Tell it to the hair!

January 9, 2009


I’m going to stop using the little speech bubble thing so I can use more pics like this one. But to be clear, this is my regular Friday open thread. Remember to be delightful, and maybe go easy on the questions until I get my breath back. Otherwise, knock thyselves out!


  1. hey Graham- your hair is so Glossy.
    When do you get the time to write with all the internetal distractions?

  2. Never mind your hair….I’ve got a Nicholas Cage pimple on my ass!

  3. Neil Gaiman twittered this the other day:


  4. Hey Graham! Did you know that there’s a downloadable – and playable – version of the IT Crowd theme tune available on the “GHtunes” section of Guitar Hero World Tour? My kids are having a great time playing it.

  5. Have you heard the new animal collective album yet?
    My girls is streaming on their myspace site.
    Not an ounce of fat on it – superb.

  6. Ade: cool!

  7. Alex: can’t wait. They should be playing round about now, shouldn’t they?

  8. playing london on monday
    playing belfast and dublin end of march
    belfast gig is in the stiff kitten, which is a great little venue.

  9. When I saw the video of the boy getting a Wii for Christmas, my overwhelming thought was “Wouldn’t it be funny if the box was empty”.

    I think I’ve failed to be delightful, for which I apologise. I’ll try harder next time.

  10. Twitter?
    I don’t get it.

    The Wii Kid: for a second I thought, he got angry because he doesn’t get a XBOX360:-)

  11. Ahhhh brilliant, Alex! I’ll be there! Never seen a gig in stiff kitten

  12. Darren – think its the 28th March.
    Its not been officially confirmed but has been mentioned on a few sites. Stiff kitten great for small gigs. Imagine this be will be stuffed (or even moved to bigger venue). By the way – your not fortune cookie darren?

  13. Has the novelty of teasing your twitter followers worn off yet, Graham?

  14. Hey Graham! Just like to say thanks again for all your great work! Thanks to you, Chris Morris and many other funny people I’ve got my first proper programme idea together!, which has also helped me get a college course because they really liked my idea!
    Thanks again! I’ll stop using exclamation marks now.

    P.S. Do you know if Chris Morris is working on anything new? I missed “Brass Eye” and all that when it was aired, mainly because I was about 3 at that time….Bloody parents not letting me watch it! I was well past crawling age.

  15. Graham. What are you doing now the the series is done for now? Are you working on something or lollygagging in front of the telly in your underwear smoking stogies and eating Bon-bons? If you want you can come visit and we’ll go buy guns and drive around aimlessly in my SUV. Let me know.

  16. Graham I saw you mention Left 4 Dead in the Arse post. Are you playing online much? My old Counter Strike buddies got me into it and it’s good stuff.

    Also, do you write while listening to music? I find it difficult to write without listening to something. What I end up with more often than not is video game scores. Helps me a lot.

  17. I watched S1 on telly and bought the dvd when it came out. I then had the (in retrospect, stupid) notion of not watching any of S2 at all when it was aired, so that I could buy the dvd and revel in the experience of a whole fresh series.

    Then the S1-2 boxset came out and I was very close to buying that and selling my S1 dvd (I hate double-dipping). But then I learned that S3 was in the works, so I backed away, expecting a complete boxset further down the line.

    When series 3 aired, I felt that I couldn’t watch it, as I still haven’t seen any of S2 yet… Now I learn that a S1-3 dvd boxset will indeed be released forthwith. Nice one, I thought, I’ll get that, sell my S1 dvd and have two whole series and loads of extras to watch – many revellings!

    Ah, but now I read you’re hoping / intending to make a 4th series! Major cripes. I really liked S1, but appear to have become trapped in a perpetual loop of avoidance.

    Should I just keep on waiting (potentially for several years) until you declare that you’ve completed the *final* series?!?!

  18. haha, very funny with the Wii jokes. I love my wii, i love nintendo games (i also have a ps3 of course). Two of the most unappreciated games of the year were wii, Boom Blox and ‘The World of Goo’. Watch out for madworld, this spring. If you liked Left 4 dead, i suggest checking out Dead Space and Bioshock, if you haven’t already. Both small release games that are underrated.

    Have you ever seen ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’? The website is here: http://drhorrible.com/. Would you consider doing mini-web episodes of the It Crowd?

  19. I play Left4Dead under the name Glinner, so look out for me. Maybe I’ll try and play tonight sometime…maybe about eleven. I play on a PC, so i don’t know whether that means I can’t join in with you console kids….

  20. I’ll twitter when I’m about to play.

  21. Hi Graham,

    I’m DELIGHTED to see that you’re a fan of The Room. I thought I was the only person from these shores who has seen it! Did you know they hold sing-a-long style screenings in LA where people throw spoons at the screen at certain points? I generally hate the idea of audience participation at the cinema but this could be the one exception I might actually enjoy.

    Anyway, fantastic work on the most recent series, it was great stuff. Will hope to see you around Soho some time soon (in a non-stalker-ish way, I have caught a glimpse of you once or twice) so I can give a brief, sane congratulations in person.


  22. I still enjoy playing Crayon every now and then. So simple and yet so delightful!

    PA did a comic on it though: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/1/9/locked-brutal-combat/

  23. Get an xbox Graham, it’s the future/present. I recommend Gears of War 2. Remarkable, hence the remark about it just then.

  24. I have to echo Hank – sorry, I just don’t get Twitter. What’s the point?

  25. Ah, this takes me back to the days of Flock Of Seagulls. As my old Dad was often fond of saying, when discussing my goth teenage friends with a wry, amused middle-aged smile, “Ahh, they think they look good.”

  26. Hy Graham

    I watched the screenwipe screenwriter episode. The second time around I noticed that you were left out of the segment about dialog. So, what do you think differentiates good dialog from bad dialog?

    And Barton is right, get yourself an xbox, pleaseeeeee

  27. Good dialogue is natural and illuminates character and advances the plot without seeming to do so. Bad dialogue seems unnatural, feels generic and advances the plot in such a clumsy fashion that it can make you cry. No more questions! That was the last question!

  28. One use of Twitter. There are around 1400 people currently ‘following’ me. Some of them might play Left4Dead, my current favourite thing. If I get a chance to go online tonight and play it, I’ll let people know with a tweet. Then I’ll be able to blow zombies away with some ‘Ted’/’IT Crowd’ fans. And that would be delightful!

  29. hey Graham
    I heard a rumour you dabbled in making comics before doing telly.Any truth to this?

  30. Hello and happy new year, Graham. Perhaps you’d enjoy this cover of the song I used to put on to clear people out of the second hand bookshop:


    I wish I’d had this version.

  31. Left4Dead is brilliant! Half-Life 2 and it’s babies are still alive and kicking! ;) I’m proud to say I’m one of those older PC gamers…besides I can make my own maps to add to that game “after-glow”

  32. Hey, Graham. Happy New Year!

    What are your top ten albums of 2009? I’ve got $24 of iTunes gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and I need some guidance.

  33. Couldnt go asleep so watched Snuff Box with Richard in it as the music presenter. I miss the IT crowd. Lucky however that the series was in November/December as NTL cut me off today. Why won’t RTE buy it? Idiots

  34. Dude. You’re scaring me now. (http://community.livejournal.com/anti_gravitas/170911.html)

  35. D’oh! I mean 2008!

  36. Moss got dissed.

    btw…My Mother linked me this from an ‘interweb tea-room’. No lies. My mom’s better than telly. (the darts is on you see)

  37. your last post made me hate the world a little

  38. There is not a spelling of “AAAGH” with enough As in it to convey the fear I feel when I look at Birdhead Nicholas Cage and he stares back at me.

  39. When you guys play these online games together is it anything like this? (I’m sure this is very old news for you guys but this clip made me laugh and seems to have spawned a bazillion virals and made a star out of its hero)

  40. Just looking at the last issue of Total Film which made me think that, in a fair world, Neon would have been celebrating it’s 150th edition as well. I loved the Filmgoers Companion (esp the Hitchcock interview) and started to pay attention to Ted as a result. How did you get involved and can you get copies of FC anywhere these days?

  41. What are your top ten albums of 2009?

    Beach House has to be in there…MGMT…TV on the Radio’s is pretty good…Beirut..Ting Tings, who seem incapable of writing a bad song…Vampie Weekend…

  42. This is a shameless plug but my sketch show pilot ‘The Magic Glue’ on Radio Scotland can be heard as part of the Comedy Zone series of programmes at this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00gf00f/Comedy_Zone_The_Comedy_Zone/

    It’s the first show in the thread. At around the 100 minute mark there is a half-hour programme where Armando Iannucci talks about his early comedy career and plays some of his old Radio Scotland sketches.

  43. Oh man, Graham, I have to take you to task with the Ting Tings album. I’ve never been so bitterly disappointed. If the album in its entirety represents the entire universe, then ‘What’s My Name?’ is this big black hole in the middle, sucking all the passion, innovation and joy out of every other song. And what you’re left with aside from that one brilliant track is 99.9% vacuum. I almost cried, I was so disappointed.

  44. ‘Great DJ’? ‘Fruit Machine’? ‘Traffic Light’? Your standards may be set a little too high if you don’t see these for what they are–perfect pop!

  45. I’ve been trying to decide whether to buy the album or not – so Andrew, you’d say a resounding no, Graham a resounding yes then? I think the Ting Tings are a hell of a lot better than a lot of the cheap tat that’s in the charts now, not that I listen to a lot of chart music, I prefer to find things for myself. I’m listening to a lot of Kate Rusby right now, my fiance got me into her stuff; a little different from the Ting Tings though!

  46. Fantastic albums of 2008 which I think will stand the test of time would for me definitely include Nick Cave, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes. They should be heard by everyone. Portishead’s new one is also great but definitely wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I highly rate the Felice Brothers’ recent album but it’s hard to find people who’ve heard that. You wouldnt go far wrong with Vampire Weekend, who’ll probably get even bigger and better. Ting Tings and MGMT (whose album I actually enjoy) are the kind of indie pop which will probably not be remembered in a few years time, but are certainly good for parties etc.

  47. I don’t know if you see Neil Hannon much or are close, but if so please give him a hug or lick him on my behalf for… well, everything he’s done.

    Maybe not lick him, though.

  48. While people are on the topic, and without wanting to blatantly plug, I did a “best of 2008” post here (with a compilation): http://astonishingsodape.blogspot.com/2009/01/in-interstellar-burst.html

    This time last year, I could’ve posted a Muxtape link, but dammit, those were easier times!

  49. Hey Graham, great to hear how much you’re loving left4dead, i cant get enough of it. Anyway, I don’t know how interested you’d be, or if you’ve seen them before, but I’d really recommend checking out interviews with the writers behind alot of valve stuff, Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw, funny guys.

    Linkage to a couple of good ones on rockpaperscissors:

    Its interesting to go back to left4dead (or portal even) with the mindset that these guys have a whole world thought about hiding behind those wall scribblings, and yet out of sheer determination to not ruin your fun, they keep it quiet

  50. Santogold…that’s great too…

  51. As far as good albums of ’08…

    Loving the new Kanye West at the minute…in the words of Diablo Cody “if he’s up his own ass I want to be up there with him”…but not in a gross way…

    One would also find it difficult to beat Sigor Ros…I have very eclectic tastes…

    Lovin’ the work Graham…even if you like The Ting Tings…x

  52. Really enjoyed the 3rd series of the IT Crowd! Thanks!

  53. If I see you in Left 4 Dead I promise to give you my health pack. Or maybe just painkillers. Actually forget it! You’re on your own, Glinner!

  54. Speaking of zombies, I did this comic the other day, thought it might delight you.


  55. Sigur Ros, yes, good stuff. But I don’t get the anti-Ting Ting ting. What have they done wrong except release a string of infectious, classic pop songs, an album that sounds like a ‘Greatest Hits’?

  56. Here’s a Yo Gabba Gabba Ting Ting ting you might enjoy…;)

    I am quite enjoying The Ting Tings.
    Having teenaged people around going on about “The New Music” is always a good thing…keeps away the lil Stagnancy Beetles that crawl into your brain and tell you to hug your Ziggy Stardust Record and cower in a corner cooing “Ziggy Played Gheeetahh”

  57. Left4Dead. Oh man, I was waiting ages for this game. Love it!!
    To bad, your not playing on XBox, Graham.
    Did you know The Walking Dead comics? Great stuff.

  58. Liked the Walking Dead. Didn’t dig it enough to really commit…

  59. Do you like Jay-Z? Do you like Radiohead? Well, then you must love Jaydiohead!
    Click “Listen”. Similar to The Grey Album, obviously, but still good – ‘Dirt off Your Android’ is probably the best.

  60. “What are your top ten albums of 2009?”

    Top ten albums?

    Glad you asked! Here’s one we prepared earlier:


    Which mainly goes to prove how subjective the whole top 10 list thing is, I suspect.

  61. To me the ting ting’s are a “I’m not a fan, but if I wouldn’t change from Radio 2 if they came on” (and I change over quite easily) kinda band. Although most of my friends are vehement haters, but they hate me for liking the Beautiful South , so fuck ’em.
    For me the best thing to come out of 2008 is the brilliant ‘Breaking Bad’, Brilliantly written, darkly hilarious, it pushes all the right buttons, has anyone else enjoyed this series as much as I have?

  62. Ooh, I want to see that. I love that guy as the Dad in ‘Malcolm’. Thanks for the reminder.

  63. I know he’s not pop Graham, but for me the big musical discovery of 08 was Nico Muhly. Avant garde classical musician, mad as a brush but brilliant and able to move from genre to genre without embarrassing himself or whoever he works with. “Mothertongue” is sublime. His website is erudite and beautiful too http://www.nicomuhly.com.

  64. And The Secret does work!

  65. Michael I agree; Breaking Bad was fantastic – you must see it if you can Graham. “Malcolm’s Dad” is as different in this as it’s possible to get. He also gives probably the best performance I have seen in a long, long time on tv. The humour is very dark too – the kind that is funny but makes you feel guilty for laughing at it.

    With regards to the Tings Tings, I quite like them although I’m going off these vocalists who don’t sing melodies (like New Young Pony Club and Gossip), I’m a traditionalist at heart! Musically the album is pretty simplistic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just think that it will be hard for them to repeat the trick on any subsequent album.

  66. Reasoned opinion on the Israel/Palestine crisis:

    I love it how the guy’s head is turned, as if someone off-screen is shouting: “Oi, Mohammed! That’s not how you bleedin’ spell it!”

  67. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6-vo6g3-Qpw

    this is a pretty decent cover of Britney Spear’s song Womaniser, it’s just difficult to get past the fact she looks like Moss though…

  68. @padougy, I like how he has added “(zionist)” as an afterthought, probably thought his original message was a bit full on, I mean I certainly couldn’t live without my sanguinello tropicana, but what’s zionist juice when it’s at home?

  69. Birdygirl – I’d hate to tell you not to buy it because everyone’s taste is different and you might love it. Maybe download “traffic light” and see what you think. If you love it, you’ll love the album. Graham says it’s perfect pop, but for me it’s forgettable, half-hearted pop. Honestly, I think they show real promise and “That’s Not My Name” is clearly them at their current apex. As long as you’re prepared for an album experience that never gets even as close as half as good as TNMN and has a minimum of 3 totally half-arsed “we-need-to-fill-an-album” type tunes, then you’ll be satisfied. Although I fully admit it’s not worth much, my advice would be to get Girls Aloud if you want perfect pop.

  70. The new album? Doesn’t sound like it! And perfect pop doesn’t do ballads.

  71. Hey Graham,

    Sometime ago you were asked you to recommend some comics for people who are not really comic fans. You (or someone on here) mentioned a comic which had no words, was very colourful and quite odd. Could you please remind of it’s name? I’ve searched high and low and can’t seem to find that post.


  72. The new Girls Aloud album is very good, Graham, you should give it another chance…

    What do you think of M.P.P. by the way? Any favourite tracks yet?

  73. Finbar, your description sounds a lot like the masterpieces of Jim Woodring, a visionary genius whose books “Frank” and “The Book Of Jim” need to be in your collection. Frank in particular is a wordless, hugely disturbing, extremely weird, beautiful, sometimes funny and inexplicably profound work. It’s split into black and white comics and glorious colourful ones. Does that help?

  74. Agreed! Sounds like Frank (and Jim).

  75. Saw your tweet on the Guardian article. Shame, hope it doesn’t ruin things for you. Don’t know if this would ring true – wrote it before seeing your comment:
    http://tinyurl.com/a43efq You may recognise the theme I used for the blog design… Thanks for all the laughs.

  76. Tom, tom tom. The guy who said his sketch show was on BBC Radio Scotland. I tried to listen but the i-player thing wasn’t working. I review comedy on the world-wide read Jaggy Thistle blog- could you contact me if you’ve got another way for me to listen with possible review?
    Thanks, my mail is editor@thejaggythistle.co.uk
    And Graham, you’ve gone down in my significant other’s estimation when I told her you played Left4Dead. ” He seemed so nice as well, so well-balanced…”

  77. Aaaah so that’s what happened to our ex Leeds manager Gary McAllister, and it explains perfectly why our form dipped so terribly, he was more bothered about growing bird hair than he was about the teams results.. Well I hope your happy now Gary!!!

  78. “atheists make me sick” awesome video

  79. […] Tell it to the hair! I’m going to stop using the little speech bubble thing so I can use more pics like this one. But to be clear, […] […]

  80. No.74 on above Spanish version, also 88 on “Blogs of the day”. On http://botd.wordpress.com/top-posts/?lang=en (English version) you are no. 49 Top Posts. Nice one!

  81. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MbrBQ01GFlo

    Brian Gittins. One of my favourite people of 2008and certainly 2009.

    He makes my belly hurt.

  82. I agree lamsicle. Brian is a friend of mine. I went to see him at the Hen and Chickens on Friday and he was excellent as usual. I urge everyone who can to see him.

  83. Hey Andrew,

    I was there too. It was my friend that was chosen to be the goat that evening. He’s given me teasing fuel for an eternity.

    How great is Tim Key too?

  84. I was there too on Friday. Felt very sorry for yr friend. Loved his pic of an African Soldier. Wonderful.

  85. Re: Comic books for those who aren’t comic fans…

    I highly recommend “The Goon” to people everywhere. It’s one of the few non-superhero comics I read. Very funny and Eric Powell is an amazing artist.


  86. Do you play Call of Duty 4, perchance, Graham?

    I know this is completely unrelated (maybe a bit via comics-digital-drawing?? No?), but I figured you may be (very) vaguely interested in this:


    …because there’s just not enough Katherine Parkinson in everyone’s lives.

  87. Is there anyway you could include these two chaps in the next series of the IT crowd? I’d watch just for the parties.

    Go gators!


  88. AstonishingSodApe and Graham,

    Thanks, that was just what I was looking for. Ordered the hardback collection from bookdepository rather than Amazon, for a much cheaper price.

    The graphic version of Paul Auster’s City of Glass is what has started me on this comic kick, I hope Woodring will prove to be as compelling.

  89. For the comic suggestion,I`d have to vouch for the “oirish” answer to Jim Woodring,Bob Byrne`s fantastic silent GN “Mr.Amperduke”
    If you`re in Dublin,you can get it in Tower Records,I believe.
    Also anything from another Irish lad,Phil Barrett,who`s stuff is this really fantastic mix of slice of life and wacky Fantagraphic type stuff(you`re able to get them dirt cheap of his blog,just type “blackshapes” in Google and it`s the first result)

  90. I like the new king of leon, although sex is on fire…. a song that i can only determine must be about sexually transmitted diseases or scented candles gone wrong.

    been into more old stuff atm like joy division and the smiths.

  91. Graham,

    have you seen This Is Nightlive?
    Its this new dire RTE show that takes the format of a fake Primetime kind of gig. Very much a Brass Eye knock off gone wrong.

    Episode 1 featured a joke about the ‘Minister for Cocaine’ and a bad, bad, tasteless ‘fake interview’ with an IRA hungerstriker from Long Kesh. Generally dire, lacking in wit, typical RTE effort and about 3/4 years late for what its trying to do.

    I can’t over-state how much you should try get your hands on a copy of it, you’ll laugh lots (but eh…not at the times they intended you to, which is the shows main problem really)

  92. If we’re talking about music (please forgive the presumptive ‘we’ but I was rather caught short) then just as literature gets better the further back one goes (but only “Up to a point, Lord Copper”), the better music does. With the singular exception of Radiohead and Arcade Fire, there have only only been a small handful of contemporary musicians who can cut the Pat. I mean Mustard. Death In Vegas; The Bravery’s ‘Honest Mistake’; a handful of Pete Doherty angst-ballads; Antony & The Johnson’s “Hope There’s Someone”; and that’s it. No one else. Everything else is dead, derivative or dying. Or sampled and regurgitated and called Gary Numan versus [insert name here i.e. The Gangsta Upstarts]. No, it’s better to look back, and rediscover music pre-The Shite Factor, such as Brian Eno, Bauhaus, King Tubby, Nick Drake, The Smiths, Dillinger, VU, Killing Joke, The Cult, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Robert Smith et al. The best music was created from 1965 through to 1985. Elvis, skiffle and a succession of smiling gobshites in matching black-and-white suits were merely a slice of bread on one side of the sandwich, as were their corresponding contemporary counterpart contemporaries such as Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud and Take That. I remain belligerently unmoved by James Blunt or Coldplay; in contrast, the lyrics of Eminem and Pete Doherty (“Gin in teacups and leaves on the lawn…”) provide a rare subversive thrill in a world where Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell are not only popular but respected.

    I know I’m a curmudgeon and a bastard, but to quote the brilliant Chris Morris: ” I HATE Sebastion Coe!!!”

  93. Ok, I’ve become addicted to this twittering carry on.

  94. As someone who’s known to giggle at children, thought you’d enjoy the following delightfully hilarious temper tantrum: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lbEnxUj-TKY

    Beyond that, erm, take care, I guess.

  95. For some reason that’s done the thing… justifying, is it called? I’m going to break everything that you love, is, in essence, what the girl in the video says. Some people can’t hear that, apparently.

  96. Julian Karswell-Lufford,
    I wholeheartedly agree on most of the older music you’ve mentioned. However, regarding more recent stuff, you’ve fallen into an easy trap. Good music is simply harder to find now than it was in days gone by, due to the commercial nonsense you seem to hate as much as I do. The modern bands you do mention such as Death in Vegas, the Bravery, Anthony etc. are all extremely well known in the popular music scene. Trust me, if you dig a bit deeper you’ll find songwriting to equal that of decades past!

    People often make the same mistake with comedy, but this decade produced some of the best stuff yet. It just didn’t get shown as 8pm on BBC1 like ‘classics’ of the past.

  97. I don’t quite know who took it from its perch on the top of Big Ben, but if anyone’s looking for The Internet, it seems to have turned up in our office:
    The Internet

  98. Funny clip, Alex. But I feel it invades the kid’s privacy a little bit. I laughed, but I won’t be posting it up.

  99. Hmm. I think I’m going to close comments on this because I’m spending too much time checking up on this page, not enough time posting. Thanks everyone for the links/thoughts etc! See you on Friday.

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