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I’m into sadomasochism, which is why I watch Channel 4. The crushing pain I feel every time I flick over to its quality programming and wonder ‘How the hell did this get commissioned?’, really puts a smile on my face. But if there’s one thing I enjoy more than Channel 4, it is the comedic talents of Christopher David Moyles. When I heard the two were coming together, I knew I was in for a treat akin to when Margaret Thatcher decided she’d treat the residents of northern English towns to a few decades off work. And did they thank her? Did they hell!
Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night is a celebrity schmooze-fest of epic proportions where ‘the contestants test their knowledge as they take part in all rounds of the quiz and face a specialist question in an area of their own expertise’. It’s like a pub quiz, but instead of beer coming out of the pumps, it’s vomit. And instead of music in the jukebox, it’s vomit. And instead of a dartboard, it’s vomit.
Tonight’s contestants include Jimmy ‘him off the telly’ Carr, Holly ‘her with the tits off This Morning’ Willoughby and Gavin ‘……………….’ Henson. Jimmy Carr describes Henson as ‘looks like an Easy Jet advert’ which is actually quite funny, but the problem with any Jimmy Carr joke is that it has to be prefaced by the fact that you know a mother-in-law gag is always lurking on the horizon. Gavin and Holly do their best ‘aren’t we thick?’ acts, with Chris and Jimmy exercising their rapier wit at every opportunity.
Questions include ‘guess who David Tennant is doing an impression of’ and ‘who is the sexiest politician’. Moylesy uses this TV slot to display his comedic creativity with an utterly appalling sketch entitled ‘Northerners’; a parody of Twilight – but replacing vampires with, well, northerners. In place of the bloodsucking and rituals, the protagonist -played by Moyles – eats a kebab, calls someone a ‘twat’ and speaks in a funny accent.
The show resembles a ‘Chris Moyles variety hour’ with comedy, singing and dancing. He is shit at all of them. They have banter about waxing and what a ‘back, sack and crack is’, and Chris does an impression of a This Morning introduction. Surprise surprise! – it’s pants.
Gavin Henson isn’t considered particularly smart by the panel, so to counteract this, most of his screentime is spent either looking at naked photos of himself or running on a treadmill in the shape of a vinyl disk. ‘Cos he’s buff, innit. One must assume he’s been told to put joke answers down and to play up to this image, as for the question;
‘What are vampires scared of?”
‘If a carnivore eats meat and a herbivore eats plants, who eats both?
‘What is the technical term for a bunch of bananas?’
‘I dunno, I just put fingers’
as in ‘a fingers of bananas’. A fingers of bananas?
Holly Willoughby has what are known in some circles as ‘tits’, and Moylesy clearly likes this fact, as her time on screen is spent talking about sex and sex toys, and alongside a video of her eating a banana in a very suggestive way. Jimmy follows this bit of VT with ‘In this day and age, a woman should be able to suck off a banana without fear of innuendo……my mother-in-law does it all the time!’ (I may have made this last bit up).
I’m not trying to sound like a Debbie-downer [ED: I’ve never heard of Debbie-downer before. Maybe she knows Cautious Carol off of the Apprentice] and I know it’s very easy to find faults in something, but so much of this show is depressing. Most importantly, the horrendously lazy production. I mean, Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night? Really? Is the best we can come up with for PRIMETIME TV? You could draw up a template of shows like this, of which 500 could be produced:
Nothing too complicated. Get a good looking girl dressed up for the male viewers, get some muscle bound chap for the ladies, and we’ll get two lads to rip the piss out him and bang on about her cans. Insert them into a quiz/gameshow scenario. Make sure the lookers are proper thick. They are on the show to be looked at and laughed at. The presenter needs to be someone who would be described as a ‘geezer’ or ‘lad’. Preferably a non-threatening looking, rotund gentlemen with a strong interest in football and a history of non-pc outbursts. Someone who wouldn’t look out of place on the Top Gear sofa. James Corden would be default choice, but if busy, try Moyles. 4th person must be a slightly bookish, foppy gentleman who is a ubiquitous presence on TV so the mainstream crowd would have heard of him. Maybe had a column in Nuts magazine under the heading ‘Ask the Prof’. His jokes must also have a slightly repulsive sexual element to them. Imagine a combination of Stephen Fry and Quagmire from Family Guy.
But one really frustrating aspect of the show is the personalities on it. I think I’ve seen Jimmy Carr more often this year than my family. He is on everything. Is he that much of a bankable asset? Then there’s Chris Moyles. The guy is a radio DJ that made his name making fat gags and swearing at people. So now he’s getting gigs doing sketch comedy? When is he starting his nationwide stand-up tour? Is this how it works now, radio being the precursor to comedy? Am I going to see Steve Lamacq’s World Cup Windups and Mayo and Kermode do Sellers and Moore in the coming year? I doubt it.
Thinking about it, I could have just watched something else……