A little late with my moan this week, but it’s still Monday (just) so here we go. I don’t mean “The Comedians” as in the stand-up show we used to be subjected to of a Sunday tea-time. I know there are some who claim that dear old Bernard here is the most successful comedian of his day but I ain’t one of ‘em. No, racist clap-trap and well-worn bollocks about the mother-in-law (which is rich coming from the never-married Manning) isn’t my idea of comedy. But even as my memory fades and I hobble towards pipe-and-slippers country, I can still remember a time when comedians actually made me laugh.
Now, even the old names can’t be counted on to raise more than an eyebrow of discontent or perhaps the odd unwilling chortle. Where are those genii of the wicked put-down that used to have me rolling on the floor gasping for breath?
The last time that happened was while watching the excellent Green Wing – but an episode from the first series. The second series had its moments but never really matched the anarchic brilliance that Green Wing achieved in the beginning.
It used to be said that TV was sudden death for comedy, simply because it ate up material at a phenomenal rate. Jokes that once would last for years on the circuit, when seen by millions at a single sitting, became jaded overnight. But it’s not just the lack of material. Even recent comedy greats are on the wane faster than you can say “heard it before.”
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse? Off our screens for years and now back in a poor excuse for a sketch show.
Ben Elton? Don’t make me laugh. Oh, you don’t.
Vic Reeves? Condemned to a half life presenting Brainiac.
But these are all relatively past it now. What of new comedy? The IT Crowd was faintly amusing I’ll grant you but I don’t remember laughing out loud. I’ll get some stick from my fellow Scoopers but I caught ten minutes of Peep Show the other day and couldn’t have stood much more. Dreadful. BBC Three has been dishing up dross like Little Miss Jocelyn and Two Pints of Lager while trailers for its latest crop of “experimental” comedies just leave me thinking…huh?
Even supposedly bankable programmes like Little Britain began visibly to run out of steam during the second series and by the third series was a virtual parody of itself and long past being funny.
Come on! I really need a good laugh. Where are the Fawlty Towers, the Rising Damps and the Porridges for this century? Is Vicar of Dibley or My Family really the best we can do? I think TV comedy writers and producers are ‘aving a larf but sadly, I’m not.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip