Monday, 13 October 2008

Soon To Be Available As A Spin-Off CD Single

As one might expect, all of the talk around the BrokenTV office water cooler today was about last night's Peter Kay one-off show 'Britain's Got the Pop Factor...'

"I lasted about half-an-hour. How about you?"

"I could barely last for twenty minutes. Shocking, wasn't it?"

"I somehow sat through the lot. It didn't get any better."

"What was the point of it, anyway?"

"Well, it was a three-hour advert for the single he's releasing today."

"Really? Bloody hell."

"Yes, I know."

"Remember when he was funny?"

The most annoying point of all this was that, in an event quite spookily mirroring recent events in New York, we've only gone and run out of digits for our "Our National Time Wasted Waiting For Peter Kay To Be Funny Again" clock. Oh, yes. We do have our very own "Our National Time Wasted Waiting For Peter Kay To Be Funny Again" clock. Here's what it currently looks like, after we've had to blimmin' well paint another space and chalk another digit in.

It's all grounded in fact, and here's how it works.

The last funny thing Peter Kay was involved in was arguably the fourth episode of series two of Phoenix Nights, the one with the pub quiz. Since then, we've had two rubbish 'final' episodes of Phoenix Nights which were virtually pilot episodes for Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere, and then a full series of Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere. After the latter finished and all of the pointless sneering at Dave Spikey was out of the way, Kay returned to his first love - coming up with a halfway decent stand-up set, then fleecing his fans into buying it three times on DVD. As DVD sales figures for 'Live at the Manchester Arena' and "Stand Up Ukay' are suspiciously unavailable, we can't calculate any data based on that, so we're going with TV viewing figures. With us so far?

We've used the following formula to calculate the numbers on the clock:

Number of viewers per broadcast x show runtime (in minutes)
total time wasted waiting for Peter Kay to get funny again

The viewing figures are openly available on BARB's website, so it's quite easy to do, and as each show includes time wasted watching adverts and trailers, a half hour show equals a full thirty minutes wasted. This brings us to the following set of figures, before October 12th 2008:

Quite a lot of British time that could just as easily be spent grouting walls or baiting badgers, we're sure you'll agree. But when you factor in the viewing figures for last night's Kayathon, things get really staggering.

That's right. The people of the UK have wasted an aggregate total of almost 1.5 billion minutes waiting for Peter Kay to start being funny again. No wonder the economy's knackered.


"But each show on the list seems to be more popular than the last. Doesn't this make you stultifyingly wrong? Almost as wrong as - pffft! - garlic bread!"

You'll also notice that each series since Phoenix Nights has seen ratings slide after each debut episode. Around a million people - 25% of the viewers from episode one - stopped bothering with Max and Paddy from ep two onwards. Even last night, when people only had to sit through another one hour programme, which was also about Peter Kay, almost 50% of viewers gave up on 'Pop Factor' between parts one and two.

"But lots of people still like him, surely? They must think he's funny, else they wouldn't watch him. References to things that happened in the 1980s are as popular now as they've ever been."

They might think they've having fun and enjoying themselves, but we can assure them they are mistaken, and they are not. We can show this, using science.

"How do these figures compare to your "Our International Time Wasted Waiting For Ricky Gervais To Be Funny Again" clock?"

It's tricky to say, as Gervais clock requires more compilcated maths. You've got to factor in the population of America, for one thing.


8 .:

LF Barfe said...

Even if Kay were becoming more popular, it would be a matter of quantitative analysis triumphing over qualitative analysis. Lots of people quite like Coldplay, but does anyone really love them? Oddly, some forums seem to be full of people who genuinely did love this painfully unfunny 'aren't we all such fucking good sports?' circle jerk. "Brilliant!!!!!!!! genius1!!!!!!!!! PMSL@wheelchairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" run the majority of the comments on one site, with anyone suggesting that it was piss-poor being accused of having no sense of humour or, bafflingly, having a fear of social exclusion. It's like arguing with a standard lamp.

James said...

I tried fixing the clock image, just quickly.

Also, it's usually customary at this point to blame Phil McIntyre, in the belief that he turned Peter onto just how much money he could make out of this sort of thing, and thus depriving him of any and all love for the job.

Matthew Rudd said...

Peter Kay can tell a joke. I wish that's all he would do though.

LF Barfe said...

Ah yes, like it's customary to blame Avalon for all other evil in comedy. Agents exist to get the best deal for their clients. The client has the final say on which deals they take and which they don't. Liberace was the master of this. His manager would refuse things, with Lee sitting next to him simpering and saying "Gee, I'd love to, but if Seymour says no...".

Mark X said...

Thanks James, your picture now added, and all evidence that I'd messed up now removed. Well, apart from in the comments.

The problem with Kay seems to be that he long since stopped being Peter Kay The Comedian, much preferring to become Peter Kay The Brand. For one thing, calling it 'Peter Kay, Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice's Phoenix Nights' would have been more honest, and that's before even considering the Max & Paddy fitness DVD.

Simon said...

Maybe it should be made clearer that the Mum Wants A Bungalow tour set predates PN2 (well, I saw a warmup for it about three weeks before it started, and that had been delayed for two days due to a production crisis) and thus counts as Peter Kay When Still Funny.

Although quite a few people admitted to liking the whole Amarillo business on first viewing (albeit drastically less on second viewing, and carry on through a few trillion YouTube 'tributes'. Striding! It's hilarious!)

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