Advantages It's just so funny
Disadvantages The seasons are very short
|How does it compare to similar programmes?|
|How funny do you think it is?|
|How good is the content?|
|How do you rate the guests?||Excellent|
|How good are the characters?||Not applicable|
|How good are the presenters?||Excellent|
|How good are the sound effects?||Excellent|
If you grant me a modicum of leeway, I will introduce you to something which, until now, has only been the preserve of the learned and initiate, among whose number I happily include myself. If you don your deerstalker and look and listen carefully, you will find, among the schedules of Radio 4, a programme which provides intellectual stimulation to many thousands of people. This isn't 'A Book at Bedtime' (I prefer a nice mug of Ovaltine), or 'The Archers', although that is a worthy and magnificent programme in its own right. It is something that is much more enjoyable, and is better than snuggling up next to the woman you love, or Ann Widdecombe, depending on who is available at the time...
'Humph', as he is known to his friends, is ably 'assisted' by two people. Firstly there is a man who is subject to continual criticism and abuse. Colin Sell plays the piano and does it fine, but it adds to the comedic atmosphere that his piano playing is continually derided.The other person is known only as 'Samantha'. Samantha is a woman who is subject to continual sexual innuendo, but I know that she does not actually exist. But the innuendo goes along the following lines:
'Samantha goes down with the record archivist, she takes out his 10 inch's and he blows the dust and wax (whacks!) off' (oo-er!)'may I introduce you to the lady who is always sitting on my right hand....'
There are times when Samantha is away on holiday, and then she is replaced by a svelte Scandinavian gentleman by the name of Sven.
'Samantha and I have been in the record archive, and she is more than happy to blow the dust off my 10 inch...'
The programme consists of a number of games, some of which are more confusing than others, but they are all absolutely hilarious. Where possible I will give an idea of some of the games, of the basic outline, and if possible, memory permitting, some examples of the jokes. Some of the games are now so famous that they are an institution in themselves, and people are aware of them even if they have never heard of the programme.FILM / TV / SONG TITLES
There are a number of rounds created where the panel have to come up with new titles for famous songs etc. A famous example that was given was where they combined 'My Brilliant Career' and 'The Man who Never Was' and came up with 'The Jeffrey Archer Story'. Another round was titled 'dumbing up' where titles had to be rather more up market, and one that was drummed up was 'Ready, Steady, tell Cook to put dinner on'.ONE SONG TO THE TUNE OF ANOTHER
I would hope that this round title os self explanatory. One of the most memorable examples for me was when Graeme Garden had to sing 'Je ne regrette rien' to the tune of 'Two Little Boys'.PICK UP SONG
You sing along with a record, the backing music is faded out and you have to try and keep it going so that when the music returns you are within a gnat's crotchet of the tune!SINGING RELAY
Two panellists sing a song and sing a word each.CHEDDAR GORGE
Make up a sentence by adding one word at a time. If you finish the sentence you are out.MORNINGTON CRESCENT
I have deliberately left this one to the end. And I am left agonising as to what I should do with it...I return to this opinion after a break, after having spent literally seconds pondering my dilemma...
Mornington Crescent has now assumed mythical proportions- there are peopel who regard it as an in-joke and refer to it with a snigger, immediately taking offence at anyone who does not understand what on earth they are going on about.There is no such game as Mornington Crescent! There, I've spilt the beans. The actual game is made up of panel members naming a street in London, (or wherever the show is recorded) and, after a while, when they ahve oooh-ed and aaah-ed and deliberated, one of them says 'Mornington Crescent and wins! There are a whole load of different false naems for devious variations, and chess-like moves, which are all total tosh. These could include Ffanshawes circumnavigation, Frobisher's Opening, Grimes' Endgame etc etc, just feel free to make up a term and join in!
All you have to remember now is that if anyone asks you to explain the rules of the game, just don't give it away. If you make the instructions that you make up on the hoof slightly less complex than a set of MFI instructions you will sound like an absolute expert. And it's our little secret ok? Don't tell anyone I told you!THE BALL
There is very often the opportunity to announce guests at a ball, which is the opportunity to make a lot of silly jokes:e.g. The Frenchman's Ball
'May I introduce Mr and Mrs bennett I hate Garlic and their son Gordon Bennett I hate Garlic'
I hope you get the idea.The show is very long running. It has been going on now for, I think 26 series, and it gets funnier and funnier in my view. Listen in. You can hear it on Sundays at 12pm and Mondays at 6:30pm on Radio 4. I will end with a joke from one show where the panellists had to supply the punchlines to jokes:
'What is always coming but never arrives?''A Rabbit on a Virgin Train'
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