Dominic Brigstocke, Steve Connelly DVD/Blu-ray (360mins)
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Wednesday 27 July 2011
The tragicomic circumstances of Benny Hill's life and death are familiar to anyone who remembers the comedian, and there's a narrative arc to them which doesn't require undue forcing. From wide-eyed young wannabe variety performer to internationally famous television superstar to unmarried and far out-of-fashion pensioner dying alone in his rented Teddington flat, the glory and the sadness of his life speaks for itself.
Sunday 24 July 2011
The Edinburgh Festival is now so crowded that many comedy acts are instead taking to the web in their attempts to break through. But is it any easier – and are the results worthwhile? Matt Chorley asks YouTube's big hitters
Sunday 17 July 2011
Friday 01 July 2011
Following on from its partnership with Steve Coogan, which produced some acclaimed internet shorts featuring Alan Partridge, corporate comedy sponsor Foster's is about to unleash Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's Afternoon Delights on the web.
Thursday 23 June 2011
With its American basement club vibe, it was apt that this excellent US duo were chosen to be the inaugural act for Soho Theatre's new downstairs venue. Assembled around tightly packed cabaret tables, tonight's audience faced a curtain backdrop on to which the Pajama Men's name was projected, something almost too fancy for this pretty no-frills (yet high-octane) act whose only props are their expressive voices and bodies.
Thursday 28 April 2011
That may be the end of the PM's lordly ease at the dispatch box. It was a lovely act while it lasted. Week by week we had an exhibition from another era as Cameron showed us the upper-class skill of manners being the art of making other people feel uncomfortable.
Saturday 23 April 2011
Scriptwriter John Sullivan has died at the age of 64, the BBC announced today.
Thursday 24 March 2011
Who will be the first female Pope? Before you start saying "Ann Widdecombe" or talking about the doctrine of the all-male priesthood let me stop you. Because we may have already had a female Pope, and what's more she was English! This un-looked for boost to our international reputation came in John Julius Norwich's diverting Book of the Week: The Popes, which kicked off with Joan (or John as she called herself) who was elected in the mid ninth century after Leo IV. Carelessly, Joan got pregnant and gave birth on procession in a narrow lane near St Peter's, leading to horrible clerical reprisals. Yet was she for real? Sadly, Norwich thinks not, though there are plenty of documentary accounts of how she was dragged through the street and Martin Luther says he saw a statue of Joan, which was thrown into the Tiber by Sixtus IV. But coins from the period seem to prove otherwise, so perhaps the female Pope was only the result of wishful thinking by historians trying to spice up the institution of the papacy, though judging by the rest of this series, it needs little spicing. Wonderfully, however, Joan's legacy was said to live on in the form of the Porphyry Chair, a throne with a reclining back and a huge keyhole in the seat. Before the Pope's enthronement, "his testicles are felt by a junior cleric present as proof of his male sex, and the cleric shouts out 'here hangs testicles!'" If undignified clerical groping was the fate of every Pope for centuries then you might say that Joan had the last laugh.
Wednesday 26 January 2011
Monday 24 January 2011
The comic Miranda Hart plans to use her success at the British Comedy Awards to move into theatre, and hopes to make her West End stage debut. Hart, who on Saturday picked up three prizes, for Best New TV Comedy Show, Best Female Comedy Actress and the People's Choice Award, has already been commissioned to write and star in a new series of her eponymous BBC2 sitcom. The last series of Miranda averaged 3.7 million viewers and it is expected that a third run of the sitcom will move to a prime-time BBC1 slot. She is also scheduled to appear in a Comic Relief sketch in April.
Thursday 13 January 2011
For an organisation devoted to popular entertainment, the BBC's public pronouncements always carry a drearily leaden ring. Just look at the statement of policy, vision and challenges for Radio 2 this year. The plan, apparently, is to "refresh and refocus its comedy output to gain greater impact from existing levels of investment in this genre, ensuring differentiation from comedy on Radio 4". Different from Radio 4? Please God, they don't mean less funny.
Monday 03 January 2011
A senior officer aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise broadcast to his crew a series of profanity-laced comedy sketches in which he used gay slurs, mimicked masturbation and opened the shower curtain on women pretending to bathe together, according to reports.
Wednesday 29 December 2010
Thursday 23 December 2010
Channel 4 has been condemned for broadcasting "deeply offensive" language after comedian Frankie Boyle used the words "nigger" and "Paki".
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