Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The 2011 World Cup of TV Comedy: GRAND DRAW


We’ve been a bit quiet lately, mainly due to a prolonged period of our idea muscles being strained. But we’ve come up with an exciting and NEW idea, one that we’re sure will run and run. And idea that should easily last for around thirty updates, and which we’ll never, ever get bored of. And hey, hopefully you won’t too. Announcing:


What’s that? We kind of spoiled the big reveal by putting that in the title of this update? Ah. And the big, lazy Photoshopped image just above this text? Oh.


We’ve taken a list of fifty classic (and future classic) television comedy shows from around the world. Not necessarily the fifty greatest comedy series ever, programmes that we’re able to lay our hands on without too much effort have been favoured. Of those fifty, thirty-two ‘qualify’ for the finals. From that point on, it’s a straight knockout. One episode of “Show A” is chosen at random, and pitted against a random episode of “Show B”. We watch each episode, award a score out of five to that episode depending on how much we enjoyed it. The programme with the higher score goes through to the next round.

Oh, and we’ll try to relay what’s happening in each episode on a minute by minute basis, as if it’s a football match.


Scripted television comedy. Not just sitcom, you’ll also find sketch shows, panel shows and animated shows in the list. In order to accurately reflect the global aspect of the medium of laughter, a total of 8 nations will take part: the USA, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan are all there. And France, if you count the Monsieur Aubergine sketches from Alexei Sayle’s Stuff. Sadly, the entire island of Ireland was banned from taking part, because we remembered that Mrs Brown’s Boys exists. Especially harsh on the Republic admittedly, but you can’t be too careful.


And so via satellite, to Zurich where the live draw is finally about to take place. The assembled audience have had to sit through three hours of a European man talking about the importance of comedic fair play (“…Rule 473(b): simply having someone say ‘fuck’ is not an acceptable punchline…”) and a stilted performance from a soft rock band who are equally inoffensive and pointless in any language.

The fifty shows have been trimmed to thirty-two after a lengthy series of heated discussions that saw the entire list fed into random.org’s list generator, and the bottom 18 shows left to try again in 2015. Pretty harsh on shows like Arrested Development, Mr Show, World of Pub, Smith & Jones or This Is David Lander (aww), but does leave some of the more interesting options on the list. This means the following matches are lined up for round one:


Stephen Fry in This Is David Lander. Sadly, not making the cut.


So, first up we’ve got wonderfully demented MTV Japan animation Usavich against Paul Merton’s finest series of half-hours. Which episodes will be chosen to do battle? How will we get away with breaking our self-enforced rules in the first match, considering each episode of Usavich is only actually ninety seconds long? Will it be the Paul Merton episode that has the dolphin sheriff in it? LET BATTLE COMMENCE.

Tomorrow, that is. See you then!


3 .:

Spike Nesmith said...

Absolutely Vs The 1948 Show? That's cruel, man. Cruel.

Mark X said...

Also looking forward to Tony Hancock vs Larry David. An enthralling curmudgeon-off.

Anonymous said...

Where is group stage? This way you do get the stronger titles through to the next round.


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