Archive for the 'Funny' Category

The King’s Speech – US version

Very funny spoof trailer for a US version of the King’s Speech (which just won a bunch of Oscars), called the President’s Speech. From the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Who wants to be a millionaire? Set in 1943

Peter Serafinowicz is a funny man. I’ve been following him on Twitter for a while where he chucks in gags and puns all day. But it’s his acting that’s he’s best at – Shaun of the Dead, Couples Retreat etc – and that he’s most known for.

For some reason I decided to visit Peter’s website today and discovered that he’d had a BBC sketch show a few years ago (which wasn’t recommissioned for a second series) called The Peter Serafinowicz Show. And some clips from it are on YouTube and linked to on his site.

It’s pretty good – needs a little more comedic pace for a sketch show – but there are occasional flashes of brilliance. Such as the clip below, where he produces a version of Who wants to be a millionaire? set in World War II. I enjoyed so I figured I’d do a quick post so you could too.

Some British humour

Just received this from my Mum of all people. A good British gag:

“I live on the edge of the county of Berkshire in England.

“There is a huge council house in our street. The extended family is run by a grumpy old woman with a pack of fierce dogs. Her car isn’t taxed or insured and doesn’t even have a number plate, but the police still do nothing.

“Her bad-tempered old husband is of foreign descent but is still notorious for making racist comments. A shopkeeper blames him for ordering the murder of his son and his son’s girlfriend, but nothing has yet been proved.

“All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest, who everyone thought was gay, and two of their grandsons are meant to be in the Army but spend most of their time partying in nightclubs. They are totally out of control.

“God, how I hate living near Windsor Castle. “

US news rant: the video evidence

I forgot to add that I also found two fantastic video clips that demonstrate the sheer madness of the TV news in the United States.

One shows the mindless self-absorption the media has with itself in such an extraordinary way that it could easily be mistaken for genius satire.

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And the other is John Stewart doing what John Stewart does best – despairing but in a very entertaining way.

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US news rant on Guardian comment site

Forgot to say last week that the “US news: utter utter rubbish” rant I wrote a fortnight earlier appeared in a slightly more professional format on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site on Wednesday under the headline: Why TV news in the US is utter rubbish.

The title I sent them was: “Why TV news in the US is utter rubbish (blows big time)”. I still like that, although it is, admittedly, too long. Anyway, I was asked to reprise my original post and so I did by pulling the first person out of it (I *hate* comment pieces with constant “I”, “me” and “my” inclusions – in fact as an editor I would fire anyone that used the word “I” in the first three paragraphs); by adding some examples of the different traits I’d noticed; and by adding a bit on other news options at the end.

It’s not a bad piece. And even though it was swiftly off the front page of the Guardian site, it was the number six most-read piece all through Thursday, dropping down to #7 on Friday, and finally falling off the top ten on Saturday. Not bad considering the competition: John Pilger, Russia and Georgia, and John Edwards being caught with his pants down.

I also got 133 comments on it last time I looked. Hardly any were actually that useful, but then the site option becomes a place for other commenters to argue with one another rather than an extension of an article – such is the Internet way. Alot of other bloggers appeared to agree with my analysis – but then who exactly is going to stand up for the US news stations? They’re so dreadful even the Yanks can’t get patriotic about them.

Anyway, you can read the whole piece in glorious Technicolor here, or put up with my site below:

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Wet veg, everlasting salads and other mysterious secrets of the American supermarket

The organic food-market is an extraordinary thing. Supermarkets always claim to be providing what their customers want, and so since a large number of people are growing increasingly concerned about the chemicals shoved willy-nilly into our food, supermarkets provide organic food.

But you know their hearts aren’t in it. All the mass-produced, completely supply-reliable, unrottable, choose-your-shade-of-green foodstuffs that the multi-nationals supply them with make supermarkets’ lives much, much easier. And so supermarkets cheer themselves up by ripping off organic customers, charging an even greater mark-up on organic produce, and making their mass-produced products look more and more like the organic versions.

In the UK you can tell organic food because it looks weird. All bumpy, misshapen and vaguely threatening. It’s been pulled out the ground for chrissake. No beauty competitions underground, believe you me. As we speak, the chemical maniacs that produce most of our food are inventing new fertilisers that distort vegetables sufficiently to pass the ugly test but still just creep in under legal toxicity limits.

So I thought organic food would take the same design in the United States. But no. In the US, organic food still has to look as if it is an Oscar nominee and has been in make-up all morning. The crucial differentiator in the US is: organic food comes dripping wet.

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Tuscan blog: arses and fags

Friday, 17 Aug: Bar, Fonteverde Spa, Tuscany

So, I’m in the bar at the Fonteverde Spa having had a lovely dinner next door. As usual, there is only one or two other people in here, plus the long-suffering pianist and the barman who, knowing I’m going to having one of the remaining single malts, has already prepared a glass of distilled water and an empty glass for the whisky.

I had a Bowmore 17 last night which was lovely and tonight, a Lagavulin 16, which to me is like a cross between Laphroaig and Bowmore. Why they pour it in a port glass is beyond me, but it leads to very healthy measures so who cares? But that’s enough boring whisky talk, what about the hairnet-sleepmask-underpants?

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BBC comedy Hyperdrive – good radio comedy but on TV

I’ve just accidentally caught the first episode of what I’ve just found out (thanks to the Net) is the second series of a space comedy. It’s called Hyperdrive, is on BBC2 and stars most of the new generation of British TV comedy stars, including Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame.

So what? Well, I don’t know. It struck me as strange as it was actually a very witty script, very well acted and it was clear a ton of money had been spent on it, but even despite this, it didn’t feel right – not like the first time I saw Red Dwarf or The Office. So what was missing?> That’s what fascinates me. I was convinced it was a Radio 4 comedy turned into TV but apparently not – I’ve dug about at the official BBC site and, of course, the Wikipedia article that has appeared and it would seem this was just a TV show.

But it still strikes me as having been written for radio. The jokes are too good and the writing too tight. Sad, ain’t it? Anyway, Hyperdrive, BBC Two, Thursday, 9.30pm. The first epsiode will be reshown at 11.30pm BBC2 next Wednesday.

Mind-melting madness. P Diddy at Diana concert

You know, there are times when I just cannot fathom what on earth is going on in the world and I have just had one of the moments. Fortunately I have been out the country for a month so I completely missed the fact there was a “Concert for Diana” at the new Wembley stadium last weekend. Ignoring the fact that the very concept of having a concert 10 years after a woman dies in a car crash is already ridiculous, I read a review of it yesterday saying it was excruciating so I checked out YouTube this morning and turned up something so dreadful and so unintentionally hilarious and despairing at the same time that I felt the need to post it here.

Yes, it is the greatest lack of talent on the planet P Diddy doing what he does best – pretending to be something he isn’t. In this case, both a rapper and English. In an exquisite burst of mind-melting madness, this phoney American singer is introduced by Jamie Oliver and then proceeds to ponce about on stage before giving what you can only assume he thinks is the sort of entry that a consummate entertainer would provide where they to appear at Wembley. He says the following: “So beautiful… so graceful… so compassionate… so royal… an incredible mother… make some noise for Princess Diana, y’all!” before embarking on a rendition of the version of Every Breath You Take that accidentally launched his career. He can’t sing, his voiced is doubled up so you can’t hear it, and then a choir produces the real sound while he makes nonsense comments over the top. “If you’ve come here to celebrate Diana put your hands in the air!”; “Say ‘I love you!’… ‘we miss you!’…”; “Prince william, prince harry, we love you, we respect you…”

Just extraordinary nonsense. Enjoy.

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London Olympics logo faces wrath of Net democracy

This is going to be an interesting one. The logo for the London Olympics in 2012 was unveiled on Monday and it has met almost universal disdain. And for good reason – look at it – it’s hideous. Or perhaps grotesque is a better word. Anyway, the BBC has a poll on it where at the time of writing 74.04 percent of the 21,019 voters have voted to give it the “wooden spoon” rather than gold, silver or bronze.

Or far more interest though is this online petition on GoPetition.com which has already attracted nearly 40,000 signatures from people agreeing with the statement that the logo is “an embarrassment” and should be “dropped as soon as possible”. The signatures are going in at the rate of roughly 30 a second. If this petition hits 100,000 it will make the news, and the London Olympics Committee has already taken the stance that it won’t budge. But if it hits 500,000 then it would have little choice but to scrap it.

I think the survey will hit 150,000 or so and cause some problems, possibly with a couple of MPs seeing their chance to get on the tele. If Ken Livingstone then comes out against it, it could be doomed. Be interesting viewing for a week or so.

Update: The BBC has run a series of alternative suggested logos sent in by readers – some are good (certainly much better that the graffiti monstrosity above), some are funny.