Jammy Smears

May 30, 2008


  1. Graham, I’d be interested to hear your view on what seems like the dwindling significance of scheduling. The way it’s going, it seems as though in time, programs will just be loaded into your set-top box at the start of the week, and you’ll just be free to watch it at your leisure.

    This is kind of the case at the moment, except there still is a bit of plugging for the initial first showing.

    I’m just wondering what would happen if – say for example a new series starts on a Friday night, but because of the availability; people who would have been interested in watching it withhold because they know they can see it the following morning, or whenever. When the viewing figures come in, and prove to be lower that what was expected, the show will be seen as a flop.

    I can’t see it being as much of a problem for someone like yourself who is already established, but for a first-timer, setting all his/her hopes on their special project, it could be a real shitter.

    When IT Crowd series 3 comes to us, will the emphasis be on “The IT Crowd – Tonight on Channel 4” or “The IT Crowd – watch online on 4OD”?

    Just a thought.

  2. jeezus dude watch an Even Stevens or two

  3. Parents beware…

  4. sorry, not sure why the link wasn’t posted. Here we go again…


  5. There weren’t any drops in sound when I saw “Indiana Jones.” Seems odd to punish paying customers, considering the punishment we got from the Lucas and Spielberg anyway.

    In happier film news, the redband trailer to the Coen Brothers’ “Burn After Reading” looks promising.

  6. Regarding RyanAir, I can’t see why it can’t be a subplot in an episode of the IT Crowd, even IT people have to catch planes. As someone who just spent 24 hours on a plane from the UK to Australia, any thouhgt of delays makes me ill given I spent two hours on the tarmac at Bangkok.

  7. lets hook up

  8. “Answer the phone Ronald”…your ident Jammy Smears has just transformed me back to my teenage days sitting by the record player with my brother, replaying and replaying sketches from the amazing Ivor Cutler lp, “Jammy Smears”. Possibly Mr C Morris was a fan too,as some of his material seems like a progression of Ivors uniqueness. Chris Morris is just breath takingly genius too and i dont think anybody can match him..(I know you have had an input to his body of work which is a huge testimony to your genius mr linehan) I suppose what sets you apart from the other greats is that you can write any type of comedy and be hugely successful . Did you see the ivor cutler doc last year on BBC 4? Very interesting. Hope series 3 shaping up the way you want.

  9. No drop outs in Indy audio for me, either. This smells of urban legend. As far as the movie goes, I notch it in there with Temple of Doom. It’s got too much CGI, but it is not “The Phantom Menace” of Indy. I had fun.

  10. Dear Graham,
    I would be very grateful and happy if you were to take a peek at the most recent sketch on my Youtube page. It concerns the Indiana Jones film, which I notice you also have slight problems with…
    Thank you!
    Dan and Dan

  11. er… and here’s the link to it… *sigh*

  12. BTW, Graham, may I inquire as to the status of the region 1 IT Crowd DVDs?

    I gotta have them.


  13. Here’s a trailer for ‘The King of Kong:A Fistful of Quaters’, out in the UK later in June. It’s a documentary about arcade gamers, featuring Billy Mitchell, the first person to play a perfect game of pacman. I’d say Roy and Moss would love it!

    And a clip from the doc:

    PS – I’d love to know why you got a thank you in the sleeve notes for the Belle & Sebastian ‘Legal Man’ CD.

  14. Saw ‘King Of Kong’ a few weeks ago, it’s pretty great all right.

    Region 1–all I know is, we’re trying to find a distributor. Will let you know as soon as there’s news.

    Belle and Sebastian–I directed the video for ‘Step Into My Office, Baby’.

    The Indy story…if urban myth, why do so many people in Boing Boing comments section report drop outs?

  15. Scheduling–don’t give it much thought, Dale. Maybe I should.

  16. Dan!
    That was really, really good. I’m might be a little bit i love woth you.

  17. Aw, thank you Magnus. Trust me, the feelings you are experiencing are the result of careful editing, nothing more. But glad you like it!

    Plenty more where that came from: http://www.youtube.com/DanAndDanFilms


  18. i second that..that was realy good. whereas indy4 really wasnt…sigh

  19. In the early 90s Spielberg said he was sorry for making the Nazis comedic figures in the Indiana Jones films as he had rediscovered his Jewish identity making Shindlers List. This suited his publicity at the time but I thought, hey, maybe the man has finally grown up. Even the fact that he made Jurassic Park at the same time as List gave me pause but I still cut him some slack. The next year he produced The Flintstones…and I took back the slack. He is no Robert Bresson, Lean or Hitchcock he’s a money grubbing technical obsessive, probably a high functioning autistic but not a film maker that deserves respect. I’m not even bothering to rent the new Indiana Jones when it’s on dvd.

  20. Not really on any recent WTD topic, but have been spending the afternoon browsing this site, http://stuffedandstarved.org which accompanies a book of the same name published last year. I’ve just finished it so if anyone knows a good book circle to add it too let me know (SE and central London)

  21. God I love YouTube…

    Happy St Patrick’s Day… From U2

  22. Graham, that last entry almost made me cry. They care that much about piracy that they’re willing to sacrifice the quality of the whole goddamn film? Absolutely disgraceful.

    My respect for Lucas has never been very strong. It’s pretty obvious now that the reason the original Star Wars trilogy is so good is because he had more talented people doing all the work for him. But my respect for Spielberg as an artist drops a little more every year, and right now it’s at an all-time low. Doesn’t help that I’m in the middle of “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” by Peter Biskind. Great book if you haven’t read it btw.

  23. …”probably a high functioning autistic but not a film maker that deserves respect.”
    Very good. Because of course you can only be a filmmaker who deserves respect by making worthy, overlong films about VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECTS. Crash, that was good. And The Wind That Shakes the Barley too.
    Whereas if you’ve made Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark you should really be some sort of pariah.

  24. Now, now.

  25. Hello Graham. I cant animate; heres an animation Ive done:



  26. whether a money grabbing technical obsessive or not if he makes excellent pictures like he has done in the past then i dont care. What i do care about is the fact that Indiana Jones and the blah bla was so mediocre…Lets not start attacking Mr Spielberg though c’mon..

  27. G, you should get Mark Kermode’s podcast. He has similar problems with a ceratin hairdo.

  28. I have always admired Steven Spielbergo, his non-union Mexican equivalent.

  29. Oh the Indy film was alright. It was entertaining. It’s only ever supposed to be a B movie anyhow. I admired the dead strange storyline and cavalier attitude towards narrative coherence. I had a laugh. Ate some sweets. And no sound dropouts in Greenwich. Perhaps those reported are either due to shitty soundsystems or Americans convinced that ‘the man’ is out to get them and their pirating ways.

  30. Even Stevens was pretty good though.

    Poor Harrison Ford, long overdue a decent role.
    Anyone remember how for Air Force One they had on posters “President Ford in… AIR FORCE ONE”.

    I’d pay to see an action film that had Gerald Ford in the lead role.

  31. què vol dir “jammy smears”?

  32. nice mention of ryanair in this nina conti bit

    hey did you know that the latest indiana jones film was set in the 1950s? me neither it’s so subtle

    when did denholm elliot and sean connery’s characters have those photos taken? they don’t seem very characteristic of 1940s portraits?, they seem more like 1980s-1990s film press shots, but surely genii like lucas and el spielbergo would have thought that!!!!

  33. Well, for the record, I did indeed notice the sound drop-outs during Indiana Jones at my local Canadian multiplex. I was extremely insulted to learn via Boing Boing that they weren’t just accidental. (Was also insulted by how cheap and stuffed with Saran wrap the ‘crystal skull’ appeared to be).

  34. Re. Indy – do picture dropouts count? Cos I counted more than one… which is more insidious? Hard to tell really.

    Harrison Ford, during the making of Star Wars, to George Lucas: “You can type this shit George, but you sure as hell can’t say it.”

  35. http://seorant.ath.cx/police/ladybird.html

    Just brilliant pastiche of those “Ladybird” books of yore.

  36. David K. Steven Spielberg by his own admission hides himself away at the premieres of his films and only reads how much his film has made after its opening weekend.I find that repulsive.
    Yeah, he’s a great artist confident of his own artistic abilities and not a cynical and over hyped mountebank hoovering up the cash from the theme park roller coast ride mentality type of film goer. You CAN make funny, entertaining films that are beautifully crafted and have artistic merit AND be commercially successful, I’m not equating serious film making with only making films about worthy or serious subjects. Spielberg is only interested in making money as I said, this is by his OWN admission! Shocking. Oh and Lucas is as bad. Someone should stop them from making any more trashy movies and revisiting the infancy of their careers and ‘upgrading’ their cinematic juvenilia for more cash.

  37. Re: the Indy audio dropout thingy.

    It would not be a proper urban legend/conspiracy theory if there were not loads of internet posts about it.

    Here’s this:


    I would refuse to accept user comments on boingboing as evidence that the Earth goes round the Sun.

  38. Oh, King of Kong is magnificent!

  39. Re: the Indy audio business

    It would not be a proper urban legend/conspiracy theory if there were not loads of internet postings claiming it was true.

    Here’s this:


    I wouldn’t accept comments on boingboing as evidence that the Earth goes round the Sun or even the Indy audio conspiracy.

  40. King of Kong is one of my favourite films of last year, it alters the truth hugely though… poor Billy.

  41. Am I the only one who thinks peep show is a bit overrated? It’s a bit “Here’s where everything’s horribly embarrasing” and then someone shits themselves. Nice speechy words but bad do-y happenings.

  42. I hope so, Peep Shows fantastic!!

  43. Cutting the sound a few times in a movie seems like a really strange way to combat piracy. People who buy or download pirated DVDs of just-released cinema movies don’t give a damn about quality anyway, so it’s not going to stop proliferation.

    If, as was suggested in that BoingBoing thread, the sound dropout is so that the distributor can pinpoint where the movie was copied and by whom – that means that every print released has to have the sound drop out in a different place, and the distributor has to track where each of those prints goes and then try to decide in which screening a copy was made. Doesn’t sound feasible to me.

  44. Peep Show is funny and misanthropic but with a dash of pretty rancid misogyny thrown in. I’d still take it over My Family any day.

  45. Dorothy, it’s a great show, gone a bit repetitive but still great… have you seen the earlier episodes?

  46. Peep Show’s still great, but the first four shows of the current series were staggeringly depressing. The Christian Rock one was up there with the best of series 3 and 4 though. Mark’s outburst about the desert island and the sex therapists hooking up around him, leaving him alone, wanking and crying on a rock, was priceless. And he might finally get together with Dobby, which is probably more than he deserves, but still…

  47. Cheers for the Robin Cooper phone call links. Popper’s a genius!

  48. I agree about the funny, it is and very. BUT..In a way that’s got a bit familiar over the past 6 or 7 years. I watched the Christian rock one yesterday, after I had had some beatles style “tea” and even though it was then THE BEST THING I HAD EVER SEEN, I have composed myself just enough by now to be discerning, and agree with yesterday’s me again.

  49. And, yes I have seen the earlier episodes, I’ve sort of liked them all, but never the bits where Jeremy punches a baby, every week.

  50. You would NEVER believe this unless you saw it. The timing is so freakish that it looks like a CGI comic sketch. The guy had no broken bones (obviously cos he was so drunk).

  51. oops, wrong link:

  52. I think series 3 and 4 of Peep Show seemed to get into the same old routine and looked as if it was going downhill, running out of ideas. When I heard Series 5 was being made I was apprehensive, wondering if they were stretching it out far too long. But Series 5 is brilliant! Particularly the first few episodes were excellent compared to the last couple of series, really back on form.

    I don’t think it’s the best comedy of recent times, but it’s a hell of a lot funnier and more original than most other stuff about now.

  53. but it’s a hell of a lot funnier and more original than most other stuff about now.

    I don’t get why this decade’s getting so much hate.

  54. I dunno about Series 5 of Peep Show so far. I felt Series 4 was definitely the weakest, as it lost its basis in the mundanity of everyday life and every episode became “Mark and Jeremy go to the…”.

    I’ve liked some episodes of this season, but it seems to me to be trying a bit too hard to be Peep Show, if you get what I mean. It seems to be running out of steam a bit.

    It’s still funnier than anything else on TV atm though – although people really should check out Human Giant if they haven’t already:

  55. It’s just a personal thing for me, Not so much that I don’t like series xyz, but rather the cringeyness (!) of a lot of it goes straight to my arse and I end up feeling disgusted and a bit fatter. It IS very very funny, but Mark getting naughty milk on his trousers?……It’s not really big or clever, it’s small and stupid, like mouse.

  56. I actually thought that scene was quite romantic. Honestly. And Dobbie is a very good thing. Also I personally don’t mind it when Mark and Jeremy “go to the…” any more than I mind it in Asterix. The Dartington (with April) and Quantocks (Proposal) jaunt stick in my mind as two of the greatest episodes of anything.

  57. A bit harsh about Indy, no? Wasn’t as good as Raiders, but hardly worse than Temple of Doom. There are much worse things going on in the world, like the chill of horror I got when I saw the trailer for the US version of Life on Mars last week. Now I’m going to have to explain to my yank co-workers that it was originally made in the UK, and how, basically, we’re better at TV than they are. Sigh.

  58. I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that “The Real Father Ted” has crept back into the schedules, by the way – it’s due on BBC4 on June 16th. And yes, in the publicity, they’re still claiming that Cleary was the inspiration for Ted: “[In] this moving film for Storyville, Alison revisits her archive and tells the story of her year with the superstar priest who inspired TV’s Father Ted.”

  59. I think I saw it–it’s a great documentary, but I can’t believe they’re still trying to sell it on the back of ‘Ted’.

  60. “I don’t get why this decade’s getting so much hate.”

    When I said Peep Show was better than most other stuff about at the minute, that wasn’t me being down on the decade at all. This decade has seen Spaced, Partridge Series 2, Saxondale, IT Crowd, DarkPlace, Mighty Boosh, The Office, Extras, League of Gentlemen etc.etc.

    I simply meant it’s much better than nonsense like Catherine Tate, most of Little Britain, Little Miss Jocelyn, My Family and others like them. It wasn’t about the decade we’re in, though, because every decade has had its share of dodgy, forgettable comedy.

  61. Graham – I was just wondering whether you had ever been interested in performing stand up? Perhaps you could perform as the “I Love Books” guy?

  62. A friend of mine has reported Indy drop-outs in the Odeon, Tottenham Court Road, London.

  63. Bah, you miserable git. Sure, it wasn’t the best film in the world, and it definitely had its flaws, but so did Temple of Doom (and that had the added boon of racism, too). Not the best Indy film, but still a damn sight better than most popcorn movies, and I definitely left feeling like I had enjoyed myself.

  64. >> Now I’m going to have to explain to my yank co-workers that it was originally made in the UK, and how, basically, we’re better at TV than they are. Sigh.

    I know some Americans who (quite legitimately) get rather annoyed with British people try and get all high and mighty about their TV. In reality we’ve had a handful of classic TV in the past 30 years and piles and piles of crap, too. They’ve pretty much had the same.

  65. hey there! Was wonderin if you’ve seen this show “human giant. ” It kind of reminds me of an American Big Train, particularly this sketch. I always enjoyed the inane banter between characters as you wait for the punchline to be delivered( Simon Pegg was the master of this )— kind of like when waiting for christmas is almost as good as getting your presents. If you follow?

  66. And heres the link:

    I think people always forget the link because they’re so excited to be taking part in such lovely chat. That’s what happened to me anyways.

  67. I like the new “Peep Show” series very much. I’ve been watching what I can online, but I’ll be sure to buy the DVD as soon as it’s available. Of course, I’m waiting with baited breath for “The IT Crowd,” but there isn’t much on television that can compare to Mr. Linehan’s venture.

    I mentioned this before, but I’m not picky about comedy. Maybe it’s a character flaw, but I love comedies, even mediocre ones. I love to laugh and to have a good time, so even a bad comedy is pretty great in my book. It’s like chocolate or free beer. I tried writing a script once upon a time, and I couldn’t finish. So, I have to respect the folks who are able to pull it off for an entire series, even if it isn’t award-winning material.

  68. Hmm…Human Giant aren’t my cup of tea, have to say. Kasper Hauser, on the other hand, rock my world like IT HAS NEVER BEEN ROCKED BEFORE. Must provide a link soon.

  69. I think Human Giant is a bit meh. That “sketch artist” sketch is an awful rip-off of the vastly superior “potato head man” joke in Loaded Weapon 1, from 15 years ago.

    But “Osama Bin Diesel” was fun, and the “levitating CEO” sketch, which I also liked, reminded me of this peach, from Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out (3:34 is magnificent!):

  70. The whole British TV vs American TV is so tired…we’ve both our hits and misses to equal degree.

    On the Indy business, here’s this:


  71. The whole British TV vs American TV debate is so tired…we’ve both had our hits and misses to equal degree. So let’s agree to disagree. Heck, a Cuban and a German are mostly responsible for the way TV sitcoms look and feel (just so happens they worked in the USA). Credit where credit is due, eh?

    On the Indy business, the distributors use far more sophisticated methods of tracking prints than causing audio and video dropouts. It’s conspiracy theory bunk.

  72. The Indy audio drop outs / stupidness is intentional and real, not bunk, it has been used before:

  73. My 11 year old nephews who have seen the first three Indiana Jones movies, pulled agonised faces when they described to me the plot of the new movie at the weekend. Something happens which (I won’t spoil for you by describing) but had us all chiming in unison “for god’s sake”.

  74. As regards Indy, I will never forgive those responsible for what will live in infamy as “the monkey scene.” Inexplicable. I’ve gasted away all my flabber.

  75. hey Graham,

    Just wondering what you think of Stella, or Michael Ian Black/Mike Showalter/David Wains stand up/movies?

  76. Liked a lot of Stella! It felt verrrry underwritten but had some great gags.

  77. My daughter’s 9 and she enjoyed the Indiana Jones film enormously. As with the whole Star Wars thing, are we not in danger of forgetting that these films aren’t really meant for grown-ups? I don’t imagine my dad felt particularly satisfied by Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars when he took me to see them back in the day, either. But then he probably realised it wasn’t made for his enjoyment and didn’t worry about it all that much. Were I feeling sententious, I might suggest that fully-grown adults complaining that kids’ films displease them is a fairly sad reflection on our generation.

  78. I read through a great deal of that forum. It seems some projectors in some theaters are not compatible with the new coding used on the prints. Several posters reported hearing problems in one theater but not in another.

    Incompatible coding and intentionally dropping the sound are not the same thing.

  79. The depressing thing is, these films ARE made for “grown ups”, who make up the majority of Spielberg’s opening weekend cashback. They’re baby boomer bait. 90% of the audience for Indiana Jones is teenaged and over, and overwhelmingly undiscriminating. If they ARE meant to harvest young minds then the racist monkey brains scene in Temple of Doom, the heart ripping out scene also (what fun!) and the general levity with which the rise of the Nazis was treated in Last Crusade (“cor crikey Hitler signed my book at a book burning, what larks!”)is pretty rancid fare to lay out for young impressionable minds. They’re not childrens films; Spielberg and Lucas have just infantilised mainstream film culture since 1975 so of course they’re attractive by young minds.

  80. Hi Graham,
    This may be “out of context” or “off topic” but there isn’t really any other way to contact you (that I know of). I am a huge fan of your work! I’m not great with words, but I just want to thank you for the many hours of enjoyment. You are an inspiration :)

  81. This made me laugh so hard that I have to pass it along. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t12RHAyPd4A

  82. Ah, yes, Mister Brule. He rules.

  83. And thanks, Nod!

  84. I’d be interested to hear your opinions on Russell Brand.
    I think he’s one of the most intelligent and funniest comics on television, though he can be irritating.
    Channel 4 have yet to find a suitable format for him, I’d say he works best when he’s cavorting with his audience and The Russell Brand Show removed that, even though it was where he was at his best in Big Mouth.
    Oh, I take it you won’t be tuning into Big Brother tomorrow night? Hehehe.

  85. I like Russell Brand a lot.

  86. Speaking of Lucas and Co’s legacy…before I sat through the mediocrity-fest of Indy 3 I was lucky enough to cop eyes on the trailer for the latest Star Wars installment. It seems like only yesterday I was downloading Phantom Menace teaser trailers secretly filmed in American theatres. Anyone remember the eruptions of cheers and screaming when the ‘Lucasfilm’ logo hit the screen? …and now….it’s come to this:

  87. I’ve just spent the last three hours of my life on the phone to my broadband supplier’s technical services department. It was traumatic. I accidentally cried (I discovered today that it really freaks geeks out when you cry because they’ve erroneously cut off your broadband.). Anyhoo, the tech support guy (in the midst of my snotty angst) decided to ask me if I’d tried turning my computer off and on again. And in the midst of the glorious humiliation of accidentally bursting into tears at the prospect of no broadband for yet another week, I experienced a little bubble of IT Crowd related joy. And so, Graham, I thought I’d brave the scary world of free access dialup to say thank you for that little bubble of joy. It really helped. Have a nice week.

  88. Graham, I am the Andrew from the ‘Real Father Ted’ comments section. I was wondering if you would contact me privately (I take it you can access the email address required to post comments?), there was quite a bit of information I didn’t put in my post as it would have been inappropriate on a public forum. I am acquainted with both the doc subject and its creator.

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