Jabba The Hutt sings Minder | And other comedy highlughts from the Perfect Playlist of double act Moon

Jabba The Hutt sings Minder

And other comedy highlughts from the Perfect Playlist of double act Moon

Double act Moon – aka  Jack Chisnall and Joshua Dolphin – play the Soho Theatre next week. To mark the run, they've picked their Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites, and say: 'Thankfully, there's a lot of overlap in our taste, but occasionally one of us will look blankly at the other, totally mystified about why they think something is funny. To pay tribute to that, we've done three shared loves, then one separate thing each.'


The Royle Family

Last year, we lived in a grotty, overpriced flat in London; two doe-eyed Dick Whittingtons only just starting to cotton on to the grim realities of living in a big city trying to 'make it'. It all felt like that bit in The Wrong Trousers when Gromit is trying to lay down track as quickly as the train is moving. Unlike our parents, we weren't spending our 20s investing in anything: no saving up for houses, or starting families.

The Royle Family was a real lighthouse during that time. Write-ups for the show go on about it being 'grotesque' or 'gross out' in some way - but we reckon that says more about the typical background of cultural critics than it does the show itself. Real relationships aren't clean-cut and formal and witty - when people are truly comfortable around each other, they're messy. They also don't feel the need to say much.

Like the best comedy, it tells you the truth in a way you hadn't thought of before. The silverback Dad, Jim, launching unprovoked jibes his son, Ant; the trills and coos of Nana and Barbara fussing over something small. All of these observable, day-to-day rituals are heightened and transformed into something heartwarmingly funny. It was a great comedy lesson for our act: it all starts with the real.

Jordan Brookes

Seeing Jordan's 2017 show, Body of Work, absolutely changed the game for us. He was finding laughs from conventions so ingrained, so naturalised, that you forgot that they were even rules to be broken (like the one that the performer usually comes on stage after their name has been said).

He committed to these loopy concepts that could, at a moment's notice, totally pull the rug out. The thing you thought you were watching? That was something else all this time. The whole show kept being swallowed up by these kind of suckerpunches that caused you to reappraise everything you'd seen in a new light.

The received wisdom when you're starting out is just to get the laughs as uncomplicatedly as you can - don't ever make the audience tense or uncomfortable. But Jordan shows in all his comedy that you sometimes need to take an audience to those kind of places in order to mine the laugh in the end. You have to be one step ahead of them. The lad's a genius.

Jabba the Hutt sings the Minder theme

We forget how we stumbled on this, but it made us absolutely lose it when we did. We're actually very furtive about it: we agreed after watching it for the first time never to share it with any of our friends, in case they broke the spell of it somehow.

What makes this unaccountable clip of Jabba the Hutt singing the theme from Minder so funny to us? Is it classic juxtaposing of low and high? Superpowered Hollywood franchise mingled with naff British telly?

For us, it's the implication (from the masterful editing) that it's really happening within the film, and the characters are realistically baffled by the fact that Jabba is singing it. Like it's his vanity project to be a club crooner. C-3PO doing a double take; Lando pulling his visor down in disbelief. Just quality.

Tractor Overtake (Josh's choice)

I first watched Crazy Dave overtake his Dad's tractor on Soccer AM sometime in 2006.

While Londoners busied themselves and their new cameraphone function with happy slapping, 'crazy dave overtaking on his tractor' was the first, truly brilliant shot across the bowers for handheld comedy, issued, as these things always are, via the sinews of England's regions.

After the whirlwind overtake, initiated brilliantly by 'f*ck him, I'm going for it', CD's giddy invocation of 'pants down' back at the farm serves as a stunning sign-off. This is the beginning that today's assortment of mawkish vlogs and headcam thuggery has ended.  

Red Dwarf (Jack's choice)

My Dad is, to be fair to him, an unexpected thinker, and this gnarly, cult sci-fi show is inexplicably his absolute favourite comedy. Very happy memories of watching it and endlessly quoting it with him.

I've often pondered why. He's not into sci-fi. A tonne of jokes in the show come from the lovable pastiches of classic genre tropes, and nods to famous films. He's not laughing at those bits. What makes him like it?

Again, I think it's because it's so rooted in the real. Although it's set in the future on a spaceship, it draws its comedy from showing you how real human beings would act in these situations. They wouldn't all be suave and on-the-ball Captain Kirks, necking sexy aliens. They'd be petty with each other. They'd bicker. They'd be self-pitying and slobby. They'd fail to be the Hollywood heroes that we expect. Red Dwarf, like a lot of great comedy, punctures the glittering ideal with the human reality.

Its great power is to be able to reach out to a bloke like my Dad and say: 'Even these fantasy sci-fi characters experience the same things as you: they hate their job and their work colleagues; they also feel unfulfilled.'

• Moon play Soho Theatre Theatre, London , from May 2 to 4.

Published: 26 Apr 2019

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