The weirdest sketch show I’ve ever seen | Milo Edwards picks his comedy favourites

The weirdest sketch show I’ve ever seen

Milo Edwards picks his comedy favourites

Milo Edwards is currently at the Edinburgh Fringe with Sentimental, a show about being an orphan, at Monkey Barrel at the Tron at 12.10pm daily. Here he shares his Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites..

I’m Alan Partridge 

As a comedian I’ve always been fascinated by and tried to capture the absurd yet mundane ephemera of British culture - but I’ll never match I’m Alan Partridge.

If you grew up in Britain you know Alan Partridge - he’s a composite of your boss, your uncle, your weird neighbour. Hero and villain rolled into one. Although these two seasons of TV are fictional, I regard them as a historical document about British Man™, they will one day be studied by anthropologists. 

Also it’s one of the funniest TV shows ever committed to film. Cashback!

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace 

I’m not sure you could make this today, and not because of ‘woke’ or something but just because I don’t think anyone in TV would commission something this weird any more. Nobody now has the confidence to ask a question as bold as: ‘What if Romford had a weird hospital?’

And yet in 2004 a young Matt Holness, Richard Ayoade, Alice Lowe and Matt Berry came together to make a show that’s simultaneously spoofing every 1980s sci-fi and action show, but also Diagnosis Murder and the concept of the auteur. 

The series is a meta-show about the making of the show itself and every aspect of that is exploited for comedy, right down to terrible production values and continuity errors. A masterwork. 

Stewart Lee 

As a stand-up comedian I can tell you with confidence that most stand-up comedy is bad, and the good stuff stands out. It’s a running joke that so many comedians list Stewart Lee as their favourite comedian and it’s not because of a lack of imagination on our part, it’s consensus. 

Few people out there are pushing boundaries in the way that he has done over the years and he’s one of only a few comedians whose new work I watch religiously. If you watch it and find that it’s not for you, try again for you are mistaken. 

Sure Thing Podcast

These days, the only comedy I watch is either very complex and layered, or the ravings of a madman. This is the latter. 

At the Melbourne comedy festival this year all the Aussie comics kept saying to me: ‘Have you met Wolfey yet? He’s a lunatic.’ They were speaking of Andrew Wolfe, more legend than man at this point. How old is he really? Does he actually live at his parents’ house? Did he in fact lose $2.5m on the stock market? Can a working comedian sustain this serious of a drinking problem? 

The Sure Thing podcast attempts to answer these questions as Josh Armstrong asks Wolfey the sort of questions a therapist would ask and we get insights into his addled mind. One of the only shows that makes me laugh out loud, with a release schedule that’s completely nonsensical - it may as well be on a lunar calendar. The perfect podcast. 

The Armando​ Iannucci Show 

Another ‘you couldn’t make it these days’ award goes to this, the weirdest sketch show I’ve ever seen. It’s extremely tightly written and a genuine travesty that it isn’t more widely known. 

Sketches such as ‘Old Man Hugh’ and Alan Ford as the helpful East End thug have become part of my daily speaking vernacular. Recently my girlfriend and I were talking about  regions of Italy and I shouted ‘TUSCANY, BECAUSE OF THE FACKIN FOOD’ before having to explain the context of a five-minute sketch involving Alan Ford threatening a woman on behalf of the Sunday Observer. 

Watch it and phrases like What’s the opposite of the word placard?’ will live in your mind forever. TV as high art. 

Bernie Mac: I Ain’t Scared of You Motherfuckers

This seven minute set is the stuff of legend. The late great Bernie Mac came out to a supposedly very standoffish crowd and opened with ‘I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers’. He follows every punchline with ‘Kick it!’ and has the DJ play a stab of music, before beginning his next bit with ‘You don’t understand!’

By the end it takes on the character of a surrealist ritual. Through nothing more than sheer force of will and charisma he takes control of a room. Has he ever had pumpkin pie? You can only watch and find out. 

Published: 6 Aug 2023

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