Back to the Podium for Back to Earth?

Well, YOU try thinking of snappy titles, then. Anyway, Back to Earth has been shortlisted for the MediaGuardian award for Best Non-Terrestrial Programme; an interesting and no doubt shortly-to-be-outdated category, especially as two of the other shows on the list, Being Human and The Inbetweeners, are being repeated on the respective terrestrial channels.

Dave is also up for Best Non-Terrestrial channel, an encouraging recognition of its original content in These Difficult Times. Who’s going to make the final decision? Why, the live Edinburgh festival audience, of course, and ideally, it’s hosted by Michael McIntyre, the comedian for those who don’t really like comedy very much.

But that’s not all! The sound work on BTE is up for the Conch Award (clever), against such titans of audio pleasure as Top Gear and the MTV European Music Awards, which will be announced on September 22nd.

Ah, bless TOS and its doing-our-work-for-us…

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82 Responses to Back to the Podium for Back to Earth?

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  1. > Michael McIntyre, the comedian for those who don?t really like comedy very much.

    Say what?

  2. On account of him being even shitter than Jimmy Carr.

  3. And of having a voice pitch that makes you want to scratch your eyes out with the blunt, twisted edge of a rusty coke* can.

    *Add alcoholic/soft drink brand of your choice.

  4. G&T Admin

    scratch your eyes out with the blunt, twisted edge of a rusty coke* can.

    …Is this a reference to me not being married?

  5. I’m getting married in the morning
    Ding-dong the bells are going to ring

  6. G&T Admin

    Thank god someone understood the reference. Otherwise I would have looked rather foolish. *Eats finger*

  7. G&T Admin

    At least Jimmy Carr has some good jokes on occasion. I’ve sat there watching McIntyre with my mouth open, wondering how he gets away with such lazy, obvious material. The only people I know who like him don’t generally watch comedy that much, hence my conclusion!

  8. I love comedy and watch little else, yet I think McIntyre is funny. But then I do like his delivery; I think he’s the marmite of comedians at the moment – you love him or hate him.

    Contrastingly (as he was brought up), I think Jimmy Carr has very good material but I HATE his delivery.

  9. I quite like McIntyre. Although he is getting a little ubiquitous.
    I can see why some people wouldn’t like him, though, as the humour is not particularly clever or challenging. But I do find him funny.

    Jimmy Carr, however, I’ve recently developed an intense dislike for, material and delivery.

  10. > Best Non-Terrestrial Programme;

    I read “Best Extra-Terrestrial Programme”

  11. I like McIntyre his energy and excitement make his performances enjoyable. I can’t stand Jimmy Carr, he’s a greasy haired twat.

  12. > I read ?Best Extra-Terrestrial Programme?

    Can we have this instead, please?

  13. G&T Admin

    I like both Michael McIntyre and have met Jimmy Carr after a show. He’s a very nice guy.

    That is all.

  14. The worst thing about Jimmy Carr is his laugh, which sounds like a dog being throttled.

  15. I have a friend on the circuit who shared a bill with Mr McIntyre before his recent surge in popularity and apparently he’s a bit of an egotistical knob. Saying backstage “One day young (insert my friends name), you might be as funny as me”. Ironic then that he’s now the host of Comedy Roadshow. Sour grapes on my friends part? It’s possible. Still as I’ve never particularly rated him as a comic ever since I saw him 4ish years ago at the Frog and Bucket in Manchester (sharing the bill with Norman Lovett – whoever that is), it doesn’t do much to improve him in my estimation. Here endeth my story.

  16. Both McIntyre (‘who is this man, is he Chinese, I don’t know!!’) and Jimmy Carr (*insert paedophile gag*) are fucking awful. Oh wait but they’re not. For a minute there I thought I had the taste of pathetic comedy snobbery caught in the back of my throat like a globule of recently deployed seminal fluid.

    HA HA HA HAH HA HA. That’s the sound of my girlfriend and I laughing at Jimmy Carr In Concert earlier. Frankly that’s all that matters to me. Thousands of people up and down the country are not wrong (about this, at least). Neither Carr or Michael McIntyre are anywhere near the best at their job, but at least you don’t have to be either out of your skull to enjoy them or ready to accept delivery more akin to a Masonic handshake than genuine humour. Oh it’s funny because it’s between the third and fourth knuckle. It’s funny because someone on my ‘level’ said it. It’s funny because we’ve just paid ?70 for a lifestyle lecture. It’s funny because it’s racist.

  17. I find that sometimes Jimmy Carr is amusing, and most of the time he isn’t. He has some fantastic gags which are ruined by his delivery – he’s very mechanical, as though his routine were being delivered by Stephen Hawking’s laptop.

  18. Jimmy Carr is undeniably very clever and witty. I’m not much of a fan of his stand-up but when being interviewed or when on a panel show, some of the off-the-cuff stuff he comes up with is hilarious. Michael McIntyre I also enjoy, and I generally think of myself as a bit of a comedy snob. He picks on some clich? subjects but he does them well. A lot of people I know who enjoy McIntyre have shelves of comedy DVDs like myself so he’s not just one for people who don’t like comedy very much.

    I believe those stand-ups are ones like Alan Carr & Russel Brand who are beyond shite. IMO.

  19. G&T Admin

    The secret to comments; make a vaguely ‘controversial’ statement that has nothing that much to do with the subject matter…

  20. No offense meant, but is that really a secret? It’s basically standard operating procedure for the whole of the internet, as far as I’ve seen. (That qualifies as my “vaguely controversial comment”, right?)

  21. > make a vaguely ?controversial? statement that has nothing that much to do with the subject matter?

    All religious people are gay.

  22. My favourite Lois & Clark episode is the one with the frog eating clone.

  23. Once more I have no idea what the conversation is about.

    Proceed.

  24. >I think he?s the marmite of comedians at the moment – you love him or hate him.

    I fucking HATE this comparison, I hate it more when people use it about themselves though.

  25. “You either love it or hate it.” That’s true of pretty much everything though, surely?

  26. >>I think he?s the marmite of comedians at the moment – you love him or hate him.

    >I fucking HATE this comparison, I hate it more when people use it about themselves though.

    Yeh, the marmite comparison is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it.

  27. G&T Admin

    ?You either love it or hate it.? That?s true of pretty much everything though, surely?

    I am healthily ambivalent about a great many things.

  28. And I’m indifferent about a great many things.

    There are many, many shades between “love” and “hate”. And, while there are quite a few things that tend to polarise people towards those extremes (Marmite being the archetypical example, perhaps, to the point that even their ads play on it these days), it’s certainly NOT true that you must either “love” or “hate” “pretty much everything”.

  29. G&T Admin

    > I am healthily ambivalent about a great many things.

    Including Marmite?

  30. I am actually entirely indifferent to Marmite. I wouldn’t seek it out but if someone fed it to me I wouldn’t instantly DIE.

  31. G&T Admin

    What if it was Coconut Marmite? Delivered by a wasp waiter?

  32. > Yeh, the marmite comparison is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it.

    I particularly hate it when people use that comparison referring to themselves – ‘I’m mad me, people either love me or hate me!’ or similar. It’s like piss off with your social defense mechanisms, coward.

  33. > ?I?m mad me, people either love me or hate me!?

    For some reason I pictured Donna from Doctor Who saying that.

  34. >Neither Carr or Michael McIntyre are anywhere near the best at their job, but at least you don?t have to be either out of your skull to enjoy them

    This.

    I was laughing my head off at the BBC’s edit of the Live and Laughing DVD the other night, despite the fact that I’ve seen the DVD a couple of times.

  35. See, I’d say that you DO need to be out of your skull to enjoy Michael McIntyre, because you need SOMETHING to dull the pain of his horrendous strangled-cat delivery. I can’t bear to watch him for more than about two minutes – I’ve no idea how people stand him for an hour or more at a time.

  36. >Yeh, the marmite comparison is like marmite, you either love it or you hate it.

    :-)))

  37. There’s an advert on one of the satellite channels for a McIntyre gig where he talks about how bizarre the lyrics to “Sex on Fire” are. I don’t think I’ve seen such an uninspired routine since I caught a bit of The Catherine Tate show.

    In his next gig, McIntyre will be discussing the crazy lyrics to “Yellow Submarine”.

  38. It would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that Michael McIntyre had done gags about any of the following :

    the inedibility of airline food
    the inability of women drivers
    the difficulty of setting up video recorders
    the fact that men refuse to ask for directions
    why the chicken crossed the road
    caravans
    the lyrics to Alanis Morrissette’s “Ironic”
    the fact that “abbreviation” is such a long word
    the fact that “dyslexia” is such a hard word to spell

  39. > I was laughing my head off at the BBC?s edit of the Live and Laughing DVD the other night, despite the fact that I?ve seen the DVD a couple of times.

    I wouldn’t say it was the funniest gig I’ve ever seen, but I still enjoyed it. Then afterwards I turned over to watch Jimmy Carr and found myself turning it off after the first few minutes. His delivery is almost painful to watch.

  40. Seb, I’ve never seen McIntyre cover any of those subjects.

    PP3, I thought that ‘Sex On Fire’ routine is just a link between acts when McIntyre was compere… you can’t really judge that, you’re not supposed to belt out your best and most “inspired” material when you’re the compere.

  41. >you?re not supposed to belt out your best and most ?inspired? material when you?re the compere.

    No, but you could at least try to be amusing.

  42. Fairly sure he *was* trying to be funny, being a comedian and all, and it was probably current in the context of the time of filming… it’s a bit obvious but it’s not entirely unamusing.

  43. It’s current now as that song still gets a shitload of airplay. Unfortunately, topical doesn’t equal “inspired” or “smart”. It’s the sort of observation you’d make to your mates in the pub but it’s pretty weak material for a paying audience.

    If you find it amusing, that’s great but don’t excuse it by saying the gig doesn’t deserve his best material, especially when it ‘s filmed for television.

  44. I once had sex under an electric blanket. Now THAT’S obviously what the Sellouts of Leon are on about in that song.

  45. >Seb, I?ve never seen McIntyre cover any of those subjects.

    Gosh, it’s almost as if I was being satirical.

  46. Yes, I am aware you were listing cliched topics or famous routines, but I haven’t seen McIntyre really churn out all that much in the way of tired topics or cliches.

  47. I just think he makes very obvious observations – there’s nothing particularly insightful or cutting about his work.

    Which is fine if you like that kind of thing (and if you like his voice), it just baffles me how he’s SO popular. The biggest standups usually have SOME kind of an edge to them, y’know?

  48. I don’t know that he’s SO popular, it’s just that he seems to be the BBC’s comedian of choice at the moment having taken over their stand-up showcase. It makes sense for them to feature their main comedy guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s hugely popular… a lot of people feel the same way as you.

    There’s always a backlash against the most featured comedians, especially BBC guys because they seem to be part of the “establishment” which is never cool in comedy circles. How many comedians over the years have been highly featured by the BBC, yet not favoured amongst comedy fans? Ben Elton, Lenny Henry, Russ Abbott, Jasper Carrott… just add McIntyre to the list.

    Comedy seems to have a rebellious undercurrent, and comedy fans tend to migrate towards the underdog or the guys who are “underrated”… comedy fans also, it seems, like to feel like they are part of an exclusive club being a fan of a certain comedian or style of comedy you don’t get to see in prime time on a Saturday night… and those who do make it there inherently tend to lack the kind of “edge” you’re looking for, and maybe that is intrinsically *because* they’re on prime time BBC television; if they were anything other than middle-of-the-road, they wouldn’t be there. It’s “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” for the BBC comedy establishment.

    I happen to think that, given the position he has shifted himself into, McIntyre does a good job of putting together a stand up act with broad appeal and a lot of laughs, despite the self-imposed restrictions his kind of comedy/position entail.

  49. I don?t know that he?s SO popular, it?s just that he seems to be the BBC?s comedian of choice at the moment having taken over their stand-up showcase.

    Fastest-selling debut stand-up DVD of all time, apparently. Sells out arenas. He’s pretty bloody popular.

    Middle-of-the-road can be funny, anyway. Tommy Cooper was a family entertainer, and also one of the absolute greatest comedians of all time (and hell, those four you mention? The majority of comedy fans who know their stuff would admit that they’ve all been funny at SOME point in their career). And of the present crop, there are comedians who do “clean” perfectly well and are very good at it – Tim Vine springs to mind.

    When I talk about good comedians having an “edge”, I’m not talking about being “edgy”. I mean just having something that actually sets them apart or marks them out. And I just don’t think McIntyre does anything special – I’m not saying he’s desperately unfunny, he’s just completely uninspired, turning out the same sort of observational comedy you could see in any club or pub, anywhere. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have a career, I’m just baffled that he seems to have struck a chord with so many people.

    I’m not sure what you’re on about with talking about the “BBC establishment”, though, because there really isn’t one. Comedy is pretty disparate, and it’s not like there’s loads of the stuff on the BBC. Heck, the closest there’s been to a unified “group” of comedians (standup, at least, as opposed to sketch and sitcom troupes like the Green Wing/Iannucci/Pegg/Linehan etc. stables) over the last couples of decades was the “alternative” lot of the ’80s!

  50. Bring back The Stand-Up Show, I say.

  51. Yes!

    Or, rather, No!

    EDIT: Sorry, thought that said “The Sketch Show”

  52. G&T Admin

    Red Dwarf’s been nominated for some awards? That’s quite brilliant!

  53. G&T Admin

    None, because she can’t do impressions.

  54. I’d probably just give her a good felch.

    Or I’d get scared and just tell her to do Carol Smilie. With a strap-on. Then she’s pegging me and I’m loving it.

  55. >Ronni Ancona? what impression would you get her to do?

    A big dirty hooker.

  56. It’s great news that Dwarf is once again in a position of nomination for awards and I happen to like Michael McIntyre, so hey, good news all round (as far as I’m concerned).

    I’ve no idea who Ronni Ancona is but I’m sure sure she’s a nubile young lady judging by the comments.

    It’s interesting reading other site comments like ‘Shooting Stars’ given that I find it to be purile and childish but somehow strangely watchable!
    Perhaps age is catching up with me and I’m seeing things in a different light but maybe it’s time to move on on to other things and enjoy Dwarf etc from a distance.

    The thought of waking up one day and finding out I’m thought of as a grumpy old git fills me with dread.

  57. The Wire – which is excellent – won for non-terrestrial show.

    Discuss.

  58. Haven’t seen it, so I can’t really be the judge.

  59. It’s not so much the quality of the thing – which is pretty much ‘impressive as all hell’ – as the nature of the show. Fifth series (doesn’t seem to be noted anywhere, but assume it can only be that series, rather than ‘all of The Wire versus one series of Being Human’), American import, currently showing on BBC2…

  60. > I don?t like it.

    Say what now?

    The Wire is a piece of awe-inspiringly brilliant genius.

    As to whether it should have been eligible at all..that whole category seems a bit tenuous at best. There is no common factor to base ones comparative on: 22 Episode American import drama, 6 Episode sitcom, Documentary series, BTE. In a ‘best sitcom category’ one knows that its a case of which the judges find funniest. The Wire doesn’t make me laugh often but BTE doesn’t give me the emotional sucker punch which The Wire delivers almost every time the credits role. Lousy category.

    > Fifth series

    I would assume so, the fifth series aired on FX in the latter half of 2008, I think.

  61. I’m fed up of this attitude that people have that if you don’t like The Wire, you’re a cretin who isn’t worth talking to. It’s possible to acknowledge that something is clearly a work of genuine class, but also that it’s simply not your cup of tea and you don’t really get on with it.

    I doubt there are many people who would say “The Wire is crap”, but that doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to say “I gave it a try, but it wasn’t really my thing so I stopped watching it”.

    Especially when the majority of people who hold this view – not everyone, I hasten to add, but certainly a lot – only discovered the bastard thing when the broadsheets started creaming their pants over it. It’s great television, sure, but if it’s the only great television you’ve bothered to try and discover in recent years (and yes, I’m aware that in posting on G&T I’m speaking largely to telly geeks, so I don’t mean you lot), you’re not really qualified to comment on the opinions of those of us with an active interest in the medium.

  62. I’m reading David Simon’s Homicide at the moment and regardless of whether people are fans of his TV shows – I’ve still only dipped into The Wire, loved what I saw, and am now awaiting the boxset; while the Homicide series blew me away in the 90s and remains on my all-time-favourite list – I highly recommend the true-life print version.

  63. > I?m fed up of this attitude that people have that if you don?t like The Wire, you?re a cretin who isn?t worth talking to.

    That certainly wasn’t my intent, just an off the cuff remark which I probably should have thought about first. Sorry.
    This is fascinating. It appears theres a bit of a stalemate, while as you say it has become the broadsheets darling, being a rabid fan, from my perspective it’s equally as frustrating with my friends being quite dismissive of it as a ‘hood show’ or ‘another cop show’ or ‘men in suits sitting around and talking’ depending on which 2 minutes they’ve seen or outright dismissing it because it’s garnered such rave reviews because a couple of my friends are extremely facetious like that (see the new Battlestar Galactica). As you say if people have given it a reasonable shot and found it’s not to their liking or don’t have the time to commit or are busy watching stuff which the Guardian doesn’t write about, then fine (unlike Radio Times’ Allison Graham). I think the main reason Wire fans are so often on the defensive is because we feel lonely, for all the plaudits I’ve met very few like minded ‘real people’.

  64. G&T Admin

    Wire fans haven’t been lonely for months, though. I’m still baffled that people still think it’s a tiny club when in reality there’s a fucking army of tedious fuckheads going on and on about it as if it’s the first brilliant TV show to ever exist.

  65. G&T Admin

    (NB: I’m not calling anyone in this thread a tedious fuckhead. Also, I’ve been known to evangelise The Wire to some extent, too.)

  66. Wire fans haven?t been lonely for months, though. I?m still baffled that people still think it?s a tiny club when in reality there?s a fucking army of tedious fuckheads going on and on about it as if it?s the first brilliant TV show to ever exist.

    This is my point (and no, I wasn’t calling anyone here a tedious fuckhead, either – Phil, it was more that your comment sparked a general point than it being aimed specifically at you). You go on about the brilliance of The Wire a fair bit – but you also talk about the brilliance of The West Wing, and Studio 60, and Lost, and House, and Doctor Who. In other words, you watch a lot of telly, and you know what’s good by virtue of having watched a lot of telly.

    But there are loads of people who suddenly reckon they’re TV experts, just because The Guardian told them to watch The Wire, and – to their shock and horror – it was actually brilliant. All of a sudden it’s the patronising “Wow! TV can actually be deep and moving and engaging and intelligent and character-driven!” and I just want to SHOUT IN THEIR STUPID FACES THAT IT’S BEEN DOING THAT FOR DECADES.

  67. I did give it a try, it just didn’t hold my attention… sorry! Not saying it’s shit, Cappsy and Ian love it. Just not my kind of thing.

  68. I think I have a subconscious tendancy to overlook the ‘hot’ shows of the moment for reasons I can’t explain. I am aware of the furore surrounding The Wire yet have never even attempted to watch it. I promise I’m not a stuck up culture-jammer, I just hate hyperbole.

    I was the same with The Sopranos… no matter how many people told me it was the best drama ever shown on TV (and a LOT of people did), I only started watching it for the very first time about three weeks ago.

    And yeah it’s good – very good – but it was never going to live up to that hype.

  69. > You go on about the brilliance of The Wire a fair bit – but you also talk about the brilliance of The West Wing, and Studio 60, and Lost, and House, and Doctor Who.

    Too many Phil’s on this board! That definitely wasn’t me as I only watch Who of those shows you mentioned, a different Phil perhaps? Still the point still stands, while I haven’t done it on this board I do use superlatives about whatevers exciting me at the moment Telly wise; last week it was 30 Rock, this week The Wire because I’m halfaway through a boxset.

    > All of a sudden it?s the patronising ?Wow! TV can actually be deep and moving and engaging and intelligent and character-driven!? and I just want to SHOUT IN THEIR STUPID FACES THAT IT?S BEEN DOING THAT FOR DECADES.

    True dat. I agree with your point. I think before I should have avoided using the collective ‘we’ with my lonely comments, I was merely saying amongst MY circle of friends, offline that is, no-one has seen The Wire and very often confuse it for The Shield – and my friends watch a lot of telly too. Thanks for letting me know I’m not a tedious fuckhead.

  70. >That definitely wasn?t me as I only watch Who of those shows you mentioned, a different Phil perhaps?

    No, I was replying to Cappsy, who I blockquoted ;-)

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