I Hate Being The Bearer Of Not So Good News…

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I started up my Wii’s iPlayer feature today and spied with my adequately proportioned eye, something beginning with R.

Russell Howard’s Good News, a topical comedy show on BBC Three (that one with Two Pints). My impressions of this show during the six-week run have been fairly mixed. For the most part, I don’t really like it that much. Yes, I will sit down and watch it, but it’s not really that great. It’s good if you just want a cheap laugh, as most people will at about 10 on a Thursday evening when it goes out. To the uninitiated, this show is a combination of Russell Howard standing on a stage and random clips from that week’s news, edited in a way that makes it seem funny, along with specially filmed bits that relate somehow to the events being talked about in that episode. You can see the same format done with roughly the same amount of success on Have I Got News For You. And as with this show, it’s not one of the best shows out there.

The main humour of this show comes from introducing a recent news item, saying something cutting about it, and then playing a clip that makes the people involved look drunk or stupid. It relies very much on out-of-context remarks played for humour, which isn’t very funny. Sometimes this makes it seem like the show’s editors must have a very easy job, as all they have to do is find clips on the internet or recent news shows. One clip on the episode I watched today came straight from YouTube. It was that one with the guy getting a football in the face; I’m sure you’ve seen it a thousand times before.

One of the things that turned me off this show was seeing a man in a giant rat costume get ejaculate-style goo fired all over him. It made a bit more sense in context but IT FUCKING SHOULDN’T! There is never a time when that should make the slightest bit of sense when you are describing it to someone else. This is also why I don’t like the hat-trick of Conway Twitty appearances in Family Guy, because if you try to describe it to someone else, they would say “uh-huh. And the funny part?”

A feature of the first few episodes that they seem to have mercifully abandoned now is the comedian at the end of each episode, which is odd because I thought they were supposed to have the warm-up guy at the beginning. I was watching one of the early episodes with my brother, and one of the only comedians I watched on the show was Phil Kay, who we pretty much skipped because he wasn’t funny (as I am informed happened throughout the run of the early episodes whenever the comedian came on). We stopped Fast-Forwarding at one point and he was throwing leaves into the audience and dancing like a madman. We gave each other a worried look and continued Fast-Forwarding.

Followers of Russell Howard since his appearances on Mock The Week can’t go in expecting the same amount of laughs or they will surely be disappointed. That’s the thing about this show; as I said earlier it is very good if you want a cheap laugh in the evening. But a cheap laugh it will most definitely be as anything more is sadly lacking.


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