Funny Friday (7) Monty Python’s Fruit Sketch

October 29, 2010

It’s taken a while, but I’m finally working through the Monty Python DVDs my brother bought me last Christmas.

This is one of my favourite sketches that I’ve seen so far:

Not only funny, but educational too.

Funny Friday (6) – Stewart Lee on Political Correctness

October 1, 2010

I had never really thought about the propaganda value of video games until recently. For instance, I didn’t know that the original version of Monopoly, “The Landlord’s Game”, was designed to show that the current economic system led to inequality and bankruptcy. I found that out on a really interesting blog this week, which was about a board game called “Blacks and Whites”:

In 1970 Psychology Today published a board game where players were divided into white and black, and had to make economic progress while competing with each other. Based on Monopoly, the idea was to demonstrate how the odds were stacked against black people in society by having different rules for each race in the game.

Whites started out with $1 million, blacks with $10,000 and each race had different opportunity decks. While whites could buy property in any part of the board, blacks were limited to certain areas until they had accumulated at least $100,000 and were outright banned from property in the ‘suburban zone’.

Needless to say, it turned out to be one of the most controversial board games of all time and even merited an article in Time magazine…

For my birthday a very dear friend bought me a board game called “Hypocrisy”, which was produced by Conservative Central Office in 1996.

In Hypocrisy, between 2 and 6 players are Labour politicians. Players go round a board and can gain points for Hypocrisy:

You claim to share the Conservative Party’s desire to stamp out benefit fraud so why did you oppose recent measures which will close loopholes on benefits for bogus asylum seekers? COLLECT 2 POINTS FOR HYPOCRISY!

Or political correctness:

Support Labour-controlled Birmingham Council, which has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years on politically-correct schemes. COLLECT ONE POINT FOR POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!

You collect points from cards from “Town Hall” or “Hypocrite!” piles, a bit like you would pick up Community Chest or Chance cards in Monopoly.

A recurring theme in the game is saying that Labour – a Labour Party led by Tony Blair, for goodness sake – is in thrall to the unions. Mind you, such a simplistic line of attack would never work now, would it?

All this, although it’s interesting, is merely a preamble to today’s Funny Clip: Stewart Lee on Political Correctness. I don’t want to write much about it – there’s not much to add, apart from it’s one of the best political polemics I’ve seen, never mind bits of stand up comedy, and it’s hilarious:

Enjoy it, and have a really good weekend.

Funny Friday (5) – “Aggers for goodness sake stop it”

August 27, 2010

It’s rather late in the summer for it, but there’s actually a Test Match at Lord’s going on at the moment. So it seems a perfect time to post one of the most famous – and funny – cricket commentary clips of all time. The late Brian Johnston starts corpsing on air, after Jonathan Agnew explains that Ian Botham was out because he “didn’t quite get his leg over”. It’s impossible not to laugh at this, probably because laughing is contagious. My favourite bit is when Agnew tries to take over from Johnston and says “Lawrence……..batted extremely well”, and then starts laughing himself. Marvellous stuff:

Now seems as good a time as ever to give a shout out to Test Match Sofa, the alternative cricket commentary, who are all very funny and do know their cricket. If you want to listen to the cricket this weekend, give them a try.

Funny Friday (4) We’ve got to stop the Mosque at Ground Zero

August 20, 2010

Usually, I’d use Funny Friday to show sketches or clips from sitcoms that I like, but an important part of humour is unintentional humour. Finding humour in crass and bigoted statements is part of my defence against reality. I think this song is a wonderful example of my point:

On the face of it, this is terrible. It’s a bad song with an awful message: Phil Spector meets Glenn Beck. But it’s awesomely, wonderfully funny. From the first chord onwards, it’s flat-out hilarious. South Park couldn’t make a better parody.

I hope to write something on the Ground Zero Mosque next week, coupled with Richard Dawkins’ bit on Faith Schools. For now, enjoy the song.

Funny Friday (3) – Hugh Laurie sings Bob Dylan

August 13, 2010

After missing last week, Funny Friday is back with a vengeance. I wasn’t sure what to post, but my decision was made easier by the news that Hugh Laurie, who is known to most inhabitants of the world as House M.D but will always be known to me as Bertie Wooster, has become the highest-paid actor in US TV drama thanks to his work on Jeeves and Wooster House M.D.

As this video shows, Hugh Laurie has form for drawling in an American accent. This wonderful Bob Dylan parody was originally done on Fry and Laurie: this is from 2001 I think. Enjoy!

Funny Friday (2) “Down with this sort of thing!” (careful now)

July 23, 2010

If I’d thought about it, I would probably have started with this, seeing as I’ve put the picture from the scene on the front page of the blog. But better late than never, eh?

Before seeing all the episodes on 4OD earlier this year, I’d only watched the Father Ted Christmas special, with its wonderful Lingerie Section skit. I never found it laugh-out-loud funny, but I always seem to be giggling to myself because I’m weird of something I remember from Father Ted. “Down with this sort of thing!” is one of those bits.

It’s probably obvious why I’ve put the photo on the sidebar. After all, as lefties we often seem to end up spouting variations on the theme of “Down with this sort of thing!” As Jill Swinburne, the environmentalist in The Beiderbecke Affair, says when asked if her party is against police harrassment: “Oh, we’re against it. We’re against practically everything.” It sums up a certain strain of political, not just left-wing, thought.

It also makes a good point about the futility of protesting about books, plays and ‘this sort of thing’. Creating a huge clamour for a book/play/song to be banned just creates a lot of publicity that said book etc would not have got otherwise. Maybe if the protesters against Behzti in 2004 had watched Father Ted, we would have had no death threats, no writer forced to go into hiding, and the world would be a better place. Maybe.

Funny Friday (1) “Are we the baddies?”

July 16, 2010

Here’s the first of a “Funny Friday” series. I’ll post a video, cartoon, or anything else that I find funny. First up, here’s one of my favourite comedy sketches:

Mitchell and Webb were very patchy in the first couple of series – I never really did get the point of “Numberwang” or “Sir Digby Chicken Caesar”. I do believe the above sketch is from the first-ever episode of TMAWL. In whatever role he plays, Mitchell always seems to be on the verge of launching into a Mitchell-esque rant: in this case, it’s about the dire state of Russian agriculture.

There’s not much more to say about it, just watch and enjoy.


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