Jokes you don't/didn't get in other things that aren't Red Dwarf

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    In the League of Gentlemen’s ‘Go Johnny Go Go Go Go’ sketch, Mark Gatiss’ character complains that his mates only ever invite him to play [hopelessly obscure or made-up] games that only they know the rules to and he doesn’t [so they can win]. Then he gives a childhood example of when they used to put bets on Buckaroo.

    Did he not understand the rules to Buckaroo, a game that’s up there with Jenga and Pop-up Pirate in the complexity stakes? Did they lie about the rules or invent some convoluted additional ones? I love the scene up to that point, but that line’s always been the Buckaroo kick that ruins it.



    I think he’s just complaining that they made it needlessly complicated by introducing the betting aspect, and he just wants to play something simple for fun. I believe it’s
    the arguably even less complex Hungry Hungry Hippos rather than Buckaroo in the live version.



    Why can’t we just play… hangman?!



    Yeah, maybe it’s that. Just ruining play time by making it too competitive with high stakes. Okay, thanks!


    Ben Saunders

    There’s an extremely long cutaway in one episode of Family Guy that’s just Stewie dressed as a girl walking through the streets of New York(?) which is very clearly a reference to -something-, but I have a distinct memory of just being incredibly confused and feeling is if I should get the reference, but don’t.



    The big one for me – which took me years, and which I’ve mentioned before – is the Ja Danke-ties joke in Brasseye.



    Richie: Oooh, it’s good to get your feet up, isn’t it?
    Eddie: No, I’m not that pervy.



    There’s a History Today sketch at the end of that episode of Newman and Baddiel In Pieces, a version of which appears on the Live and In Pieces video. The live version includes Newman reading the price tag, but not the bit earlier in the sketch where Baddiel says Newman’s mum charges £3.72 for sex, the exact price of the stabilisers. (Possibly the setup bit was edited out for the video for some reason, but oddly the punchline doesn’t get much of a reaction from the audience.) Anyway, for years I watched that video and never got the joke until I found that episode on youtube recently.



    >Richie: Oooh, it’s good to get your feet up, isn’t it?
    Eddie: No, I’m not that pervy.

    sounds like a foot fetish joke, no?

    there was another joke in Bottom i didn’t get (and i don’t think the audience did either, barely anyone laughs) but i can’t at all remember what it was.



    I get that Bottom joke now. It was just one that took me a long time. Not as long as the “being drunk” joke in Hitchhiker’s though.



    just checked it, the joke i didn’t get was-

    RICHIE: We’re going to have to lose some weight.

    EDDIE: Well, why don’t you just stay at home?

    now that i’m writing up, it’s painfully obvious the joke is that if one of them stays home, then they’ve halved their weight because there’s only one of them going on the holiday. the studio audience don’t seem to understand it at all though- there’s no laugh for that gag at all, which is rare for Bottom.



    When Blackadder’s about to receive oral sex from Lady Farrow and gets interrupted by Baldrick, he gets depressed and complains “that was the first time ever.”

    Was he supposed to be a virgin (before Bells would make him out to be someone who crassly “uses and casts aside” women)? Or had no one ever done it willingly before [while being tricked into thinking he was their husband]?

    It’s still not as lax as Bottom’s virginity continuity. Or Rimmer’s.


    International Debris

    Just assumed it was his first blow job.



    When I saw Airplane! at about 10, it’s fair to say I didn’t pick up on the darkness of Captain Oveur grooming Joey with his insistent homoerotic line of questioning. I just thought it was funny that a man was asking a child inappropriately rude or “random” things. It’s less funny now.

    Except “Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” which is still a very funny thing to genuinely enquire of a child.

    There are several million specific reference gags in the film that I never “got” until looking them up (the plot itself being a specific reference), but most were enjoyable without context, e.g.


    Plastic Percy

    <<Richie: Oooh, it’s good to get your feet up, isn’t it?
    Eddie: No, I’m not that pervy.>>

    I always figured it was just one of their non sequitars that Richie and Eddie used to accuse the other of being a pervert. But the show is filled with them, like when they’re sat on the roof and Richie sees a jet plane go by and randomly says “I should have been a farmer, y’know” as if the two are obviously linked together in some way.


    Taiwan Tony

    Bottom is littered with continuity errors. But as it feels and looks very different, series to series, we can say these are in different dimensions.

    Re the “I’m not that pervy” line. I always assumed that Eddie had understood Richie to mean that he, Richie, liked inserting his feet into other people’s vaginas and anuses. But that’s me, a romantic.


    Taiwan Tony

    >Just assumed it was his first blow job.

    It’s definitely this. Society was less permissive then.
    (I mean 1986, not 1603.)


    Toxteth O-Grady

    @ Ben Saunders – If you mean Peter (not Stewie) dressed as a girl in New York, you’re probably referring to the parody they did of the title sequence from ‘That Girl’; a late ’60s early ’70s American sitcom.

    Like much of Family Guy, this sequence not only references something that most of its audience won’t recognise, but the same joke was also done many years earlier on The Simpsons.


    Ben Saunders

    Oh no, it was definitely Stewie, I think it was in a (much?) later episode.
    Although I didn’t get the That Girl reference when I saw it either, that one is much more inherently funny, and very obviously a parody of a TV show or possible advert, so it didn’t stick out as much to me.

    I’ve been watching some old Family Guy recently, and I’m pleasantly surprised by just how funny it was in its early days. There are definitely dozens upon dozens of references in it that go way over my head, given it’s such a reference heavy show. If I think of/see any more I’ll post about them here.



    Re: Blackadder blowjob, that’s presumably among the “horrible things” he later pays inexpensive prostitute Molly to reluctantly do, completing a satisfying mini-arc.


    Pete Part Three

    This is why the episode is called Head, I guess.

    >Was he supposed to be a virgin (before Bells would make him out to be someone who crassly “uses and casts aside” women)?

    No, and Bells and Head were actually switched in broadcast order (which explains why Percy’s beard comes back in Head “after” being shaved off in Bells, and then disappears for the rest of the series) .



    That’s what I meant by before Bells. I’ve pedantically watched Blackadder II in production order ever since I first read/noticed that.


    Taiwan Tony

    I always thought the “horrible things” were more ‘fetishistic’ than that. Dressing her up as a young boy, for example.



    One I didn’t used to get until I Googled it:
    Ghostbusters II
    Peter: ‘Hi Egon, how’s school? Bet those science chicks really did that cranium of yours.’
    Egon: ‘I think they’re more interested in my epididymus’
    Now, I always assumed it was a body part, but never fully grasped why Peter looked so uncomfortable, until I looked it up.


    Pete Part Three

    Oh, pretty much everything in the original Ghost Busters sailed over my head the first time I saw it. (I was 6 and it was the first film I was truly obsessed with).

    Peter Venkman: Alice, I’m going to ask you a couple of standard questions, okay? Have you or any of your family been diagnosed schizophrenic? [?????] Mentally incompetent? [????]

    Librarian Alice: My uncle thought he was St. Jerome. [????]

    Peter Venkman: I’d call that a big yes. Uh, are you habitually using drugs, stimulants, alcohol? [???]

    Librarian Alice: No.

    Peter Venkman: No, no. Just asking. Are you, Alice, menstruating right now? [WHOOOSH]



    In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, what do you suppose is going on at the Castle Anthrax? Lonely teenage nuns with a grail-shaped beacon who are just gagging for it, or evil duplicitous temptresses in possession of a/the Holy Grail who want to do unspeakable things to Galahad?

    I found The Tale of Sir Galahad quite tantalisingly erotic as a prepubescent child. You really didn’t need to know that.


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    In The League of Gentlemen, when Hillary Briss discovers that Maurice’s wife has been selling the special stuff, they say that “she cut it with her own paste”. I get that “cutting it” is a drugs thing, where unscrupulous dealers mix the goods with other ingredients to make it go further, but in this case, what has she been actually doing to the meat? Bulking it up with meat paste? I’ve never understood what the physical act that they’re describing is.


    Taiwan Tony

    Shiting? Was my assumption.



    In the opening titles to The All New Alexei Sayle Show, what does “life’s a big banana sandwich” mean?

    I found the line hysterical when I was 9 and always looked forward to it. My dad claimed that it wasn’t just nonsensical hilarity, but actually had a meaning that I was too young to understand, but he refused to explain what that was as I “wouldn’t find it funny any more.”

    I think he was trolling me. Or had a really traumatic experience with a banana sandwich once.



    The “cut with her own paste” line and subsequent exchange does indeed mean that Eunice has been bulking out Special Stuff with meat paste like bad drugs and that an impure strain is ultra-dangerous. I didn’t get it at first either.

    (The reason they never say outright or fudge over what the Special Stuff is by the way is because the answer is vile. Jeremy Dyson is my spirit animal but he is a monster.)



    >”big banana sandwich”

    it’s a metaphor for sex, surely?



    >Bottom is littered with continuity errors. But as it feels and looks very different, series to series, we can say these are in different dimensions.

    it doesn’t even have continuity between episodes though, does it? Richie gets drunk off tizer in Digger but then in Parade he has half a pint of pernod and is absolutely fine.

    also they die in Hole but then are alive again next episode.



    Bottom operates on cartoon logic so gets a pass from all this kind of serious stuff.



    >it doesn’t even have continuity between episodes

    Or within episodes, when Dave Hedgehog’s implied to be a virgin in the same episode (same scene?) that introduces his daughter. I guess she could have been adopted.



    i guess, but:

    >It’s still not as lax as Bottom’s virginity continuity. Or Rimmer’s.

    richie’s always been a virgin in Bottom, no? they mention he had a girlfriend once but it was Eddie who ended up shagging her.

    also can’t recall Rimmer ever being stated to be a virgin. isn’t it as early as Series 1 where they mention he “gave one” to McGruder?



    For Bottom, I was just thinking of the Halloween special where they’re all scared about being sacrificed as virgins, despite all of Eddie’s boasting about conquests the evidence of Hedgehog’s sexcrement.

    Rimmer’s goes from “imagine making love to a woman” in Waiting for God to Yvonne McGruder to the addition of Fiona Barrington in the greenhouse. Again, I realise there are ways to explain this without resorting to alternate universes.



    I meant Sandra at cadet school, not Fiona “compost” Barrington. I forgot the joke there. Though the BTL novel explains that he was making it up to impress Lister in a rare concession to continuity fixing, like Lister’s double appendix in Last Human.


    International Debris

    There are plenty of times in Bottom when Eddie appears to have had sex – when Richie has a heart attack because of the excitement of losing his virginity and so Eddie shags her instead; the story about him shagging Richie’s girlfriend when they were younger – yet he’s terrified about being sacrificed as a virgin. But it’s a programme that never existed in the real world, so it’s fine. It’s like complaining about the fact the pub burns down every week in World of Pub.



    was rewatching the Apocalypse episode of Bottom recently, and in the scene where Richie visits the hospital i noticed something really weird. throughout the entire scene, you can see Eddie gasping and pulling faces and rubbing his nipples and chest in the background?

    is that some sort of elaborate joke or is he doing a Crit Cop impression



    reminds me of The Young Ones where there was that long haired creepy guy sat in various places in every episode. he never says anything or moves but he’s in the background and once you notice him you can’t unnotice him


    Toxteth O-Grady

    I’d watched every episode of The Young Ones dozens of times before I ever noticed him.
    He’s only in the first series though. The second series equivalent is those subliminal-type flash frames.



    I used to have a vague sense of confusion around Craig Charles’ song ‘Cash’ being in a Red Dwarf episode, The Young Ones episode ‘Cash’ having its song taken out due to copyright, and the comedy writer-actor ‘Craig Cash’ existing. I can see why Rob Naylor mistakes happen.


    Plastic Percy

    An Australian fan emailed Ben Elton about the fifth housemate thing, and got the rather cuntish reply of “I have no idea what you’re talking about, there were four housemates and their landlord”; but eventually got a reply from director Geoff Posner who explained that it was something thought up by him and Paul Jackson to just stick in the background for eagle-eyed viewers.

    Also, earlier this year at the Bristol Slapstick Festival, Adrian Edmondson revealed that the fifth housemate was played by his university friend Mark Dewison who also played Neil’s hippie friend Neil in ‘Interesting’.

    Finally, Lisa Meyer explained in the UKTV documentary about the show, that her idea was that he was someone who’d gone to a party at the house and just never left.


    Ben Saunders

    I still don’t know who Francis Urquhart is or how he answers questions


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I still don’t know who Francis Urquhart is or how he answers questions

    The literal British Frank Underwood. As for the second part of the question, idk I never watched House of Cards.



    “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.”

    The original House Of Cards is great.


    Taiwan Tony

    You spell his name well. I own the original HoC, and know who he is, and don’t think I’d have nailed that.


    Taiwan Tony

    It’s fair to say I watched Blackadder Goes Forth when I was too young. But the bit that particularly sailed over my head was the Flashheart outburst in Private Plane.
    “Now listen to me you rubber desk johnny. Send the bits with the wheels right now or I’ll fly back to England and give your wife something to hang her towels on.”
    I even ‘performed’ it for my granddad. He burst out laughing (probably at the sight of a young twat), and I asked him what was funny about it.
    He said he didn’t know.



    We transcribed and performed ‘Corporal Punishment’ for our high school English class at the age of about 12, and I vividly remember my teacher amusedly having to correct our spelling of ‘rogering’ for the line about the Duke Of York and the prize-winning leek.


    Plastic Percy

    I’m not sure I understand the joke about “seduce my parrot” in the first episode of The Young Ones.


    Taiwan Tony

    A chat up the poly
    Speak to him on the campus of the polytechnic college.
    I thought.



    “A *chat* up the poly[technic] / chat *up* the Polly [parrot].”


    Taiwan Tony

    Chat up the poly, you see, could also mean … Oh forget it.


    Plastic Percy


    It’s still a shit joke, though.


    Toxteth O-Grady

    >It’s still a shit joke, though.

    That’s kinda the whole point, isn’t it.

    An old out-of-touch professor telling a cringeworthy joke in an attempt to appear cool and hip on a show for “young adults”. A show which itself fails in its attempts to appear cool and hip to its target audience of “young adults”.

    It’s supposed to be a shit joke to exemplify how shit Nozin’ Aroun’ is on several levels.


    Plastic Percy

    I just meant it was shit writing on the part of Mayall/Elton/Meyer.


    Toxteth O-Grady

    I think it’s good writing considering it’s a deliberately shit joke.

    In fact it was perhaps the greatest deliberately-shit-joke ever broadcast for 35 years, until “spit on her wrist” took the crown.


    Taiwan Tony

    I think it’s good writing considering it’s a deliberately shit joke.

    I second that. It’s The Office in the 80’s. It’s the spirit of Kevin Turvey. And it’s closely followed by that Chekhov parody when Vyvyan smashes through the walls to their neighbour’s house. Great, invigorating writing.


    Plastic Percy

    I know it’s meant to be a shit joke, but it’s a shit shit joke.


    Taiwan Tony

    So you must mean, it’s a good joke? Ahhhhh

    (No, fair enough. Subjective innit. Glad you understand it now, though.)


    Toxteth O-Grady

    >I know it’s meant to be a shit joke, but it’s a shit shit joke.

    You’ve only just had it explained to you. Allow a little time for rumination.

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