Bigipedia, Radio 4
Who imagined the internet could be so wikidly comical?
Sunday 26 July 2009
About 10 years ago, the funniest thing on radio was
The Sunday Format, which took an imaginary Sunday supplement from hell and turned it into aural heaven, an all-out assault of rapid-fire gags and laser-guided parodies. So
Bigipedia, billed as "The Sunday Format for the internet generation", has set itself the highest of standards.
Based, as its name suggests, on a certain knowledge-sharing website, and with a remorseless accuracy that ranges in nature from the stiletto between the shoulder blades to the baseball bat over the head, it depicts the torrent of digital drivel that pours from the web: pop-ups and forums, downloads and upgrades, obfuscation and disambiguation. ("Disambiguation: For Crystals, the London nightclub known as VD Heaven, click here. For Crystals, the hedgehog from the Uruguayan fire safety films, click here".)
Sunday Format is not its only inspiration. If you're going to steal, the cliché goes, steal from the best, and Bigipedia's influences are solid comedy gold: there's a bit of Spinal Tap, for example, in the "featured article" on the drummer from prog-rock band Fragrant Slab whose diseased vocal cords were replaced with his wrist tendons.
More fundamentally, there's a big dollop of the Armando Iannucci language games that made On the Hour and TV's Brass Eye such classics – as in the piece on "Minimanimals", collectable action figures which include Arachnimax, with his weblegs and venom blaster, and Jurafilax, with neck stretch and snatch claw.
There are facilities such as Bigitrans – "My am on flames, please be distinguish me" – help for novices on Bigibeginners, and games for the younger ones on Bigikids ("no longer called Kidipedia due to a misunderstanding") which also includes a children's recipe for fried fish – "take a very sharp knife ...".
If you fancy having your mind well and truly messed with, by the way, go to the website bigipedia.co.uk, whose maniacal detail suggests it's been put together by an outsider-artist madman, some lost soul who wiped out his family and now spends his days on a locked ward playing on the hospital computer. Which is appropriate: the whole project – website and programme – is clearly the product of some very deranged minds.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'