Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #20

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

This week Ian Wolf dives right in to ask some important questions.

Ask Rhod Gilbert

This week saw the return of Rhod Gilbert’s panel show in which he, his two regulars (Greg Davies and Lloyd Langford) and a selection of celebrity guests attempt to answer all manner of odd questions.

This week’s guests included Phill Jupitus (good comedian) and Kimberly Wyatt (not sure who she is). There was also David Hasselhoff in the role of the “Authenticator”, making sure everything discussed was correct and providing extra information. I suppose it is a suitable title as you can’t really call him an “Expert”, unless you want to know how to make rubbish TV programmes and make it big in the German music charts.

Ask Rhod Gilbert mixes obscure knowledge and debate with very cheap laughs. In the first edition of the new series we learnt that a dog is as clever as a two-year-old, how many words we use on average in a lifetime, and that it was Hugh Heffner who brought Pamela Anderson into Baywatch (I think we can skip past that last one).

However, we also experience the traditional end-of-show humiliation in which Langford always gets mocked in some stupid way. In this week’s edition it was to see which was the most dangerous foodstuff, which was tested by firing different items of food at him. This included water balloons filled with gravy and a gun firing 99 ice creams at him.

One issue I have with this show is that Gilbert announces who has won each round, despite the fact that there is no winner. Now, obviously there are some panel shows in which the scoring is irrelevant like I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, but it’s not as if there is any “competitive element” in it like ISIHAC has, so why have winners in the first place?

Ask Rhod Gilbert does have some laughs, but it’s not the most brilliant show by any stretch of the imagination.

Jo Brand’s Big Splash

This new show on Dave features a mixture of documentary and stand-up. Here Jo Brand, a keen swimmer, looks at the British love of water, swimming and all things wet.

The problem with this show is that while Jo Brand is a very good stand-up comedian, her stand-up always gets interrupted by these documentary elements of the show. At times it is less a comedy, and more akin to the Channel 5 series Rory and Paddy’s Great British Adventure, featuring lots of people taking part in silly challenges. Also, quite a few of these segments are either boring or disgusting. For example, at one point Brand goes down into a London sewer. One thing that I’ve always believed in is that excrement is a much funnier thing when it’s talked about rather than seen. Seeing poo on screen is never funny.

However, some of the documentary elements are particular eye-catching. My favourite was the Maldon Mud Race, which involves running across a muddy river bank. Brand did this event alongside Sean Lock, with both of them wearing wetsuits, getting covered in mud, falling over, and in the end taking a shower together. I felt like I was beginning to watch some comedic fetish film.

Luckily, for those who are not interested in any of the documentary elements of this programme, the final episode of the series just features Brand’s stand-up, so you can just wait until then.