Harry & Paul


Not a review, just a heads up for Harry & Paul which appears to have hit form as series 2 begins. Worth watching episode one on the iPlayer for the above Dragons’ Den spectacular and also the brilliant ‘modern football manager’ sketch.

Harry Enfield is still endearingly a bit stilted but gets big laughs with expert timing, while Paul Whitehouse is like a less successful Peter Sellers with an uglier mug, we’ve decided. Not that we’re ones to talk. We’re nothing like as talented as Peter Sellers was, and are uglier than Bernie Ecclestone.

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159 Responses to “Harry & Paul”

  1. Napoleon Says:

    Piqued looks like a withered old woman.

  2. charliemingles Says:

    I agree over this series being far better and that the dragons den sketch is great even though there arent really many jokes and most of the laughs come from the impersonations of the dragons.

    I think whats so great about harry enfield is that he is always trying not to laugh. as you say, very endearing

  3. Dave Says:

    I found all the jokes to be Xenophobic cheap shots. Armstrong and Miller any day for middle-class sketch show fun.

  4. The Tombstone Says:

    So this series is better than last yeah? I watched one laugh free episode last time around and gave up.

  5. Napoleon Says:

    You pompous ass, Dave. Everyone knows that all Cypriots sound like Harry Enfield’s ‘Stavros’ character, so Whitehouse’s impression was accurate, not xenophobic. Ahem.

  6. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    Harry Enfield once called me the most cynical person he’d ever met. So Hazza, please believe my sincerity when I say that your new series has failed to raise so much as a ‘huh’ out of me. Go away.

  7. The Tombstone Says:

    Three cheers for Edna. I wish washed up comedians would call me cynical, the best I’d get would probably be ‘cunt’.

  8. Quincy Phd Says:

    That’s interesting, I was just about to write a review of this on account of it being utterly fucking rubbish, raising not even a smile from the 5 people I watched this with on Friday.

    Not only is it massively right-wing, it’s also really patronising, simple and borderline racist. The jokes are recycled from last series, the characters old and stagnant and the humour massively predictable. The only half decent sketch is the antiques store owner but half way through his appearance he already feels old and dragged out.

    Awful. Fucking awful.

    Can we stop recommending things on Mothers – it hurts our arguments against shit TV if the next second someone comes along and trumpets up this ballbag of Daily Mail ‘humour’.

    Whitehouse has still got a few years left thaks to some good dramatic work, but Enfield your time is up – fuck off to the seaside and start doing darkie routines alongside Jim Davidson, it’s all you’re good for.

  9. Dave Says:

    Armstrong and Miller > Whitehouse and Enfield

    I’m shocked a level person such as Swineshead would endorse such hate-filled, yesteryear poo.

    ‘look, a northerner. Isn’t he northern and shit!’ ‘Look, an American. Shit and rubbish’ ‘The Scotch. Shit’. Everyone not from Essex…crap!’ – Me pretending to quote Enfield.

  10. Napoleon Says:

    Quincy’s talking balls, as usual. That footballer sketch was excellent, as was the Dragon’s Den bit. And I liked it when Nelson Mandela pushed Castro off a cliff.

    And what’s this ‘massively right-wing’ shit about?

  11. Swineshead Says:

    It’s Medlo misreading ‘liberal politics’ in the dictionary again. What utter drivel.

    Can we stop recommending stuff in Mothers, he asks…
    I do it from time to time if something great comes along and I’m damned if I’ll stop doing it!

  12. Quincy Phd Says:

    Did the sun get to you, SH? Or maybe the Cromer crab?

    I was in Cromer at the weekend and it’s certainly dull enough there to make me watch Harry and Paul, but never to like it.

    That builders one is the worst; “see, the working class only pretend to be coarse and vulgar, really they like art and politics – we’ve reversed the commonly held images, see? See? It’s clever, see?”

    That was me pretending to quote Harry Enfield too.

  13. Dave Says:

    The Polish sketch, Perry. Watch it with your eyes.

  14. Napoleon Says:

    It’s a fucking comedy show! Talk about reading stuff into it, you miserable shithouse, Quincy. Fucking ‘ell – they get ’emselves a degree, then spend the rest of their lives over-analyzing absolutely everything. Cheer up, you po-faced fucking Stalin.

  15. Quincy Phd Says:

    Yeah, recommend something if it’s cool or interesting… but Harry Enfield? What are we, the TV Times?

    And it’s not liberal politics gone eschew, it’s cheap and lazy humour hiding behind supposed irony. There’s nothing wrong with jokes about class or sex or age or sexuality, but make a point for fucks sake – that one about the fishermen was utter bollocks – or right, someone who’s not meant to like theatre likes theatre and is embarrassed by it, another brilliant joke Harry – have you thought about how people from Newcastle aren’t all covered in coal really, and how we all just think they are. That’d be brilliant.

  16. Napoleon Says:

    Bloody students.

  17. Swineshead Says:

    I think the high horses are groaning under the weight.

    I liked your (sexist) Denise Richards post, by the way.

  18. Napoleon Says:

    That was a nice slice of sexism, was that. No fucking point to it, but what does that matter?

    *stands behind Swineshead throwing stones at Quincy*

  19. Quincy Phd Says:

    Well excuse me for wanting a better quality of comedy show than the one’s we’re getting, Napoleon, or maybe I just don’t see things from the point of view of a middle class snob like Enfield. Either way, it was shit and it was patronising.

  20. Dave Says:

    The WWII pilot sketch, the sat nav sketch and the husband unaware of a blatant affair sketch. All betterer.

  21. Napoleon Says:

    No, Quincy, you see things from the point of view of a middle class snob like y’self instead. Everything has to be sophisticated, everything has to have a point, we can’t have this low-brow comedy on our screens, not when there’s those Mighty Boosh boys being cleverly surreal on BBC Three instead. Balls! Get over it, you pompous ass. It’s a bit of Friday Fluff, you misery guts.

  22. Quincy Phd Says:

    Maybe you could recommend this up and comer too? He’s hot stuff right now.

  23. Swineshead Says:

    I’d like to see Denise Richards living a genuinely complicated life – rising debts, wayward children, two jobs and the impending threat of a house repossession. Then we’d see just how real reality can be as this pointless, silver spooned pair of tits struggles to come to terms with the fact that she’s not the most important person in the world after all. That, my dear, would be complicated.

    Patronising and vaguely sexist… but you have a point so we go with it.
    Maybe if you watch Harry & Paul a bit pissed or slightly stoned with different mates you might see it differently, Medlo. Are you on the blob?

  24. Quincy Phd Says:

    Again, I’ve got nowt against low-brow comedy – I’m just asking that it be funny. That Enfield show wasn’t funny, full stop. It was the same tired gags he’s been peddling for years… it was like a Daily Mail dad dancing at a party.

  25. Napoleon Says:

    Any thoughts on the hidden fascist undertones that are clearly bubbling away if one delves under the surface of ‘My Family’, Quincy dear boy?

    “Pass the sherry, Dave!”

  26. Swineshead Says:

    You’re so far off the mark it’s laughable, Medlo. Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have done great work and you clearly live in an underground cave.

  27. charliemingles Says:

    I agree that the builders and surgeons were never funny the first time, but some of the newer stuff is quite entertaining. its not exactly new, but i for one have so many good memories of both these guya that its like spending time with ld friends. maybe that means you lose your judgement a bit, but its wasnt a bad first episode.

    I watched norbert smith: a life and the smashy and nicey feature episode again on yuotube and was pleasantly surprised by how well they stood the test of time. peter o’pished etc. still great.

  28. Dave Says:

    ‘Are you on the blob?’

    Get on your bike.

  29. Quincy Phd Says:

    I think you’ll find that list of Denise Richards’ potential problems is a common collection of woes for many people – and I’m not sure that calling her a ‘silver spooned pair of tits’ is sexist as she is predominantly famous for her getting her breasts out and still earns a very good living from her Playboy shoot.

    Patronising? Definitely – but I’m arguing that wallowing in the minute of her reality TV induced life is in no way complicated compared to what passes for complicated for 99% of the world.

    And yes, I am on the blob – and it won’t stop and I don’t know why. I’m worried, so I’m venting. Forgive me.

  30. Napoleon Says:

    Is it just me, or does Rodney the Plonker-starring ‘After You’ve Gone’ whiff a bit of communism?

  31. ugeine Says:

    fast show was genius.

  32. charliemingles Says:

    i said something there but swineshead has decided to stick it in limbo for some reason. is it the youtube clips? its just harry enfield being funny. not up there with richard digance though. that was great. I always wondered who mitch benn reminded me of

  33. Napoleon Says:

    The Fast Show was a good ‘un. I liked the shit stuntman and that bloke that looked like Frank Butcher.

  34. Quincy Phd Says:

    Look, I’m not saying it’s the Fox News of comedy because it’s blatantly not – I just thought it was a bit shit, and I’m a bit sick of Enfield and his constant use of ‘the northern working class, aren’t they funny when they’re not being poor and ignorant’ for comedy.

    Enfield and Whitehouse have done good work in the past, Whitehouse especially, but this was well below par.

  35. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – WordPress only let’s you post a few links before it starts to suspect you’re a spammoid.

  36. The Tombstone Says:

    Basically I don’t think they’re racist they just go to to the easiest places for humour. The problem is they’re just not cutting edge and have been passed by a world that has moved on.

  37. Napoleon Says:

    I doubt the northern working class were watching, Quincy. They’d all have been out at the dogs, getting drunk in working men’s clubs, or upstairs battering the wife.

  38. The Tombstone Says:

    I liked Happiness, I reckon that was the best thing he did.

  39. The Tombstone Says:

    I’m suprised you left out wanking in the dark there Nap. That’s usually your go to place when it comes to humour. I’m suprised you don’t write for Harry and Paul…or do you?

  40. charliemingles Says:

    okay. I only had two links though.

    I agree that the builders and surgeons were never funny the first time, but some of the newer stuff is quite entertaining. its not exactly new, but i for one have so many good memories of both these guya that its like spending time with ld friends. maybe that means you lose your judgement a bit, but its wasnt a bad first episode.

    I watched norbert smith: a life and the smashy and nicey feature episode again on yuotube and was pleasantly surprised by how well they stood the test of time. peter o’pished etc. still great.

  41. Swineshead Says:

    Norbert Smith! I’d clean forgotten about that. It was brilliant.

    You’ve got to clean the pot?!

    That’s the way, Daddio!

  42. Napoleon Says:

    Up yours, you dimwitted shitbird.

  43. Swineshead Says:

    Tombstone – think before you type, there’s a good boy.

  44. charliemingles Says:

    smashy and nicey special:

  45. Napoleon Says:

    Was the Norbert Smith one the actor one or the politician one? I liked the politician one where he’s pretending to listen to constituents by staring into space saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes …’ over and over again.

  46. Swineshead Says:

    Sorry mingles, it’s automatic and does stop the spammers. I released the comment.

  47. charliemingles Says:

    norbert smith a life:

    both of these stand the test of time very well in my view.

  48. The Tombstone Says:

    Think before I type…I could give it a go i guess. But I may start making funny and relevant points then, we wouldn’t want that now would we?

  49. piqued Says:

    I’m getting sick to the back teeth of all this faux political correctness. What the fuck is wrong with a bit of harmless stereotyping? No one is condoning racism but a bit of ‘vive la difference’ doesn’t do anyone any harm.

    The other thing that gets my goat is when white middle class types get all uppity on behalf of someone else. It’s all very well for Peter Kaye to rip the piss out of the Northern working classes but god help Enfield and Whitehouse if they do it.

  50. Dave Says:

    Ben Elton’s a wanker.

  51. Napoleon Says:

    Hear hear! Let’s lay into the French! BASTARDS!

  52. Quincy Phd Says:

    What was that Polish guy sketch about?
    It could have been any type of character that can’t talk to women about anything without mentioning their tits, but Enfield made it a deformed foreigner – which means it’s about a deformed foreigner who can’t talk to women properly, and not ‘a man.’

    The fact he’s a lower class man working a low-wage servicing the middle classes means the sketch becomes about the uncouth foreigners and their behaviour – why not a sophisticated upper class gentleman with the same problem?

    He’s sticking to conventional stereotypes, and I kind of thought comedy was beyond that a little – certainly from people like Enfield.

  53. The Tombstone Says:

    I think it was a mistake to mention sterotyping being harmless around Nap. He’ll be up all night now.

    Ben Elton is a wanker but I did enjoy his book ‘Popcorn.’

  54. Swineshead Says:

    I think you mean the South African guy, Quincy.

  55. Quincy Phd Says:

    And that’s not over analysing anything, that’s just how I’ve read it.

  56. Napoleon Says:

    He was South African, Quincy. And they’re a right bunch of bastards, so it’s fair game.

  57. charliemingles Says:

    norbert smith is the actor. Just watched it again. excellent.

    they do a great ‘when eagles dare’ spof which is still one of the funniest things ive ever seen.

    about 6 minutes in. SUPERB. SUPERB SUPERB.

  58. Quincy Phd Says:

    South African guy, sorry – either way, ugly man with a funny accent.

  59. Swineshead Says:

    The fact he’s a lower class man working a low-wage servicing the middle classes means the sketch becomes about the uncouth foreigners and their behaviour – why not a sophisticated upper class gentleman with the same problem?

    You finished your degree how long ago? Sorry to reiterate, but this is very studenty and right on.

  60. Swineshead Says:

    You find the South African accent ‘funny’?


  61. Napoleon Says:

    Some people never quite manage to shift the mud of the university off their boots, Swineshead. The twerps.

  62. piqued Says:

    ‘Stereotyping’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘origin’ it can be anything cliché, footballers being thick, artists be drunks, musicians taking drugs etc., I mean where does one draw the line at being offended?

    Vive la Difference!

  63. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve never met a nice South African, as it happens… and that’s not bloody surprising.

    Quincy – you confuse mocking a group of people with being offensive. These aren’t vulnerable minority group assassinations – they’re very simple, recognisable stereotypes that won’t hurt a fly.

    If you don’t find it funny, fair play. But you’re wrong.

  64. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – So what was the politician one called? It was a bit of piss-take of Jeffrey Archer.

  65. The Tombstone Says:

    Hmm Quincy’s argument is crumbling as we speak, this is getting tasty. Will he pull it back? *munches popcorn*

  66. charliemingles Says:

    ive got a degree in media studies and a post graduate Msc in film production – and im still an idiot who never says anything remotely intelligent.

    Let that be a lesson to you lads, this educationamy thingy gets you nowhere.

  67. Napoleon Says:

    ‘Media studies’? Ho ho! Where’d you get that then, Mingles? A packet of Corn Flakes?

  68. Swineshead Says:

    Piqued’s spot on. Treasure this moment, it’s a real one off.

    What are we to make of Viz’s Fat Slags? Ridiculously hyperbolic stereotype veering into grotesque amusement – or horrible sexist rubbish? I opt for the former.

  69. The Tombstone Says:

    I did an accounting course at college. It probably explains my contributions to most arguments on here. Still I can whip up a fresh tasty balance sheet right out the oven though.

  70. Napoleon Says:

    I never cared for The Fat Slags. I like 8 Ace … and no doubt that’ll infuriate Quincy with its depiction of a northern working-class man who does nothing all day but drink and try to get in his own f-f-f-f-f-f-fucking house.

  71. The Tombstone Says:

    I’m going with horrible sexist rubbish. Although I know plenty of fat whores and they really don’t help themselves.

  72. Napoleon Says:

    Jesus, Tombstone. Lay off the whore hatred. You sound like Peter fucking Sutcliffe.

  73. charliemingles Says:

    I dont think he has a name does he? you mean the guy who gets caught shagging rent boys etc. isnt that little britain. Im confused

    *lies down*

  74. Swineshead Says:

    I’m more a fan of the pissed bakers, whatever they’re called. Beautifully understated but offensive to actual kitchen workers who have alcohol problems.

  75. charliemingles Says:

    this is turning into what mrs merton used to call a ‘heated debate’

  76. The Tombstone Says:

    I don’t hate whores. Just those that charge to pay for addictions. And those ones who get sad about being a whore, what’s all that about eh?

  77. Swineshead Says:

    Tombstone – isn’t it your fucking bedtime?

  78. piqued Says:

    I agree SH, it’s damning stuff. What about Mickey’s Miniature Granddad, rips the piss out of those with senile dementia, a disgrace.

  79. Quincy Phd Says:

    I’m not sure it’s ‘studenty’ to look at what messages we’re receiving from the media we watch – although, actually, reading that sentence back it does seem very studenty – but that’s what it says, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

    My argument may well be crumbling, and I’m glad you’re all enjoying the spectacle, but I shall fight on regardless.

    Enfield chose that make-up, that accent and that behaviour very deliberately. He’s either laughing at ugly foreigners who can’t speak English properly, which I think is a teeny bit racist, or he just thought that this guy was funny because he looked and sounded different, in which case I think it’s just plain old shit comedy.

  80. Napoleon Says:

    I liked that letter in Viz where the guy said he was enjoying the Drunken Bakers, but when was it going to get to the punchline? The three mice controlling David Beckham was a good one from that cartoonist.

  81. The Tombstone Says:

    I’ll be finished work in 8 minutes.

  82. ugeine Says:

    Yes, what ever happened to proper degrees? Like pig worrying. Proper man’s degree that.

  83. Swineshead Says:

    Tombstone – remember that ‘think before typing’ mantra we practiced?
    Can you either do that or fuck off? You do this humble blog a disservice with the shit you’re spouting.

  84. The Tombstone Says:

    Well ‘work’.

  85. charliemingles Says:

    I did my degree back in the 1870s napleon, when you had to do actual exams and stuff. there was psychology in it …

    okay, yes, I got it out of a cornflakes box, satisfied.

    *rips up doctorate in talking bollocks*

  86. Dave Says:

    Watch the Politics Show feature on stereotypes – or any of the stand-up by the ever brilliant Stewart Lee. You all know more about this bloke tham me – surely? Well, he has the whole issue pegged. You may as well stop this debate right now, frankly.

  87. Napoleon Says:

    Quincy – White South Africans are the same race as you, you pooper. I know there’s been a strange and weird new attempt to twist the definition of ‘racism’ to mean having a go at anyone who isn’t from the same country as you recently, but that doesn’t actually make it true. There was nothing racist about it, you drongo.

    That’s right! DRONGO!

  88. Swineshead Says:

    Stewart Lee’s brilliant, Dave – but I’m not sure he’d find Harry & Paul remotely offensive. I hate the way some people look to Bill Hicks, Stewart Lee and Charlie Brooker as a guide to what they’re allowed to laugh at.

  89. The Tombstone Says:

    Fine then, I’ll be off for the day *grabs coat and tin lunchbox*. My conclusion – Harry and Paul not racist but not funny either. Good luck Quincy although I think you’re fighting a losing battle. So long *climbs aboard tram, gets out sixpence*

  90. ugeine Says:

    Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have made a career out of deploying negative stereotypes in sketch shows for laughs. It’s just the laughs come from the way they subvert the stereotypes, I think.

  91. Dave Says:

    I agree, SH. He makes loads of gags about northerners, for one. Saying we name everywhere after a cake.

  92. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – I’m glad you ripped up that diploma. Otherwise I’d have had to point out your use of the idiot science of psychology in your defence. Not mentally capable of taking the academic steps needed to become a clinical psychologist? Then take the lesser subject of ‘psychology’, and end up as the next Linda Oppopoppodoppolopolis talking shit on Tricia.

  93. Quincy Phd Says:


    That’s right.

  94. Napoleon Says:

    Was that a surrender?

  95. Dave Says:

    They’ve herded you down a garden path like a blond cow, Quincy. Why’d you let ’em do it to you? They’ve dazzled you with words and stuff and you’ve succumbed. Do what I do in future and bang your head against the wall whilst throwing in a few ‘fucks’ and the like. I’ll be on QT next week.

  96. Swineshead Says:

    Well at least we’ve sorted things out there without me being accused of double standards.

    The big issue, as Dave alluded to, is how stereotypes or anything that can be found to be offensive is put across and in what context. And then you have the sensitivity of the viewer to take into consideration. It’s a fucking minefield.

    So, as has always been the way, yours truly, old Stalin over here, will continue to be the judge of what’s what?

    Agree, or it’s to the Gulag with you.

  97. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve got hot nuts.

  98. Swineshead Says:

    Mine are worryingly icy.

  99. Napoleon Says:

    Steaming, they are, steaming. It’s like a tropical jungle down there today. Indeed, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the USA napalmed my gonads, and loads of burnt Vietnamese villagers came fleeing out me pubes and up me belly.

  100. charliemingles Says:

    napoleon, youre quite right. I only did it because all the hot babes were doing media studies.

    Theyre all tv presenters now and ignore me.

    Even when I offer to spunk in their hair for old times sake.

    there really is no justice in this crazy mixed-up world.

    Id check out that peter o pished clip of where eagles dare. excellent

  101. ugeine Says:

    To be fair, compare media studies to English Literature, which at A level saw me use one specific model to analyse books from white english authors. That’s considered a ‘proper’ subject, as well.

  102. Napoleon Says:

    God alone knows what the cretins I was university with are doing now. I only lasted a year, and immediately lost touch with everyone when I left as they were all arseholes. I doubt if any of ’em winded up doing animation … not unless it’s feminist, lesbian, left-wing animation – the only animation you were allowed to do in that 1970s throwback fucking commune masquerading as an art college.

    My balls are burning up ‘ere!

  103. Napoleon Says:

    Ugeine – English literature is a proper subject, and no doubt Swineshead’ll fill you in as to why. Media Studies, on the other hand, is a made-up ‘degree’ you take at polyversity so you can later convince employers you’ve got the stamina to stick at an academic subject (ho ho!). Frankly, you may as well push dead rats around in a barrel for three years – you’ll come out with the same level of intelligence as you would learning that rubbish.

  104. daveselectricblanket Says:

    The left-wing lean needs to be taken out of university. Although, a lot of what I was taught went over my head. I spent all the money on getting pissed. Regret it now though. Or do I? Well, yes I do because I’m a moron through ignorance more than actually having a crap brain. Not that I’m particularly bright but it’d help if I could form complex sentences, spell words and knew about grammar proper.

    Sod it.

    *drinks White Lightning and beats off to a YouTube videos of stags fighting*

  105. Swineshead Says:

    *puts hand up*

    I did English. Not purely literature, but I found it to be a bollocks degree. I found a creative writing course which meant I could write stupid stories for my dissertation, which was ideal for the workshy, bumbling sot I’d become by the time my third year swang violently round.

  106. Swineshead Says:

    Everyone gets drunk at University, Dave. Or rather, most pretend to be constantly drunk while some of us take the hype a bit too literally and end up getting ourselves beaten up every night of the week for being a staggering, muggable pissed arsehole.

  107. Napoleon Says:

    I thought you did English Literature? I didn’t realise you took the scoundrel’s way out and opted for creative writing. That’s like starting a doctor’s degree, and then scuttling off to do pharmacy when nobody’s looking.

  108. charliemingles Says:

    mine was actually called ‘ communication studies’ to be fair.

    I taught media studies for a year a few years back and the standard really has sunk very low.

    For my course, I had to do 10,000 thesis, 5 three hour exams every year as well as course work which included fairly weighty economics and other methods of large social control. it was a fairly academic course and about 30% failed and never resat.

    its a shame they all have such a tarnished reputation, because the best of these courses teach you how the mass media manipulate and control information. and thats very interesting and relevant.

    when I taught it, they just wanted to make spoofs of jerry springer videos. I was genuinely embarassed to be associated with it.

    Which is why I left.

  109. Napoleon Says:

    I spent the majority of my university holiday pissed, as it ‘appens. Mind you, I went late for financial reasons, so I was already knocking the stuff back before I showed up. I also had a job, which meant I could waste every penny of my loan, my bank loan and the money off of my credit cards on drink and steak. I ate steak every single day for a year.

  110. ugeine Says:

    I’m not saying that Eng Lit isn’t worthy, just that it’s a narrow version of media studies.

  111. daveselectricblanket Says:

    I just wrote about feminism on all of my exams and essays. That shit’s easy to make up as you go along. Feminism and postcolonialism.

  112. Swineshead Says:

    The majority of the seminars and lectures were for the literature students and as Ugeine points out, the set books are not only dull and predictable, but the analysis used at A Level goes out of the window and the depth of ball-aching over individual sentences reaches a ridiculous level. It becomes inane and ruins the books you’re meant to be involved with.

    Apart from Existentialism in literature – that was a proper course with great books. The best I’ve ever read, in fact.

    Then at the end you got to write short stories for fun and frolics. Mine were about

    a.) shaving a rat
    b.) dead babies being eaten by a dog
    c.) two pissed people getting wed by mistake
    d.) killing a pigeon for fun

    All very puerile and immature, as you might expect. I got a 1st for the stories and let myself down with the other shit – getting me an Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. Turning up pissed to seminars with a broken nose tends to warp your marks.

  113. Napoleon Says:

    A narrow version of Media Studies? How? How the fuck do you square that, Ugeine? Studying the great works of literature on the one hand, ‘learning’ how flaff works on the other. Yes, I can see how an idiot subject such as English Literature pales into comparison alongside its brainbox big brother, Media Studies.

  114. charliemingles Says:

    I think these names are a bit misleading as you indicate sh. you really have to look at the crriculum and beyond that, know someone whos done it who you trust to recommend it. as you say, english degrees can nowadays veer into similarly mickey mouse territory.

    the worst is art college though ( sorry napoleon, but you’ll know this already)

    I shared a flat with three friend of mine, all studying drawing and painting and they never read a book from the day they left school. history, politics, literature. they knew fuck all about anytning. the thickest bunch ive ever met, hiding behind cool. ten years later, theyre all working in waterstones if theyre lucky. youre lucky you got out when you did napoleon.

  115. Napoleon Says:

    The animation course I did (and remember, folks, that animation is that funny stuff involving giant anvils with ‘ACME’ written on the side being dropped on cartoon cats) was a right load of pompous waffle. I had to write some jism about feminist animation in communist Hungary, if you fucking please, when all I actually wanted to do was learn how you got the anvil from the top of the screen to the point where the cat was standing. Talk about draining the fun out of a subject that has making you laugh at the centre of its beating heart, the miserable bastards.

  116. Swineshead Says:

    One thing my degree did get me, I should point out, is a couple of letters after my name and about £5,000 in debt. You can’t put a price on that…

    Or can you?

    -£5,000 + 0p =


  117. Swineshead Says:

    Exactly, NC. The courses aren’t in any way practical until you reached MA level in a lot of cases.

    Still, I got to study L’Etranger inside out and write drunken rubbish about shaving rats, so it was alright in the end.

  118. daveselectricblanket Says:

    What can you do with a 2:2 BA? I’m working in a fucking call centre and am seriously considering jumping out of the nearby window.

  119. Napoleon Says:

    I write drunken rubbish without being in debt. Mind you, it’s who you know in this business, so I wouldn’t take my career path of hoping for the best as a very good model.

  120. Swineshead Says:

    Go into an industry that’s vaguely related and impress at interview or admin level, Dave. Your only hope in the cold, corporate world. You can then continue to hold your fading ambition aloft in the wee small hours between work.

    Or go freelance, and pray you’re talented enough to succeed (and not the king of self-deception).

  121. Swineshead Says:

    I ought to add I’m not 5k in debt any more. Because I sold my soul to the MAN and I likes it.

  122. Napoleon Says:

    Dave – Take that great leap into the unknown!

    But seriously, there’s NOTHING you can do with a 2:2 BA, as that’s what everyone else has got. I won mine in an apple-bobbing competition a few years back, and I believe my other half’s came out of a Christmas cracker. You’re doomed, Dave! Doomed to spend the rest of your miserable life answering phones in a call centre, and earning nothing for your troubles.

    I hope this helps.

  123. charliemingles Says:

    dont go freelance dave. unless you want to go without seeing an actual woman, or other human being ( its all by email these days) for months on end. and risking dying of irritable bowel syndrome due to your diet.

  124. Swineshead Says:

    Your first step should be to find a job, any job, that gets you out of the call centre. But not a Rent Boy or Dustman job. Both worthy positions, but you need to look upwards.

  125. Napoleon Says:

    I didn’t sell my soul to THE MAN, instead I did a Barrymore and struck it lucky. I met a Scotch bloke in a cafe and he liked my pictures. Then the Scotch bloke became both a friend and a senior editor at a global publishing company. I’ve been riding the coat-tails of his meteroic rise ever since. See? I told you it’s who you know.

  126. charliemingles Says:

    have you considered consolidating all of your loans into one easy payment?

    I have a leaflet here …

  127. charliemingles Says:

    and you mock the scotch. you two-faced blaggard sir.

  128. Napoleon Says:

    Mingles – I’d agree with that. Freelancing is a pain in the fucking arse, as you never know when the axe is going to fall. If you fancy a career as a freelancer, get used to the idea that your chosen job will also include one or all of these elements:

    Picking spuds.
    Working in an abbatoir.
    Waiting on tables.
    Working in a factory.
    Drinking white cider in a cold, dirty house.
    Killing yourself.

  129. charliemingles Says:

    its just occurred to me that dave probably left about half an hour ago. as hes finished work.

    all that good advice down the drain.

  130. Napoleon Says:

    Ah, but at least I have the decency to mock my Scotch overlord to his face. Well … not his face, as being a freelancer means you don’t ever see any real, living faces. But his face over the phone (my principle communication device).

  131. Napoleon Says:

    He’ll be back. This site is the only thing stopping him downing a bottle of bleach.

  132. charliemingles Says:

    I was freelance mainly for the BBC for about 7 years and in that time I made my living writing shite jokes for fred macaulay, sitting in a room listening to other people make up shite jokes for fred macaulay, come up with vehicle ideas for fred macaluay ( game shows, sketch shows etc)

    and finally getting my own sitcom on radio4 which I made so many changes to get made I could hardly even listen to it when it was on.

    Out of all those years of writing, I seriuosly have about maybe a dozen sketches ( mostly unused) and a dozen short scenes from various sitcom pilots im proud of.

    The rest was just to pay the rent.

    (freds a nice enough guy, I dont blame him)

  133. Napoleon Says:

    It sounds like you’ve had a bit of bad time of it, Mingles.

    Aaaaah, there’s nothing quite like two jammy bastards who have jobs most people would kill for moaning about those jobs, eh Mingles? It’s a shithouse, isn’t it? Getting up when you want, having a day off when you want, earning silly sums of money for doing five minute’s work. What a pain in the arse. I’ll wager we’ve got the audience on our side when I say,

    ‘It’s an ‘ard life!’

  134. charliemingles Says:

    i cannot disagree with you sir.

    on the other hand, when your hobby becomes your job it can be a curse.

    but I think yuo just cant always do it for yor whole life. I gave up writing 4 years ago and never missed it in the slightest until about a month ago when I started reading these blogs and thought Id have a go.

    I wasnt planning to get back into it, but its nice to do it just for fun again rather than for money. much as id love the money.

    I had a great time for the first 5 years though, living that eternal student lifestyle getting up at noon and watching columbo. but even paradise gets boring eventually.

  135. charliemingles Says:

    i cannot disagree with you sir.

    on the other hand, when your hobby becomes your job it can be a curse.

    but I think yuo just cant always do it for yor whole life. I gave up writing 4 years ago and never missed it in the slightest until about a month ago when I started reading these blogs and thought Id have a go.

    I wasnt planning to get back into it, but its nice to do it just for fun again rather than for money. much as id love the money.

    I had a great time for the first 5 years though, living that eternal student lifestyle getting up at noon and watching columbo. but even paradise gets boring eventually.

  136. charliemingles Says:

    what a miserable old cunt I am.

    Ignore all of that please ladies and gentlemen.

  137. goerge Says:

    NP: ‘learning’ how flaff works? Is that the technical definition then?

    I think you’re mistaking ‘media studies’ and about a million degrees with ‘media’ in the title (I.E Media and communication in Radio studies, which basically says ‘bollock about with some radio equipment for three years then act all surprised when the BBC don’t employ you’). Your definition would apply
    rather aptly to the rest of them.

    And English Literature is a narrower subject then Media Studies, as in English Literature you would be expected to be highly proficient in the literacy criticism model. Media / Cultural Studies students would not be expected to be as apt, but you would be expected to be proficient in various other models, a jack of all trades but an ace of none, if you will.

  138. Napoleon Says:

    George – I’m pulling out my balls …

    *pulls out balls*

    … and I’m waggling ’em at you.

    *waggles balls at George*

    “How’s them balls looking, George?” I’m saying. “How’s them fucking balls?”

    Now I’m packing away my balls …

    *packs balls away*

    … and I’m nodding at you and pointing.

    *nods and points*

    Yeah? Yeah?


  139. goerge Says:

    *waves white flag*

    How do you argue with a man with such magnificent balls?

  140. The Tombstone Says:

    Hey, I work in a call centre.

  141. The Tombstone Says:

    Okay I’ve just seen the clip of the show and I think it’s
    a) Not funny and
    b) borderline racist.

  142. daveselectricblanket Says:

    ‘goerge Says: ‘ it all really.

  143. goerge Says:

    it’s still got a laughter track! What is this, 1994?

  144. Swineshead Says:

    Comedy shows have had laughter tracks for decades. They won’t stop because of what will turn out to be a short phase of ‘realist’ comedies in the late 90s / early 00s…

    What a weird thing to take the piss out of.

  145. The Tombstone Says:

    I’ve never been a fan of laughter tracks, especially those with too much laughter or laughs before the jokes. Watch the clip again, the guys are about half way up the stairs and the ‘audience’ is already in hysterics. If it was a real audience there may have been a few titters in a ‘look they’re going to take the piss out of Dragon’s Den’ kind of way. But not the guffaws they played. I just don’t see the need, if something’s funny why do we have to be told to laugh at it, there’s not screams in a horror film or a sign saying ‘you should find this dramatic’ in a drama. They use music to give you a hint that something is going to be scary or dramatic. I already know Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is hilarious I don’t need canned laughter to tell me.

  146. ugeine Says:

    SH: Not using a laughter track doesn’t have to imply more realism (look at Scrubs, for instance), most times all a laughter track does is just patronise the viewer senseless by telling them where the joke is.

    It’s one of my main gripes, especially those shows like League of Gentleman that have a lot of on location shots with laugh tracks from an imaginary audience, just in case the audience are so stupid they can’t tell what they’re supposed to be laughing at.

    If you don’t believe me, trying watching the Might Boosh pilot, it’s wank, mainly because of the laugh track.

  147. Napoleon Says:

    It’s not an imaginary audience, Ugeine. If you’ve ever been to a sitcom recording, you’d know they play you the stuff shot on location on screens and record your reactions. They’ve always done this.

  148. Swineshead Says:

    With Harry & Paul it is an imaginary audience apparently – read an interview at the weekend and it’s all shot in studio rather than soundstage.

    Laughter tracks aren’t all bad – it depends on the quality of the track itself. Sometimes it is too loud, sometimes it’s barely noticeable. If you allow it to detract from the content of the comedy itself then you’re too easily distracted.

    I don’t think it’s a sign of sophistication to look down on comedy with a laugh track, I think it’s a sign of pseudo-intellectual snobbery and an attitude that won’t actually get you very far very fast.

  149. Napoleon Says:

    Harry & Paul’s got an imaginary audience? Oh, well in that case, they should be burned at the fucking stake.

  150. ugeine Says:

    I think it’s a sign of age if you like laughter tracks or find them annoying. For instance, you’re all a bit older then me, and would have probably grown up on multi camera sit coms, shot in the more ‘traditional way’. My generation has grown up on programmes such as The Simpsons, The Office, Peep Show, Family Guy, Futurama, Arrested Development, Scrubs and South Park that don’t employ laughter tracks.

    NP: I didn’t realise that it worked like that. Are there programmes that just have canned laughter edited in? Is it a low budget thing to do?

  151. ugeine Says:

    Just to reiterate, I don’t think having a laughter track makes a show worse. Look at Fawlty Towers and Monty Python. It’s just a programme making technique that annoys me, such as using quick MTV style cuts every ten seconds, using music to signify comedy (scrubs) and using Nick Marshall.

  152. Swineshead Says:

    Ugeine – Laughter tracks are used when comedians don’t want to be up against a studio audience as it forces urgency. if they want to try a million different takes, without an audience, they can.

    As for what I grew up on – I had the nous to watch stuff recorded from the 50s to the present day. They repeat things, you see. VHS and DVD are helpful too.

  153. ugeine Says:

    Oh, yeah, I guess there is that angle to it as well. I forgot that they’re usually actually performing.

  154. ugeine Says:

    *in front of people, like a stage, rather then a TV studio without an audience. Laughter tracks still get on my tits though, like in Friends. (sorry, hit ‘post’ too quick).

  155. The Tombstone Says:

    “pseudo-intellectual snobbery”

    Nope, just don’t like laugh tracks. I laugh when something is funny and I don’t when it’s not. If you need to be alerted to a joke it probably wasn’t funny, as I find when the ‘audience’ is rolling around the aisles and I’m sitting there stoney faced thinking ‘that wasn’t funny’. It’s the same as when I’m laughing and someone in the room says “that wasn’t funny”. Each to their own, everyone laughs at diferent things so cut the fucking laugh track and we’ll decide what to fucking laugh at.

  156. Swineshead Says:

    Fair enough, personal preference then. Seems an odd thing to get so annoyed about. I’m Alan Partridge has a laugh track – it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The Office doesn’t and I actually think that it will date as a result, paradoxically.

  157. Search the Web on Snap.com Says:

    How will not having a laugh track make a show date, that seems an odd theory. It is a strange thing to get so annoyed about though. There are far worse things in the world. And you’re right that I’m Alan Partridge is still enjoyable with one.

  158. The Tombstone Says:

    And for some reason my name keeps changing to Search the Web on Snap.com.

  159. Mikey Says:

    Like the “Fast Show” the vignettes are great perceptions of modern life on this island, but ultimately tail off and mostly do not fulfil their promise. Nonetheless they are worth watching and create familiar characters. Come on..the Polish girls is both quite funny and has an element of truth about it.
    Standing the test of time , probably they will fail (see point 7), but future media studies/communication students will be able to study these sketches and put them in their historical context. I see no problem with them, they are Britishness. We have a sense of humour on this island if nothing else.

    On other matters that have come into my mind due to the dialogue on this blog.

    1). The Clash are (were) fantastic.
    2). I like Paul Simonon’s art.
    3). Glastonbury has been subsumed by the…..
    4). Re: Point 3…it is a generational thing. Anti establishment becomes the establishment.
    5). Keep up the good work….
    6). Napoleon sounds like John Walters.
    7). Fawlty Towers has never been surpassed. NEVER!
    8). Star Trek is probably not communist but more Utopian.
    9). Let’s become a book club!
    10). btw, in real life i am not as serious as I may seem in my contributions to this blog.
    11). Jah Rastafarai!
    12). Frasier is funny!

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