly combed hair and well turned out appearance, unlike that scruffy layabout Russel Brand, or that idiot with the zombie face off of The Mighty Boosh. Those two should buck their ideas up, get a bloody hair cut, and learn some fucking respect.

  6. indy Says:

    charliemingles: i really like mitchell in peep show and some of the mitchell and webb X stuff but i think there are quite a lot of similarities between mitchell and carr. there’s the talking heads ratio, panel shows, the middle class geekiness and the one liners. the difference between the two is “heart”, the warmth and courage that you are writing about. and of course the amount of references to stalingrad, albert speer and ig farben.

  7. Dave Says:

    I love Jimmy Carr and have met the bloke. He was wondering around Oxford Road aimlessly after a gig, a few months before making it big – not Vegas big like the legendary Manning but British Big (Apollo gigs).

    He’s actually a very gracious, shy type of guy I reckon and he apologised to us for the high ticket prices etc. He certainly isn’t a hateful type like some are quick to say. Everything’s fair game in comedy.

  8. indy Says:

    Napoleon: apart from his hairdo and his “stand up” routine (rubbish) i find noel fielding quite funny. i like his laid back style and the gary numan jokes.

  9. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    His standup act is like someone reading one liners off their mobile in a quiet pub.

  10. Napoleon Says:

    Indy – He needs a bloody haircut and a stint in the army as far as I’m concerned. Let’s see how he gets on taking the mickey out of Gary Newman when he’s dodging grenades in Basra, the bastard.

  11. charliemingles Says:

    indy, ‘the difference between the two is “heart”, the warmth and courage that you are writing about. and of course the amount of references to stalingrad, albert speer and ig farben.’

    Quite a big difference then guvnur, id say.

    But what do I, Charlie Mingles, the UK’s first primate internet Millionaire, know of such rootin-tootin high-falutin things.

  12. Swineshead Says:

    Dave – why doesn’t your attitude surprise me on the topic of a comic with a wealth of ‘gypsy’ gags?

  13. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    And so it begins…

  14. Quincy Phd Says:

    Dave, I’m sure he’s a lovely bloke – most people when you actually meet them are lovely people and pretty fairly removed from their stage personas. I don’t mind Carr that much, his middle class savant image grates a bit and I don’t find him particularly funny but I he’s certainly far far worse than many many others out there… at least half the cast of Mock the Week for example.

    It’s his horrible TV choices that bother me. He appears on any old shit, hawking the same bollocks level of entertainment (8 Out Of 10 Cats anyone?) and all the while calling himself a comedian. He’s a pundit for hire who occasionally performs on stage.

  15. Napoleon Says:

    He’s not as bad as Robert Mugabe or the mysterious Jack the Ripper. They reckon Jack was the Prince of Wales, but I ain’t buying that. The future Edward VII was too busy whoring and drinking to waste his time murdering East End scrubbers. I reckon it was Rudyard Kipling … or possibly Sherlock Holmes’s nemesis Professor Moriarty. It was some Victorian bugger anyway.

  16. Dave Says:

    I’m quite comfortable for people to know I don’t like travelling people, SH. But they’re no worse than benefits scroungers, eh?

  17. Napoleon Says:

    Hitler didn’t like ‘travelling people’ either, Dave. Another blot on your copybook, I fancy.

    I’m with you on dole scroungers, mind. Why we can’t reintroduce workhouses, I don’t know.

  18. Dave Says:

    I think Jack Dee is a much better version of what Jimmy Carr reckons he is. Why they thre him off his ‘Live At The Apollo’ franchise I’m yet to discover. What a man.

  19. badgermadge Says:

    I don’t like his delivery, I must say… Plus he has a silly head.

  20. Napoleon Says:

    I once saw Jack Dee on one of my visits to London. He didn’t do anything funny, just walked into a shop.

    A similarly underwhelming celebrity encounter happened to me in Sleaford in Lincolnshire. I saw Big Daddy buying sweets on the market. No wrestling took place.


  21. Napoleon Says:

    Shit! HSBC has announced a drop in profits! They’ve only made 5.2 billion pounds this year, that’s all! Should we organise a whip-round?

  22. indy Says:

    indy blames jimmy carr for absent fathers and sexism. Cultural signals and social norms do influence behaviour. And the costs of relationship breakdown, of children left fatherless, of men behaving badly, are borne by us all.

  23. Napoleon Says:

    Surely the problem of absent fathers stems from them realising they can no longer live with chocolate-munching old boots who turn off the sex taps the second they get back off their honeymoons? Add in a screaming brat picking his nose and shitting up the walls when you’re trying to watch the match, and any sensible man worth his onions is going to take a one-way trip out of the door.

  24. Who Says:

    I get Jimmy Carr muddled with Alan Hansen, they both look like vampires.

    Not saying that there is anything wrong with vampires – I don’t want to go on the list again.

  25. Napoleon Says:

    Is there a vampirist list? I forget how many Swineshead’s compiling now. I think I’m on the racist and sexist ones, not sure about the anti-undead one. Obviously, my crimes against minorities and women (which I dispute, by the way … except the women bit) pale into insignificance compared to that bad egg Dave. I reckon he’s at the top of all the lists – even the anti-ginger one; no small achievement for a ginger haired man.

    A ginger haired ugly man with bad breath, piles and a conviction for stealing women’s knickers off of washing lines, lest we forget.

  26. Dave Says:

    But I didn’t kill Jill Dando, which is the main thing here!

  27. Napoleon Says:

    After the investigation that took place in my head after I’d consumed the best part of a bottle of brandy, I can reveal that Jill Dando was murthered by Guns N’ Roses. Slash held her legs, Duff pinned her arms, and Axl booted her teeth out the back of her head. They should be in prison.

  28. charliemingles Says:

    ‘Jan Dildo’ Mark and Lard used to call her, before she was murdered.

    Where were they on that fateful night thats what I’d like to know.

  29. Dave Says:

    See. Shot yerself in the foot, haven’t you! That Axl shoul be hung from a tree, the bastard ginger filth. Put them all in cages an poke them with frozen Findus pancakes for eternity. That’s all they’re fit for.

  30. Dave Says:

    Do ginger comedians exist, as I swerve this back to topic. Are there ginger adverts? Is Jimmy Carr in fact a ginger? It would explain a lot.

  31. Napoleon Says:

    Charlie – Similarly, after Jill’s teeth were kicked out, Viz ran an advert for ‘The Jill Dando Memorial Dildo’. I don’t know how many complaints they got, but I imagine it was quite a lot.

    Dave – I agree with you. Guns N’ Roses need stringing up for booting out Dando’s teeth. I’d hang Axl up by his knackers and let his head be eaten by dogs. He wouldn’t like that.

  32. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    There’s carrot top. He’s pretty shit.

  33. Napoleon Says:

    Carrot top? What the fuck’s that?

  34. indy Says:

    Napoleon: “Shit! HSBC has announced a drop in profits!”

    darn! so that the reason why they scrapped carnivale and deadwood!

  35. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Sounds like a bad rock band, but he’s actually a freckly ginger american comedian. His act consists of saying ‘haha! I’m ginger! I don’t get to have sex with women because of this!’

  36. Napoleon Says:

    Indy – I had no idea the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation made telly shows. We’d best put our hands in our pockets before they cancel Match of the Day and Live Nude Tarts ‘n’ Shit.

    (I’m not sure Live Nude Tarts ‘n’ Shit exists. It should do though – I’d watch it.)

    Wagonwheel – He sounds hilarious.

  37. charliemingles Says:

    carrot top was the surprise guest at Larry’s roast in the larry sanders show.

    And if any of you bastards say a word against the larry sanders show, I shall have to take my furry ass elsewhere.

    *crosses arms defiantly*

  38. Napoleon Says:

    I thought that Larry Sanders Show was a big pile of shit.

    See ya, Charlie.

  39. Dave Says:

    “It’s not TV, it’s a ludicrous series of bank charges”

  40. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    I believe he’s currently still doing the Vegas circuit, if you’re up for a weekend of seeing shit comedy, eating large amounts of unpleasant food and getting wanked off behind a wedding chapel on the boulevard.
    Is that Lord Kitchener in your new picture? I can’t quite see (it’s very small).

  41. Napoleon Says:

    It’s George V – Britain’s most celebrated stamp-collector and officious time-keeper, Wagonwheel.

    I haven’t been to Vegas, but will change my holiday plans if this being wanked off behind a wedding chapel business comes as part of your fly-drive package. Who’s running this promotion? Going Places?

  42. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    I think you’d be better off with Florence again (cheaper wankings).

  43. Dave Says:

    Was Jim Davidson a ginger?

  44. Some Twat Says:

    No, he’s a racist. You’re confusing which characteristics you share with which comedians.

  45. charliemingles Says:

    I dont include you napoleon. you think everythings shite.

  46. Dave Says:

    ST – Calm down, Wagonwheel.

  47. Napoleon Says:

    Davidson’s more of a strawberry blonde, ain’t he? You want to watch out for them blonde people; they’re all Nazis. Hitler said so, and he should know.

    To be honest, the only way you can be sure you’re not a Nazi or a racist (do you get non-racist Nazis?) is to have brown hair. Unless you’re Hitler, who was a … OH FUCK THIS.

  48. charliemingles Says:

    speaking of davidson, this is excellent:…

  49. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Sorry about that, used a different name for a different blog and got buggered when I came back ‘ere.

  50. Napoleon Says:

    Charlie – I don’t think everything’s shite. I’m partial to the 1940s charm of a Battenburg cake, for instance.

  51. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Link doesn’t work.

  52. charliemingles Says:

    sorry, should have been this link:

  53. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Battenburg? A conman’s cake, gateau de grifter – it draws you in with its bright colours, you think it’ll be a sumptuous, moist delight, but no. No, just dry spongey despair.

    It’s for kids, because they, at least, are entertained by the colours and only crave sugar anyway. That’s right – FOR KIDS.

  54. Napoleon Says:

    It’s not a kid’s cake, it’s an old person’s cake. It’s the cake of the damned – the cake you eat in a nursing home as you dribble and gibber your way towards a painful and visually unappealing death. Kid’s cakes have to have pictures of Winnie the Pooh on ’em, or that shitbag Daffy Duck.

    And they’ve probably got knives and porno films in ’em now. Bloody kids – no respect, etc.

  55. Dave Says:

    Battenburg was made by Royal appointment by a royal who wanted a pink and yellow sponge. You’re wrong, JQW. It’s a deceptively savoury treat that makes you crave tea or coffee like a crack addict.

    Plus, marzipan is the best thing in the world. One of the women in church, in her 90s, made traditional sweets for me when I was a young’n!

  56. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Bah, you can take your Battenburg. I’ll take the unattractive but darkly seductive Jamaica Ginger cake or Golden Syrup cake over your octogenarian almond block any day.

  57. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve nothing against either of the cakes you mention there, Wagonwheel. They’re hardly traditional Great British cakes though, are they? Outgunning a Battenburg with upstart cakes like Golden Syrup and Jamaica Ginger is a bit like wading into a Cornetto debate armed with a Mars choc ice and a Fruit Pastilles lolly. Bad form.

  58. Dave Says:

    Lemon slices always seem to hit the spot. Bakewell tarts.

  59. Who Says:

    Jamaican Ginger and Golden Syrup are exactly the same products in a different wrapper. One is no more gingery than the other. I will not have anybody tell me any different.

    Not that I can eat cake anymore with the old no wheat thingy, of course.


  60. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Ok. Lemon Drizzle. Old as the hills. Kicks the Battenburg’s chequered arse hands-down.

  61. Dave Says:

    Malt Loaf is shit. Can we all agree on that?

  62. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    I like it. But only spread with butter. And preferably without fruit.

    It’s also not really a cake.

  63. Dave Says:

    “it’s not like a cake” What a pretentious little arse you are. If I was your mother I’d march you by the ear to your father’s who, in this story is a man that’ll dress you up as a massive slice of Soreen then have his way with you in the church hall.

  64. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    I didn’t say it wasn’t like a cake, I said it wasn’t ‘really’ a cake. Which it ain’t. Ify ou’re going to pick at pedantry, do it right.

  65. charliemingles Says:

    I love wagonwheels myself, not the man, the biscuit.

    And am just off out now to buy some of the big jammy mashmallowy bastards, paul calf style.

  66. Dave Says:

    Is it just me or has Charlie Brooker gone rubbish recently?

  67. Napoleon Says:

    I never thought he was that great to begin with. Apparently this is heresy, but fuck it.

  68. Dave Says:

    Screenwipe and Nathan Barley are brilliant but his column is shit. I bought his ‘Dawn of the Dumb’ and I didn’t enjoy at all.

  69. Quincy PhD Says:

    “Darwin’s theory of evolution was simple, beautiful, majestic and awe-inspiring. But because it contradicts the allegorical babblings of a bunch of made-up old books, it’s been under attack since day one. That’s just tough luck for Darwin. If the Bible had contained a passage that claimed gravity is caused by God pulling objects toward the ground with magic invisible threads, we’d still be debating Newton with idiots too.”

    He’s not always brilliant, but he does still have his moments.

  70. george Says:

    I got told I’m not to use the net for pleasure at work now. Drat.

    I think Brooker is brilliant, very witty and he’s always been consistently excellent for me, from his time at PC Zone, to TV Go Home, to his guardian column and even his comment is free blog. Nathan Barley was too ahead of it’s time, Screenwipe is excellent. If you were to ask what me what his crowning moment was, I’d probably say his casualty article for PCZ Zone, very prophetic considering the state of game politics today.

  71. Dave Says:

    I used to read Amiga Format, only touched PC Zone once, back in 1998 and the Demo CD fucked my computer, and so It was I was banned from PC gaming forever by my bloody dad. What a shoddy publication.

    I hear Brooker’s working on some horror-based comedy series though I doubt you can surpass Coogan’s efforts in Doctor Terrible’s House of Horrible.

    ‘You, sir, are a giant crab!”

  72. charliemingles Says:

    ‘Dont be silly, theres no such thing as vampires. or lesbains’

  73. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Shouldn’t moan about Brooker too much on ‘ere. Screenwipe is essentially this website, nicked and put on the telly. To the extent that he reviews The Apprentice for ages.

  74. Swineshead Says:

    This website owes a debt to Brooker, if anything. I’m not sure he needs to thieve stuff off lowly bloggers either…

    But thanks for the flattering notion, young man.

  75. george Says:

    It’s one of the reasons I read this blog, because it gets so patronising when somebody writes a whole blog telling you how wonderful some television programme is. This makes a nice antidote to all the hype and that.

  76. The Graham Hour Says:

    I read this blog to remind me why I abstain from TV (and the internet) in favour of my trusty 7″ vinyl; a medium one can trust on account of it being trusty. And the Lord. You can always trust trusty God…trust him to help your wife leave you for a pole vaulter called Pablo in the Swiss Alps.

  77. Some Twat Says:

    Nothing in the review sack today then?

  78. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Christ, it’s still calling me Some Twat. Perhaps there’s a message here somewhere.

  79. Napoleon Says:

    Anyone one else noticed that the ‘new’ Dark Whopper from Burger King that’s apparently ‘inspired by’ the new Batman film bears a remarkable resemblance (i.e. is exactly the same) to the Dark Whopper that was ‘inspired by’ Spiderman 3 last year?

    Isn’t there some sort of rule about lying to you in adverts?

  80. Swineshead Says:

    I noticed that it looks fucking disgusting and decided I’d have to be apocalyptically drunk to consider eating it.

  81. indy Says:

    Anyone one else noticed that the new Batman film bears a remarkable resemblance (i.e. is exactly the same) to the previous Batman films? except that Robin’s not in it.

  82. Pat Kenny Says:

    I think he’s funny. As i proved here.

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