The It Crowd, Episode 4

September 14, 2007


Think of it as a unicorn chaser after the previous post.


  1. Long time leecher, first time poster.

    I’d just like to say that I’ve been fortunate enough to catch all 3 eps this series and have loved every one. My gold-standard essential telly viewing for a week is now:

    1. Authoritatively shouting answers at the students in University Challenge so loud that I actually muffle out the correct answer and nobody is the wiser.
    2. Catching up with what Iggle Piggle gets up to In The Night Garden, he rocks.
    3. Laughing along with The IT Crowd until either the credits roll up or a small dribble of wee pools itself at the front of my trousers (to be fair, if the latter happens I still wait for the former)

    So bless you for all your and the prod-teams efforts, they are worth the clothes change.

  2. Three good ones in a row? Tonight’s is bound to be rubbish. Kidding. Kidding.

  3. Hey G, I just forked out on the ‘Marenghi/Learner’ box set. I cannie wait to hear your brilliantly delivered lines! Also got Nathan Barley and an ipod nano after a dropped my zen creative down the lav. Thanks for doing this second series, Oh gosh whats Berry gonna go this Ep.??

  4. Berry sadly missing tonight, but he does particularly well in Ep 6.

  5. Dont even know what this episodes about! There were no trailers!

    Which makes me want to watch it more.

    Any Ritchmond tnite?

    Only just gettin into the M Boosh now. absolutely Insane but Brilliant.

    Also.. Any Denholm?…..oh wait.

  6. As long as it doesn’t involve semen I’m happy.

  7. Because you deleted my idea for the show “Name That Foetus” I am not going to watch tonight’s episode.
    Kidding, I apologise, I was still drunk from the night before.

  8. Yay! My comment deleted! Nice to know I’m keeping up my low standards.

    Just wanted to say that my wife hasn’t been at all interested in the series until ‘Moss and the german’. Now she’s sold. Well done.

    I only got two pound for her, though.

  9. Just too much horribleness leaking through from the previous post. Sorry!

  10. Show starts at 10pm. not sure why they moved it from the 9:30 slot.

  11. Hahahah that White wine jokes was brilliant!

  12. Good casting for diner party guests.

  13. Really funny episode

  14. Game of Pricks! Best credits music ever! Oh, and a hilarious episode too, of course.

  15. GBV! GBV! GBV!

  16. Utter, utter genius! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much.

  17. Ahhh, another goodun :)

    I have to say, our latest ‘thing’ at work if anything goes wrong or doesn’t work is (in an Irish accent, like Roy) ‘I’m disabled!!’

    Yeah, we’re that sad.

  18. You can tell what the cool kids in class think of it … the first advert in the break being the new iPod nano !!! …. mind you there was also one for Studio Line Hair Gel, so you can’t have it all.

    Ep was great, a nice balance of distaste, disturbance and a dysenteric mention of a small poo.

    Seriously. Really good all round.

  19. Did you guys spot the Firefox reference? Awesome.

  20. Terrific,the best yet I’m afaraid I like it more without Mr Berry, sorry. Just fatastic.

  21. I think that was Assassin’s Creed that he tried to borrow.


  22. You like it more without Matt? You’re going to hate the next series.

  23. That was a good one Graham. By the way, have you seen the Brass Eye Special? Or what about ‘The Soup Nazi’ and ‘The Masseuse’ episodes of Seinfeld? Judging by tonight’s episode I guess you have….

  24. I enjoyed that more than the last two episodes but I couldn’t help but notice some obvious comparisons to Seinfeld, I know your a big fan of Seinfeld so I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not. But the lovey-dubby talk with Jen and her boyfriend was very reminiscent of Jerry and his girlfriend in the “Shmoopy” episode and the tanoy announcement of “Peter File” (a Chris Morris gag) was reminiscent of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is dating someone named Joel Rifkin and the tanoy announces him to come to the office and everyone looks at him and Elaine says “He’s not the murderer”.

    But saying that they were some wonferful bits in the episode, loved Roy, Moss and Richmond trying to act relaxed and also some lines like “Memory and RAM are the same thing thing” and “New York…city of apples”.

    Oh and how come Richmond has gone from this socially inept person who lives in a cupboard to now having sex at dinner parties? Ha.

    Keep up the good work.

  25. “You like it more without Matt? You’re going to hate the next series.”

    That’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever read. Well, it’s up there!

    Can’t wait to see him in Crawdaddy.

  26. Channel 4 need to plug the series 1 DVD at the end of the show. They manage to plug the 5 year old Phoenix Knights DVD, repeated for the 1000th time, they need to show the IT Crowd more love.

  27. Haha, cool series, was sad enough to add the email address =P. Keep them comming. And get the dude on the email to talk!

  28. Oh, we are so immenced we add emails whenever we hear them on telly =]

  29. Well, guys, dp you really think I would announce my love of ‘Seinfeld’ to the world–on this site and elsewhere– and then rip off ideas in the hope that no-one’s seen them? And what am I copying from ‘Soup Nazi’? And what’s from ‘The Masseuse’? I worked on ‘Brass Eye’, so I guess I should remember the “Peter File’ joke, but I don’t.

  30. I noticed Noel Fielding is now first billed in the credits, or has he always been first?

  31. Hmmm … now its mentioned I wonder whether others also noticed there also was definately a Puffy Shirt, no less than 6 distinct references to how pretzels were making somebody thirsty and if you watched the program backwards you would get the entire forth series of Curb Your Enthusiasm.


    All I got from it was I found it really funny.

  32. Thank god for Channel 4 +1!! I dosed off and woke up at the Credits argggghhh.

    Managed to watch it tho. Brilliant ep. This Series is so far ahead of the first.

    Dont have a heart attack now…….. but ive NEVER WATCHED SEINFELD.

    Great News about Series 3 ( If Its true )

  33. Loved that episode ! was really funny II love the it crowd and im so glad the seeries have started again i added filepeter@hotmail.com but no one aswers lol i loved everything to do with peterfile being as pedofile Espech at the airport at the end I would love it if they made the itcrowd movie i know every one else would to see you around Graham please reply thanks and welldone !

  34. I thought I came up with the Peter File joke.

    I know people like this.. even like Richmond. Argh.
    Thanks for the laughs, it gets my friends together on a Friday night.

  35. ace episode graham, the 3 dinner party girls were absolutely brilliant

  36. Father Ted is on aswell Jesus. Glad to see that back on C4.

    My Favourite ep. too

    Well….Brenan kicked up the arse.

    “My Lovely Horse”

  37. Thanks for your comments all go to http://www.kkifmradio.com for me thanks !

  38. OMG thats my site ow comes your telling people to go to it omg u rock man !

  39. Hmmm, shame about all the Seinfeld lifts. And the Brass Eye gag.

  40. Oh dear.. That was seriously desparate, Jamie. hahaha

  41. HAHAHHA lol i wanted to check if it worked and it did i had to cover up some how lol soz ha ha any way it crowd rocks !

  42. Hi Graham,
    Really enjoying this series, very very funny. Really admire and enjoy the fact that its a good ‘old fashioned’ sitcom- just shows that this sort of thing can still be done- and done really well!.
    Just discovered your blog from a link on the C4 site, really cool to be able to feed back, and i’d missed that there was an animated Drinky Crow animation- great stuff.
    Love that Matt Berry’s in this series, im with you that the volvic ad’s always bring a smile to my face.
    Being a bit of a comics/art geek have enjoyed spotting the set decoration this series- some great stuff adorning the office- spotted some Woodring (Mr. Bumper), Maakies (Drinky Crow), some James Jarvis (In-crowd, Wiggs), some Mad*l’s, and more… God im such a geek!.

  43. Thanks, all! As always, very sweet of you to get in touch.

  44. I’m still aching from laughing at S2Ep4 which I time slipped on Sky+. Please, please tell me that there’ll be a series 3.

    I think we should have a straw poll among IT support folks (like me and I guess at lot of other regulars) of which character we’re most like and which we’d most *like to be like.

    For me, I’m regrettably socially awkward so I’d have to be Moss in real life. It’s only a matter of time before someone I know makes the connection. I’d feel much more comfortable being Roy or even Richmond a push. (At least then I’d have a chance of dating Jen!)

    So how about everyone else… do we have any “Roys” here? Perhaps a few Richmonds or … horrors another poor sap like Moss – whom Richard Ayoade is playing to a tee. God when that woman attacked him in Ep.4 I thought I was going to laugh up a kidney!

  45. Was it Assassin’s Creed? It cudnt’ve been cause this was filmed a while back and A.C isnt out yet.

    Out of topic but hey! what can i say, I love me games. xbox 360 oyeah.

    Graham are you still a “Scary Irish Man”? lol

  46. It was ‘Assassin’s Creed’. We had an advance copy, just the cover. Still haven’t played it.

  47. Hi graham i really enjoyed last nights episode I think your a amazing writer and i really enjo the it crowd how many more episodes till this series ends and will there be any more series?

  48. Noticed them playing War on Terror – I didn’t realise it played with 2 but so it does!

    Who was pink? Moss?

  49. […] The It Crowd, Episode 4 [image] Think of it as a unicorn chaser after the previous post. […]

  50. Loved the show. Luurved it. Made me laugh=succesful comedy.


    As well as the couple of Seinfeld lifts, there were also a couple of Simpsons ones, no?

    The cut from the plane to Jen.

    And, more heinously (a real word?) the gag about the dinner deserving a round of applause is a bit too close to the excellent Troy McClure joke “that was the funniest anecdote I’ve heard all week. Now you tell one”

    Not that I think it’s deliberate mind. It happens by osmosis for sure.

  51. I watched ‘Virginia Woolf’ literally straight before watching this episode. And —
    You’re pretty much my favorite person now.

  52. Loved the episode last night, really is a great series.

  53. Excellent – probably my favourite episode so far. Richard Ayoade shone in this one – he’s getting better every week. Laughed hardest at their weird contortions when Jen told them to relax at the dinner party. Really lovely to see them all out of the office more this series – plus it works better for me because the dynamic seems to have changed between them – much more palley. Roy’s a lot fluffier too isn’t he? He seemed quite spikey before but he’s really quite endearing now. Already looking forward to series 3 – will this series be out on DVD for Christmas?

  54. Amazon list the DVD for an October 1st release.

  55. Good episode though I prefer the more plotty ones. Richmond’s girlfriend was amazingly good. I assumed the Peter File thing was something you’d originally contributed to Brass Eye, but it’s no big deal: it got way more use here and was well worth it. The other stuff isn’t plagiarism or influence of anything, just some gags having similar architecture and some bits of social observation that are universal and can stand being explored a bit more.
    My partner says that Moss is a sex bomb and can’t understand why nobody has noticed that. Dunno what this says about me.

  56. Your really bloody talented to write that all by yourself. It’s like you’re evolving the sitcom. You are a humble bloke but i think you are doing more than you know mate.. I never even noticed the Berry shaped gap it worked and rolled so well.
    Whats that about someone dissing the Berrymiester? oh dear, it’s Hulk time.

  57. I agree with D Cairns slightly with that some social observations are universal so it can’t really be put down to plagiarism….But how do you explain the scene where Roy is asking questions to the woman with the bandaged face to try and work out if she is attractive or not and then not see the obvious comparison with The Stall episode of Seinfeld where Elaine is asking questions to her boyfriend Tony who has a bandaged face and she is trying to work out if he is still attractive by asking how the surgery went and if he has any scars etc?

    That is not a universal social observation.

  58. hi. my husband Brandon posts on the superficial forums as “apotheosis”. I have a new blog about his online romantic and sexual relationships with female posters.


  59. MH, I would not deliberately steal a Seinfeld idea unless I thought I could take it in some new direction, and if I had seen ‘The Stall’ near the time when there was still something I could do about it, I would have said to myself “Oooooh, shit” and dropped the storyline. That way, I wouldn’t have to deal with pernickity anoraks with too much time on their hands.

    What part of “Seinfeld is a major influence” confuses you? Doesn’t it stand to reason that if I was setting out to make a ‘Seinfeld’-style sitcom, I would occasionally stray into similar territory?

    There is one episode of ‘Seinfeld’ Arthur and I lifted an idea from for ‘Father Ted’ (as i say, we thought we could do something new with it). If you guys really want to impress me, name the episode and the idea. Winner gets an autographed script of my choosing, which they can dissect, in private, until the cows come home.

  60. Great episode – this series is miles better than season 1… Cant believe there’s only 2 more eps… what am I to watch when its over :(

    Will there be a dvd boxset of both seasons? Or will they both be separate?

    (also thanks for responding to comments – not many writers would)

  61. P.S – on the subject of comedies being inspired by each other…
    There’s an episode of southpark – with old people zombies, that I always thought was v similar to Father Ted (Eoin mcLove episode) Have you seen it? Do you agree?

  62. P.P.S – Ted came before the South Park ep – so I was insinuating that they seen it and were inspired by it (not the other way round)

  63. I’m sure they didn’t see it. Some ideas are just sort of floating about, and people have them at the same time.

  64. Oh, and Vince, both series will be sold as a box-set.

  65. Great episode, Graham, loved the whole Peter F thing, came from nowhere halfway through the episode and made me laugh so much my wife laughed at me.

  66. On the topic of alleged plagiarism, have you seen the South Park episode with “Simpson’s did it!” all the way through pretty much showing that it is possible for the same type of joke to be reached independently of each other.

    As for the Seinfeld idea used in Father Ted, it’s not the “not that’s there’s anything wrong with that?” moment from ‘A Song for Europe’ is it? Surely that’s more a homage than anything else. That joke worked perfectly coming from a priest. Makes me smile just remembering it.

  67. Is it from a Seinfeld episode called “The Pool Guy”, referencing a movie called “Firestorm”?

  68. The Gymnast and Mr Pitt’s Hitler moustache?

  69. Ted was good enough to rise above any Seinfeld ideas it had pilfered (consciously or otherwise).

  70. Not just that, but I imagine the average Ted viewer was fairly unfamiliar with Seinfeld at the time. It didn’t really seep into the UK consciousness until the millenium.

  71. M Hislop, are you just a comedy troll? Or perhaps a bitter and jealous writer?

    I’m sure that by using the collective comedy knowledge of everyone who reads this blog we could turn up examples of jokes “pilfered” for use in The Simpsons and Seinfeld. There’s a difference between plagiarism and coincidence. And I’m sure anyone who has experience writing comedy in one form or another has experienced seeing a joke / idea they came up with appear on TV / Film or Radio before they had a chance of getting it out there themselves. These things happen. Welcome to a world of 6 billion people thinking.

  72. In other words, Matty doesn’t know. Anyone else? It’s not the ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that” moment.

  73. Is it the beginning of ‘The Plague’ with ‘Father Ben’. You know, because they think they’re eejits. George and Kramer aren’t to keen on their parallel selves are they, although that’s different because they’re actors and the correspondence is explicit, and Kramer clearly had good reason not to like ‘Kramer’, a dislike displaced into the one playing the one who didn’t like the other one, obviously; that whole meta-seinfeld/Ted thing in ‘the plague’ then?

  74. No.

  75. Is it the one where father Jack develops a stand up routine about the food on aeroplanes and long queues in banks?

    I didn’t watch much of Seinfeld…..I’ll catch up with it in time.

    Can I have a script anyway?

  76. Definitely not Mr Pitt’s Hitler moustahce and Nazi saluting, done by Ted? Or the ‘you can’t ask a chinese person where a chinese restaurant is?’ stuff from The Cigar Store Indian?

    With regards certain themese coming up, yes that happens of course, it’s just that it seems to be happening a fair bit. If you have Jerry and his Dad fighting over who’s going to pay the bill, then that’s a very universal situation, and therefore it would be churlish to make theft accusations when Mrs Doyle gets into a fight with her cronies. But some of the specific plot-lines here have been a bit too close for comfort, e.g. Elaine not knowing if her boyfriend is black/Jen not knowing if he’s gay, the afore-mentioned one from The Stall, and the Joel Rifkin/Peter File one.

    It just always surprises me that these things get all the way through production without anyone notcing the similarities.

  77. Sigh. Neil, you’re an idiot. I’m not going to waste any more time on you.

  78. We love you Graham, especially your character who loved books in Black Books.
    Saw you on Georges Street once in Dublin but did the “whole Irish thing of pretending not to notice you”!
    You’re very tall!!

  79. What if I go to Neil’s house and wee on his front door?

  80. Will everone stop talkin about other ideas ‘lifted’ from different shows!!! lol only jokin but jesus its gettin a little tedious. Look at the top of the screen “It Crowd” ( Jeremy Kyle style ) lol

    Oh and Who else has made a sitcom about an I.T department? ey?ey?

  81. It’s set in an I.T department but it’s hardly about an I.T department, especially the current series, it’s about the theater, dinner parties, funerals, cannibalism etc. (That is not a criticism by the way just in response to the poster above)

  82. This is not going to win me the script, but there is a bit in Father Ted which I thought might have been inspired by Jerry Seinfeld’s dodgy phone acting. In Seinfeld, Jerry would often answer the phone and say something like “yes.. uh uh ok,” and would be on the phone for no more than 5-10 seconds. Yet he would then proceed to relay the supposed jist of the conversation to one of the other characters, which would often take about a minute to fully explain. His phone conversations always left me wondering how on earth he managed to get all that information from such a short phone call.
    There is a bit in Father Ted which seems to poke fun at these type of phone conversations. Ted is in a chair answering the phone and quickly says something like “hello, I understand,” and then relays a complicated version of the conversation to Dougal, to which Dougal then replies something like “You got all that, from that conversation just then?”
    Obviously, this joke could have been inspired by dodgy phone acting from many shows but I had always hoped it was inspired by Jerry Seinfeld.

    Hmm, I think I may have proven with this ramble that you can probably make vague connections between completely unrelated things if you try hard enough. :)

  83. Okay about the I.T Staff then and generally the whole I.T’ness, If thats a word.

  84. That’s what the whole thread is proving, Pep. And no script for you!

  85. What the hell, I’ll throw my hat in. Is it (one of my favorite episodes,)”Are you right there, Father Ted”? Ted’s misteps with the Craggy Island Chinese community paralleling that of Jerry’s insensitivity with the cigar store Indian and Elaine’s Native American friend?

  86. Wait!! Or that same episode’s moment with Ted and the perfectly square bit of dirt and Elaine’s boss and the smudged ink on his upper lip?

  87. Nope! I’ll give you a clue, though, you’ve got the right series.

  88. Influence, plagiarism; potato, potato (that doesn’t really work in print).
    Better to be influenced by Larry David than… whoever it was that wrote (shat out) Will and Grace.
    Not the strongest episode so far but some nice lines nonetheless – the city of apples, RAM IS memory, the Peter File scene.
    I seem to remember it being mentioned that the kicking Bishop Brennan up the Arse episode was adapted from something else but I can’t think of anything remotely close from Seinfeld…

  89. I think last night’s episode was fantastic, had me in stitches. Definitely my favourite of the series with episode one. Fab stuff and thank you so much for a wonderful television programme, you rock Mr. Linehan, and have done since I first saw you in The Day Today! :)

  90. is it in A Song For Europe? When Ted says about gayness – “not that there’s anything wrong with that sort of thing..!”. I think it’s in the commentary about a journalist in Seinfeld who thinks Jerry & George are gay, and that was the catchphrase.

  91. I got it! Maybe…Ok..probably not but here’s my official guess.
    Was the idea of kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse and then acting like it never happened inspired by the Seinfeld episode in which George gets fired by insulting his boss and then attempts to just turn up for work the next day and act like nothing happened?

  92. I’d just like to add that the Seinfeld episode is called “the outing”.

  93. Hey Graham you’ll have to set more quizzes, this is fun. For the next prize I’d like Chris Morris’s moustache.

  94. We have a winner! Pepisolo, gis your e-mail and I’ll get in touch directly.

    And hard luck to all the trolls, although I knew they wouldn’t get it.

    Yes, we saw that episode and thought it was such a funny idea–doing something extreme and then pretending it didn’t happen–that we were slightly disappointed by how it turned out. So we decided to give it our own spin, trusting that the final result would end up so far from the original that it wouldn’t feel like a direct lift.

  95. I think I have it! Although, “it” may be a different “it” than the “it” you’re looking for, as this “it” appears in more than one episode.

    Anyhow, here’s my answer: Is Father Bigley your answer to Bob Sakamano?

  96. Congrats to Pepisolo! I had all but forgotten about that Seinfeld chestnut…

  97. McQ, was that Bob Sak’s role in ‘Seinfeld’? A Bigley-type concept?

  98. Graham, I hate to be pedantic here, but didn’t you ascribe the inspiration of kicking bishop Brennan up the arse to a story about the painter Magritte? If so, Seinfeld would have lifted the idea, too.

  99. It’s not often one finds a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? reference in a Channel 4 sitcom. Thank you, Graham!

    As for supposed plagiarism, that can be applied to absolutely anything. When making what is an unashamedly (and rightly so) old-fashioned sitcom, there are bound to be overlaps in themes. The important thing is to do something interesting with it and take it one step further into the totally ridiculous. Comedy has to have a link to the recognisable experience of everyone, otherwise there’s no connection with the audience, so some repetition of situations is bound to set in.

  100. Oh, man, you’re right! ‘Kicking Bishop B’ had two parents. The Margitte story was definitely in there too.

  101. Margitte? Been there. Nice beach. Fun fair. Too many Essex holidaymakers though. :-)

    Okay, I’m going to have to take my anti-pedant pills and go to bed.

  102. Montel Williams.

  103. Yeah, Bob Sacamano (I spelled it wrong, first time out!) is a character who’s never seen onscreen but we learn all about him from anecdotes that Kramer relates. Ferexample, Kramer says;

    “My friend Bob Sacamano had shock treatments but his synapses were so large it had no effect”
    “My friend Bob Sacamano came in here for a hernia operation. Oh yeah, routine surgery! Now he’s sitting around in a chair by a window going (falsetto) ‘My name is BOB!'”
    “My friend Bob Sacamano had Rabies once”
    “My friend Bob Sacamano once stayed with me for a year and a half.”

    There’s a few others, too. Since he’s never onscreen they’re free attribute all manner of nasty ailments or strange behavioural characteristics to him without having to actually show the audience what such an outre composite would actually look or behave like! Which is what I figured you and Arthur were up to with Father Bigley, who, according to various stories we hear: looks dead, has puffy fish lips with red blotches on his face, wears perfume, has a friend who was supplying weapons to Iraq and likes Dana!

  104. In that case, so does Frasier (Niles’ never seen but often described wife Maris) and Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson have been doing that for years.

  105. well done Pepisolo.
    This blog is a glimps into just what crap gets flung your way when you’re doing your best in the public eye. We should all congratulate Graham for just being him! Thanks for making the comedy, i guess the pros out weigh the cons..

  106. Great episode. I was thrilled with the GBV song at the end. Richmond’s dinner partner was hilarious, as well.

    Could anyone explain to me why Moss refers to his partner as Judy Finnigan? Did I mishear that? As an American, I’m aware of Richard & Judy, but not familiar enough to get the joke.

    So, far my favorite moment is from episode one: when Jen turns around to order a drink from the bar and Moss, quietly and dutifully, takes her order. Cracks me up every time. “You’re very welcome, madam.” Love it!

  107. I think the Judy Finnigan remark alludes to her bra becoming exposed at a awards ceremony which I imagine to Moss make hers the height of sluttishness.

    I really enjoyed the episode and have to say that even as an avid Seinfield fan I didn’t notice these ‘lifts’. I can certainly see them when people point them out but since Seinfield is 9 seasons of predominately observational humour I think they’ve covered so many bases your bound to stumble onto them inadvertantly on occasion. Plus considering the two I coulden’t help but notice on the second post-pointing viewing are fairly universal, collective unconcious, ‘woulden’t it be funny if…’ type moments anyway- hearing an embarassing name over a tannoy and insensitively trying to find something out about someone- I think it’s cynical to suggest you stole them. However, saying that, I don’t know if me effectively saying those ideas aren’t incredibly original anyway is worse that saying they’re copied from Seinfield- but I would say if the ideas that evoke Seinfield were my least favourite in the episode I think you’re doing something right.

    Also, I know mainly the comments on here are measured praise and it’s your perogative to not have this be the place for you to constructively analyse your own work- from hearing your commentaries you do that on your own terms and don’t want a board full of people debating any percieved flaws. But I find the ‘These people are dicks, we love you Graham’ remarks to be in poor taste- these people came on here to express their opinion, I understand you not wanting to see that opinion at this juncture it being immediatey after broadcast but woulden’t it be better to obliterate all mention of what was said and this person rather than censor the person but allow slurs about them to remain.

  108. Graham, I thnik it in bad taste, that people deconstruct an episode, immediately after its broadcast and accuse or ellude to scene/scenarios being ‘lifted’ from other comedy series. Anyone who writes will know that there’s always going to be an element of influence from somewhere, but to use your blog as a means of pointing these out, I can only perceive as rather insulting. I wouldn’t blame you for editing/deleting these comments. I very much doubt you set this blog up to receive critisism about your writing nor its influences. Those who want to do so, should find a more appropiate place for their hysteria.

    BTW not sucking up, but the series is great and all involved should be commended for their achievements. Looking forward to the next episode.

  109. “Since he’s never onscreen they’re free attribute all manner of nasty ailments or strange behavioural characteristics to him without having to actually show the audience what such an outre composite would actually look or behave like! Which is what I figured you and Arthur were up to with Father Bigley, who, according to various stories we hear: looks dead, has puffy fish lips with red blotches on his face, wears perfume, has a friend who was supplying weapons to Iraq and likes Dana!”

    Absolutely bang on. But I honestly didn’t connect that that was the purpose of Bob Sak. I guess we must have taken it in at some level, but we thought we were being brilliantly original there.

  110. And Joe–nicely put. If all the negative stuff were like your letter, I might not delete it. (I’m not a huge fan of the bandage plot either, and if I had copied it from ‘Seinfeld’, I would also have stolen their–presumably better–ending) But when you wrestle around with your ‘critics’, a lot of whom are merely trolls who use forums such as this one in order to feel like they’re on the inside of the process, rather than on the outside tapping resentfully at a window, then you just get exhausted.

    I’m starting to collect ideas for series 3 at the moment, soon I’ll be writing the first episode. At that stage, I have to allow myself the freedom to write a big pile of unreadable shit as long as it has ‘THE END written on it. Then, the rewrite process begins, which is, hopefully, where the good stuff happens.

    Silencing my inner critic during the writing of the first draft is hard enough without the comics shop guy from The Simpsons leaning over my shoulder too. I don’t need to absorb their negativity, because I have plenty of my own, thank you very much.

    So, just to remind everyone again. This is not one of those internet bell-jars where people can gather to be snide about their pet comedy hate; this is my site. And on my site, I delete anyone who appears to be from one of those sites. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to live with it.

  111. Oop! Nearly forgot. Joe, you’re right about the slurs. I’ll delete them now.

  112. Actually, I won’t–just checked and there’s no slurs that don’t reference a post I’ve left in.

  113. “So, just to remind everyone again. This is not one of those internet bell-jars where people can gather to be snide about their pet comedy hate; this is my site. And on my site, I delete anyone who appears to be from one of those sites. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to live with it.”

    Hear hear. The fact that you have any discourse with us is to be commended. I wouldn’t let a stranger give me crap in the street, so why should you entertain it on the net? Given the quality of your output, I imagine you’re your own worst critic anyway.

  114. Show is great!! Enjoying it from America.

  115. “I wouldn’t let a stranger give me crap in the street, so why should you entertain it on the net?”

    What if someone approached you on the street and gave you lots of gushing (but shallow) praise like “Oh the sight of your hair makes a bit of wee come out” or “I want to have your jumper’s babies?” or “I haven’t enjoyed legs like that for a very long time. Bravo!” Wouldn’t that be just as unhelpful and pointless?

  116. Question!
    I loved the guys doing “dinner party chat” to each other, and suddenly it occurred to me to wonder how that appeared in the script. I guess as the director you have the advantage of being able to just explain how “they make pretend dinner party chat” would play on screen, but I’d be fascinated to see if you had a particular turn of phrase to make it funny on the page.

  117. Great insight, Daniel. Does everyone see what I mean now? Why do I have to spend time answering people like Daniel when I can just delete?

  118. But what is the blog for if not for people to post about what they liked and what they didn’t like? Or can you only post if you liked absolutely everything you saw?

    I admire your work Graham and I wasn’t trying to be purposely ‘troll-like’ by mentioning the Seinfeld comparisons, I just wanted to know whether you intentionally used them and tried to adapt them in your own way (which is perfectly normal thing to do in sitcoms anyway) or whether you didn’t realise at all.

    Anyway hope it didn’t offend too much, keep up the good work.

  119. DC, do you mean, the ‘Do you think you’d die if you drank wee’ stuff? If so, that was all scripted.

  120. Well, thanks, MH. I guess the short answer is, I didn’t realise (obviously).

    And if you look through these comments, you’ll notice some negative stuff. I personally don’t understand why anyone would go online to say negative things about someone’s work–I certainly don’t do it to my friends unless they ask me for my thoughts, and I like to think that I wouldn’t do it behind the anonymity of the internet either–but as long as it’s phrased in a halfway intelligent, polite way, I’ll do my best to swallow my pride (and my puzzlement) and deal with it.

  121. A third series? That’s kind of rare for UK sitcoms, isn’t it? Do you think it’ll be the last? Not that I think it SHOULD end!! It’s just refreshing to know the bullet isn’t going in after the 2nd series.

    There just seems to be this “No!!! Must be lie Faulty Towers!!” attitude with sitcoms. Or am I imagining that?

  122. No, I was thinking of when the guys are left alone and just make sort of “party chatter” noises at each other, no actual words. My difficulty in describing it clearly is kind of why I wanted to hear how YOU described it!

  123. What do you want though Graham?

    You want an honest unbiased healthy opinion? Send a mole to any backstreet pub, aerobics group, works canteen in the country. The majority of watchers in these places would not know what a blog is, or who you are.

    I very much doubt they’d know or care about Senfield plagiarism. They’re not looking for it.

  124. When will Hippies be released on DVD?

  125. I don’t think I was specific about the background noise…you just sort of take it as read that there’ll be chatter.

    And Crok, what on earth are you talking about?

  126. Dunno, Carp. Didnae write it.

  127. Whoops, sorry. Genuine mistake. Just pretend I said ‘Paris’… we’ll always have that.

  128. I’m a massive fan of Seinfeld and haven’t noticed any ‘lifts’.

    People who make comparisons about single half scenes and pick out similarities between ‘IT’ & Seinfeld should try writing an original sit-com and see how they do.

    Now a whine of my own, please don’t make us wait so long for series 3. if it’s not asking too much can you make it early New Year?

    One other thing, are you involved with the American version of The IT Crowd? Will it be a remake or, like the Office, be new episodes?

  129. It might be ill-advised, perhaps, to add to this discussion, but here it is: The negative comments seem in very bad form. It’s tantamount to going over to someone’s house that you don’t really know and having a go at their choice of wallpaper or their DVD collection. I’m pretty sure that if our host was truly looking for helpful and constructive critcism of his work, he wouldn’t ask for the assistance of a group of total strangers who spend a lot of time on the internet.

    I do have a question for Graham that has been burning within me for a while: How the hell does someone who writes and directs a successful sitcom have time to write a blog, check out 3,000 links a day, and answer individual comments from a sometimes irritating fanbase? When I was working in theatre I felt particularly accomplished if I managed to do my job and simply brush my teeth. What’s the secret?

  130. If they have any sense, they’ll make something new of it. It remains to be seen how much I’m involved. I’m hoping to just pass on some guiding principles and then move on.

    And Simon, don’t worry, British sitcoms run on and on just like American ones. Shark after shark after shark passing underneath.

    I feel like I could do ‘The It Crowd’ for a while. But I’m hoping to stop before I get the waterskis on.

  131. “And Simon, don’t worry, British sitcoms run on and on just like American ones. Shark after shark after shark passing underneath.”

    Longest running being ‘Last of the summer wine’ which started in 1973 and has had 30 series so far.

  132. Nonono, I still haven’t made myself clear. When they first come to the dinner party, before the other guests appear, she goes to the kitchen and there’s a moment where they just look at each other, delighted at being at a dinner party, and they make GIBBERISH NOISES at each other as if they are extras in a DINNER PARTY SCENE. It’s not background chatter and it’s not actual coherent dialogue either, but it is the only thing that’s happening and it lasts a fair while, so I know it must have been scripted. That’s the bit where I was wondering how it was written in the script.

  133. I think the bit D Dairns is referring to his when Roy, Moss and Richmond first arrive at the dinner party and Jen goes off into the kitchen and say all start mumbling things that “they suspect people talk about at dinner parties”..I think Richmond says “balsamic vinegar” at one point.

  134. Man my spelling was bad in that post.

    I mean to say “is” not “his” and “they” not “say”.

  135. And I meant to say “meant” not “mean” just then. :-)

  136. Ah! I see! Yes, I think I wrote something like “They do an impression of people chatting at a dinner party.” I assumed that three people as funny as Richard, Chris and Noel would come up with something good. Chris said “I watch the news”, which I love.

    And to the very kind man who reminded me that I shouldn’t be spending all my time on this thread, thank you.

    Thanks again for the kind comments everybody, and apologies to the people who have been, and will be, deleted. I’m taking a break.

  137. I just watched this. Shit, man. I think that’s the most I’ve laughed for bloody AGES.

    “They say ped-o-phile in America” Absolute class. Absolute class.

    I just laughed to myself remembering it.

    I’m getting the DVD the DAY it comes out.

    PS: Graham, stupid question, but I keep sending stuff to BBC Writersroom that I suspect is good, and keep getting all sent back with no comments. I swear they’re not reading them. What is the best way to get into radio/telly? Is there any industry accepted way, or do, as I suspect have to just keep plugging away and believe in myself in the manner of a 1980s high school comedy?

  138. Rocky IV The best bar the first?

  139. “Silencing my inner critic during the writing of the first draft is hard enough without the comics shop guy from The Simpsons leaning over my shoulder too.”

    Worst. Blog. Everrr. Everyone knows it’s Comic Book Guy, not Comics Shop Guy.

  140. Did you say you’d have a cameo? And if u did when is it? Next ep Aye?

    I think its great the way u do wee cameos. The most random one was in Ted when you’re in the background running back and forth at the Fair wearing a wooly hat! lol what!

    ps. sorry for the random comment. Rocky IV what a film.

  141. This comments section jumped the shark a long time ago.

    I do find it so strange that so many people whom I assume haven’t written great comedy over the last fifteen years feel that it is their place to waltz in and tell Graham where he’s going wrong. How would you lot like it if he came around to your office and called your Excel spreadsheet a div?

  142. Really enjoyed ep four. “Memory is ram” and Moss becoming incensed when his date was becoming flirtatious with him, “I’m trying to eat my dinner,” were my fave bits.

    Glad to hear there will be a third series.

    While we’re on about Linehan cameos I think my favourite one was in Big Train in the Hall and Oates sketch, when you were going mental and shouting something like “But what do they do? They don’t do anything! What do they do?”

  143. Graham, it’s important to point out that people weren’t posting here with the intention of hurting your feelings. The criticism was from fans – of both comedy and your past work, including the first series of this – and was meant constructively. Perhaps you’re right and this isn’t the best venue for it, though.

    All the best, and good luck with the rest of the series, and #3.

  144. This episode tops the episodes in this series, yet.
    but i’ve found a mistake, when moss says” Memory is Ram”
    It should be ram is memory, coz there are other types of memory

  145. I forgot to say that last week’s episode was probably my favourite so far, although I did miss Matt Berry’s presence. I especially liked Richmond’s girl who was brilliant, Jen’s exasperated shouting of “He’s not moving to America!” and Moss getting agitated and saying “Stop it! I’m trying to eat my dinner.”
    The highlight of the series for me so far though has to be the piracy ad though, which was class.

    As far as the criticism is concerned, I don’t really think much of it was very constructive. How does saying “Graham, are these scenes plagiarized?” constitute constructive criticism? It’s obviously a silly thing to ask any writer.

    Anyhow, really looking forward to next week’s episode, and the return Matt Berry (hopefully?). Should be good.

  146. “How does saying “Graham, are these scenes plagiarized?” constitute constructive criticism? It’s obviously a silly thing to ask any writer.”
    I’m not sure if that’s fair. From reading the blog today, they seem to have been genuine enquiries as to whether they are deliberate homages or coincidences.

    It’s great that you are interacting with fans Graham, and it must be difficult to hear criticism of something that you have put a lot of effort into. Particularly for someone as clearly self-critical as yourself. It does definitely indicate the perils of the relationship between an artist and their audience though. I do think criticism (or potential criticism) is what drives people to create better art.

    As for me, I’m a big fan of your work Graham, and the first episode of this series was genuinely great. Had me laughing like a loon. And dealt with the disabled stuff quite well I think, without descending into Gervais or Little Britain-esque dodginess. Not sure about that person above who said “I’m disabled” had become a catchphrase among his friends though.
    Anyway, best of luck writing series 3, I look forward to it.

  147. Oh, also. I’m not a massive Seinfeld fan myself, but some of the comments about those pointing out similarities have been a bit harsh. What’s wrong with being knowledgeable about comedy? We are all reading this because we like comedy. Surely taking it seriously can’t be a bad thing? The reason Graham has written such great stuff over the years is exactly because he takes it seriously.

  148. Thanks for info.

  149. “From reading the blog today, they seem to have been genuine enquiries as to whether they are deliberate homages or coincidences.”

    That’s because Ive deleted the ruder ones, and the ones where people keep going on about it after I feel I’ve answered the question (which is basically the same as accusing me of plagiarism). Also, trolls often look reasonable at first to draw you into conversations. A trick I will not fall for again!

    Anyway, final word goes to me. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about writing or whatnot, I am grateful for all the nice things you’re bothering to write about my show–it is much appreciated and a real morale boost–but negative stuff while the show is still going out is not helpful. It’s just hurtful.

    When enough time has passed, and I really feel I’m able to handle it, I will ask Arthur Mathews what he thought. Why? Because he’s a friend, and he’s a writer, and he knows how to phrase a criticism so that it’ll help me and not hurt my feelings.

    Finally, at long last, did any of that get through? Oh, wait, you can’t answer. Damn.

  150. […] from my post the other week about the appearance of board games in the new series of the IT crowd, in episode 4 (”The Dinner Party”) which aired last night, Moss and Roy spend a scene playing War on […]

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