- ‘Obviously we define all sitcoms with, “Please God, let it not be like My Family”.’ Sally Phillips, star of Sky1’s new sitcom Parents.
- RIP Eric Sykes. One story going around about him was that at one theatre show Sykes had a sign-language interpreter for the deaf. After his performance, he thanked the woman effusively, because of his own hearing problems. Then someone told him he had just thanked a member of the audience – the real signer was ten feet away.
- Sykes first went deaf following an operation in 1961, although he inexplicably recovered his hearing, only to lose it in later years. While he was recovering from that surgery, the guitarist John Williams came to visit him in his hospital bed, and to cheer him up gave a virtuoso performance. But, unbeknown to the musician, Sykes didn’t hear a note of it.
- In a slightly different style from the benign Sykes here’s Brendon Burns dealing with a heckler in Chicago:
- It’s something of a running joke that Mark Watson doesn’t get much on screen when he’s on Mock The Week... but now, it seems, he can’t even get in the credits. A clip from last night’s episode on the BBC’s official YouTube credits the comedians taking part as Chris Addison, Andy Parsons, Hugh Dennis, Milton Jones, Ava Vidal and Ewan Phillips – and no mention of Watson. Ewan Phillips isn’t even a comic, but the producer.
- Sky’s head of comedy Lucy Lumsden lied her way into one of her first jobs in comedy. She pretended to be a wardrobe mistress to get on to the set of An Evening With Gary Lineker, just to experience how the show was made.
- More comics piling the pressure on reviewers at Edinburgh. After Caimh McDonnell turned to the emotional blackmail of offered to pay £100 to charity for every published review, Stuart Goldsmith says he will give £1,000 to charity at the end of the festival – provided no review makes a weak pun based on his show title, Prick. Every penis-related joke in a published review will remove £100 from the pot – although since almost everything COULD be a double entendre if your mind works that way, it looks like he could have completely depleted his wad by the end of week one. (Note, this is not a review...) Here he explains the challenge:
- When a press release lands in our inbox from Express Bi-Folding Doors, we always sit up and take notice. Seems the boffins at the manufacturers of uniblinds and folding door systems have been hard at work on their research and found that Michael McIntyre is the joint third most popular person (presumably from a predetermined list of names) that women would like to share their homes with. A valuable contribution to the pool of human knowledge.
- Bob Slayer – who recently creaked a vertebra while surfing the crowd in a wheelie bin at the Download Festival – has been in the wars again. As part of his act, he sometimes dons an dartboard and invites the audience to hurl darts at it. But last weekend, just as one punter was about to throw a dart, he put his hand up to say "Hang on"... but too late. 'He threw it hard and it went into my hand between my little finger and the one next to it,' he told blogger John Fleming, 'the full length of the dart tip. I stood there, surprised, with the dart stuck in my hand and blood pouring out. Pulling the dart out was really tough, I think it had stuck into the bone… The long and the short of it was that Security on the stage submitted a report on how they feared for their lives… and now I can’t clench my left hand, which has swollen up to the size of an orange.'
- Talk about all style and no substance... Watch Jerry O’Hearn (aka Andy Daly) brilliantly use all the tropes of modern comedy but no actual material to brilliant postmodern effect:
- ‘Twenty minutes of talking on stage doesn’t mean you have a comedy set. Talking, in itself, is not comedy.’ Comedy Cafe owner Noel Faulkner
- Tweets of the week
Rob Delaney (@Srobdelaney):How awful would it be if every time you came, your genitals yelled “Chicken salad!” in Macy Gray’s voice?
Pundamentalism (@Pundamentalism): My girlfriend was devastated to find out that my mates call me 'The Love Machine' because I'm terrible at tennis.
CERN (@CERN): #CMS: "we have observed a new boson with a mass of 125.3 ± 0.6 GeV at 4.9 sigma significance." Thunderous applause. #Higgs #ICHEP2012