Just Plain Awful 'Comedy'

Ghost In The Machine

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,478
Reaction score
4,316
Points
159
Location
Yorkshire
I physically can't watch The Royle Family, The Office, Alan Partridge type stuff. I cringe so hard it's practically life-threatening. I can only conclude that I don't have that kind of sense of humour. Yet I can laugh myself silly at Father Ted and similar ridiculousnesses that other people describe as 'silly'. Love Blackadder too.
Oh I'm the other way. I loved cringe comedy. The US "Office" is utter unfunny garbage but the original, I love it very much. If anything, I love Mackenzie Crook's own comedy, "Detectorists" even more - and that is not cringe. Quite beautifully done. I love Alan Partridge (first heard him on the radio years ago before TV, I think, and was laughing away at this embarrassing Titchmarsh style presenter for a good five minutes before I realised it was parody).

My favourite comedy show is probably Peep Show which can be about as cringe as is possible to get. Sons and me watch it over and over and my kids quote it, like my generation did Monty Python. "Cauliflower is not traditional!"

One of my kids likes US comedies like Brooklyn Nine Nine and the frankly abysmal Modern Family (I could stare at the dog's vomit for half an hour and get way more laughs). We go out of the room when he watches them because they're so boring.
 

Fluttermoth

Mrs Treguard
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,005
Reaction score
1,123
Points
169
I don't think there's any such thing as 'just awful comedy', there is just comedy you like and comedy you don't.

There's loads of things I find completely unfunny, but I don't feel the need to personally impugn anyone who likes it! In my experience, comedy is intensely personal, even more so than art, literature or music.
 

McAvennie

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
1,897
Points
184
Our tastes in what is funny change as we get older anyway, and I can now see how life experiences can affect this. Some of the more brutal, cutting edge humour of my younger days now seems too brittle, too designed to hurt, for me to be amused by it.
I tried Seinfeld in my 20s and just didn't get it, couldn't relate.

Came back to it in my mid-30s and loved it.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
42,832
Reaction score
33,534
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I tried Seinfeld in my 20s and just didn't get it, couldn't relate.

Came back to it in my mid-30s and loved it.
Don't like Seinfeld or Frasier, not sure why.
 

CarlosTheDJ

Sio Bibble
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
6,531
Reaction score
7,551
Points
294
Location
Pebble Mill
If you want some cringe comedy you have to sample Curb Your Enthusiasm. The first season is a tad shouty but after that it's pure genius.
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,610
Reaction score
7,832
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
It got swapped for Sara Pascoe.
There's simply not enough Sara Pascoe on the telly & radio.

She's become one of the go to 'comedians' when there's a slot to fill/box to be ticked. There's a revolving cast of them on various shows - you can no doubt compile your own list.

Off the top of my head, Russell Howard, Nish Kumar, Sandi Toksvig, nearly everyone on Mock the Week..
 

Rushfan62

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
404
Reaction score
337
Points
79
Oh I'm the other way. I loved cringe comedy. The US "Office" is utter unfunny garbage but the original, I love it very much. If anything, I love Mackenzie Crook's own comedy, "Detectorists" even more - and that is not cringe. Quite beautifully done. I love Alan Partridge (first heard him on the radio years ago before TV, I think, and was laughing away at this embarrassing Titchmarsh style presenter for a good five minutes before I realised it was parody).

My favourite comedy show is probably Peep Show which can be about as cringe as is possible to get. Sons and me watch it over and over and my kids quote it, like my generation did Monty Python. "Cauliflower is not traditional!"

One of my kids likes US comedies like Brooklyn Nine Nine and the frankly abysmal Modern Family (I could stare at the dog's vomit for half an hour and get way more laughs). We go out of the room when he watches them because they're so boring.
I just watch Detectorists this Xmas, love it. Very 'Folky' feel to it and beautifully filmed.
 

cycleboy2

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
1,847
Reaction score
4,317
Points
184
I tried Seinfeld in my 20s and just didn't get it, couldn't relate.

Came back to it in my mid-30s and loved it.
Seinfeld used to be on a late-night BBC2 double bill with the Larry Sanders Show. I seemed to be the exception in preferring Larry Sanders, another example of cringe comedy if ever there was. Beautifully written and acted and great cameos from some surprising people. Curb Your Enthusiasm has a lot in common with it; I haven't seen many but the episode with Michael York is cringe comedy at its finest.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,163
Points
309
I don't think there's any such thing as 'just awful comedy', there is just comedy you like and comedy you don't.

There's loads of things I find completely unfunny, but I don't feel the need to personally impugn anyone who likes it! In my experience, comedy is intensely personal, even more so than art, literature or music.
Well said, I was about to say this thread wasn't making us sound any fun at all, but I'm glad there's a little joy about, at least.
 

Ghost In The Machine

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,478
Reaction score
4,316
Points
159
Location
Yorkshire
I love Brooklyn Nine Nine! I didn't think it would be possible not to. The characters and the actors are brilliant and I love the way it is filmed. :)
I just don't get it! Goes totally over my head. I'd need someone to hit a light to tell me when to laugh - you know how in some comedies, you can tell what's meant to be funny even if you don't find it funny yourself? With that (and the US version of The Office), I'd literally need cueing to know where it's supposed to be funny. I preferred Andy Samberg in 'Cuckoo'. In fact, it got boring after he left.
 

Ghost In The Machine

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,478
Reaction score
4,316
Points
159
Location
Yorkshire
Seinfeld used to be on a late-night BBC2 double bill with the Larry Sanders Show. I seemed to be the exception in preferring Larry Sanders, another example of cringe comedy if ever there was. Beautifully written and acted and great cameos from some surprising people. Curb Your Enthusiasm has a lot in common with it; I haven't seen many but the episode with Michael York is cringe comedy at its finest.
Seinfield started when I lived in the US and I tried to watch it, but again, just thought it was self indulgent. Something about Seinfield himself I really disliked on a visceral, personal level. A bit like watching Bonnie Langford in the 70s.

ETA: For even more cultural disconnect, I also tried Saturday Night Live after all the Americans I worked with kept telling me to watch it. Paint dry. Again, unfunny to the point I couldn't tell when it was meant to be funny. I lived there and I still didn't get the American sense of humour, put it that way.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
6,056
Points
219
Location
York
Obviously, Detectorists is the exception that proves the rule; if you don't like Detectorists, you're simply a terrible, terrible person, and I despise you :rofl:
I've discussed this at length on another thread, but I HATED Detectorists. Well, to be fair, I only watched the first episode, because everyone had told me how great it was. I've since discussed my reaction with a writer friend, who thinks I may have watched it too forensically and to try coming in later in the series, when the 'introduce character types' part is over.

I'm still steeling myself to do this.
 

Analogue Boy

Bar 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,159
Reaction score
10,682
Points
309
Mackenzie Crook writes love letters to the english countryside with a slower lifestyle and an accompanying soundtrack that is fast disappearing. There is surely a place for this. His take on Gummidge is fantastic, gentle and tearful in the way it mourns the losing of the traditions of the old ways while encompassing the new mores at the same time.
 

Analogue Boy

Bar 6
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,159
Reaction score
10,682
Points
309
Russell Howard
Jimmy Carr ( unless he gets done for tax)
Micheal Mcintyre ( with his stupid posh voice and floppy hair and how the hell does he make the audience howl in stitches is beyond me and that goes for a lot of comedy ...maybe its some form of hypnosis as I'm funnier then him but just work as a non paid Carer :( )
Cannon and Ball
The 2 lasses who do or did the Great Bake Off
Little and Large
Jonathan Woss.
Tim Minchin
Tracy Ullman
Bill Bailey
Sacha Cohen and surprised how BLM and others haven't picked out that Karmicheal Hunt
Frankie Boyle ( uncouth and Woke maybe )
Mark Lamarr
Lenny Henry ( the only he was good in was about drama about the Ragga Music scene from 1993 I think)
Girls On Top
A lot of American things as we speak the same but have a different view a bit like Cricket and Baseball ?
Some of The Comic Strip
The mighty Boosh
Ade Edondson with out Rik
Have I got News Today when I found out it was scripted and not quick wit
Desmond ( Haven't found a funny Afro Caribbean comedy yet)
Keith Lemon
Rufus Hound
Al Murray upper class patronising XXXX
Citizen Khan 9 Haven't found a funny British Asian comedy yet)
Mrs Brown Boys which looks like it should set in 1985
Only Fools and Horses when it jumped the Shark
Auf Wiedersehen Pet Season 3 upawards and Oz always gets the ladies ( a diva in real life)
Red Dwarf from 1997
Jo Brand who looks like she drinking Acid
Tiwas
Bill Murray the person maybe ?
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Terry Christian
James Corden the Fat Pussy
Harry Hill
Upstart Crow only watched the first episode and it wasn't like Blackadder ( anyone prove me wrong)
David Baddiel Rob Newman
Frank Skinner
Omid Djaili
Alex Sayle sometimes or half times
Doctor Who....the fun has went out of it in the past 10 years.
I’ve maintained from the beginning that Mel Giedroyc can suck any creative talent out of a room to an almost miraculous extent. She got Bake-Off just before it went to CH4. She did a chat show with Sue Perkins. Mel and Sue bombed. She did a revamp of The Generation Game. It bombed. She hosted a Eurovision scout show. The winning act bombed. She took to the West End and with a little help from Covid, brought the whole of the West End Theatre to rubble and dust. The woman is the opposite of talent. She reduces everything she’s in to ruin.

Now that’s funny.
 

Victory

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
943
Reaction score
1,992
Points
134
Location
London
There are a handful of modern acts that I have to mention.

In terms of a TV show, as @CarlosTheDJ mentioned, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the funniest show I have ever seen.
Occasionally goes a bit far, but usually I admire what Larry David does in terms of taking it that bit further than others will.
It's compelling.

I have been fortunate to have seen some great live comedians...amongst them Chris Rock, Louis CK, League of Gentlemen, The Little Britain and Fast Show Tour, Curtis Walker...

....but without a doubt the best live performer I have seen was Dave Chapelle.
Everything was 10 out of 10.
Timing, glint in the eye, cutting edge, topicality, variety, nuance and delivery.

His TV show was genius...very much anti-woke...and subject to a conspiracy theory as to why it finished mid way through season three.
He said what others only dared to think...R.I.P Charlie Murphy.

When I comes to British TV, then Peep Show was great.
I didn't want to like it, but I gave it a go and it encapsulated that strange period of life which is mid 20's to early 30's, and it consistently made me laugh.

And going back to the 1980's, I really liked Minder.
Gentle humour, quite stylised, some hilarious farce scenes, and well written.
A London classic.
 
Last edited:

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,610
Reaction score
7,832
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Well said, I was about to say this thread wasn't making us sound any fun at all, but I'm glad there's a little joy about, at least.
Well this is the Plain Awful Comedy thread. You want the Comedy I Like thread which is down the corridor, round the corner, past the drinks machine, then the second door on your right.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
6,056
Points
219
Location
York
Well this is the Plain Awful Comedy thread. You want the Comedy I Like thread which is down the corridor, round the corner, past the drinks machine, then the second door on your right.
I think you'll find that's the half-hour argument thread.
 

Fluttermoth

Mrs Treguard
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,005
Reaction score
1,123
Points
169
I’ve maintained from the beginning that Mel Giedroyc can suck any creative talent out of a room to an almost miraculous extent. She got Bake-Off just before it went to CH4. She did a chat show with Sue Perkins. Mel and Sue bombed. She did a revamp of The Generation Game. It bombed. She hosted a Eurovision scout show. The winning act bombed. She took to the West End and with a little help from Covid, brought the whole of the West End Theatre to rubble and dust. The woman is the opposite of talent. She reduces everything she’s in to ruin.

Now that’s funny.
I just feel the need to correct you about Bake Off; Mel didn't join 'just before it went to CH4', Mel and Sue did GBBO together right from the start. I loved Light/ Late Lunch!
 

Comfortably Numb

Antediluvian
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
6,857
Reaction score
10,932
Points
279
Location
Phone
Came across this, which again previously unaware of.

Watched the beginning long enough to find it enjoyable, actually funny and although possibly not for everyone, would recommend having a precursory look.

Steptoe and Son: The Seven Steptoerai

 

SketchyMagpie

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
61
Reaction score
146
Points
33
I just feel the need to correct you about Bake Off; Mel didn't join 'just before it went to CH4', Mel and Sue did GBBO together right from the start. I loved Light/ Late Lunch!
Yeah, I’ve not watched much of what they’ve done in the past two decades but I used to love that show when I was at school (plus Mel was always my favourite!)
 

Sabresonic

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
368
Reaction score
406
Points
63
To Victory, Mythopoeika, Cycleboy2 and cats eye I will give a 2nd thought and view of the ones you have said you liked and disliked ;)
But I do love
The Young Ones
Minder ( with George Cole)
Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy 1981
My Family ( Nick used be quite irritating but got used to him and had some classic lines and loved Roger The Dentists
Bottom
A few from The Comic Strip like Mister Jolly, 5 Go Mad, The Thug and Bad News ones
Red Dwarf from 1988-1993
Not The Nine O'Clock News
The original Spitting Images
Extras plus Ricky ripping into the Hollywood Darlings
Alan Partridge ( Wouldn't think I like Steve Coogan as a person if I met him but you never know ?)
Brass Eye
The News Today
Father Ted
Scrooged
Groundhog Day
Jerry Sadowitz
The New Statesmen
Blackadder ( And yes I don't mind the Millennium one off)
Auf Wiedersehen Pet 1 and 2
Goodnight Sweetheart ( And AGAIN the BBC missed a track of not commission a full series after the one off special but continue with Still Open All Hours :(
 

cycleboy2

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
1,847
Reaction score
4,317
Points
184
To Victory, Mythopoeika, Cycleboy2 and cats eye I will give a 2nd thought and view of the ones you have said you liked and disliked ;)
But I do love
The Young Ones
Minder ( with George Cole)
Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy 1981
My Family ( Nick used be quite irritating but got used to him and had some classic lines and loved Roger The Dentists
Bottom
A few from The Comic Strip like Mister Jolly, 5 Go Mad, The Thug and Bad News ones
Red Dwarf from 1988-1993
Not The Nine O'Clock News
The original Spitting Images
Extras plus Ricky ripping into the Hollywood Darlings
Alan Partridge ( Wouldn't think I like Steve Coogan as a person if I met him but you never know ?)
Brass Eye
The News Today
Father Ted
Scrooged
Groundhog Day
Jerry Sadowitz
The New Statesmen
Blackadder ( And yes I don't mind the Millennium one off)
Auf Wiedersehen Pet 1 and 2
Goodnight Sweetheart ( And AGAIN the BBC missed a track of not commission a full series after the one off special but continue with Still Open All Hours :(
Like The Young Ones, huge fan of Hitch-hiker's, liked Bottom and NTNOCN, like Alan Partridge, Brass Eye, The Day Today, love Father Ted and think it's a work of comedy genius (and the fact that there were only ever three series means it never went stale), big fan of Jerry Sadowitz who I've seen live at the Bath Fringe (though he didn't endear himself to the people who put him up for the night), huge fan of Blackadder especially two and four. Though I'm not a fan of Still Open All Hours (a dreadful homage or remake or reimagining or something) or Goodnight Sweetheart.

So there's a fair bit in common there!

I have a soft spot for Dad's Army, especially John Le Mesurier's performance, Steptoe and Son, Larry Sanders, MASH (minus the painful laughter track), Police Squad (another work of genius), the largely forgotten Dream On.

I'm a huge fan of Buster Keaton, the Marx Bros (especially Duck Soup, Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers, Monkey Business), Ealing Comedies, early Woody Allen (yeah, I know...), Sean of the Dead, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, the Bill and Ted films. Hmm, not too many recent offerings there...
 
Top