GO AND BUY JUST THE SMEGS AT SOME POINT

Well, cuntie, today’s the day. Just The Smegs should be in shops all over the country as we literally speak. We might have had the review up already, but the test disc got delivered to John Hoare’s house, and now it needs to go to a special cleaners to remove the semen and faeces. In the meantime, why not go to the new microsite, with its stupid fixed width, annoying intro and genuinely excellent Rob and Doug interview!

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127 Responses to GO AND BUY JUST THE SMEGS AT SOME POINT

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  1. Yeah, just picked up a copy at FP. No promo offer on this one, so full price (but there was a “shop soiled” copy in a biohazard bag- see above).

  2. I may give this one a while.

  3. Can’t wait, I love my Smegs! Have to wait til the money goes in next month, though, *woe*…

  4. G&T Admin

    I’m gonna have to wait til I can get it as well. Probably going to be the new year now. I’ve still got the videos so i’m not completely lost with it.

  5. Well I might have picked this up, but Bender’s Big Score arrived this morning so I shall spend the next few days watching that.

  6. >Bender?s Big Score arrived this morning

    Whaaat?

    Where are you? How did you get it? We don’t get a release until next week, and last I heard region one was the only release with official dates.

  7. Got the R1 imported from the States, or more likely Canada. I was very surprised when I got an e-mail Thursday saying it had been shipped, but i’m not complaining.

  8. Dammit. I should have pre-ordered. You definitely got a fluke…it’s not supposed to be released until a week from tomorrow.

    I’d love to know (spoiler-free!) what you thought of it when you get around to watching it.

  9. I’ve watched the main feature of BBS now and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. It’s definitely Futurama, and the voices and animation seem spot on (although I’m watching through a modded xbox on a 4:3 screen). However I feel it has to cope with been in a position where they can’t reboot the franchise as it has not been gone long enough, but they have to cater for new audiences as well as the existing fanbase. Hence it seems to me to have the feel of a greatest hits album, all the classics are there but we’ve heard (seen) most of them before. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it progresses.

    I think it will be interesting to see how it cuts into episodes, I think the timing may work better if the scenes are sequenced differently as some parts do tend to drag.

    If this was a theatrical release I’d have to think I would be disappointed, however it’s always been part 1 of 4 so I’m reserving judgment, I think there was little option but to go they way they have for this release.

  10. Probably all valid points. I look forward to seeing it myself, and, somewhat oddly since I’ve not even seen the film yet, I’m positively yearning for more Futurama commentary.

  11. It should just be normal-length episodes and nothing else, unless they were actually going to do a proper film similar to the Simpsons movie (and even that drags in the middle). Honestly, if I see the words ‘TV movie’ or ‘feature-length special’ again I’m going to have to hurt a small animal. Galactica’s Razor, which I’ve seen, being made out to be something more than it is is totally unfair. It’s just two episodes, not a TV movie. It doesn’t need it’s own DVD release at all, they’re just milking the series.

  12. In fairness though Futurama isn’t milking the series. They’d have gladly produced more episodes if that what they were asked to do. Instead, they were asked to make a DVD film. (Groening and Cohen, apparently, were able to talk them into a series of films instead, but I’m sure they’d much rather have just gone back into regular production.)

  13. G&T Admin

    > It should just be normal-length episodes and nothing else, unless they were actually going to do a proper film similar to the Simpsons movie (and even that drags in the middle). Honestly, if I see the words ?TV movie? or ?feature-length special? again I?m going to have to hurt a small animal. Galactica?s Razor, which I?ve seen, being made out to be something more than it is is totally unfair. It?s just two episodes, not a TV movie. It doesn?t need it?s own DVD release at all, they?re just milking the series.

    Yes, but you’re missing the fact that it’s some of the best BSG we’ve ever had. They can milk the series all they want for now, at least we know we’re not going to go past four season and into drag territory.

  14. BSG seems likely to jump the shark soonish. Which is a pity as it’s a cracking show.

    Watched some of Just the Smegs last night. It is amusing stuff, particularly since I’m also reading Man in the Rubber Mask at the same time. I see the advert slot has been updated…

  15. G&T Admin

    > BSG seems likely to jump the shark soonish. Which is a pity as it?s a cracking show.

    Why do you say that? It’s got 20 episodes left (22 if you count Razor), so if by “jump the shark” you mean “come to some form of conslusion”, then I guess you’re right. But I see absoltely no evidence to suggest that they’re going to fuck it up.

  16. Yes, sorry, I missed the point of that last sentence of yours. Four seasons and then end is probably perfect, push it further and it’ll go downhill. I mean, Stargate was still fun, but it just wasn’t as good as it was round the middle of the run. I just hope that they don’t decide to do more. One wonders what this proposed “Caprica” spin-off will be like.

  17. > One wonders what this proposed ?Caprica? spin-off will be like.

    Judging by the flashbacks to this era featured in Razor it has the potential to be pretty good. I think the guy playing young Adama could make a good lead for the show (although they might want the series to be wholly without current Galactica characters).

    I thought Razor was great but not up there with the best of Galactica. A lot of it was scenarios they’ve done over and over again e.g. the Adama’s going against each other AGAIN debating whether they should nuke their own people on a mission AGAIN (maybe that was the point…all this has happened before and it will happen again!).

    We already knew Cain was a complete nutjob (though now we know she was a toaster-frakking, XO shooting, lesbian nutjob), and Kendra Shaw’s story just seemed to be an amalgamation of what we’ve already seen with other characters like Kat (I love how just about every character in Galactica is a total frak-up with enough guilt weighing on them to sink the still-floating Bismarck). Great acting all round though (Katee Sackhoff still stealing the show for me), and some decent new effects shots featuring the classic Cylons. ‘By your command’ must have sent several middle-aged fanboys into frenzied masturbatorial ecstasy.

  18. G&T Admin

    I like it when they say “frak”.

  19. Dear GNP/2entertain,

    Please stop buying new domain names, putting up some shitty Flash I can’t even see and won’t be indexed by a search engine, cause in two years time when you’ve let the fucking domain expire, all the Red Dwarf fan sites will be linking to some fucking porn site.

    Instead, spend the time and money fixing up reddwarf.co.uk – lose the frames – 1998 called and wants its web design techniques back, and install a NORMAL forum, such as phpbb3 or punbb. Make the whole thing accessible, with decent URLs that are obvious and well-formed – make all the old content redirect to the new place.

    You’ll have a better site, a site that more people visit, because they come from search engines being able to crawl content better, and more people will buy your DVDs. Have seperate pages for these new releases, in regular HTML, and put up videos in standard formats.

    All this will do good things for you.

    Thank you :)

    Web user of 14 years

  20. Exactly, whilst I can’t fault the content on the official site, it’s current design leaves a lot to be desired, it’s like stepping into a time machine traveling back to the late 90s intraweb.

    And as for those promotional flash sites… :( i’m sure they can do better than this. Since the official site is likely to be the place newcomers learn of the DVD releases, why not simply host the DN/RG interviews there instead

  21. Ah, but the official site IS hosted on the 90s intraweb. Some sort of tax dodge apparently.

  22. I’d hesitate to criticise the official site on account of the fact that, as official sites go, it’s superb in that it’s updated regularly with genuinely interesting content (not sure how long that can continue with the DVDs done and dusted…).

    I remember being rather impressed with the design when the site was relaunched. But that was because it was about 4 years ago (?) and was a significant step-forward from the godawful design it replaced (the navigation was horrendous). I don’t think it looks bad from a aesthetic point of view; just the functionality of it. Frames are very 1999 though.

  23. I must admit I’ve never used the message boards there, they’re not very easy on the eye. But I come to G&T instead, so I don’t bother and since I’m here I probably wouldn’t bother if there was a modern-looking forum set up there anyway. I waste time enough on one forum, not doing two. The rest of the site seems fine to me, but then I’m stuck in the 90s as well.

  24. I’d love to update the official site. I had nothing to do with the Flash design, so when I was able to ditch that, I did. That was a while ago, though, and the frames and fixed width drive me crazy.

    But: there’s not a lot of money available. We carry no advertising, the site runs at a loss. Every alteration made over the years has been retro-fit – because we couldn’t rebuild from scratch. There’s a LOT of content to reconfigure; the rebuild would be a big job…one that the equivalent of a couple of Flash promo sites (which do come up in searches) wouldn’t come close to covering.

    With the last of the DVDs now out, I don’t know if there will ever be a time when the full ground-up revamp we want to do can actualy happen. The future off the site depends on the future of the franchise.

    As to the “Dear GNP/2entertain” letter – sorry for the dreadful hardships you have suffered. I don’t know how you’ve magaed to cope. really.

  25. Perhaps a relaunch to coincide with the IX DVD release.

  26. With the greatest respect, if your correspondence is going maintain the same indignant, sarcastic tone as your previous post, I’m not sure I want to hear from you!

    Unless the help you have to offer is a big bag of cash…

  27. No cash, but I do have a way with minimal work that the whole site could drop the frames.

    And I don’t think my post was indignant or sarcastic, sorry if that came across.

    I’m frustrated though – I love the show, and while RD is a strong franchise, the website leaves a lot to be desired in terms of usability. That’s not to fault anyone involved, and like you say, it’s not exactly making lots of money, but if GNP are willing to invest a small amount of time in fixing some of the issues, I’d be more than willing to invest a chunk of my own time in working to make it succeed.

    A better website, and better forum for Red Dwarf could now, at a time when the future of the franchise could go one of many ways, help bring more people in, bring more people back and help towards getting funding for the film, or whatever future projects there are.

    I see a little bit of work has been done to provide some statistics on the site, with Google Analytics – my reworking of the site could dramatically improve the data you get from that.

    Wouldn’t it be great if people could bookmark and directly link to pages on the site? Wouldn’t it be great if search engines could better crawl the site? Wouldn’t it be great if you could see the latest forum posts on the homepage, or subscribe to RSS feeds for the news?

    Right now, the only time I visit the site is when someone posts a link here, and even then, it can be hard, or sometimes, impossible as last week when someone posted a link to the Flibble interview with Rob, to find what I’m looking for, entirely as an effect of the dated design.

    I realise asking you to fix all this yourselves is unreasonable, so I’m willing to help, fix, validate, tweak and improve the website for you – do whatever it takes to get it up to scratch and up to date.

    It’s up to you :)

  28. Based on my last post and the people working at GNP, which of the things you’ve listed do you think we’re unaware of?

    Why are you making a sales pitch describing all our faults on a public forum?

    And what part of “1998 called and wants its web design techniques back” was not intended as sarcasm?

    I get it. You could do better. It’s noted.

  29. Design aside. Some truly excellent and detailed content though.
    TOS has been a constant extertainment from the time I first
    started visiting it, long time back, and all for free. The content
    effort is greatly appreciated.

    Matt you clearly know you webstuff, and your passion for this comes
    across clearly in your comedically written first post. I guess being
    into GNU means you genuinely wish well and want to help TOS’s design,
    but the world being different I cant see GNP being into that kind
    of thing, maybe I’m wrong.

    Oh, and Badly Drawn Boy called and wants his 1998 look back.

  30. applause for jonsmad!

  31. >Oh, and Badly Drawn Boy called and wants his 1998 look back.

    Ha hahaha hahaha hahahahaha ha hahaha haha.

  32. As a regular user of reddwarf.co.uk, I get really pissed off when people start spouting off about changing things, well meaning or not.

    Finding your way around the site is hardly rocket science and I would have thought
    anyone with a keen interest in Dwarf would pop in most Fridays to see what’s new.
    Any google search of ‘Red Dwarf’ takes you right to the site 1st time every time
    and every Friday anything new stands out a mile.
    The webboard isn’t to everyones taste I know, but many who use it, return time after time, year after year and it still attracts new users.
    Unlike many official sites, updates are regular and excellent quality and have been that way for years.

    No doubt it could be made better at a cost in financial or time terms, but many of us are more than happy with the way it is and like the occasional non-major tweaks. Nothing lasts for ever I know, but it’s served the fan base well and I hope it continues for a while yet.

    I love G&T and probably visit as much as I visit TOS but have always felt it serves a different purpose. Here you get the nitty gritty of peoples views without the rules that have to be applied to TOS, you also get a more kept-on-topic approach here than on the webboard (ussualy)..

    I’m a great believer in thinking ‘if it aint broke, dont fix it’ and ‘If you dont like something leave the fuck alone’…

  33. > Why are you making a sales pitch describing all our faults on a public forum?

    I’m not. I’m volunteering my time.

    > And what part of ?1998 called and wants its web design techniques back? was not intended as sarcasm?

    All of it. Honestly, go on *any* web design course these days and be told to use frames. It’s not sarcasm, it’s a wake up call.

  34. > Oh, and Badly Drawn Boy called and wants his 1998 look back.

    Wholly crap that made me l.o.l until I shat!

  35. > It?s not sarcasm, it?s a wake up call.

    Who do you think you’re waking up? You read what I wrote, right? You know not news, preference, or choice. So at this point you either think I’m lying about the situation, or I’m stupid and having trouble comprehending what you’re saying – either is pretty insulting.

    You’re not waking up anyone. So unless the year 1998 became sentient and started making telephone calls, it’s sarcasm. It really is. That’s how sarcasm works.

    To repeat: I get it, you’ve done websites, and you could do better. You really don’t need top post a third time about frames.

  36. G&T Admin

    matt, for mercy’s sake, shut the fuck up.

  37. I’ve no problem hearing criticism – after all the years of DVDs, DJs and rd.co.uk I think that’s pretty clear. I’m all for feedback – I LIKE feedback.

    What I don’t care for is rudeness, for being patronised. And I’m not much keener on my responses being ignored. Collaboration requires communication, Matt, and you seem to be trapped in a monologue.

    You get that I heard you, right? You get that I replied? You understood my points? You comprehend that identifying sarcasm is distinct and different from telling someone they’re wrong?

    One thing I’m learning for sure – free or not, working with you would definitely have a cost!

  38. >Andrew can?t doesn?t seem to like being told that the website needs some work, which is a shame.

    Or, as younger babies than yourself would have it, “Waaaaaah waaaaaahhhh waaaahhhhhhhhhhh.”

  39. Andrew can?t doesn?t seem to like being told that the website needs some work, which is a shame.

    Or : Andrew knows full well that the design could do with a bit of improvement, but has already repeated ad nauseam that it’s simply not a viable prospect at the moment.

    There are little things that bug me here and there about rd.co.uk, but even with those, it’s far from being an embarrassment to the franchise, because it’s still updated every single week with every little tidbit of relevant news, DIRECT from the people involved. How many official websites for a sci-fi (never mind comedy) franchise do that?

    And I’ve never liked the layout and structure of the webboard, either. However, I’ve mentioned this in the past, and it seems that most of the regulars there are actually quite happy with the system as opposed to something more akin to what I’d call a “traditional” forum layout. So I can see why it’s unlikely to change in the future, and that’s fair enough.

  40. G&T Admin

    Matt, do you apply this sort of communication in the other parts of your life? If you ask a girl out on a date, and she refuses, do you then keep bugging her about what a brilliant relationship the two of you would have if she would ONLY SEE SENSE?

    Now stop singing the Minder theme to Andrew and grow up.

  41. Oh god, now I’ve got Denis Waterman swimming through my head…do do do

  42. Now stop singing the Minder theme to Andrew

    This is genius.

  43. Andrew I think you do a great job.

    That is all.

  44. G&T Admin

    God, that is *such* a beautiful end credits sequence.

    Why can’t programmes do stuff like that nowadays?

  45. >Matt, do you apply this sort of communication in the other parts of your life? If you ask a girl out on a date, and she refuses, do you then keep bugging her about what a brilliant relationship the two of you would have if she would ONLY SEE SENSE?

    He’d better not. That’s my strategy.

  46. Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune…

    Sorry, it was needed.

  47. G&T Admin

    Quoting Little Britain is never, ever needed.

  48. probably would actually, if i weren’t married.

    anyway, i reckon this topic’s probably just about dead now. moving on, i went down penny lane earlier.

  49. >i went down penny lane earlier.

    *Raises eyebrows*

  50. >i went down penny lane earlier.

    Shithole, isn’t it?

  51. > Quoting Little Britain is never, ever needed.

    I was in my local a few weeks ago and a some lads were acting out the ‘pirate memory games’ scene word for word. How can you resist the urge not to commit a felony of the homicidal variety when you’ve a got a bloke across from you shouting full volume ‘He wanted something a little less pirate-y!’. Of course it’s a bloke playing ‘Margaret’ so it’s like ‘Margaret? Margaret…??’ ‘……Yes?’ spoken in a man’s voice, it’s not good….

    That’s better than someone doing a Vicky Pollard impression though. There’s NOTHING worse than that. Actually maybe there is – someone ass-raping you with a meat cleaver. Yeah, I’d rather be ass-raped with a meat cleaver than have someone doing a Vicky Pollard impression in my face. Bovvered?

  52. But there’s always the boot sale one with the red dwarf tapes…

  53. >?

    I think thats the kind of post you should stick to Matt.

  54. G&T Admin

    > Bovvered?

    Now, you’ve just crossed the line…

  55. > Now, you?ve just crossed the line?

    You can’t be suggesting that Catherine Tate is worse than Little Britain.

  56. Ive just got to insert this into the change of subject.

    reddwarf.co.uk is great, mega happy the way it is. Dont like the messege board, but thats all. The rest is great! Great! Great!

    NOW….This Copycat movie on BBC One. Its ALWAYS on BBC ONE, and this is the first time ive watched it from beggining to end properly. I like It. Anyone concur?

    Additional: Waiting till Christmas for the two new Red Dwarf DVD’s is UNBEARABLE!

  57. G&T Admin

    > You can?t be suggesting that Catherine Tate is worse than Little Britain.

    She’s quite considerably worse than Little Britain.

  58. G&T Admin

    > What a load of old shite!

    Yes, she is! Haha.

  59. Little Britain has some redeeming qualities, in that the radio series was excellent, and the first TV series was very good at times. And its two leads, as has been proven in the past, are good comedy actors. It just completely disappeared up its own arse.

    Catherine Tate has no redeeming features whatsoever.

  60. G&T Admin

    Listen to this dude Seb, he knows what he’s talking about.

  61. Excellent!

  62. G&T Admin

    I reckon there’s some good stuff in Little Britain Series 2 and 3. Certainly, the expansions of the Pirate Memory Game sketch amuse me greatly. (“Get out.”) I keep meaning to go back and watch them again, just to judge the gold/shit ratio properly – although I don’t expect to like them much on the whole.

    (I ALWAYS found Lou and Andy unfunny, though, even in the first series. I just don’t get the joke.)

    I do find pretty all of The Catherine Tate Show unbearable. Anyway, forget about all that: BUY THIS.

  63. Lou and Andy should have been ONE sketch, the first one with the swimming pool! The second and third series are far too ‘knowing’. It’s like ‘are we going to believe our own hype? even though we don’t really have anything written for these series’ just bollocks ‘shock’ moments like ‘bitty’ and the WI women? Yes I think we are.’ They turned into BBC smugwits.

  64. I’ve always found the best part of Little Britain to be Tom Baker’s voiceover at the start. I switch off after that.

    Saw Tom yesterday, he was in front of me for the queue to get out of Charing Cross station on my way into work. He looked a tad old and weary.

  65. Sounds like he needed a Doctor. LOL!11!

  66. G&T Admin

    Tom introducing one of the Fat Fighters sketches is my favourite ever bit of Little Britain.

    “Fat Fighters meets once a week. Those in attendance have managed to steal themselves away from eating for an hour to talk about food. The greedy fuckers.”

  67. G&T Admin

    I always enjoyed Tom proudly proclaiming that Britain “invented the cat”.

  68. G&T Admin

    I wonder where they got the idea to have Tom Baker providing a surreal voice-over on a sketch show? Hmm?

  69. G&T Admin

    ?blah blah??Lee and Herring actually invented the world??blah blah?

    Lee and Herring’s contribution to post-80s comedy is as big as Rob and Doug’s contribution to to pre-90s comedy, and gets about as much recognition. In fact, even fewer people are aware that they were part of On The Hour than are aware that Rob and Doug were head writers of Spitting Image.

  70. …blah blah…”also initiated the Big Bang”…blah blah…

  71. On Bender’s Big Score:

    However I feel it has to cope with been in a position where they can?t reboot the franchise as it has not been gone long enough, but they have to cater for new audiences as well as the existing fanbase. Hence it seems to me to have the feel of a greatest hits album, all the classics are there but we?ve heard (seen) most of them before.

    I like you, Daff (in fact I like all of you. Some of you. Well, one of you. Maybe…) so don’t take offense…

    …but I don’t think you could be more wrong. Keep an eye on NTS as I plan to review it in-depth at some point this week…but I thought it was amaaaaaazing.

  72. In fact, even fewer people are aware that they were part of On The Hour than are aware that Rob and Doug were head writers of Spitting Image.

    But at least Rob and Doug let them repeat their material when they left the show…

  73. G&T Admin

    Rob and Doug never had any battles about character ownership though, did they?

  74. ?but I don?t think you could be more wrong. Keep an eye on NTS as I plan to review it [Bender’s Big Score] in-depth at some point this week?but I thought it was amaaaaaazing.

    I thought it was fun, but disappointing.

  75. Nah…I’d say it was flawed, yes, but fantastic. If that was dissapointing, I’d be really curious to know what you were expecting!

  76. > Lee and Herring?s contribution to post-80s comedy is as big as Rob and Doug?s contribution to to pre-90s comedy, and gets about as much recognition. In fact, even fewer people are aware that they were part of On The Hour than are aware that Rob and Doug were head writers of Spitting Image.

    People drone on about Lee and Herring far too much. Sure they were involved in On The Hour but The Day Today was at least its equal and Alan Partridge’s major successes came after they departed the scene. They MAY have had the idea to have the Alan Partridge character but it was down to Coogan, Marber, Baynham, Iannucci etc. that he is remembered now.

    Comparing L&H to Rob and Doug is way off. Rob and Doug wrote a show which is still celebrated 20 years on whilst the stuff which L&H created is largely forgotten.

  77. G&T Admin

    Nick, do you realise how many jokes and phrases L&H introduced into the comedy vernacular? ‘I see what you did there’ just being one. I don’t think anyone’s claiming that Alan Partridge’s success is all down to them, but they played a large part in his development. Also, part of the point Ian was making was that hardly ANYONE ‘drones’ on about L&H, despite them being just as funny as the team they left, mainly because of the lack of repeats and DVD releases of Fist of Fun and TMWRNJ. People have short memories; the reason why Red Dwarf and The Day Today/Alan Partridge are remembered is because they’ve been repeated and commercially released. The lack of this for L&H’s stuff isn’t their fault.

  78. > People have short memories; the reason why Red Dwarf and The Day Today/Alan Partridge are remembered is because they?ve been repeated and commercially released.

    But why have they been repeated and commercially released? Because people wanted to see them in large numbers. The same can’t be said for the stuff that Lee and Herring have done.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like them both as writers and performers but if you are judging writers on the contribution that they have made, then the fact that people have forgotten the shows that they worked on doesn’t speak well for them.

    They have certainly worked on some stuff which has a cult fanbase but that hardly amounts to the same contribution that Rob and Doug made with Dwarf and Spitting Image.

  79. I hate to do it, but I have to agree. They may be fantastic, but ‘people’ haven’t heard of their stuff in the way they recall, say, Spitting Image, or Dwarf. Or, let’s face it, even Little Britain…

    That’s no slight on the content, just the popularity – which may be successfully cultish and meme-y, but it never crossed over in the way other stuff has. Which, okay, is down to lack of exposure. But as Nick says, it’s not like the viewing public have been demanding their stuff.

    Still, it’s awfully nice to be seeing TMWRNJ again online…

  80. G&T Admin

    I don’t quite follow the argument that they can’t have made a big contribution to the world of comedy because they weren’t hugely popular. They were part of On The Hour, they invented Alan Partridge, and apart from specifics like that, their influence can be seen today in all sorts of places. The example that kicked off this strange argument – Little Britain using Tom Baker for their voice-over, just like L&H did for Lionel Nimrod’s Inexplicable World – isn’t a particularly great example, but it’s one that sticks in the throat. A couple of years ago, Rich wanted to use Tom Baker in a radio show, only to be told that the idea was a bit too Little Britain. Which would be like Rob and Doug being told that a new series of Red Dwarf would be a bit too Hyperdrive.

    But take a look at That Mitchell and Webb Look. It doesn’t rip Lee and Herring off by any means, but you can clearly see the influence, mainly in the idiolect but in some of the subject matter too – that Jesus sketch was pure Sunday Heroes! As Tanya says, catchphrases and sentence structures have sneaked into the comedy lexicon, from “I am X, I am!” to the simple “aaaaaaaaaaah!”. Even outside of comedy, their work is reflected – egg.com used the phrase “you want the moon on a stick” in their advertising a few years ago, and (as I found out yesterday via the wife’s new job) Carphone Warehouse’s monthly staff competitions are called “Fists of Fun”!

    The Rob and Doug comparison was overstated, certainly, but it was based on the fact that Rob and Doug played a huge part in making Spitting Image what it was, and are now completely ignored by recent attempts to chronicle the show. Similarly, Lee and Herring were pioneers of 90s comedy, and yet now only real comedy buffs know that they did anything other than the Rod Hull sketches. Did they have has much influence as Morris and Iannucci? Definitely not, but they were part of the same stable, and it’s completely unfair that they’re ignored like this.

    This has gone a bit out of hand from me pointing out that Little Britain use an idea that L&H used first. But still.

    Oh, and I find it incredible that none of Lee and Herring’s stuff has been released on DVD. Fair enough, TMWRNJ is probably a bit specialist, but Fist of Fun was a big flagship Friday night BBC2 comedy, and it *was* hugely popular at the time.

  81. Sure they were involved in On The Hour but The Day Today was at least its equal

    The Day Today is too repetitive compared to On The Hour.

  82. Unsung they may be, but I think we’re stuck between L&H evangelisism and utter non-recognition. Either they’re ignored for what is, I concur, often infulential (if not always ‘great’) stuff…or we get stuck listening to comedy fans who insist they’re directly responsible for evolution. Or something.

    The M&W sketch you mention, so far as I’m aware, passed almost unnoticed – adside from fans making L&H comparrisons! – but that’s neither here nor there. The problem is you’re preaching to the already-aware, we just disagree on extent…and possible quality.

    > “moon on a stick”/?Fists of Fun?!

    Did they invent the former? I was under the serious impression that it was a phrase already doing the rounds. And is the latter likely to be a reference? Seems more likely to be a fairly obvious choice for a bit of catch alliteration to me.

    But then Rob and Doug hardly ‘invented’ smeg, did they?

  83. G&T Admin

    I think what we’re most disagreed on is your view that L&H fans are constantly wittering on about them being gods. While it’s true that they are gods, I’ve very rarely experienced that. I do take up a rather defensive stance when I talk about them, but that’s because I have to when I’m talking to most people, because most people are idiots who won’t have heard of them. But your response to my initial mention of them was what pushed me into rabid fan mode.

    As for the moon on a stick, I’ve done a quick bit of ‘research’ (searching for “moon on a stick” on Google), and I can’t find any usage that predates Fist of Fun. Apparently, Rich has said in some interview or other that they didn’t invent it themselves, but I can’t seem to find out who did. But still, any reference made it the phrase now is almost definitely thanks to L&H, and I can’t believe for a second that a company would come up with the phrase “Fist of Fun” completely independently, with not one person making the connection.

  84. Yeah, Andrew’s right about “moon on a stick” – it’s only an L&H catchphrase if you’re an L&H fan. Otherwise… it’s just a saying, and a pretty old one, at that.

  85. > But your response to my initial mention of them was what pushed me into rabid fan mode.

    Ironic, given that it was a joke about the way L&H fans easily become so rabid… :-)

    > I can?t believe for a second that a company would come up with the phrase ?Fist of Fun? completely independently

    I totally disagree. I get why it’d seem that way – but it’s a very, very simple phrase to land on. The nature of the language. Sure it’ll have come up in clearances or whatever, but at that point it appears in spite of L&H, not because of them.

  86. G&T Admin

    Ironic, given that it was a joke about the way L&H fans easily become so rabid? :-)

    Similarly, Red Dwarf fans are all spotty virgins.

  87. G&T Admin

    L&H were responsible for a lot of the early Alan Partridge stuff. Which is pretty damn influencial. They never, ever get enough credit for that.

    Also: isn’t the point that whilst they never crossed over into the mainstream, they were *very* influencial in terms of other comedy writers? That’s not to say that every specific example in this thread is an example of that – I don’t think it is, and the original Little Britain comparison doesn’t convince me (although I wouldn’t like to say one way or the other – we just don’t know) – but they were always very much comedians comedians.

    And phrases like “I see what you did there” – that’s L&H, and loads of people have used that since.

    Nobody’s saying that they INVENTED COMEDY. But influencial? Yes. Unsung? Yes!

  88. John, John, John, John. It’s “influential”. With a “t”. ;-)

  89. And phrases like ?I see what you did there? – that?s L&H, and loads of people have used that since.

    I VERY much doubt that the entire widespread use of that phrase, particularly all over the internet and among Americans, is entirely down to Lee and Herring. I would lay decent money on it having been in use long before they did.

    But still, any reference made [to “moon on a stick”] now is almost definitely thanks to L&H

    Bollocks it is. Old people use that phrase. It’s been around for donkeys’ years.

  90. G&T Admin

    I’VE BEEN SPELLING THAT WRONG FOR (26 – HOWEVER LONG I DIDN’T WRITE FOR) YEARS

  91. G&T Admin

    I VERY much doubt that the entire widespread use of that phrase, particularly all over the internet and among Americans, is entirely down to Lee and Herring. I would lay decent money on it having been in use long before they did.

    Well, I’ll admit that I can only speak from my experience. It’s notoriously difficult to pin down where phrases, sayings, and jokes come from in any case. It would be interesting to do some proper research on it.

    But I do think, in terms of 90s comedy, and the influence L&H has had on other comedians, their importance is inarguable.

  92. Well, yeah, I agree with you on the latter point. I just don’t think that countless American teenagers using ISWYDT all over the internet is a direct result of an obscure early ’90s British comedy series ;-)

    And they really, absolutely, one hundred per cent definitely weren’t the first people ever to use “moon on a stick”, unless they got a time machine and said it to me during my childhood.

  93. G&T Admin

    Nobody’s saying that L&H invented these phrases. In fact, I agree that they definitely didn’t. But they definitely popularised them, which is undeniable. They use them as catchphrases, they become memes, and then everyone knows them. In the same way, the phrase “am I bothered?” existed before Catherine Tate used it, but its continued popular use is down to her, and her stupid face.

  94. G&T Admin

    It’s hard to pin a popular phrase down to one source, definitely, as many people could conceivably come up with the same thing at the same time and Lee & Herring could well have got it from somewhere. But I don’t find it completely unbelievable that the phrase “I see what you did there” travelled from Lee & Herring to Lee & Herring fans on the Internet to the rest of the world through other people’s writing and general osmosis. It’s not that far fetched and idea, is it? What’s more L&H *were* the first people to really put it out as a catchphrase and hang some really cracking jokes from it. And, despite what’s been said here, Fist of Fun was *very* popular on broadcast. It certainly had enough momentum to start trends.

    On a more subjective level: if you don’t think Lee & Herring are among the greatest comedians of all time then you’re wrong and you’re a grotesquely ugly freak.

  95. They popularised them, yes – but only among certain people. Admittedly most of the people that YOU encounter tend to be among those certain people, but still. You said : “any reference made it the phrase now is almost definitely thanks to L&H”, and I simply don’t agree with that. Use of “ISWYDT” in particular is simply TOO widespread to attribute solely to L&H.

    But this quibbling over semantics is getting away from the main point, which is that L&H were highly influential on ’90s British comedy. Which they undeniably were, and in a largely unheralded fashion. And Lee is still one of the most important stand-ups working today.

    I bet Andrew wishes he’d never started this, now… ;-)

  96. G&T Admin

    > They popularised them, yes – but only among certain people. Admittedly most of the people that YOU encounter tend to be among those certain people, but still. You said : ?any reference made it the phrase now is almost definitely thanks to L&H?, and I simply don?t agree with that. Use of ?ISWYDT? in particular is simply TOO widespread to attribute solely to L&H.

    Like I said, though, it’s REALLY hard to be sure about this. It’s guessing from both sides and, to be honest, no one knows the true word of mouth powers the Internet has. What is a true, though, is Lee & Herring and Internet go way back due to NOTBBC’s Rob Sedgebeer. Back far enough to transfer L&Hisms into popular use that people could pick up from, certainly.

    I’m not saying it did happen, but it’s definitely possible.

    Fully agreed on your second paragraph, though.

  97. G&T Admin

    By the way: active Lee & Herring talk on G&T = massively arousing.

  98. G&T Admin

    I think the lack of repeats for L&H’s stuff badly, badly hurt their chances of being remembered by a mainstream audience. To take an extreme example – Fawlty Towers only really took off after the repeats of the first series. It often takes repeats for something to really enter the public consciousness.

  99. > Similarly, Red Dwarf fans are all spotty virgins.

    Yes. That’s absolutely exactly the same. In all possible respects.

    Anyway…

    People may use ‘moon on a stick’ – a pre-existing phrase, as Seb says – but if those people have never heard of Lee and Herring, which is the majority of users, is it in any way still ‘theirs’? People aren’t saying it out of love for their work. Does it count as impressive influence?

    ‘All your base’ gets everywhere, doesn’t make the translators brilliant.

    If L&H didn’t coin it, they are only part of the meme, passing it along from small audience to medium audience. Yes it’s smartly done and zeitgeisty, it shows them as being smart in those areas, but I don’t think it’s persuasive as evidence of their pervasive influence on the culture.

    > I bet Andrew wishes he?d never started this, now? ;-)

    Indeed. But then, it kinda became self-fullfilling prophesy…

    (For the record, for me, they’re okay. They’re funny. Not always to my taste, but that’s not rare – surely it’s the reason the DVDs and repeats are not forthcoming?)

  100. G&T Admin

    Not always to my taste, but that?s not rare – surely it?s the reason the DVDs and repeats are not forthcoming?

    As far as I’m aware, the reason for the lack of repeats – especially Fist Of Fun, which is more repeat-friendly – is political stuff within the BBC. And without repeats, they get forgotten by audiences – and so that explains the lack of DVDs.

    I don’t intend to argue the phrases stuff any more, as it’s woolly and impossible to prove in any case. (Although I’d love to do more research on it.) But I certainly think they had an important influence on British comedy, with or without all that kind of stuff. I’m not saying above anyone else – that would be stupid and wrong – but just that they made an important contribution. I seriously think that’s inarguable.

  101. G&T Admin

    Speaking of L&H, I saw them in Derby once on one of their tours – and it’s probably the time I have most laughed ever in my life. I *literally* (and I wouldn’t misuse that word in a L&H discussion) had trouble breathing – I just couldn’t stop. (Other times where I’ve had that problem include: at The IT Crowd recording of The Work Outing, and the Dwarf line “I need it to turn the lights on and off.”)

    At that gig, Rich also gave the best ever response I’ve ever seen to a heckler: “Yeah? Well, I think you’re a cunt.”

  102. I think at some point a Fist of Fun video was coming – a lot of 1996-era comedy videos feature Fist of Fun in a trail at the start.

    Some of the horror stories about the way Lee and Herring were treated though, should serve as a wake up call to other performers about copyright, ownerships and residuals on their work.

    With my political hat on, one of the problems we’re facing with the BBC right now around iPlayer is that while a lot of people are making a steady income from their residuals, others like Lee and Herring, are making no such money from repeats of Fist of Fun, etc. A lot of the third party rights owners for shows made for the BBC are sticking their heels in over iPlayer, insisting on various forms of Digital Restrictions Management before their shows can be rebroadcast.

    (I don’t know if Red Dwarf is or isn’t on iPlayer, as I haven’t used it, and this not aimed at Andrew.)

  103. G&T Admin

    I think at some point a Fist of Fun video was coming – a lot of 1996-era comedy videos feature Fist of Fun in a trail at the start.

    There was an awful live video out, but nothing to do with the BBC.

  104. >Yeah, Andrew?s right about ?moon on a stick? – it?s only an L&H catchphrase if you?re an L&H fan. Otherwise? it?s just a saying, and a pretty old one, at that.

    Windsor Davies in Never the Twain.

    I used to enjoy L&H very much, saw them on tour twice back in the day and was one of the few lucky people who ended up chatting in the bar with them after the TMWRNJ gig at Stafford Gatehouse.
    I’m a big fan of their work and aknowledge their importance in the general evolution of comedy into much of what we have today, but I do kind of resent the idea that L&H fans run around like gobshites going on about how brilliant they are.
    In fact I think this may be the first time I have ever mentioned L&H on the internet! and in all the time I have known Ian I think we’ve had one, very brief conversation about them resulting from me showing him a L&H tour programme.

    Yes L&H were bloody great and very important, but as history teaches us it’s mostly the really important people that are forgotten, the unsung heroes if you will.
    I mean how many nobel prize winners can you name? and who can tell me who Philip Vaughn was without googling or wiki’ing it? and he invented pretty much the most important thing in the last 500 years!

    As for DVD releases, well I would be very suprised.
    Until I met this bunch of freaks anyone I mentioned Fist of Fun to looked at me like I’d just shat in their breakfast.

  105. G&T Admin

    And – in a neat circle – either Smeg Ups or Smeg Outs has that exact trail at the start, with a clip from Fist of Fun. “In your case, what women want is someone else, isn’t it Rich?”

  106. God, I remember that! And I had NO IDEA who they were at the time.

    For a minute, though, I misread your post and thought that the original BBC video trails were on Just the Smegs. That would have been fantastic ;-)

  107. G&T Admin

    Of course, the ironic thing about all this (aaaaah!), is that Lee and Herring hate Red Dwarf

  108. G&T Admin

    Odd, seeing as that clip never appeared on any BBC released video. What exactly was it trailing, anyway?

  109. G&T Admin

    What exactly was it trailing, anyway?

    BBC Comedy on BBC Video. It included clips from loads of shows. Hancock’s “Something for the benefit of the country as a whole!” always stuck with me. It’s an excellently put together trail, actually, and includes Dwarf clips.

    I’m getting my DVD recorder back tomorrow – I’ll capture the trail and stick it up in the Downloads section.

  110. G&T Admin

    Of course, the ironic thing about all this (aaaaah!), is that Lee and Herring hate Red Dwarf?

    I don’t have the internet, Rich, because I have no interest in child pornography *or* Red Dwarf…

  111. Bah, I miss all the fun.

    My belated contribution to this thread: L+H are awesome.

    Repeatedly seeing that BBC Comedy trailer got extremely frustrating in the days before easy access to the internet. Was there a Fist of Fun compilation Video that had been released and wasn’t available in any shops? Um, no. It was just astonishingly bad marketing by the BBC.

  112. G&T Admin

    > BBC Comedy on BBC Video.

    Yeah, but that clip was from Fist of Fun 1 and that was never released on BBC Video, was it?

  113. G&T Admin

    Yeah, but that clip was from Fist of Fun 1 and that was never released on BBC Video, was it?

    No. Presumably – as matt says – they intended to release it… and then didn’t.

  114. > There was an awful live video out, but nothing to do with the BBC.

    It was released by BBC Worldwide.

  115. Use of ?ISWYDT? in particular is simply TOO widespread to attribute solely to L&H.

    I’ve never seen it outside UK discussions. Or in fact ever in any discussion, except here and a couple of other places. I think it’s less widespread than you think.

  116. I’ve definitely seen it in other discussion groups. In fact, I just assumed it was an “internet thing” since I’d seen it elsewhere and then found it popping up here.

  117. The Fist Of Fun clip in that trailer *was* to promote the live video, but the thing they were actually flogging wasn’t ready in time for clippage.

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