Qualiteee! That might as well be the title of the new show from professional chav, Lee Nelson. Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show (which sounds like it should have an ‘innit’ tacked on the end) is a combination of Russell Howard’s Good News and Catherine Tate’s chavvy persona. Only without the comedy.
There are character based sketches in the show, such as Dr. Bob, a tactless doctor in a City Hospital style show, Jason Bent, a footballer who is supposed to remind the viewer of some certain famous footballers and Chris Young in Faliraki Nights, a holiday rep for a bunch of tossers. The humour in that particular sketch seems to come from the shock value rather than anything else, with the laughter track howling as the women are challenged to make the chaps, er, finish by way of a fast-paced intimate oral exam.
Nelson seems to get most of his humour from interacting with the audience, ripping on them and like so much comedy, it also comes from subverting your expectations of what will happen or what he’s going to say. During the duration of this BBC-Endorsed chav show (yes, someone actually thought it was good enough to commission. Incidentally, it was exactly this sort of establishment endorsed chavvery that turned me off watching Catherine Tate after Tony Blair was in it), I laughed precisely three times, all of them at the audience interaction.
I’m perfectly willing to admit that not being a chav or a Guvnor from good ol’ London Tahn, I might not find it as funny as another viewer might. However, I think that good comedy shouldn’t rely on the audience being a certain kind of person to appreciate it or coming from a certain background. If you aim for that sort of approach, it’s like you’re intentionally alienating the smarter viewers and trying to cover yourself by saying “you don’t get it because you isn’t black/white/human, yeah?”
Of course, the great irony there is that I write the same kind of comedy myself, which the average reader might not always get, so I’m one to talk. You know what, fuck it. Lee Nelson’s comedy is lowbrow. It features the same sort of catchphrases and sketch comedy that made Little Britain and Catherine Tate so horribly popular (not saying they’re bad shows, just incredibly formulaic and catchphrase laden). I despise any sort of comedy that almost seems to be deliberately lowbrow. The problem is that there are far more idiots than smart people in the world. I mean, just listen to a sound-bite of that ‘Qualitee!*’ thing included in the trailer below, the thing that he’s trying to develop into a catchphrase. Annoying already, isn’t it?
They say you should give most things a chance and try them more than once. But my TV doesn’t have a remote-shaped hole in it. That’s all the chance I’m willing to give.
*I love the fact that the auto correct is trying to change that to its correct spelling.