At 11:45pm on Christmas Day, BBC One showed the brilliantly-named programme Comedy Bloopers. I do hope you all enjoyed the BBC’s other offerings over Christmas: Sci-Fi Drama, Period Drama, and Some People Dancing.
As G&T is on reduced power over Christmas, I think I’ll just toss out the cliche that it was undemanding fun, perfect for the end of a drunken evening, without really being that original or brilliantly put together. (Compare it with early It’ll Be Alright On The Night episodes for how you really make this kind of show into something special, but I digress.) One thing that was pleasing about it however, is that it included a wide range of comedy, across different decades, rather than just concentrating on old or modern stuff. It’s fun to see a Two Ronnies clip right next to Citizen Khan – or indeed, an Inbetweeners clip right next to Red Dwarf VI.
Oh yeah, clips of Red Dwarf. And what would a G&T article be without a pointless list of them?
- (10:53) The crew take “evasive action”, but fail to react to the camera tilting, from Legion. (Craig’s “Sorry, we weren’t ready” is snipped, however.)
- (20:54) Danny John-Jules DOES A BIG DIBBLEY listing things to Ace Rimmer, from Emohawk. The whiteouts between takes are replaced with a brief drop to black, as per other multiple takes in the programme. I like that they bothered to have a house style with this.
- (24:35) Cat sticks a finger up at Rimmer, and Craig Charles stalls the motorbike like an ARSEHOLE, from Better than Life. This includes the guitar library music, indicating it was taken directly from the Smeg Outs release (or the Series 2 DVD compilation taken from Smeg Outs). Weird that GNP added that music to an outtake, really, when there’s no music on that clip in the episode itself.
- (28:14) A very brief clip of Robert Llewellyn saying “Lor-lar-lor-lar” from Rimmerworld, in a montage featuring people making silly noises. (This montage was undoubtedly the weakest part of the whole show, so it’s annoying that that’s how they chose to end the programme.)
Oh, and there’s also an amusing clip from Bottom at 12:25, with Robert Llewellyn skulking in the background.
Sadly, all the clips from 4:3 shows were zoomed and cropped to 16:9, so I expect you all to write to the BBC and demand a refund on your licence fee. What I did find genuinely upsetting was the clips from Up the Women and House of Fools, which reminded me that the BBC cancelled two of their best audience sitcoms in years in 2015. Merry fucking Christmas.
Here’s the odd thing about the show, though. Despite me making fun of the name, there is at least a reason why they didn’t just revive the Auntie’s Bloomers title – there were plenty of clips from non-BBC shows as well. It’s profoundly odd – albeit not in a bad way – to have clips from The IT Crowd, Black Books, and of all things Spaced, suddenly pop up on BBC One on Christmas Day.
But then, the weird thing about comedy is how it manages to avoid traditional scheduling rules. The only exposure the general public will usually get of old television presentation is when it shows up in an old sketch show parody. Old comedy is dragged out for repeats far more often than old drama – or, indeed, any other genre of television. And clip shows like these mean that Red Dwarf – despite being abandoned by the BBC – will suddenly show up on BBC One on one of the most important broadcasting days of the year. Comedy lives on in the pop culture memory in a way that so many other things don’t.
Bollocks. I added some insight by mistake. Shit shit shit.