The Lab results are in

C4 unveils its comedy showcases

Channel 4 has announced details of the new series of its Comedy Lab showcases.

Eight shows, featuring the likes of Glenn Wool, Reginald D Hunter, pictured, Katherine Jakeways and Oram & Meeten feature in the seventh run, which kicks off on May 10.

The segment has previously launched the TV careers of Peter Kay, Dom Joly and Jimmy Carr.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “This year’s line-up features a host of emerging comedy writers and performers, who have pushed the boundaries of the genre with eight highly original programmes.”

The shows, with their official Channel 4 promotional blurb, are:

Modern Toss
Tuesday  May 10, 11.30pm

Modern Toss, the hit cult comic featuring inappropriate sign writer Mr Tourette, is coming to life in this foul-mouthed hybrid of live-action and animation. Creators John Link and Mick Bunnage have brought their maladjusted cartoon characters to life, while the surreal live-action sequences have been directed by Joe Cornish, of Adam & Joe fame. Featuring more pointlessly hostile behaviour than you could poke an animated stick at, Modern Toss is a brilliantly surreal world of weirdness.  Prod Co: Channel X, Prod: Rebecca Ferrand, Exec Prod: Alan Marke & Jim Reid

Wednesday  May 11, 11.30pm

Speeding is a look at the world of quick-fire flirting and chit-chat that is speed dating Produced by Ash Atalla (producer of The Office), Speeding is set in the upstairs area of a pub, where a group of random romance-seekers are heading for three-minute interludes of social carnage. Moving from one table to the next, we witness the awkward silences, the nervous ramblings, the obvious attraction and repulsion, and the desperation for love and approval.  Prod. Co: Talkback. Writers: Oriane Messina, Fay Rusling, Charlotte McDougall and Susie Donkin. Prod: Ash Atalla

Glenn Wool – What’s the Story? 
Thursday May 12, 11.45pm  

You can take the man out of Canada, but you can’t take Canada out of the man. That’s what Canadian stand-up Glenn Wool finds as he recounts the strange series of events that lead to his arrival in London and how his new home is not all it seems. Wool, a regular on the UK circuit, has barely unpacked his belongings before he discovers he is being haunted. Seeking out the help of the Canadian ex-pat community in the Maple Leaf Bar in Covent Garden, as well as his old friend Tony, they set out to discover the identity of the ghost by means of a séance. Also featuring in Glenn Wool – What’s the Story? are fellow Canadian stand-ups Tony Law, Phil Nichol and Jason John Whitehead. Prod. Co: BabyCow. Writer: Glenn Wool. Director/producer: Louise Coats. Exec. Prod: Henry Normal

Friday May 13, 11.40pm

Whatever is what happens when you let teenagers run riot in the world of television. This unique and somewhat risky experiment saw a group of urban teenagers coming up with ideas for what THEY wanted to see on the box – and the results are as outrageous as they are funny. Items include “Pimp My Nan” (a competition to turn an old lady into a prostitute), “Junkies Win Prizes” (in which a heroin addict has to find his way out of a maze) and new sport “Tug of Whore”. Throw in experiments like “Tormenting Jade Goody with a sausage” and “Getting a Monkey Drunk” and you’ve got a very cheeky half hour of television, presented by bright young comedian Tom Price. Prod Co: Monkey TV, Prod: Greg Bower, Exec Prod: Will Macdonald, David Granger.

Monday 16th May at 11.45pm

A white woman starts passing out and turns into a 6ft4 black guy? Blackout is one of the most surreal Comedy Labs yet, based on the premise that an outwardly politically-correct North London woman starts blacking out and in turn, becomes a black man. Comic Katherine Jakeways stars as Lucienne Porter, with Reginald D. Hunter taking the role of Lucien – the man she turns into. Jo Martin (The Crouches) and comic Ben Willbond also feature in this bizarre look at the tangled fortunes of a white woman, the black man she becomes, and the black woman he’s having a relationship with. Prod. Co: Grandma Films. Writers: Reginald D. Hunter, John Gordillo. Director/Producer: John Gordillo.

I’m Spazticus
Tuesday  May 17, 11.30pm

Taking its title from a song by polio sufferer Ian Dury, I’m Spazticus is a prank-style show starring disabled performers. The cast have workshopped the ideas to come up with the cheekiest and funniest ways to celebrate their disability – often at the expense of the able-bodied public! There’s the overtly PC wheelchair user who tries to get record companies to change lyrics (“wheel on by” rather than “walk on by” is much nicer, no?). Zietgeist with Maverick. Producer/director: Jamie O’Leary

Pritch and Panch – the Cinderfella experience 
Wednesday  May 18, 11.40pm

What do you get when you take two members of livewire prank group Dirty Sanchez and try to turn them into women? Besides a pair of hairy cross-dressers, you get a very funny crash course in transexualism and femininity.  Pritch and Panch (Matthew Prichard and Michael Locke) are given guidance by the world’s leading tutor in cross crossing, sent to Amsterdam to live and breathe the transsexual experience, and then challenged to test out their new skills on their family, friends – and men – in their hometown of Newport, Wales. Prod. Co: Boomerang. Prod: Gareth Rees, Dir: Dylan Davies

Skin Deep 
Thursday 19th May at 11.45pm

Skin Deep is a day in the life of two bickering body artists, for whom literally suffering for your art is not only cool but mandatory. Comics Tom Meeten and Steve Oram star as Vince and Carl – Vince, a stuck-up Oxbridge PhD drop-out with leather trousers and a pierced scrotum, and Carl, a tattooed ignoramus from Bradford blessed with an artistic eye and a flair with a vibrating needle. Oram & Meeten are London comedy circuit favourites, and their talent for character comedy is perfectly displayed in this stylishly seedy production. Jonathan Fox Bassett (Teachers, Murder in Suburbia) adds a touch of Tarantino-style direction to this piece, which is set in a tattoo and body-piercing studio in Leeds. Prod Co: Celador, Prod: Vanessa Haynes, Exec Prod: Humphrey Barclay

Published: 26 Apr 2005

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