Comment comment comment comment comment chameleon….

December 28, 2007

You come and go…you come and goooooo…(sorry)


  1. That pilot for the German IT Crowd (or should I say Das iTeam) seems to be a carbon copy of the original’s inaugaral episode, at least the few minutes I watched of it.

    How does that work on your end? Do you have to OK a foreign port of your work or is it a case of it being up to C4 or the production company etc.? Do you get a flat fee for the format or premise or would you get paid royalties based on the success of the show itself or how much of your original dialogue they lift?

    It seems from what you were saying about the US one that you’ve given it your blessing but won’t be involved in it – kind of like how Ricky Gervais treated The Office (and the US version has become a very different beast to its original)…

  2. oh, and on the note of US ports I see there’s fresh talk of a US Father Ted – which sends a chill down my spine… would that decision be out of your hands too?

  3. In a poll of 106 North American film critics, “There Will Be Blood” comes out as the best movie of the year.

    I want to see that movie so bad.


    Highest movie I’ve seen on that list is number 17! (“The Host”.)

  4. I’ll get in early this time… GRAHAM! When it came to the IT Crowd DVD, how much say do you get in it’s design? The easter eggs etc…

    Now if he doesn’t answer this time, I know he’s ignoring me:)

  5. Sorry, sorry, yes, I’m involved in all aspects of the design.

    As for American IT Crowd, didn’t have a thing to do with either of them (if I had, they’d be very different).

    Wasn’t ‘The Host’ amazing?

  6. Thanks Graham! I always wondered.

    And yes, “The Host” was amazing. I’d go as far as to call it the best monster movie I’ve ever seen. I still find it rather horrifying that the incident in the opening (pouring the chemicals down the drain) is actually a true story!

    Nice to see “Hot Fuzz” on the extended list. (Think it was 38.)

  7. I find it a surreal moment when Graham Linehan makes reference to my humble Polk county. Intelligent Design controversy tends to make very little noise down here in central Florida because it’s par for the course. The weird thing about this particular issue is the thought that for Polk county to wake up and move into the 21st century will sadly mean having to give up it’s beautiful and still somewhat pristine land for development. Because of this, I find myself thinking that maybe our backward ways may not be such a bad thing. Yikes.

    Haven’t posted in a while, but still enjoying the mighty fine blog. Happy New Year.

  8. Seeing the German remake fail in so many ways, one sees how difficult it is to do good comedy. Maybe one point is that the laughter is a recorded one. Another point is that it should have been adapted more to German office and nerd humor. And why does the set look so crappy? Why didn’t they choose actors to play it?

    Are you involved in any aspects of the German remake?

  9. The first episode of iTeam really, really hurt. Aww, the pain.

    Why didn’t they even get halfway decent actors? I’ve seen lay-actors with more spirit..

  10. I totally agree, it just hurt to see the german version – it’s crap. The actors can’t even act, the whole beginning (I have just seen about 5 minutes of the first episode) is stolen from the original – I mean it’s exactly the same, except for the fact that it’s not funny at all. They’ve ruined a brilliant show.

  11. I feel sorry for the actors. Having to copy another show, line for line, moment for moment, pratfall for pratfall… it’s no kind of job for a grown-up. What possible enjoyment could anyone involved get out of it?

  12. Hey Graham,

    If you’re ever buying books in town I work in a black bookshop on Dawson St. If I’m in and I see you in I’ll give you the old 5 finger discount. I was thinking about WT’sD today and I figure at this stage I owe you more with the laughs you’ve given me with IT and FT over the years than my 30% staff discount.

    Also, I spent a very boring day today putting ‘Signed by the Author’ stickers on copies of The Bible.

  13. It’s kinda surreal watching the first episode, albeit in German.

    The guy in the toilet joke didn’t work though. The timing was all wrong.

    I assume they’re not going to make all the episodes direct carbon-copies though? It has to take on its own life surely? Either that, or you’re going to need an English-German dictionary, Graham! ;)

  14. Not generally a fan of re-cut trailers as most are pretty badly done. Really like this though (and I’m a big fan of the original movie).

    I think I may have said it before on here in regards to remaking shows. Any fan of “Men Behaving Badly” should try and see if they can find any footage from the US version. They took the original scripts, but due to the differences in broadcast regulations, a lot of stuff Clunes and friends did would never fly on US network TV, so they had to water it down. It was absolutely horrendous. (Not to mention it had that odious little fuck Rob Schneider in the Neil Morrissey role.) Easily the worst remake I’ve ever seen.

    Cover versions of songs are bad enough, but cover versions of TV shows should be illegal. What pains me most is the fact that people seeing these tepid, reheated pieces of crap will probably never give the original the time of day, because the remake has tarnished their opinion so much.

  15. Here’s one for music fans. “The Death of High Fidelity”. About how the dynamic range of music is being compressed in the so called “Loudness War”.


  16. […] Graham Linehan zum Thema IT Crowd auf Deutsch: I feel sorry for the actors. Having to copy another show, line for line, moment for moment, pratfall for pratfall… it’s no kind of job for a grown-up. What possible enjoyment could anyone involved get out of it? […]

  17. When you say that you don’t like jazz, what exactly do you mean?
    Do you cringe with agony when someone flips on some Sinatra?

  18. I wouldn’t call Sinatra jazz personally. I like jazz. Well, sort of. I hate a lot of it:) How helpful is that:) But I love the sort of “smoky lounge at 2am” type jazz. In fact I adore it. In fact if anyone has recommendations for said jazz, that’d be great.

  19. omg, how incredibly German.. first scene is hilarious

  20. What would have been better is casting Chris Morris in his role in the German one, and then having Chris do it in really bad German.

  21. On the plus side of things, the young woman in Das ITeam is exceedingly hot.

    Doesn’t make up for the line for line, pause for pause copy of The IT Crowd, though .

    Even down to the RTFM shirt.

  22. What possible enjoyment could anyone involved get out of it?

    Well apart from the viewer, everyone gets a paycheck.

    Remakes aren’t always bad. The office (American) started as a carbon copy. But that carbon copy worked!

    Das IT-Team does not get the feeling right. Even the set looks crappy. One should not blame everthing on the actors. There are plenty of people to blame for IT-Team.

    Maybe giving some advice would be more helpful.

  23. I disagree on the female lead in the German version. She doesn’t hold a candle to Katherine Parkinson. Katherine is lovely.

    I think the best advice Graham can give them is “Don’t”.

  24. sorry, terrible generalisation about jazz. I guess I don’t like noodling in any form of music, and to an outsider, it seems that jazz has more of it than most. I would imagine if I heard Miles Davis on mushrooms my life would change, but as long as the damn things are illegal…

  25. Hi there, Graham!
    Just want to say thank you for all of your great comedy work. I’m a Ted and IT Crowd fan and eagerly await the new shows you’re cooking up!

    Also, I’m a fan of Neil Hannon’s music (thanks to Ted). I’m currently writing background music for a video game, but would love to write themes for TV comedies someday. Yay for My Lovely Horse!

    Kris Finnerty
    New Zealand

  26. everyone here seems to be slating the iTeam version – to be honest I didn’t get far because I dont speak German, so I’d be reluctant to give it a slating – likewise I have no idea who the actors are – they may be known in Germany….also – are they copying or are they working from a translated script? in which case they are still just working from a great script by our man here

    it only matters to us because we are already familiar with it so it’s kind of precious

    it might be funny in Germany

  27. For me I saw all I needed too when they totally blew the opening gag in the iTeam. And the opening titles were drab as well.

    I dread to think what they’re going to do with Richmond.

  28. Got Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco for Christmas after reading your article on the latter. All I can say is wow! These should be given to school children to study. I was blown away by his easy style of journalism as well as the artwork,(the small details like the impact damage of a mortar on a tarmac road). I have given them to my 16 year old who is a big Robert Kirkman,(The Walking Dead)fan, I hope they will affect him as they have me. Thanks Graham.

  29. it might be funny in Germany – craig believe me, it isn’t :) it is as dreadful as it seems and i feel quite ashamed that the cliché of germans without any sense of humor is once more proved. they did everything wrong. (and i do not even want to tell you what they made of richmond!)

  30. Richmond is now a Tokyo Hotel Fan. Shall I add more details?

  31. I’m curious about what they will do with ‘Moss and the German’ if it ever gets to series 2.

  32. I can’t believe that they butchered/omitted the ending of the “yesterday’s jam” gag. That’s one of the funniest lines in the show, along with the Bodie, Doyle, and The Jewellery Man bit, which was also omitted. They also completely ballsed the “Hello computer” idea.

    There is obviously a lot wrong with the show, but I still wonder just how funny I would find it if I’d never seen the original ITCrowd before, and if I could speak German.

  33. @ apintofbeer

    lol, that would be interesting, to say the least!

  34. The “Hello computer” gag is one of the funniest things I have ever seen! (The UK version I mean.)

  35. What troubles me more than the German version of the IT crowd is the advert for “multiplayer scat” on the right hand side. Those Germans, eh?

  36. OMG! The guy playing Chris Morris in the German version is the legendary SKY DUMONT! He plays the suave gigolo type in EYES WIDE SHUT! His appearance in that film is the first clue that the film is going to be knee-slappingly hysterical (among other things). You are, at most, two handshakes away from Stanley Kubrick.

  37. Graham, ever get round to reading the Dawkins book?

  38. …at least the german get a bad copy of a good show.

    Graham, spend some time in Italy and watch our national TV Series. We have zero comedy, and nearly 80% of the productions is about saints, biblic stuff, famous popes, not so famous but still enjoyable dead popes, people who did’nt make it to the pope level but still good catholics, and such.
    The other 20% is about police forces; like CSI but
    in a more cheesy way.

    Can’t wait to see the 3rd series of IT Crowd… god bless bittorrent. And Mr Linehan.

  39. Forget iTeam — I want to see Party ohne Ende!

  40. Just watched flight into terror and i must say… Father Gallagher’s expression was just genius! Had to pause it for a bit because I couldn’t stop laughing. Entire episode had me in stitches. Felt so emo :(

  41. BTW, Theodor, I already gave advice on this site. Don’t see any reason to repeat myself.

  42. The ITeam is absolutely horrible. Hurts to see it.

  43. Yep, I agree (and read that post earlier). It was just so frustrating to watch that (and many other) advice beeing ignored by the German remakers.

    Happy new year (BTW)!

  44. That first visual gag in the german (Sh)iTeam fails for more than one reason! Not only is the angle poor, the camera takes an age to pull back. It’s painful.

    It’s as painful as watching every single Douglas Adams joke die on the lips of the actors in the Hitchhikers film.

    Makes me wonder how many fantastic scripts (and possibly writers) have died out there because the Director/Actors weren’t up to the job.

    Completely offtopic link to pass a few minutes:

  45. happymutt: The day Douglas died, I knew the Hitchhiker movie was doomed. Just like “Eye Wide Shut” when Kubrick died, they can take a big old hearty dump on the screen and add “It’s what he would have wanted.”

    Not seen Hitchhiker, and I never will either. I’ll stick to the radio show thanks. (And not even the newer incarnation. I mean the original 12 episodes.)

  46. Took me a while, but my review of the German IT Crowd is up. I’d make a statement here, but I wouldn’t know where to start. There is so much to be said.

    Graham, I’m terribly sorry to see one of your works torn to pieces like that!

  47. Oh, please. As long as the original is intact, I couldn’t give ein monkeys.

  48. And the original will continue to be intact as long as all the wanna-be version keep failing, haha.

    3rd series pretty please…

  49. Graham, you are certainly an early riser.

  50. The RIAA have been saying that for years Graham. What’s funny is it downloading MP3’s is LEGAL here in Canada. We pay levies on certain media, and I think MP3 players too. The CRIA (Canada’s RIAA) have tried multiple times to get this fact overturned, and have failed every time, so downloading is legal. “Ah” said the CRIA, “but uploading is illegal”. The courts turned round and smacked THAT down as well as for someone to download, someone has to upload.

    RIAA can bite my shiny metal ass.

  51. So pleased to see you use the term “noodling” to describe jazz…I have been using it for years to annoy my jazz friends. Noodly music does my head in. Three chords, drummer, bass, two guitars. You can’t really go wrong with that.

  52. As a new poster, I thought I should bring something weird to the party. So here it is:

  53. Has anyone turned it over to see if it says “Pig Crap – Return to Homer Simpson, no reward”?

  54. Re: Your “Everyone now a criminal” post:

    President Bush has an iPod.
    He has Beatles tracks on that iPod.
    iTunes do not sell Beatles tracks.

    I expect the RIAA to be calling the White House any day now…

  55. I’ve been following all this RIAA stuff quite closely and it is actions like this that actually really cheer me up. They are very silly b’stards and what they are in fact guaranteeing is that the future music industry will not involve the RIAA way of doing things at all – it is too easy now for artists to be independent and who the hell will want their music represented by people who sue their own customers?

  56. That opening gag in the IT Kraut was a directing shocker. Glad to see it hitting other countries though, any more in the pipeline?

  57. Hi Graham – thanks for the tip about Chrononauts – I ordered a copy direct from the USA before christmas and got it yesterday… it’s brilliant – so far played it several people, all of whom loved it. I will keep the Monopoly set though, as the money in that box seems to be worth more than US Dollars at the moment.

  58. Thanks for the link Graham, the movie one. I was stunned to learn Richard Widmark is still alive as well. (He popped up the other day on the birthdays on IMDB.)

    Vlad: That’s a very good point, though if I recall President Muppet said an aide filled his iPod. Now here’s a question. What’s the legality of that? Someone else ripped the Beatles onto it. Are they breaking the law? Or the Prez? Or both?

    I have about 1000 songs on my new iPod Touch. To buy them from iTunes would have cost $1000.

    My favourite artist is Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails for those who don’t know). At the moment on remix.nin.com, Trent is giving away a lot of his back catalog, and a whole slew of rare and unreleased stuff. (Including a CD quality version of a remix of “Last” that only ever circulated as a nasty mono WAV bootleg before.) The RIAA labels are going the way of the dinosaurs, and not before time.

    I also find it interesting the amount of artists who don’t care about MP3 downloading. (Though it irks me Reznor calls it “stealing”. No, it’s copyright infringement. BIG difference in both legal definition and penalties. Of course Trent has come out and told the people of Australia to steal his albums due to the gouging on the prices they suffer, which is cool.) Aphex Twin is another favourite of mine, and I read an interview where he says he really doesn’t care. He’s made a lot of money, he doesn’t need anymore. It just doesn’t bother him.

    I think it’s only the people who got into music for the money that are pissed. The true artists are happy to see their work being enjoyed.

    Enough rambling.

  59. Graham, many thanks for linking to me: I suddenly got more hits at Shadowplay than ever before: the stats grapg has had to keep redesigning itself all day to stop the peak in views from going off the top of the chart and breaking the top of my monitor (can that happen?)
    Hope some of the folks from WTD will keep coming by and spreading the word still further until I… basically control the universe. Is that too much?

  60. How will the “Gabriel and the German” episode go down?

  61. I wish I could explain the role your writing has in my marriage. I’ve been married a while now, and my husband and I don’t talk much. It’s not bad at all-we’re just settled in. The only thing we do together is watch “The IT Crowd,” “Father Ted,” and “The Mighty Boosh.” Two out of three are because of you! There’s also all that love and commitment garbage, but mainly we’re still together because of television.

  62. I’m going to be very dull, and wish you (and all the others here) a very happy new year. Thanks for all the great stuff in the blog this year, Graham!

  63. As a Brit by birth, but now an American (purely work related I promise), I truly appreciate the British sense of humor and so wish BBC3 was available stateside.

    So it is with some pleasure I discover via Boing Boing a British blog with a difference. It amuses me and I hope it amuses a few of you.


  64. The German IT Crowd reminds me of the French version of The Office (Le Bureau), it was incredibly lame and every joke that were hilarious in The Office failed lamentably in Le Bureau.

  65. > How will the “Gabriel and the German” episode go down?

    Three options there:

    1. The German version sucks and therefore ends after series 1.

    If for whatever reason, it becomes a success and they make a second series,

    2. The second series gets its own original episodes instead of IT Crowd copies

    3. The “German cannibal” is replaced by “psycho internet cannibal”

  66. I like the US version of The Office – actually more so than the UK version. Any other attempt at converting a UK show over to a foreign format usually falls flat on it’s face.

    And vice versa.

    I’m waiting for the UK version of Bewitched to fail miserably and angry mobs picket outside the BBC to demand the head of entertainment on a platter. Served with time-travelling chorizo soup, of course.

    Still, you’ve got to love the BBC for remaking another Jane Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility. How many have they done now? I’ve suggested that they remake it so that it has more appeal – by calling it Sensor and Sensorbility – setting it in Space with androids, and then bringing Doctor Who into it. There. It’ll sell like hotcakes.


  67. Happy New Years everyone! Try not to get totally wasted and make love to post box!

  68. Yes, happy new year folks!

  69. The whole German thing is a 1:1 copy, different only in the bad timing and some jokes made less subversive. German comedy producers fear nothing more than the slightest bit of a controversy. Every character has to be nice and lovely – the result is always the same: Bill Cosby with less fun.

    I have pity on the actors, too. I feel sorry for all actors who have to work on German Television, they have to cope with these lame, harmless family-entertainment scripts all the time, no matter if it’s comedy or drama. The only actor I know is Sky Dumont, the poor sod who has to be the German Chris Morris. He had a vital part in “Eyes wide shut” and is quite famous since then in Germany. The other ones are Nobodys.

    It’s not the first time they do this. I sometimes think I could be a fan of “The Office” – if I hadn’t seen the German version “Stromberg” at first. I couldn’t enjoy “The Office” and can’t till today, I always think of the German disaster. In the last time they did the same with “Doc Martin” (“Dr. Martin”) and “Curb your enthusiasm”, the latter with more creativity, but of course absolutely PC – if you can imagine that.

    Next time, let them only dub the Original version, please. German dubbing of British comedy is often really fine, good examples would be “Coupling” or “Absolutely Fabulous”. The only reason they make German copies of British programs is to pretend there is Good German comedy. Please don’t let them do that to “Father Ted”…

  70. More sex abuse scandals for the Catholic Church. This is a real shame. Catholic religious orders didn’t have to comply with the Vatican’s reforms that were implemented in response to the sex abuse scandals. The religious orders are just now being investigated and exposed. It’s from NPR in the States.


  71. Thanks for that, Rachel. Unbelievable stuff.

  72. Hello from Chicago Graham!
    I have a pretty rough comic of Jesus’ career in standup comedy that I’d like to show you. Can I send it to you?
    Mick from Chicago

  73. Hi Graham

    Can I be really cheeky and use this opportunity to publicise my little known, audio podcast, spoof news programme, Ireland based, comedy show Rapid News? http://www.thisisrapidnews.com
    The first series of it was last year but you can go on and download all of it for free from the site. If you have the time I’d love to hear what you think of. I hope you might like it.

    Cheers. Big, big fan, etc.


  74. The jenkem thing is fabricated, but the bulletin you linked to is real.

    I live in Florida, and sadly, if anybody is going to sniff shit to get high it’s here.

  75. Florida is hilarious, no offense Rachel. Whenever my wife tells me some insane story I always say “Bet that was in Florida”.

    I am right more often than I’m wrong.

  76. Drood, Florida is the strangest place I’ve ever lived, and I’ve lived many different places. I’m from here, and I don’t understand it. One time my husband and I went on vacation in Key West, and he stayed out drinking just a bit too long. The next morning during breakfast, he puked right in the middle of the restaurant. I was mortified, seeing as we haven’t been 19 in quite some time, but the waitstaff didn’t bat an eye (I tipped them quite well of course). Ah, Florida! Where you can vomit in peace and huff shit out of a bottle!

  77. In response to your post about the RIAA, and copying CDs, it seems that people like myself in Britain aren’t safe either


  78. This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It’s Father Ted as a furry. The internet must be stopped!

    I found it by doing the little game described in this comic:

  79. That Ron Paul video… Just another Republican loon…

  80. That furry thing, Rachel. Yikes, yikes, yikes. And are you quoting that Irish politician who said that about the internet? Do you know who it was?

  81. Mr. Linehan, I’m afraid I’m preoccupied with the living horrors that are U.S. politicians right now (the presidential primaries kicked off today), so I’m regrettably unfamiliar with the Irish politician you’re referring to. Was he trying to stop the internet? Eh, that’s still better than advocating for creationism and ID in the schools. I’ll take him!

  82. Living horrors you say? Try this! This is freaky.


  83. There’s no way I’m touching that link, D. Rachel, yes, there was an Irish politician who said “The internet must be stopped!”.

  84. As much as I like Paxman, I saw this live and thought it was a classic case of judging books by their covers.

    For all he knew, those shows simply had provocative titles to draw in larger audiences, only then to hit them with something more insightful. Which means of course that the beeb is hoping the audience will also judge books by their covers.

    Of course, the shows might also have been trashy crap. I don’t know, I was put off by the titles.

  85. Sadly Moss will lose his characteristic nasal drone in Das iTeam thanks to the fact that all Germans speak like that.

  86. Hooray!

    “Das iTeam” has been cancelled after two episodes. Not that anyone noticed…

  87. […] To find more information from the source here […]

  88. Hi Graham ! :

    I’m a very big fan of The IT Crowd series. I’d like to ask you a question : hace you seen the canadian jPod series?. Standard nerds programming videogames in a basement… humm… I don’t know, it remembers me something… don’t you thing so?

  89. Dear Graham,

    I saw this http://www.atomfilms.com/film/sixty_seconds_arnold.jsp and there was a scene in it that was very similiar to the anti piracy scene in it crowd, just thought i’d bring it to your attention. In don’t think you copied it but it is a remarkable coincidence.

    Also this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIdTx7O79D4

  90. 2 girls and 1 cup

  91. […] Graham Linehan ist Erfinder und Direktor der britischen Sitcom IT Crowd und ist Blogger. Eher durch Zufall stieß ich auf die Seite und las mit großem Vergnügen seinen Post zur deutschen Kopie seines Werkes. I feel sorry for the actors. Having to copy another show, line for line, moment for moment, pratfall for pratfall… it’s no kind of job for a grown-up. What possible enjoyment could anyone involved get out of it? (Link) […]

  92. How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!

  93. mm. bookmarked :)

  94. EMMA WATSON NUDE [url=http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=messages&webtag=ab-chicago&tid=471]EMMA WATSON NUDE[/url] EMMA WATSON NUDE [url= http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=messages&webtag=ab-chicago&tid=471 ] EMMA WATSON NUDE [/url]

  95. And you get to travel to interesting places and talk to interesting people about interesting questions. ,

  96. The cop would not do anything. ,

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