Comedy has gone stale, say Reeves and Mortimer

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The Independent Culture

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer hit out at the "stale" and old-fashioned state of comedy nowadays.

The comedians, who are bringing their cult "quiz" show Shooting Stars back to TV screens, gave The Mighty Boosh the thumbs up.

But they said new comics like Michael McIntyre would not have been out of place 20 years ago.

The pair were asked by the Radio Times if it was harder to keep mucking about as they got older.

But Vic, 50, told the magazine: "There's more energy in this than anything we've done.

"We're not crippled and incapable yet. I think comedy probably is a young man's game, but it's gone a bit stale at the moment."

Bob, also aged 50, added: "It doesn't feel like there's been that much new.

"I think The Mighty Boosh are quite good. But I could have been watching this new crop - Michael McIntyre and people - 20 years ago.

Vic added: "When we were doing Vic Reeves Big Night Out, they were the kind of people that were around, and we came along and did something different.

"And they're still there. There's nothing new."

Vic also said the pair would like to update their 2004 surreal sitcom Catterick.

Bob added: "We're thinking of just doing it ourselves and putting it out on 'computers', because I think there's more to be said with Catterick."

The pair denied that they were cashing in by resurrecting Shooting Stars.

Bob said: "It didn't feel cynical bringing it back - there's nothing much like it.

"There's a big difference between this and, like, Mock the Week and the other panel shows.

"I don't think Shooting Stars has ever successfully been replaced. There have been a few attempts - ITV2 did one (Celebrity Juice) with Leigh Francis, a sort of madcap thing.

Vic added: "That was basically Shooting Stars."

Bob continued: "And a few of the quizzes, even like QI, took a bit of Shooting Stars on board with silly buzzers and things, but it's a gap that's never been filled."

* Sir Michael Parkinson has turned his fire on television programmes which probe unsanitary conditions.

He said in his Radio Times column: "As I write, I'm looking at a billing for Grimefighters (August 5 ITV1), which promises 'London sewer flushers Rob and Dan reveal the capital's dirty secrets...'

"The time can't be far away when we'll have Celebrity Sewers - 'discover the real dirt on the stars.'

"A final thought: would it be too cruel to suggest that when Eric and Ernie, Les and Tommy were in the schedules, such programmes wouldn't have been regarded as entertainment, whereas nowadays, shows featuring human waste might be said to merely typify the schedules they appear in?"

Sir Michael's latest broadside at the state of TV comes after he blasted shows about property and police chases as well as saying in the magazine in April that the late Jade Goody was "the perfect victim of our times".