'Stupid comedy done by clever people' | Police Cops choose their comedy favourites

'Stupid comedy done by clever people'

Police Cops choose their comedy favourites

The team behind Police Cops - Nathan Parkinson, Zachary Hunt and Tom Roe – pick their Perfect Playlist

The Simpsons

Tom: It’s an obvious choice, but I have to be true to myself, The Simpsons is just the best. 

As a child I loved the ritual of sitting down every evening and watching a couple of episodes. It’s so comforting, even now when I hear the theme tune it’s like submerging myself in a warm bath of amniotic fluid. 

I often analyse comedy but with The Simpsons I rarely do, just sit back and drink it in. It’s easy when comparing The Simpsons to modern conceptual cartoons like Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman (both brilliant) for it to appear simplistic but that’s its strength, much like a classic 80s action film it doesn't rely on being meta or self aware too often. 

I also like how yellow they are.

Stewart Lee

Tom: I think as a performer you obviously find inspiration from different people and often allow yourself to be influenced by them, but there’s some people that are so incredible that you're just in awe of them. To me Stewart Lee is exactly that. He’s not the best at delivering laugh-a-minute gags and it appears that he doesn’t want to be, which is why he's so watchable. 

I remember the first time I saw him I didn't really get it, I think he was ranting about something intellectual and I found it a bit isolating (Luckily now I’m really clever and I understand all of it.) 

I know a lot of people love him because he blends everyday things with political or philosophical undertones, but I think what’s really interesting for me is his craftsmanship, not only can he work a room off the cuff, he can orchestrate it on purpose and then subvert it.

His TV show was amazing and it seems to have paved the way for Netflix Stand up specials. He also directed ‘Artic Boosh’ the Edinburgh comedy show that later became the Tundra episode in the Mighty Boosh series, which is probably my favourite episode. Hopefully he reads this and directs our next show.   

King of the Hill

Nathan: In my opinion, King of the Hill is the greatest comedy of all time. Mike Judge’s animated TV series about the daily lives of an average Texan family is dang hilarious I tell you what.  

It has it all: brilliant characters, well-crafted story and jokes that still make me laugh on the 100th re-watch. The characters are parodies of traditional Republican American families that always come from a place of love, respect and deep understanding rather than simple easy targeting. 

My dad first introduced me to the show when I was about 13 years old and I’m still laughing. Extra rates given for creating a strong, hilarious, female lead character who isn’t just a foil to her ‘crazy husband’s antics’ like so many other shows. 

Ali G in da USAiii

Nathan: Season 2 and 3 of Da Ali G Show (otherwise Ali G in da USAiii) sees Sacha Baron Cohen at his peak of comedic creativity. I love the way Cohen simultaneously makes fun of himself (the characters) and his interviewees.

It’s so original. He knows exactly where to take it and where to keep going on a point of confusion for his idiotic characters, which also exposes his guests’ ignorance. Genius. 

The Mighty Boosh

Zak: The Mighty Boosh came out when I was about 15? Or 16? Or maybe it was out before then and I didn't see it till then. I definitely have memories or being about 13 and thinking an older boy from church was the funniest guy ever, only to find out he wasn't the original creator of the idea of a key so small it can fit inside a key or a quiche made out of lLgo. No, it was Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding

I would soon come to Hero Worship them as series 2 of the Mighty Boosh come on out BBC Two. They were totally inspirational to me in making me realise what you could do with comedy, it was so wholesome, yet edgy in its ideas; it was so random yet not annoying in the way random things in 2008 where.

Watching it back now I can quote it all yet it still makes me laugh. The relationship between Vince and Howard is beautiful and perfect. The characters go together in a way that lifts the show past its crazy, absurd stories that (although brilliant) couldn't exist without the slightly more grounded-in-reality main characters.

The thing I love most about it is how stupid it is. It makes you feel as if you are a child watching imagination in a box. It’s stupid comedy done by clever brilliant people. I think it's perfect, I wonder if it will ever seem dated?

PaRappa the Rapper

Zak: I was comedically inspired from a young age by the game PaRappa The Rapper – in particular the first rap where PaRappa is being taught by the large onion-headed sensei to be a better rapper.

Firstly, it was the man's onion head that made me laugh. To this day I don't know why his head was an onion but I respect the choice made by the game makers to make his head an onion. The onion head had already won me over but then the onion man started rapping ‘Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind, if you want to test me, I'm sure you'll find, the things I'll teach ya are sure to beat ya, nevertheless you'll get a lesson from teacher now kick!’

I found this funny mainly because the onion man had a funny voice. So funny head, funny voice. It's the basics of comedy and every young kid has to start somewhere. I was hooked.

The following three raps by the onion sensei are all funny too and make little sense. Why is PaRappa (a young dog) being taught to rap by a massive onion? We will never know. But it's funny, that much we cannot deny.

I think this is where my love of absurd, silly humour started. (I don't know where it started but for the sake of this little paragraph it started with PaRappa the Rapper. Maybe it's started elsewhere, also maybe just maybe I actually played the game PaRappa the Rapper for the first time a couple of years ago and wasn't really inspired by it from a young age)

• Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name is at Assembly George Square at 21:20 .

Published: 25 Aug 2019

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