Sunday 18th February 2007
Earlier in the week I was asked to write my "must sees" for the Sunday Time Culture magazine. They were printed today, but my comments were cut down quite a bit for space.
Here were those recommendations in full:
Comedy - Sarah Kendall - Attention Seeker (on tour) If anyone tells you that women aren't funny, force them to watch this twisted, smart and stupidly hilarious Australian and then force them to eat their words, their hat and stupid Christopher Hitchens' severed penis.
Film "Hot Fuzz" - I hope this new offering from Pegg/Frost/Wright will establish them as this generation's equivalent of the Monty Python film franchise. The trailer makes me fear my hopes might be dashed, but I hope my hopes stand up.
Theatre - Faust (Punchdrunk) Have heard great things about this potentially terrifying promenade through a dark abandoned warehouse in Wapping. No knowing who or what you will stumble across. My friend swears she was kidnapped and kept in a room on her own for a while - it might not even have been part of the show.
Music - Regina Spektor (on tour) - Beautiful, spell-binding, witty, intricate, infectious songs from this enchanting and unorthodox Americanised Muscovite pixie who can awaken the soul of even the most cynical, world-weary comedian.
Today I also filled in a questionnaire for the website www.offthetelly.co.uk
Here's what I said
What do you consider to be the best ever TV title sequence - and why is it so great?
It's hard to beat the Simpsons, especially because it has extra gags in at the blackboard and the couch, but it loses some points because at full length it is too long and sometimes the couch gag repeats... So I am going to go for "Survivors" which I remember vividly from childhood as being terrifying. I loved the show as an eight year old, but all I remember now is the titles, with the Chinese man collapsing at the airport and visa stamps appearing as the disease travelled round the world. Perfect music and it also tells you the story of the series in thirty seconds. What could be better?
2) Who is/was the most soothing person on telly, and why?
Michael Palin is Prozac personified for me. He's the funniest person in the funniest comedy team of all time, and in all his other work he comes across as the kind of person you'd love to be your dad or your mate or your next door neighbour. He always makes me smile and I wish I was him.
3) Who is the greatest ever British comic-strip (ie from actual comics, not The Comic Strip Presents...) character, and - as per - why? Roger Mellie - the Man on Telly in Viz is a brilliantly funny character, but also a mighty satire of the television industry and the nature of celebrity. I believe it is the most enduring character in the UK's funniest and most comedically influential magazine. Plus he swears a lot.
4) Which TV company over the decades has boasted the best logo, and can you enscapsulate what's so good about it? It's an obvious choice but the sheer gaudy audacity of the Anglia knight makes it the most memorable TV company logo of all time. I associate it completely and only with Sale of the Century, which I can thus only assume is the only show they ever made.
5) And the best ever radio jingle - what is/was it, and why so great? I really liked the ones we did on our Lee and Herring shows in the 90s, but can't be allowed to choose them can I? And I can't really remember any of them. Oh I just found this on the internet - "Lee and Herring: Jokes, Swearing, and eight or nine slightly irritating records" You know what I can't think of any jingles from anything else and even though that isn't even our best one I am going to plump for that.
Otherwise I just relaxed and tried to forget that tomorrow we will be starting filming on "You Can Choose Your Friends". If I was a proper actor I would have spent the day learning my lines and getting into character. But some might argue that I have spent the last 39 years getting into character.
It still hasn't sunk in that this is actually happening. Luckily my first scene is the last scene of the day tomorrow, so I have some time to get used to the reality of this thing. Confusingly the first scene I am filming is the last scene I am in in the actual script. The first scenes I am in will be filmed on the last day in three weeks time. I have put on a bit of weight in the last week, which I hope to shift in the next few days. There is the chance with the catering van and hanging around that I might put on weight though. When you watch it, see if you can spot the diffence in my size from the start to the finish. The action is supposed to take place on one day, so if I can get significantly fatter or thinner it should be quite amusing.
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
Tickets are now on sale for both my Edinburgh Fringe shows. "We're All Going To Die!" is on at the Pleasance Beyond at 8pm Book here
Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is at Stand 1 daily at 14.10. Book here
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
A video explaining the idea can be seen here
You can buy tickets to the shows from the Leicester Square Theatre website
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