Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recycled humor.

The brilliant satirical comedy program "The Now Show" has just finished its 31st series on BBC Radio.

(How brilliant, you ask? Well, you should have done. Where else could you hear the words "vaginas" and "Thomas Aquinas" rhymed completely in context, as they were in a satirical song by Mitch Benn about the Catholic church's attempts to recruit disaffected Anglican clergy, pissed over the Church of England's ordination of women? And you have to love a program that makes a catchphrase out of an obscure line spoken by Donald Pleasance in The Great Escape.)

A feature of the show is to ask the audience a question -- now extended to the listening audience by Twitter -- and then bask in the substantial wit of the answers. In the penultimate episode, prompted by the UK government's scandalous axing of the British Film Council (which provided sponsorship for cinematic projects), suggestions were invited for low-budget film titles. Here's what they got (with American notes), which gave me a few laughs while listening to the podcast, and God knows I could use some:
The Devil Wears Primark*
Walking Miss Daisy
Free Willy -- with Every Packet of Cornflakes
The Discount of Monte Cristo
Star Wars: The Empire Cuts Back
The Bridge on the River Wye**
Murder on the National Express***
The Burger King and I
A Couple of Things I Hate About You
The Tramp and the Tramp
(my favorite)
Schindler's Post-It Note
The Bargain Hunt for Red October
The Six Million Zimbabwean Dollar Man
Honey, I Sold the Kids
The Bournemouth Ultimatum****
The Mancunian Candidate*****
Seven Brides for Seven Pounds Fifty
Breakfast at Ratners******
Scratch-Card Royale
*Brand name for a chain of low-cost clothing stores.

**Welsh River. I once visited the location in Sri Lanka where The Bridge on the River Kwai was made. By which I mean my driver assured me it was just round the bend of the river we had stopped at. The real bridge is in Thailand.

***British transportation company. Think Greyhound Bus.

****Dull but worthy resort town on the English South Coast, noted as a retirement destination, like parts of Florida. Not to be compared to the cachet of St. Tropez or Cannes on the French South Coast, dammit. (See previous entry). Does have some very good orchestras, though.

*****Adjective meaning "of Manchester."

******Former name of a notoriously cheap chain of jewelers. Change of name and ownership followed a marketing debacle when founder and then-CEO Gerald Ratner admitted in public that his prices were so low because his products were "total crap." He then compared some of the company's ear-rings (unfavorably) to "a 99p prawn sandwich." Making the error of criticizing a product made by your own company -- or the taste of your target clientele -- is now called "doing a Ratner."

1 comment:

  1. Dustbusters (who needs an unlicensed nuclear reactor, when you can just suck up those ghosts with a battery charged vacuum?)