That's how I like my comedy: mild-hearted | Liam Williams chooses his Perfect Playlist

That's how I like my comedy: mild-hearted

Liam Williams chooses his Perfect Playlist

Why Bother?

Chris Morris compared these improvised interviews he did with Peter Cook to playing chess: '[Other improvised projects] were about trying to establish a character within a situation, and Peter Cook was really doing "knight's move" and "double knight's move" thinking to construct jokes or ridiculous scenes flipping back on themselves, and it was amazing.'

To me it feels as much like boxing: these two comedy behemoths slugging it out. I know there's such a thing as 'chess-boxing' now so maybe this is the comedy equivalent of that. Anyway, it's one of my favourite things that either of these boys have done, and certainly the best thing they ever did together.

Caroline Aherne

Going through a bit of a personal Aherne revival at the moment, re-watching the Royle Family and getting entranced every moment she's on screen. I think her performance has now eclipsed the show as a whole in my affections.

I still love it and the rest of the cast are great but it feels a bit tired now. That is until she blinks or pouts or purrs or gently croaks out one of those lovely lines she co-wrote with Craig Cash and it makes me feel like I've found a quid down the back of the sofa.

Louie

There's this comedian called Louis CK that I've discovered and he makes this great sitcom which is utterly its own thing and perfect for people who miss being able to enjoy Woody Allen films.

Even when it's not funny it's formally interesting and testament to the approach of letting someone do something on their own (he writes, acts, directs and edits the thing) without well-meaning divs getting involved and ruining it. This scene with Sarah Barker is great.

Armando Iannucci 

I could probably have compiled this playlist using just Iannucci stuff. But for the purposes of the exercise, I had to choose this little beaut of a sketch from Time Trumpet. It's got Tim Key in it.

The Laughter of Hate

Think this was an outtake from the Office. Nothing makes me laugh so reliably. The corpsing gives you this sense that Gervais isn't fully in control of Brent. It's as if he's captured a wild horse which he's pretty good at riding but sometimes he'll go too fast and fall off it. 

They Came Together

This is a film I saw recently written and directed by David Wain who has quite a fun back-catalogue. It didn't smash it reviews-wise: a lot of people found it a bit too - there's no other word for it - 'meta'. Thing is, I absolutely love 'meta'. It's a spoof of American romcoms but what made this feel distinct from other cold-hearted parodies, was its warmheartedness. It was both coldhearted and warmhearted. 'Mildhearted', I suppose. I think that's how I like my comedy: mildlhearted (and ideally with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd playing the leads).

Liam Williams is touring Capitalism from until May 14 (Dates), including London's Soho Theatre from February 23 to 28.

Published: 18 Feb 2015

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