Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #14

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf looks at some famous funny moments…and Bono.

My Favourite Joke

BBC One’s My Favourite Joke features various comics talking about their favourite comedy moments. It’s like a Channel 4 poll but without the public interfering. It is the sort of show you would expect Stewart Lee to make a satirical routine about, and if Del falling through the bar in Only Fools and Horses is picked as one of those moments, no doubt he will.

In the latest episode, the moments chosen were Lee Evans’ Bohemian Rhapsody mime; the scene in Rising Damp in which Rigsby uses burning wood to charm Miss Jones; the American comic Sam Kinison ranting against his ex-wife; Lucille Ball on roller skates, and Andre Previn’s performance with Morecambe and Wise.

The thing is with these shows is that is tempting to say that they are a waste of airtime, and that it would be better to make an actual show that wasn’t just full of clips. People say this all the time, but let’s be honest, if they did make a show for that slot the chances are it probably won’t be anything decent. It would just probably just be tat.

It’s rather like people complaining about there being too many repeats on the BBC. Rubbish!  In my view, there’s not enough. There is a simple way to tell if there is, namely by looking at the entire schedule and pointing out all the awful TV shows that are out there.  Scrap them, try to make some decent new shows in some slots and put some repeats of shows that you know are decent in the others. Look at the recent repeat run of Only Fools on daytime BBC One. It’s been getting big ratings. Rather than put on some programme about property development on, just put on Dad’s Army. No-one in their right mind would object to that.

Getting back to the show in hand, I suppose the main merit of these shows is that there will be quite a few comedy clips on My Favourite Joke that people in Britain many not have seen before. I’ve never seen The Lucy Show for example, and the roller skating routine is a very good piece of slapstick. So these shows do sometimes introduce to new experiences, which can only be a good thing.

John Bishop’s Britain

The Liverpudlian returns for a second series of his show, mixing stand-up, sketches and interviews, covering a different subject affecting the British every week.

In this week’s episode, Bishop covered the subjects of “Music and Fashion”. Bishop is rather Peter Kay-esque in his methods. Quite a lot of his humour is nostalgic, looking back at things from when he was young, such as his routine about going into Woolworth’s and buying a record.

This is also evident during his interview section which featured among other things people talking about records they have brought and their guilty pleasures. One pair of identical twins admitted buying a record by The Smurfs (speaking of which, now that The Smurfs have been made into a 3D film, what’s Mark Kermode going to compare them unfavourably too?).

For me, the best parts of the show were the sketches. There were two sketches in this week’s episode, one covering the time Bishop went to see U2 during their “Make Poverty History” page, and what was the perfect way to get back at them; and other being about Bishop’s confusion about the phrase “kiss vigorously” when he was filming Skins alongside Ronni Ancona.

These bits were simply brilliant. The images depicted were hilarious, as were the gags. When you think that the sketch had ended, it didn’t, getting even better as it went along.

A very enjoyable and funny programme. Like Peter Kay, but not so full of himself.