Category > Random thoughts

I just saw the Olympic flame

Almost completely by accident. Because today’s Olympic flame route through Caversham is almost exactly the same as my walk to the train station. I’m not saying that they deliberately arranged it that way as a kind of tribute to my noble struggle with commuter trains but, lets just say that the crowds were mostly there to […]

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And a pleasant time was had by all

Well, I hope it was. I know I just spent a pleasant evening with Alex Baker chatting about comedy and that. Thanks, bro. I’m currently checking out Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Then I should sleep. Oh and write some sketches. PS Take a look at Alex’s webcomic, Cake or Death.

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Why do I feel like I’m living in a satire?

Even the names sound made up. Like bad guy banker “Bob Diamond“. That would get changed in the first edit of most TV drama scripts. And his head of investment banking, Rich Ricci. You’re not fooling anyone with that Italianisation. We all grew up watching Richie Rich. And investment bankers colluding to rig published market […]

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Seriously… comedy writers need better pay

Jon Plowman, for many years an executive producer with and former head of BBC comedy, has called for comedy writers to be paid more. And (although I would say that) I think he’s right. Because comedy writing, as a career, doesn’t add up. A “starting” (generally someone who has been honing their craft unpaid for […]

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And I’m back

Exam marking is now over (for six months at least).  I’ve caught up on my sleep. Now it’s time to catch up on writing things (including short blog posts). It’s time to start really getting going on the Kirrin Island podcast project (now comes with own twitter hashtag #kipod). There are sketches up in the […]

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Busy marking exams

I’m not a teacher. But I am marking exams this month. A whole lot of professional exams with lots of maths in them. Fortunately I quite like that sort of thing (in moderation) – although I’m not so keen on the lost writing time. I also rather like the romantic tale of how Tolkien scribbled […]

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Andy Zaltzman and the Art of the Pun

I went to see Andy Zaltzman in his show Armchair Revolutionary at the Udderbelly last night (a birthday present from my lovely sister. Thank you!) As fans of the Bugle podcast will know Andy’s comedy is full of extended metaphors, biting social comment, sparkling verbal dexterity and extreme punning. The pun is a form of […]

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The targets of comedy – who is the joke? And is that OK? What about “Derek”?

Comedy usually has a target. Satire points out the flaws of it’s subject. Sitcom also puts characters through the wringer, even in the mildest gentlest episode of As Time Goes By. With the possible exception of silly wordplay, there is a butt for most jokes out there. Not all of this is “nasty” – much of […]

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Rewatching One Foot in the Grave – thoughts on Sitcom structure

For my birthday a week or so ago I was given  more to add  to my collection of classic British sitcoms including the box set of One Foot in the Grave. I’ve just started rewatching the first series. I’ve found this fascinating as, although a lot of the elements are there – Victor’s character, the […]

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Feeling sorry for Samantha Brick

I didn’t. To start with.  Like every other twitter user hearing juicy selective quotes  I thought her, er, not the most sympathetic of characters. She might as well change the first letter of her name to “p”. It could hardly make her look any worse. It was this, now infamous, article that provoked the  Twitterstorm. […]

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