A different Brand of comedy

Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.

Not so much a quip, more of a quote with comic aspirations, and very much a real observation attributable to many people, I suspect.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand is a BAFTA winning British comedienne, writer, and actress, majoring on observational comedy.  Like several others, her style is dead pan and down beat, but this still has large appeal to the public.  Much of her humour is self-deprecating, which may be a reason for her success.  She won the 2011 Best TV Comedy Actress BAFTA award for her BBC Four sitcom Getting On.

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A big fat quiz

I saw a charity appeal in the Guardian the other day, and it read “Little Zuki has to walk 13 miles a day just to fetch water”. And I couldn’t help thinking, she should move.

Something slightly different now, with a current comedian specialising in a more sombre humour with a deadpan delivery.

Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr seems to appear everywhere at the moment; both TV and radio.  His style of comedy, of which there are many examples (some we will see more of in this blog no doubt), are similar to the quote above – a pretty ordinary observation or comment with a sharp witty comment appended that takes just a second to hit home.  Very clever and quite an endearing comedy style.

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A six month around the World cruise for around £700 please

Computer says no …  (cough)

It would not be possible to make reference to Little Britain without mentioning the other half of the famous double-act, similarly acting out sketches for a number of memorable characters

Carol Beer

Carol Beer, played by David Walliams, created a catchphrase that took the World by storm.  Since that date, and probably even now, several years later, many a person could be heard in many offices saying “computer says no”, and not just IT people.  When asked by customers if they can take a loan or open up an account, Carol would punch in data into the computer and always have the same reply, although, on her very last appearance in episode 3, with a very difficult request, she is dismayed that the computer actually said “yes”… to the request which is the title of this post.

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We all love a bit of cake

I want to talk to you today about the half the calories diet.  If you take a bit of cake and cut it in half then it’s only half the calories.  And because it’s only half the calories you can have twice as much!

Brilliant, just brilliant comedy from another award-winning program by a now famous comedy pairing, although this quote comes from just one half of the double-act.

Marjorie Dawes

Marjorie Dawes is just one of many characters acted by Matt Lucas in the Little Britain comedy sketch show.  Initially starting out on radio before moving to TV, Little Britain contained many cringe-worthy sketches for a core set of characters which, after a time, became more acceptable and believable, with a lot of humour based around almost taboo subjects.  Virtually every character created is memorable for one reason or another.  Marjorie and Fat Fighters is just one example – and we all do love a bit of cake!

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Stop messing about!

It’s frightening to think with modern medicine and all the technique available to them…they can’t really help you.  In the old days, you know, you were better off because nowadays they are all specialists.  Everyone’s becoming better and better at less and less.  Eventually someone’s going to be superb….at nothing

This great comic actor and comedian may be best remembered for the Carry on films that he starred in, but this was far from his only accomplishment

Kenneth Williams

Kenneth Williams also played a part in many radio and TV shows, including Just a Minute and Hancock’s Half Hour, however, this only came about as he did not achieve what he really wanted to be … a dramatic actor.

The title of the post is one of William’s famous sayings.

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Life! Don’t talk to me about life

Arthur: You know, it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
Ford: Why, what did she tell you?
Arthur: I don’t know, I didn’t listen.

Tearing ourselves away from the festive Blackadder, we return to another favourite – a true giant of comic writing and who is sadly no longer with us.

Douglas Adams

Dougals Adams created The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which had its first radio airing in 1978.  This morphed into a trilogy of 5 books which since has sold 15 million copies, a TV series and a Hollywood movie made too (after his death).

The sheer scale of his diverse comic talent is surely unparalleled in this or any other universe.  Who else would have taking a mundane every-day item, such as a towel, and transforming it in to the “most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”;  where else could the number “42” achieve such universally intergalactic importance being the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”

So long Douglas and thanks for all the fish!

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East Cheam’s Finest Half Hour

A pint? Why, that’s very nearly an armful!

This quote was from a very famous and popular series from the 1950’s and 60’s – The Blood Donor is arguably the most famous of this comics TV series, Hancock’s Half Hour.

Tony Hancock

A troubled genius, who was never satisfied with his work, Tony Hancock sadly committed suicide, but his talent, comedy and personality will forever be etched in British TV and radio history.

The script with the above line says:

Doctor: I’ve just taken a small sample to test.

Tony: A sample? How much do you want then?

Doctor: A pint, of course.

Tony: A pint?  Have you gone raving mad?  Oh, well, of course . . . I mean, you must be joking.

Doctor: A pint is a perfectly normal quantity to take.

Tony: You don’t seriously expect me to believe that.  I mean, I came in here in all good faith to help my country.  I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint . . . why that’s very nearly an armful.

I’m sorry. I’m not walking around with an empty arm for anybody . ..  No, I’m sorry, I’ve been misinformed, I’ve made a mistake . . . I’ll do something else, I’ll be a traffic warden.

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Burp! You’ve Been Framed!

A dolphin jumps out of the water for a fish – so imagine what he’d do for chips!

An award-winning comedian this time, noted for his off-beat, slightly quirky and very clean stand-up humour, as this quote demonstrates.  A former (and still registered) medical practitioner turned to the world of comedy in the 90’s, and regular TV shows followed in the naughties (00’s) which have raised his profile still further.

Harry Hill

In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, Harry Hill was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders – a true measure of talent if ever there was one (personally I have laughed more a Harry Hill’s stand-up shows than anything else).

Another popular quote, showing his true unique quirky humour is:

It’s only when you look at an ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames

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And it’s goodnight from him

The perfect crime was committed last night, when thieves broke into Scotland Yard and stole all the toilets. Police say they have absolutely nothing to go on.

One of my all time favourite comedians and probably the creator of some of the most popular comdey sketches and quotes.  Ronnie Barker was an actor, comedian, writer, critic and broadcaster.  Most famous for his role as Fletcher in Porridge, and also with his long term comedy partnership with fellow “Ronnie”, Ronnie Corbert.

Ronnie Barker

This quote was taken from The Two Ronnies, a program consisting of numerous sketches, musical interludes and many “play on word” humourous items, somthing that Ronnie Barker loved.  In fact his best loved play on words, and arguably the UKs most popular sketch of all time, is the “Four Candles” sketch – but that will be saved for another post.

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You can’t say that on the BBC

The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey

Just to show that humour abounds in this great country and it is not just a monopoly exclusively held by comedians – Brain Johnston, often known as Johnners, was a cricket commentator and presenter for the BBC.

Brian Johnston

The above line was said when Michael Holding of the West Indies was bowling to Peter Willey of England in a Test match at The Oval in 1976.  Johnston claimed not to have noticed saying anything odd during the match…

One of Jonners other noticeable on-air gaffe was said to be:

There’s Neil Harvey standing at leg slip with his legs wide apart, waiting for a tickle

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