Thursday, 14 January 2010

Good Old Fashioned Satire, Like What HIGNFY Used To Make

No update to the top 100 today – we got distracted by Liverpool trying to do just enough to sneak through with a slender lead only to bugger it up late on, for about the tenth time this season. Instead here’s a link to, which does nothing but display spoof versions of ‘that’ Conservative Party poster, and as such displays a harder satirical edge than anything on TV since The Friday Night Armistice was shunted off our screens about ten years ago. Yes, we are aware of Rory Bremners.

image Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Another thing we’ve been doing today is watch the first series of Have I Got News For You. While it had a horribly wrong-sounding opening theme tune, the team captains still needed to be introduced each episode, the Triffic Films title sequence was practically done with felt-tips, Angus Deayton had an incredibly 1990 haircut, Ian Hislop looks more than ever like Billy the Quizboy from The Venture Brothers, and the whole thing did have a slight air of a non-broadcast pilot, it’s interesting to see again. While the show hadn’t yet got up to speed (though it would by the second series), there’s still enough verve on show to make it enjoyable, such as the way Hislop spits out some barbed comments about certain MPs, and the way Paul Merton does actual proper funny jokes.

Happily, there are an absolute shedload of full episodes rattling around on YouTube. Slightly less happily, most of them are from recent seasons (or if you prefer, HIGNFY: The Pulling Faces And Laughing At YouTube Clip Years). One thing we love about the first series of the show is the way the BBC One schedulers thought it’d make good daytime filler around the time of the 2002 World Cup Finals. A strange enough decision on its own, but when you add the fact no-one seemed bothered about checking the content of these episodes, and the fact that they contain quite a lot of expletives, you’ve got the sort of brilliant scheduling risk you just don’t get nowadays. We clearly remember episode two going out at around noon, leaving in the numerous uses of the words “pigshit” and “bullshit”, alongside Paul answering the missing words round question “I MADE THATCHER [BLANK}, BOASTS NIGEL”, with the word “swallow” to explosive laughter.

Here’s a sample episode:

More can be found by going to YouTube and searching for “HIGNFY 1990”, “…1991” and so on.


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