Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brand & Ross - good riddance

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross – don’t you just weep for them?

Well, not I, actually.

Personally I can’t stand the constant stream of smut and innuendo that passes for wit and entertainment on the Jonathan Ross tv chat show. Russell Brand takes it to another level altogether. I’ve never seen the point of him, never mind finding him anyway funny.

These guys represent the growing trend in “shock comedy”, where bad language and the description of bodily functions seems to be sufficient to get some laughter from their hard-of-thinking audience. It’s like the way small children laugh when they say a rude word they’re not supposed to know, or use, in front of their parents.

Billy Connolly stand-up represents the mainstream form of this, Tommy Tiernan is another tosser who gets laughs from this shock humour.

Russell Brand has resigned from his BBC radio show, I hope they never re-employ him for any show or gig. I also hope that Jonathan Ross gets fired, without compensation, by the BBC. It might just send a message to the rest of the entertainment world that fishing in the sewers is not the same as illuminating the mind.

All of the above reminded me of Gerry Ryan’s recent hosting of the Late Late Show. At the time, I thought that if RTE wanted the Late Late to be the Irish version of the Jonathan Ross show, then Gerry Ryan is just the man for the job. He could hardly restrain himself from bringing almost every topic around to sex – he’s clearly at his greatest ease in the realm of smut & innuendo.

It highlights the problem for the Late Late – can you still combine serious current affairs debates, often involving several participants, with light entertainment?

When RTE had a virtual TV monopoly in much of the country on a Saturday night, Gaybo could cover almost anything with an audience that was generally undemanding. Can it still be done in this day and age, with so much wall to wall media on offer?

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