Hate it when these things are so close together…

October 18, 2008

Been too busy to update much recently, sorry! Show’s going gangbusters, though…


  1. I have nothing to say. I just wanted to get in with the first comment.

    It’s the little things in life…

  2. Me second. Um I found these opening credits, simply one of the most pleasing beginnings to anything I’ve come across. Even they don’t appear to have any idea what half of them are doing here:


  3. Question: Do you hate America?

    You seem to from your blog posts. Would you prefer to live in venuzuela, cuba, russia or iran? Cos those countries aren’t free yet US is. Why don’t you thank the yanks for the protection they’re giving the Western world?

    And before you call me a redneck hick, I’m Irish and from County Clare, very near the house where you shot Ted. Out in the sticks.

  4. I love how you said ‘Question:’. That’s brilliant.

  5. Would have been better if it said

    “Rhetorical question:”

  6. Am I going mad, or are some episodes of Smallville nearly as good as The Sopranos?

  7. Ultra Pulverize the best live beats electronic hip-hop band.
    Video for sneaking around old folks

  8. Simon, were it not for the fact that there is no way you can fake something that well, I would swear that was a video confection from Peter Serafanowicz. Brilliant stuff. Oh and the anti American ambience? I think it’s more anti Bush/Neo Con thing. How can you be anti American when it makes The Daily Show, gave us Peanuts and Six Feet Under and the music of George Gershwin?

  9. Georgie:

    Isn’t it possible that a lot of people, Graham included, hold America to a higher standard than other countries, since it’s nominally a democracy and the last superpower?

    You seem to be arguing that it’s ABOVE CRITICISM, since its military might protects us (from whom, I wonder?) I’d say that democracies are strengthened by bracing critiques, especially if they acknowledge them, and those who bemoan the recent behaviour of America are those who care for it most.

  10. if at first you don’t succeed…

    Ultra Pulverize_Sneaking Round Oldfolks

  11. Georgie:

    “Why don’t you thank the yanks for the protection they’re giving the Western world?”

    I don’t want to speak for Graham, but I believe he is, like many people inside and outside of the US, critical of certain powerful people in America, not the concept of America or the power it has in general.

    To quote Stan Lee, with great power comes great responsibility – that’s where it seems to have been going a bit wrong the last 8 or so years.

  12. Hi! I was at the filming on friday (which was awesome, by the way) and you said your favourite scene was in it, and when it came up, you’d tell us which one it was.

    We never found out, and I’m really curious. Obviously, I don’t expect you to post it here as you don’t want to give any clues about what the episode was about, but if you have time, and i know it’s a bit of an imposition, could you email and tell me?


  13. Indeed some would argue that, far from “protecting” the other Western nations, American foreign policy has made the world a much more dangerous place.

  14. So what was your favourite scene on Friday?

    Filming was wonderful – a great experience. Amazing to see the cast and the set, of course – but a special treat to see you in person.

  15. Adam, I can only see your shoes.

  16. hi graham i found sarah palin in miss alaska contest


  17. Hey Graham. My friends and i were wondering there, is “My Lovely Horse” based on “Ride On” by Christy Moore? Go on you can tell me. Im just new to your site aswell. Been enjoying it. You’ve probably seen this clip coz i saw it a year ago. but sure just in case you haven’t. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ3oHpup-pk

  18. Georgie, why do you include Venezuela in your ‘axis of evil’ list? It’s a democracy, and the people of that country voted Chavez in three times. Do you not like poor people receiving profits from oil money? Is that it?

    “And before you call me a redneck hick, I’m Irish and from County Clare, very near the house where you shot Ted. Out in the sticks.”

    …take a long look at that sentence and see if you can see the problem with it. I can wait.

  19. Hey, I dont know if you read these comments, but I just got back from Sarah Silverman and was hanging with my buddy next to you all night at the pub round the corner, just diddnt have the confidence to say ‘Hey’, its not every day that you’re was surrounded by the Kings of Comedy (Brooker, Morris, Yourself and countless amazing actors). I had my hair tied back, my buddy had his band ‘Macca and the Awesome Kids’ mentioned by Silverman during her ‘encore’, but just wanted to say I’v been an avid reader of your blog and will get you a pint when time im again next to you in the queue for the bar.

  20. P.s. Gah! Yes, my favourite bit… so sorry not to have told you all. It was the balloon cut.

  21. Hey, Will, you should have said hello. We don’t bite! x

  22. Hey! Thanks for the amazingly fast response, ill make sure ill introduce myself next time (although was tonight a freak coincidence of comic genius, or does the ‘Brit Comedy Pack’ hang out all the time?)
    Would like to hear your comments on Sarah’s performance (we managed to get a few words from Matt Berry, although as he put it ‘I have to say good things’.)



  23. Well, I don’t have to say good things: I thought she was great. A short set, I guess, but much better than Chris Rock was at the same venue.

  24. She was the first american comedian I have seen live, I guess I was expecting a longer set too (Moran, Bailey, etc.), was still really good, shouts of ‘over-rated’ from the back were totally uncalled for, and I already had a fun night telling my mates about drinking in the same pub as you and Morris. Really looking forward to new I.T Crowd and drop me an e-mail (waustin@mac.com) if you ever want an abstract oil painting for free(im exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair this week), I would be delighted to exchange my work for the laughs you have already given me and my mates.

  25. Anyone else think Josh Brolin (he of ‘No Country For Old Men’ fame) looks like the love-child of Kurt Russel and Nick Nolte?

  26. Will, you are a lucky bastard. I think I’d be sick with excitement in that situation! I did meet Dara O’Briain in Belfast a couple of weeks ago, so it’s not all bad :)

  27. Aw man, the Long Blondes split up…

  28. I was waiting outside the Apollo last night for a friend to arrive from around 7.15 to just after 8.30, and I was quite enjoying the cavalcade of British comedy writers and performers turning up! Just before the show started and most people had gone inside, Keanu Reeves turned up!

    Anyway, I read a pretty poor review of the show in The Guardian today that I disagreed with quite a lot, although perhaps that was because I didn’t pay for my ticket so didn’t feel too indignant about the length of the show.

    Graham/Will/whoever else saw Sarah Silverman last night: what did you think to the ‘encore’? I felt genuinely uncomfortable and really felt for her. It obviously isn’t what she does, and she handled it pretty well, but some people were just baying for blood and sometimes there is nothing more disheartening than the sound of a British Q+A – I was at a screening of Religulous on Saturday night and, no joke, one of the first questions to the great Larry Charles was “why did you wear the beard during filming?”

    His very simple answer: “because it was on my face.”

  29. Came to the filming on Friday but due to massive tube delays and ticket over-allocation, didn’t get in. ‘Gutted’ doesn’t even begin to describe it; my sister had travelled down from York especially.

    So my advice would be to get there earlier than early, people, especially if you are having to rely on public transport!! :-(

  30. On the subject of live comedy, did anyone else travel to Liverpool to see Steve Coogan at the echo arena? It has been destroyed by reviewers and many people were walking out during the show.

    The Independent had an article last week:

    Myself and the friend I went with are huge Coogan fans, and more likely to be biased in his favour, but even we were very disappointed. We did feel his performance was rushed and his timing was right off. We gave the benefit of the doubt and thought it could have just been a bad night, but I hear it didn’t get any better on the following night. Partridge was the highlight, but even he didn’t quite have the same “something” he always has before.

    Just curious whether anyone else has caught him on the current tour?

  31. I felt for her too. Here’s my take on the evening. First, she lost her support act to this bug that’s going around (there should have been a replacement but that wasn’t her fault… the Hammersmith Apollo should have sorted that out). She was very nervous all week (so Matt told me, anyway) and possibly bolted through her material faster than she meant to–at one point, she looked down at her list and seemed honestly surprised by how far along she was.

    That said, it was a really good show–it seemed like new material, by and large, and she’s a great performer. Chris Rock did an hour and forty, and I have to say, it was such thin material that I felt short-changed in a way I didn’t last night.

  32. I didn’t make it to see Ms Silverman but I can’t say I’m really enjoying this large Arena comedy gig business which is happening more and more. Mr Rock was good but comedy has always felt very personal (connection just between your ears and their mouth, although amplified) and sitting several hundred feet away elevated to the ceiling in the circle just kind of cuts it a bit. I’d prefer the smaller theatres/venues and a longer run as the comic gets to understand their environment and tinker/shape the set to the ‘home’ crowd.

    I don’t know how anybody could enjoy that in 02.

  33. I felt that nervousness too, and having seen Jesus Is Magic and bit of her TV show already, I don’t really see where a lot of these ‘it was old material’ comments are coming from. Perhaps I’d feel a bit short-changed if I hadn’t been going with a friend for free, but had I spent money on that seat, I still think that the material was good enough for me to feel that £30 to see a performer live for the first time over here is justified.

    On top of that, I’m more attracted to her than ever before.

  34. I agree Paul. Several years ago I went to see Eddie Izzard at the MEN Arena in Manchester and it took me about 15 minutes for my hearing to adjust to the acoustics so I could listen properly to what he was saying. Theatres and clubs are so much better.

  35. I’ve never really been a fan of Sarah’s, but from what I hear, she was treated very shoddily at the gig. That’s miserable.

  36. I agree with MerseyMal who agrees with Paul! Although my gripe is more about the visual aspects of ‘stadium comedy’.
    I went to see Eddie Izzard a few years back at the Hallam arena in Sheffield.. the biggest joke of the evening was that I found myself sitting 300ft away from the stage watching a huge video screen because all I could make out of the great man was an indistinct, yet glamorous, human shaped spec in high heels. I should have brought binoculars.. A bizarre and never to be repeated experience.

  37. hi grham am just asking what day is the it crowd comeing back

  38. Hey Graham. I was at the IT crowd filming last week and I just wanted to thank you for making the cast look like they are actually typing. Its a small thing, but when you see someone in a show obviously hitting a keyboard at random it just bugs the crap out of me. So – thank you for your insistance. Also. Your set decorators deserve a medal. Absolutely spot on.

  39. Have you seen the new HBO animation The Life & Times of Tim yet??

    It’s so funny!! Bit of a Curb Your Enthusiasm, except an animation version.


  40. I was so impressed with the professionalism of cast and crew. No wonder the IT Crowd is so good. Plus having the ideal writer helps, of course…

  41. Hello! Has anybody tried the cheating the DVD region encoding system as explained here: http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Cheat_DVD_Regional_Encoding ? Keen to get The IT Crowd v2.0, and there doesn’t seem to be an Australian release in the works! :)

  42. Hello there Mr L.

    In a similar way to Will, I was there too………..but I thought I’d leave you all alone. Very difficult considering how many of my most admired comedy people were there. Plus the fact that my friend was threatening me in hushed tones “You DARE go over there and embarrass me!”

    Admittedly a bit cruel but I did chuckle at the annoyance on David Walliams’ face when someone in the bar shouted ‘I’m a lady!’ when he walked past.

    As for Sarah? I enjoyed it. Yep, the Apollo definitely should have sorted out the support act……even if they just asked one of the countless comedians in the audience.

    I also found myself saying ‘Puth-thy’ all day.

    It just seemed like she wasn’t really enjoying herself……which is a shame because I think most other people did.

  43. “Admittedly a bit cruel but I did chuckle at the annoyance on David Walliams’ face when someone in the bar shouted ‘I’m a lady!’ when he walked past.”

    Wow. That’s a disappointing sentence, Iam.

  44. I walked out of the stalls right next to David Walliams and exchanged a brief smile of recognition with him as both he and the lady he was with and me and my friend both discussed how hostile the crowd was during the encore. The idea that someone was shouting out catchphrases is just as disappointing as hearing someone shout out a question to Sarah about her recently-finished relationship – both just seem a bit pointless to me.

  45. ooh can’t wait to see IT Crowd 3 ! Huge fan ! wonder when it will be launched on tv…? x

  46. I just found that, for a man who has based his comedy career on catchphrases and the grotesque, which has brought him fame and wealth, to be annoyed when people give him recognition is a little unjust and petulant.

    I realise that he must hear it all the time….but it is the monster that he co-created.

  47. Well, it’s a point of view. I disagree, but I do see where you’re coming from now.

  48. Disappointing? Really?…

  49. Yes. Really.

  50. His catchphrases have returned like a double-edged boomerang to slap him in the face.

  51. Ok

  52. Is it not all in good fun then? Or does having catchphrases constantly repeated back to you become genuinely hellish?

  53. Lots to fit in one comment, but here goes.

    Graham: Thanks for answering my question in the earlier comments. Glad you make an exception for QI. Only panel show I really like (other than QI) is The News Quiz on Radio 4, but then there are certain people who get on there that annoy me as they’re not half as funny as they think they are.

    As for the Black Books question, by not really answering it, you sort of DID answer it and assuming I’ve not grasped the wrong end of the stick entirely, I suspect what I thought is probably correct. (Wow, that sounds cryptic.)

    Brolin the lovechild? Now you mention it…

    Walliams: Hate to ask such a crass question, but is he gay? I see someone say he was a woman. Only asking if he is because I like the guy, and always assumed he was. (Vulva may be one of the finest characters ever.)

    Silverman: I am not a fan. In fact I can’t stand her. However, why the hell would you go to a live show just to heap abuse on her and heckle? I mean if you don’t like her, what sort of mindset does it take to think “I know. I’ll pay to see the show, then yell at her.” Idiots! Plus despite my dislike for her, I respect what she does. She’s just not my particular cup of Earl Grey.

    Bubble: I use hardware solutions. I have several DVD players, and only one isn’t hacked to be region free. When I pick up region 2 stuff I usually just make a backup and make it region free to cover that.

  54. Wow that was a typo. I meant to say that Walliams was WITH a woman… HAHAHA! *facepalm*

  55. Best. Typo. Ever.

  56. *takes a bow* Thank you!

  57. Just watched the One Foot in the Grave Ted last night and I think it says all that needs to be said about shouting catchphrases back to their owners. Classic episode.

    Quick question for you Graham. You’re fully up to date on all the lastest DVD series, and ploughing through books and comics, playing online poker and computer games, reading a load of other blogs, filming a live studio audience t.v. series, moving to London, and raising a young family…Do you drink a lot of red bull or are there more hours in the day than I thought there was? Or are you going to sleep for several days when series 3 is gangbusted onto our screens? It would be well earned!

  58. @Von: Graham made sure that Katherine was told to make it look like she was actually typing at the October 10th filming. It was very funny. /easily amused

  59. @Drood: thanks for the tip, looks like I might just have to get another DVD player..!

  60. Bubble,

    V2.0 was definitely released in Australia! I bought a copy from ABC bookshop a few months ago.

  61. bubble: Just Google the model number and you can usually find stuff. If you can’t find the specific model, look for similar. For example my portable DVD player, I unlocked that by trying codes for similar models until one worked.

  62. Really Jen? I must get in there again. I stopped checking a few months back after having to just throw my hands up in frustration at how tight the ABC is being with releasing so many great British shows. (Spooks, Peep Show, IT Crowd, etc.)

  63. Here’s the link for the V2.0 dvd:


  64. Thanks Jen, I’ll pick it up asap.

    And I’m confused. Does Graham hate the anti-America parts of America or the pro-America parts of America? Or both? If you hate America but you really only hate the anti-America parts of America does that mean you really like America? If I hate the anti-America parts of America, does that mean the pro-American parts of America will still hate me for being anti-anti-America?

    I guess America has to decide if America hates America before the rest of us will even know whether we hate America or not. Thanks for nothing Bachmann.

  65. @Jen: I think I love you! I too had stopped checking in store a couple of months ago, clearly I was not looking hard enough. May your cup of good karma overfloweth :)

    @Drood: yes I will do that actually, much cheaper option! Then Darkplace will be mine… all mine…

  66. Awww thanks Bubble :) I was out trawling the stores in Perth the first week it came out, ABC bookshop was the only place that had it! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in JB Hifi as well.

    LOL Darkplace was the reason why I finally decided to buy a region free dvd player :)

  67. Little Britain USA. Jesus. I have yet to smile once. The pointless shoe-horning of the characters into sketches with tweaks to make them a bit more understandable to American audiences. There’s no artistic excuse, just money-raking. The best thing Lucas and Walliams did was Rock Profiles.

  68. I thought the first Series of Little Britain was good. I remember enjoying the show when it first appeared on BBC3, which is hard to reconcile with how I feel about the show these days. There was always a part of me that felt uneasy about similarities to The League of Gentlemen, particularly the ccase of Jobseekers/Fatfighters sketches with Pauline/Marjorie.

    As far as I know, in their early careers they never preached against merchandising broad, catchphrase-based comedy, so it’s hard to hold it against them too much.

    Catherine Tate just takes the piss though ;)

  69. Just to say – nice to see the Small Mammal House name being revived in the tumblelog. x

  70. So Little Big Planet has been delayed due to a lyric in one of the backing tracks!

    Tapha Niang, superb track (I think inspired by The Mission theme or Moriccone in general.)

  71. What does “anti-American” mean anyway? Surely it’s a bit of a label to prevent (or at least obscure) criticism of American (foreign) policy. I mean, Georgie up the page there is clearly critical of Venezuela and Russia – would he categorise himself as anti-Venezuelan or anti-Russian? Both sound preposterous at best and racist at worst. And what if you live in America, are American and have the same reservations about neo-liberal policy that Graham does. Can you be an anti-American American? I’m both pained and ashamed of some of the things our government carry out in our name. Am I anti-English?

  72. That’s more respect than I feel the question deserves, Andrew, but thanks.

  73. For some reason, I’ve started having very strong anti-Clare feelings lately. I can’t account for them at all.

  74. Now, now! As Jesus sort of said, “When people are ignoring me, I am not there.”

  75. Yes, I was clearly waffling. … Wasn’t I?

  76. Hey, french fan here, yes it is strange, even Father Ted is basically unknown in France (don’t worry, even Seinfeld, of which I’m also a demented fan, is unknown here too, what a great country I live in), and yet absolutely true, I am very fond of each show you write Graham, thanks for doing them. Can’t wait for the new season. I work in an IT department, and this show is basically my life, except there is NO Jen-like around our office (or any woman for that matter). For instance, our windowless tiny office is INDEED in the basement of the company, and I’m pretty sure most of the executives ignore even our existence. And ‘have you tried turning it off and on again ?’, although we never dare to put it that way, is actually more or less the answer to about half of the problems we deal with. And reading comics or surfing on internet is what I am mostly paid for doing… Hey ! I’m Roy !
    While I’m at it, two questions, one silly and one selfish : 1/ How on earth am I supposed to pronounce the name Linehan ? Not that I have big chances of ever using it, still, I have no idea. 2/ Why (Oh Why ?) only six episodes a year ? Ok, no need to get back at me for this one, I don’t really have any reason to criticize (not mentionning knowledge, competence, or anything against laziness), and I do prefer 6 good shows to 15 bad ones, but it’s just not enough for the whole year !! 6 IT crowd, and about 25 crap CSI during the same time ? Now something’s wrong here.
    Gotta go, I have to wipe the chocolate off my forehead. Nah, it’s not shit, I swear.

    PS. I agree with every word Andrew said, even though I have to admit : I AM anti-French… Ok, I know what you’re thinking : ‘Well, aren’t we all ?’ Allright, true.

  77. bubble – I’ve had the it crowd 2.0 for a few weeks now, it’s available on play4me.com.au for a lovely price.

    Being the stooge I am, I buy dvds purely for the extras and commentary and it was a delight.

  78. Mathias, it’s pronounced Lin-eh-han, not Line-han.

    Six episodes because there’s only me doing it and if there were any more the strain would tell (on the show, and on me).

  79. @Bex: thanks for the heads up, that is indeed a good price. I’m excited, I’ve been wanting this for ages!

    I was watching the extras on IT Crowd 1.0 the other day, specifically the Ken Korda interviews… according to him, it’s pronounced “Lin-eh-hwan” :D

  80. Dear Graham,
    Thanks for the back and forth about Silverman earlier this week, I have enjoyed the resulting discussion/thoughts about large scale stand up. Although ‘lamsicle’, you probably weren’t aware that the guy who shouted catch phrases at David Walliams actually followed him outside as he was leaving just to deliver another one, I turned around and called him an expletive that was hopefully heard by the gaggle of comic genius surrounding me.
    Graham, if you were intending on visiting the Affordable Art Fair this week (private view is tonight) there is a free ticket for two with your name on it at the front desk, let me know if any more are needed.
    (And if anybody else was heading there this week-dont pay-just drop me an email at waustin@mac.com).

  81. Hey Will. No, that one i didn’t see. There is an unfortunate culture of taking things way too far. Sbrugby made an interesting point about catchphrases, particularly in the episode of Ted with Richard Wilson.

    I’m off to watch The Boosh tonight….who’s whole act is basically one giant catchphrase.

  82. Gosh. Not a fan of the Phoney Pharaoh, but apparently if you accuse the Royals, beware the REVENGE…

  83. D’oh!

  84. What’s the buzz about catchphrases ? if it works, it works ! x

  85. They can work, but more often than not when they work well once they’re overworked to the point where an Egyptian slave would offer them a hand, between shifts building pyramids and such.

    I love that bit in the second series of the IT Crowd when Roy answers the phone:

    “Have you tried turning it…you know what? I’m sick of saying that.”

    Quite possibly paraphrasing there.

  86. Gervais/Merchant’s “Exras” is excellent for highlighting the whole catchphrase-based broadness of many comedies. Can’t beat the scene where he sees several audience members wearing t-shirts saying “Am I Bovvered?”, “Garlic Bread?”, “I’m a Lady”, when he’s reluctantly having to put out his own “Is he ‘avin a laugh?”

  87. I’m addicted to this drawing-things-physics-game- thingy:

    Mr. Linehan – have you thought about doing a political comedy, or a sitcom where the main characters are politicians? It seems that politics keep coming up ’round these parts.

  88. It’s funny how ‘Turning it on and off again’ has survived despite my killing it off in series 2. I’ll never forget the first time Chris said it and there was a ROAR of laughter from the audience (many of whom worked in IT). A really nice moment, but there seemed no point in milking it.

  89. Not to get overly analytical on “Turning it on and off again”, but maybe it bears repeating because it’s a “catchphrase” in a context where it might be acceptably repeated.

    For example, I worked in a call centre for a summer a couple of years ago and I can still recite the spiel I had to begin hundreds of phone calls with:

    “Hi, this is Stephen calling from TNS MRBI, that’s the Market Research Bureau of Ireland. We’re just conducting a short survey (NB, the survey was always short, even when it was long) at the moment and wondered if you’d be willing to help us?”

    It’s burned into my memory more distinctly than the Our Father (although I realise that no amount of Our Fathers will save me from the sin of having worked in a call centre).

    Anyway, in The IT Crowd, the “catchphrase” is a part of Roy and Moss’s daily work experience, where most catchphrases are untidily beaten into situations where the sketch in its entirety depends on the catchphrase, be that a transexual man protesting his femininity to a life drawing class, or a teenage girl randomly having a duel with the prime minister over the relative levels of “bovver” each was experiencing.

    This is almost definitely the kind of thing one only considers at 4am, though.

  90. Oh, and speaking of catchphrases:


    Thank god for that…

  91. oh, for God’s sake…tell me that’s a gag…

  92. You mean you’re not taking part at all?! /faux horror

    Would y’like t’film one little talking head segment? Ah sure ye will. Ah go wan. Ah go wan, go wan, go wan etc…

    That’s really one for the hardcore catchphrase crowd. I’d imagine there’ll be several deaths from catatonic laughter at an “Am I bovvered?” being so close in proximity to a “Cha’mon motherf**ker” and a “Yeah, but no, but yeah.”

    Has this ever been done before? I’m more worried about the possibilities of disaster this televisual event could herald than I am of the idea of the large hadron collider being operated by the four horsemen of apocalypse on Friday the 13th.

  93. “Four horsemen of THE apocalypse, that is.” Not just any apocalypse.

  94. …bloody hell

  95. hi graham.

    have you seen this?


  96. I think that atheists are perfectly entitled to advertise their beliefs. Anyone with a secure faith in God, whatever religion they follow, should NOT be threatened by an advert. God is not Tinkerbell who would ‘die if someone doesn’t believe’ in her.

  97. @Georgie, very near where ted was filmed eh? u can tell…

  98. oh well, chris rock is damn funny. i like his corny jokes and stuffs “,;

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