Friday, February 19, 2010

Is this a comedy?

It would be fair to say that I have an unusual sense of humour. Some would say odd. It doesn't have to be odd - I can laugh as much as the next person at "vegetables in a rude and amusing shape" as Blackadder would say, but when it comes to comedy that really attracts my attention it has to be a little bit weird and just a little bit black. That doesn't mean humour that involves cruelty to other people or mockery. No thanks. No, I mean something a little subtle and clever than that. The Mighty Boosh (clip one) is a classic example - surreal and esoteric, the situations that evolve for wanna-be Goth Vince Noir (Noel Fielding), jazz afficianado Howard Moon (Julian Barrett) and their flatmates Naboo (a shaman) and Bollo (Naboo's familiar, a talking gorilla) can best - indeed, only - be described as psychedelic. Nighty Night (clip two) is far more grounded in the every day - some would say in the morbidly mundane. But it is the awful web woven by the horrific Jill (Julia Davis) through the ordinary lives that she disrupts which gives Nighty Night its edge, leaving you unsure whether to laugh or cry. Julia Davis refocusses on the alarmingly black underbelly of suburbia in Human Remains (clip three), along with the brilliant Rob Brydon. People missing life's boat (or a lifeboat?), 'losers', also-rans and the mean-spiritedness sometimes lurking behind neatly matching suburban curtains. I am drawn to these people and repelled simultaneously, having had them as a part of my life and perhaps always skating close to becoming them. And then when it's all too much, too close to the bone, they'll make you laugh.

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