this morning with richard not judy
THIS MORNING WITH RICHARD NOT JUDY SERIES TWO, SHOW ONE - BROADCAST 21st March 1999 - WATCH ONLINE
SERIES TWO - SHOW 1 | SHOW 2 | SHOW 3 | SHOW 4 | SHOW 5 | SHOW 6 | SHOW 7 | SHOW 8 | SHOW 9 | SHOW 10 | BACK
Well, it's been quite a week! It was dominated for us by the death of Rod Hull which was a double blow really. We got an unconfirmed report at the Thursday rehearsal which was quickly confirmed. It was odd because my first thought was "Oh no, we can't do the sketch" followed by a guilty "Oh no Rod Hull is dead". My only excuse is that the reports were unconfirmed at that time.
But we were very sorry to hear about Rod as we had enjoyed working with him and had also both enjoyed his shows when we were kids. To those of you asking if we can show the sketches anyway I'm afraid not. The basic idea of the sketches was that the false Rod Hull went out to do an activity each week, upon the completion of which he would be rewarded with a bowl of green jelly. Of course due to his refusal to admit his arm was false the activity would always end in disaster - and ironically, death. So you can see that it would be very tasteless to put these sketches out. We will put up the scripts after a reasonable mourning period and I suppose there is a chance that if we were to ever get a video deal we might be able to put out the sketches we have filmed - which were very funny.
It is also a shame for Kev whose presence is now minimal in the shows and for our budget as we wasted a day of valuable filming shooting 3 sketches that we can't use. As it turned out we had too much material for show 1, so the only blessing was that the decision of what to cut was made for us. But that's hardly a consolation for anyone. Thanks to all of you who have expressed regret. To those of you who have been jokey about it, we understand why you have been (we've made a few jokes ourselves) but it isn't really a very funny situation in any way. I think Rod was very undervalued by TV chiefs and much underestimated. He had lots of ideas when we met him and there was more to him that the bird, but then the bird was also very funny - and anyone who saw him attack Snoop Doggy Dog will know Rod could puncture anyone's pomposity, often at personal risk to himself.
It's not certain, but I think both Rod Hull and the false Rod Hull died this week. We should be sad about both these facts.
Our other problems are to do with budgets and publicity. We haven't really got enough money to make this series properly, or do enough filming. Thankfully we are working with a very committed and supportive team who are doing their best to work against this. We are amazed how great the film stuff looks, so top marks to Gareth the director and everyone else too. There's a great camaraderie developing, probably because we all have to fight against the BBC's lack of interest and commitment. They finally showed some trailers on Friday, but these were for the following Friday's show. We want people to watch the Sunday one really (as it's longer and live). We're getting dicked around on scheduling too. Next week we're on earlier (and the clocks go back) and then the repeat is on Thursday. The week after we don't have a show at all. We really need to make a success of this series (ratings wise) and it's looking increasingly difficult. Still again it is good for bringing the team together, but frustrating for morale!
So as to the show itself. It is great being at the Riverside. We rehearse here and have a bigger audience, which really made a difference. Thanks for coming if you did. Apologies if you got turned away. The lesson is "get there early!"
The audience figures were a little disappointing, starting at a healthy 1 million, dipping to 0.9 million at the mid-point and then (unfortunately) 0.7 at the end. The Simpsons got 1.8 million, so we would have hoped to inherit more of their audience.
Complaints (from memory) included predictable complaints about blasphemy and crudity - what if children were watching, might they be influenced to say "rectum" - I think they'd prefer to stick to "bum" myself. Someone was wearing a T shirt with the word "beaver" on it in the audience and someone felt this worth complaining about. How strange! I hope they will enjoy the forthcoming food and milk slot dedicated to the American Beaver. The Norman Wisdom on drugs thing elicited further knee-jerk complaint. We thought it showed that taking drugs was bad and was arguing against that making light and lazy references to drug taking. But clearly 2 people disagreed.
There was an excellent and right complaint saying that "the skinny one who looks like Mark Lamaar" (skinny? I don't think so- only because he stands next to me!) was not funny and should not be allowed his own show - I take it to mean that I am funny and should get my own show so I am delighted about that! Remember you can ring the duty log to complain or compliment any show (it's funny that hardly anyone rings to say they've enjoyed something, maybe you'd care to reverse this trend!) on 0181 743 8000 and ask for the TV duty log.
By e-mail to us we didn't get many complaints. Adam Spurling mailed to say
"I was just wondering if you realised that you're not funny any more."
I replied saying
"No we hadn't. Thanks for telling us. Perhaps you better tell all the people who were laughing at us in the audience on Sunday too.
At least we must have been funny at some point though, which is a consolation.
Rich and Stu"
Others of you seemed to think Gary Puttner was not funny - but then that's what you all said about the Curious Orange. We may have to drop the character anyway as we have too many items to fit in the show, but we might not and you'll all be doing it in the playground as usual in a month's time. You twats.
The super obsessive fans on the List of Fun still maintain that it's not as good as Fist of Fun. They are wrong. See Stu's amusing entry in the guestbook for our perspective.
Others complained we had used two jokes that also appeared as Why Not Trys in the Fist of Fun book. Pathetic. What percentage of the million people who saw the show have read that book (in great detail as the lines are hidden amongst many others). And what about the 40 plus minutes of original stuff. And more importantly the routine we had already done on BBC2's Monster Night. This pisses us off as I don't think there are any comedians working at the moment who work harder to bring you new material, who cater their material to the medium they work in, who read all their letters and e mails personally, who respond to your criticism and who write a behind the scenes diary for you every week on their one day off of a pretty hectic schedule. I will accept a "sorry" and a "thank you". Or nothing if you still feel we're short changing you. Please do feel free to criticise though. We value your opinions however wrong they may be. But try and see things from our point of view sometimes huh? Do let us know what you do and don't like because we will make judgements based on your comments (hence the disappearance of the Organ Gang etc - the things that did not catch on or too many people disliked) Your comments will also help us to decide which items we should carry on with and which we should stop - though maybe not immediately. As I say, remember the curious orange.
Sorry about the sound of the director and Alison coming out on air. This was obviously a bad technical glitch. It also says much for the BBC's lack of interest that no-one rang up from there to tell us what was happening. You'd think someone might have been watching - but no. Hope it didn't spoil your enjoyment too much.
Here's a look item by item:
1 Noel's House Party - Our tribute to Noel and Blobby (why wasn't it them falling off a bloody roof) Made funnier by the fact that our assistant producer and sometime actor Carlton "NHP" Dixon appeared and worked on the House Party. For what it's worth CD says NE is a good bloke. But we refuse to believe him.
2 My name is Luka - new idea of song quote at the top of each sure. We're not sure if it's going to work or get annoying, but the first one went OK. Rich's first mistake " You always spoil everything y ... I do." Twat.
3 Menu - Not much to say. Rich perhaps influenced by the Clive Anderson nature of the John Prescott photo gag, chose to perform the rest of the show as if his neck did not work. I don't know why I did this. I look ridiculous.
4 Richard Thomas - like all of us, he's had a haircut - apart from Trevor who has grown more hair on his face. But the total amount of hair has remained a constant.
5 TMWRN Judy - people seemed to enjoy the Chris Evans material (except for those who had read the bodily fluid joke before) "And what was Will doing during this?" is hopefully going to be a catch phrase along with "saying it in a x doesn't make it anymore true" and "my friend". Don't know how Evans will take it.
6 Unusual priest - didn't go to the filming of this one so have no amusing anecdotes to share! Nice one to start on though I think.
7 What have you been up to this week - new format for quick gags. Versions of Stu's and the Piccadilly Circus one have appeared in printed form before, though there were new additions to both. The Janus one was an idea we had when eating in Amalfi's restaurant opposite Janus and watched the shifty old men coming out. They do nice pasta there and it's pretty cheap. Give it a try. And Amalfi's is nice too! Ha ha ha!
8 When Things Fall Over - This is going to concentrate on the lives the Norman family and watch the descent of Paul Putner's character into madness. The character appeared in the bee episode of When Insects Attack, though the actor playing the son was different - we tried to get the same one, but he had just got back from holiday and his mum wouldn't let him do it. Aaaah! We also tried to get the real Greg Evigan to film his bits and it looked like it was going to happen. Carlton was all ready to go out to LA to film them, but then it all fell through (over money and cos Greg's manager was a liar - originally said Greg loved the scripts, but finally said he'd just shown them to him and he didn't understand them). The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss took the mike once more to be Greg and was much better than Greg would have been - the twat. Look out for more of Paul in his pants as the series goes on to its tragic end. We were going to do a false Rod Hull one of these too, where Rod was killed by a falling chimney - again quite ironic - but that is no more.
9 Prince Edward - Let's see if he sues!
10 70s - this all came about from when we were invited (as micro-celebs) to the launch of Days Like These. They screened 2 shows and it was so bad that we wrote loads of material about it the next day. We guessed (correctly) that it would get cancelled mid run and luckily for us it happened in the first week of our show, making us look ultra topical even though we'd filmed the Histor bit 2 weeks ago. It's cancellation meant we couldn't use the aim "to predict which will last longer the series Days Like these or the relationship between Zoe Ball and Fatboy Slim!. At the DLT party we were having our photo taken (against our will) and Stu pulled a face and did a thumbs down. The gap toothed girl (who was the best thing in the show- and our prediction for a big star of the future) saw us and shouted at us for being rude! We're over 30 years old!
We are both so fed up with nostalgic (especially ironic) comedy - we hope that our Rod Hull stuff was seen as affectionate tribute (and in any case it was about something else - don't know what exactly - but more about the mystery of why someone would go to the trouble of pretending to be Rod Hull to get jelly, when that's not even something Rod Hull I associated with - it's about the nature of celebrity and people's obsession with it - no all right it's just a man shouting with a false arm - whatever!)
11 AIMS - really enjoyed Stu's Big Breakfast one. Again the GQ bra posing media tarts is something that has been really annoying us (and particularly Stu) recently. The audience obviously agreed!
12 Lettuces - The titles were much too long, but despite this it seemed to work very well (though the woman in the audience you saw directly after it seemed very confused and non-plussed) We had a few arguments over the way this should be done and there were some worries in some quarters that it wasn't funny. But Stu really pushed for it and I think was proved right. It got a bit confused about what it was meant to be - a sit-com parody? a piece of surreal madness? That's up to you to decide! Based on the lettuce from When Insects Attack (series 1) Stu plays the father lettuce, Emma the mum and Paul was the carrot (who sounds a bit like the Curious Orange does when he is evil!)
13 King of the Show - Trevor and Nathalie return. Trevor has been in Peru and seems to have had some life altering experiences. He reminds me of the character Keith in my play "Playing Hide and Seek with Jesus". But he's still the same old Trev, except with more facial hair and a funny hat like a Peruvian farmer might wear. I love the way he reacts to stuff and God Bless Him for allowing us to do our childish jokes. He told us a funny story about trying to explain to a woman in Peru (in rudimentary Spanish) that in the UK he appeared on TV and was mocked for his small face. She looked at his face and said "Oh yeah, I see" as if registering the fact that his face was certainly small. He thought this might amuse us. He was correct.
14 The King competition - this worked pretty well though personally I didn't think the audience chose the best answer. Nick Hancock was the winner and his law that anyone he didn't like should be killed certainly showed that power corrupts. Due to pressure of time (the audience enjoyed the show too much) we didn't get much time to return to him - but it didn't seem to matter.
15 Sunday Heroes - the Lilly thing. Our producer Charlie doesn't really like this sketch and kept getting us to try and cut it. But to us it is the length and pointlessness of the argument that makes it funny. When we filmed this due to an administrative cock up, the rehearsals for TFI Friday were going on next door. Which meant we had to try and get clean takes quickly before Andy Williams started up again. Which was a shame as it meant we got behind in filming the others and also we couldn't do many re takes. But it still works (in my opinion) and looks great. Stu was born to play Jesus. Maybe he is the new him. Carlton plays Peter, Paul is Thomas, Emma is Ian, Richard is Simon, I'm Matthew, Trevor is Thaddeus, Kev is Judas.
16 Lazy Journalists - we've been doing this idea in one form or another for quite a while, but this was the first time we've managed to get it together right. It was actually something we talked about in the original Edinburgh show in 1994. We tried to get Norman Wisdom himself (for the first series) but he turned us down - so we just got a different old man which is just as funny. The audience laughed so much they missed him shouting "Mr Grimsdale" which is my favourite bit.
17 Extra Final Scenes - Titanic - an idea we came up with for a magazine article (in Total Film) and then did on stage during the last tour. We hadn't thought of doing it on TV until Frank Skinner (name dropping my one celebrity acquaintance) said he'd love to see me and Stu dressed up as Winslett and sprout face. I think I look more like Caroline Quentin which is bizarre - someone else said Nadia Sawlha (from Eastenders- Julia's sister). We shot this in a tank in Battersea and it also formed the basis for our little shown trailer. I love Stu's LDC acting in this, he makes him look like an idiot! We had to change the original ending "Thank fuck I've seen the last of that fat bitch. She didn't half get on my tits. Still at least I got to spunk in her." For obvious reasons. Disappointingly at the last minute while Stu was in the tank they said he couldn't even say "tits" which is a very arbitrary decision, so he changed it to whitlow - a Kevin Eldon word from his Portsmouth day which means either an infection of the skin by your finger nail or something ruder. Looks beautiful though doesn't it! I didn't like dressing up in women's clothes and anyone who says I did is lying!
18 Mcgrath - we were running over at this point so had to drop a routine about the Corrs - which will be in next week. We'd also dropped (after one reading) - a sketch about the Natural Born Killers situation which was to be played by Kev and Emma - reason - it wasn't funny enough, we didn't have time. Boring fact - We'd written a version for Fist of Fun where it was played by Alistair Macgowen and Ronnie Ancona, but we had to cancel it cos the Dunblane massacre happened that week. Anyway here is the doomed script:
ITEM 21 STUDIO INTERVIEW - SAM MCWEE
STU The family of Lee Harvery Oswald are also suing Stone claiming his film JFK inspired Oswald to kill Kennedy.
RICH IN AUDIENCE WITH WILLIAM AND VERONICA ANKMORE
RICH I'm with William and Veronica Ankmore from East Anglia..
WILL AND VER Hello.
RICH You're suing Oliver Stone as well I understand
WILLIAM That's right Back in January we were an ordinary married couple. Very happy.
VERONICA Then William rented Natural Born Killers from the Blockbusters.
WILLIAM We didn't really like it. It was disjointed.
VERONICA Oliver stone's satire was clumsy and heavy handed.
WILLIAM Robert Downey Junior was terrible in it...embarrassing. But we did find that we were quite taken with the senseless killings perpetrated by the central characters, Mickey and Mallory.
VERONICA Overnight we changed from law abiding citizens into Natural Born Killers, literally.
RICH So how many victims have you notched up in your spree of senseless killings.
WILLIAM Well, none so far. The film had the wide open spaces of America's route 66, but ...
VERONICA The A140 through East Anglia doesn't really present the same opportunities for romantic multiple murder. But I tell you.
WILLIAM We blinking well might kill someone soon and it'll all be Oliver Stone's fault.
VERONICA We nearly killed an old man in the Red Lodge Cafe near Bury St edmunds.
WILLIAM Yeah , I got a butter knife and threatened him with it and said "Do you want to die today?"
VERONICA And the man went No.
WILLIAM He looked quite scared. I felt guilty for frightening him. The thing is murder looks exciting on the telly, but it is hard to overcome the moral repugnance that comes when contemplating taking another life... But now I have to live with the fact that I could kill someone at any second. (TO BLOKE NEXT TO HIM) Woooh! nah!
VERONICA All thanks to bloody Oliver Stone.
19 Food and Milk - Based on a running joke in series 1 that Rich drinks animal milk. There is worse to come believe me! The original bat they made was massive and too comedy so someone had to dash out to a joke shop and buy this one and then stick some fur on it. The milk shot out from a concealed tube. It was actually semi-skimmed cows milk. After an afternoon of filming those I can tell you I was quite sick of milk. And I smelt of milk too.
20 History of Alt Com - based on the real series of the same name in which nobody comics all seemed to be claiming that they had invented comedy and changed the world. If you saw it it makes this sketch even funnier. This was one of our favourites. Emma demonstrated what a great actress she is. Something you might not pick up in Planet Mirth and the Sainbury's adverts!
21 Monkey sex - originally written for the BBC2 Monsters night thing we did. We included it again as it is a good start to a running joke about Rich and animals- ie they're all x by the time I've finished with them.
22 Gary Putner - Didn't quite click on the performance, but it's basically just a parody of journalists who have a crap catchphrase and then become media tarts and think they're funny, when they're just nasty right wing thugs. May get phased out, but I think it'll catch on if we have time to expand on it. We'll see, but consistently voted the weakest thing in show 1.
23 Nostradamus - Again this will definitely develop. We had problems with the horse design and the braces which held it to Emma snapped just as she was entering. Also the music failed to come in at the start. You will definitely love this by the end of the series.
24 Histor - back and as annoying as ever! Again, during filming we were fighting against Andy Williams.
25 Curious Orange - Mad professor played by Andrew Mackay last seen swimming in a giant pie in Fist of Fun (which nearly killed him - really!) We had to rush the filming of the lab scenes after a long day, but except for one edit I don't think you'd notice. The Orange is not genetically modified and mad. I think we'll keep it fresh. Boring Fact - Paul Putner can do that Davros style voice without the aid of any microphone cheats. He truly is amazing.
26 The end - crazy 70s dance to finish off with. I enjoyed watching Stu's bored, embarrassed face as we all danced. Part of the fun of it is that he finds that kind of thing genuinely embarrassing, so his refusal to join in is doubly amusing.
27 Tribute to Rod - We felt this was the most sensitive and affectionate thing we could do. Kev who was in the studio watching said it brought a tear to his eye. Good old Rod. God bless him.
If you want to be king of the show next week do e-mail with a good reason. We haven't had many good ones yet, so get your thinking caps on.
Bye for now