Terry Alderton's All Crazy Now | Radio (p)review by Steve Bennett

Terry Alderton's All Crazy Now

Radio (p)review by Steve Bennett

Bizarre voices in the head, all expressing contrasting emotions that make up a transient form of self… both the plot to Pixar’s new family animation Inside Out and the basis for Terry Alderton’s peculiar new Radio 4 series, aptly titled All Crazy Now.

Comedies on the channel, however good, can sometimes fall into the trap of sounding the same. No such chance here. This show is so packed full of disjoined sentences, cheap and silly songs, odd impressions, tape loops, sound effects and electronic beats, that it feels like a pirate takeover.

Here’s a snippet of a Twilight Zone-style voiceover describing a monkey fight, then a bloke who sounds like Tommy Cooper showing up an episode early, here’s an American stand-up parody, now an indecipherable trawler man. And all the voices are Alderton’s.

Advance publicity calls the show a cross between Kenny Everett and Spike Milligan, and that’s probably not far off the mark. It’s very much a stream of consciousness interrupted by the occasional thing that sounds a bit like a sketch, albeit a surreal one. Out of all this emerges his unlikely catchphrase: ‘You know I don’t think 20mg is enough?’ as if they need to up his medication.

Alderton says his mother’s advice was: ‘If you’re going to do stand-up comedy you’re going to have to do it in a way that people don’t know what’s coming next.’ And love it or hate it, you can’t deny that’s the case. Nor can you deny the intensity and commitment to the oddness…. which may be the very thing that causes such polarisation in the first place.

As if anticipating that response – or perhaps just giving voice to internal insecurities – the whole four-part series starts with an outraged listener starting a ‘ban Terry Alderton’ message – a skit that ends with the message: ‘If you don’t like it, just don’t listen. Later the comic ponders: ‘Are they going to get it?’

Maybe not, but it’s still weirdly funny, as well as constantly moving, to keep the listener on their toes. The episodes are only 15 minutes long, but that might be enough since it’s so dense with non-sequitur material. You may need the iPlayer repeat to try to figure out what the hell’s going on, even if that’s ultimately a fool’s errand for such a madcap experience.

Review date: 29 Jul 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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