Ben Stiller

Tim & Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!, Leicester Square Theatre,

A prominent British sketch performer once told me that "Americans can't do sketch comedy." Meanwhile, the British character comic Kevin Eldon once said: "If I see comedy which I consider, in my very judgmental little head, to be lazy or weak it actually offends me." It's these quotes that spring to mind when faced with the lack of charm and quality in this American duo's live show.

How did all that movie talent crash?

Ten years ago Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze and others promised to revitalise US cinema. As Wilson's latest gets a mauling, Ben Walsh laments their recent record of stinkers

The Week In Radio: Yes, there's something about Mary Whitehouse

I rather liked Mary Whitehouse. She would often ring me up in a previous journalistic incarnation to "draw my attention" to upcoming outrages. And when she did she was always polite, intelligent and firm, like the girls' school teacher she once was. If the tide of filth had already been broadcast, she would read out the profanities, "eight bloodys, two buggers and a Christ", in her special, taking-the-register monotone, which always enlivened a dull day. And while her repressive views on homosexuality and pre-marital sex were deeply unappealing, her biggest impact on broadcasting was not about sex at all. It was establishing the idea that listeners and viewers should have a say in what broadcasters provide.

Fashion: The latest in hobo chic

Anyone who has ever chuckled at the scene in Ben Stiller's fashion-world spoof Zoolander in which a designer unveils a clothing collection inspired by "the vagrants that make this wonderful city" will no doubt be aware of the industry's occasional ability to transform the most inappropriate subject matter into a sartorial statement. In the case of this season's "luxe grunge" trend, designers have fortunately stopped short of channelling actual vagrants and opted for the nearest acceptable alternative, the proponents of the early 90s grunge scene.

The Word On...Tropic Thunder

"Ben Stiller's performance is easily the weakest element: like his 'Zoolander' character, he has a handful of exaggerated expressions and cycles through them on cue. But it's easy to forgive, given how thoroughly enjoyable 'Tropic Thunder' is on virtually every other count." - Tasha Robinson,

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