27 May 2011

Clockwork cricket

"Well, I've got my cricket gear in the car. We could try that" - Malcolm McDowell explains the inspiration behind one of the most iconic outfits in movie history, the white suits and codpieces worn by Alex and his Droogs in A Clockwork Orange. McDowell recalled this week how he and the film's director Stanley Kubrick were struggling to come up with a costume for the lead character.

"I was over at his house, you know, looking for stuff to do. And I didn't like anything there, really. They had a big box of hats, some with feathers. I thought that was pretty lame. So I went to the car and got my cricket gear. And he says, 'Oh yeah, I love the white.' And so I put it on. And Stanley goes, 'Oh put the protector on the outside.' So I wore the box on the outside like a codpiece. He goes, 'This could be like the middle ages. I like this look.' And that's how the look of the Droogs came; because I had my cricket stuff in the back of my car."

- Andy Bull, The Spin cricket newsletter, Guardian, 24 May 2011

26 May 2011

Observational comedy

It was very different then, comedy in the 80s.  What the comedy was in the 80s was a load of people and they all hated the Tories, and they went out to a place, and there was a guy on stage there, and he hated the Tories. And he'd go, "I hate the Tories!", and the audience would go, "We hate the Tories as well!", and they'd go home happy, 67 pence well spent.

It's very different now, the comedy. I've seen some of it on the Roadshow on telly.  It's in stadiums now innit. What the comedy is now is a load of people, and they all hate their electrical appliances. And they go out to a place, and there's a guy on stage there, and he hates his electrical appliances. And he goes, "I hate my electrical appliances!", and the audience goes "We hate our electrical appliances as well!", and they go home happy, forty-seven pounds fifty well spent.

"I hate my toaster, it's only got two settings: black burned charcoal, or just warm bread". It's broken, innit. Mate, that toaster's broken. They wouldn't make a toaster like that. There'd be no market for it.

-Stewart Lee, in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, s.2 e.4, BBC2, 25 May 2011

20 May 2011

Archetypal TNT 'Desperately Seeking' ad

Further to my post from last year on TNT Magazine's 'Desperately Seeking' column, this classic appeared in this week's edition (16-22 May):

I'm looking for a short blonde Aussie girl with glasses called Jean or Joan: I met her at the Walkabout the Friday before Easter Bank Holiday. She was hanging about the men's toilets with a few scrubbers and I managed to pull her later after the pub shut. I would like to see her again, if only because I have apparently got the clap and she is one of the girls I need to contact. If she can drop me a line I would like to see her again, maybe for a rematch under better circumstances.

It's such a relief to learn that chivalry is not dead.

14 May 2011

The requisite amount of contempt

There was a film last year, the film Kick-Ass. And the young people were very excited about the film Kick-Ass, because in the film Kick-Ass there was a scene where you could see a 12-year-old girl use the word c***, which is the C-word, isn't it.

Now where I live, in Hackney, I can see that any day of the week. In fact only this morning on the 73 bus I saw a 12-year-old girl call someone a c***. Although to be fair there were mitigating circumstances. Her daughter was being extremely annoying.

Did you like that joke? I didn't, I'm ashamed of it to be honest. I'm ashamed of having thought of that joke. Although I have been advised that I might be able to sell that joke to Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights. Apparently it has the requisite amount of contempt for vulnerable people. Or 'edge', as it's known at Channel 4.

- Stewart Lee, in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, s.2 e.2, BBC2, 11 May 2011

12 May 2011

Familiarity and Radio 4

'People don't like things because they're nice - they like things because they're used to them. That's the whole principle behind Radio 4'.

- David Mitchell, The Unbelievable Truth, Radio 4, 2 May 2011.

10 May 2011

Delusions of would-be Apprentices

It's time for The Apprentice on the BBC once more, which is the cue for a round-up of the most foolish and bizarre boasts from previous competitors. Can't they see the headlights getting closer, ever closer...?

"I'm not a one-trick pony, I'm not a 10-trick pony - I've got a field of ponies waiting to literally run towards this job." Stuart "The Brand" Baggs last year, uttering the now infamous line. What?

"When you can break bricks with your hands you believe in your head you can do anything, and in business I take on the same ethic," said Ifti Chaudhri in series four. Andrew Billen, TV critic at the Times, says such horrible jargon is right out of Ricky Gervais's The Office, although done without any sense of irony. "They are Ricky's phrases in the making, but there's no self knowledge in any of it."

"Everything I touch turns to sold." Really Stuart Baggs? Everything except all those sausages you failed to sell in the very first task in series six, resulting in you almost being fired by Lord Sugar in week one. "I don't know why they say these things, because Sugar is quite plain speaking," says Billen.

"Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there's footsteps on the moon." Yes, we've sneaked in a line from one of this year's candidates. Melody Hossani, we look forward to hearing a lot more from you.

- BBC News, 10 May 2011