From immediate feedback it seems that on the whole people felt this was the best show so far. At the time me and Stu weren't that happy with it as we fluffed quite a lot of things and there were a few mistakes, but apparently no-one else really noticed.

The viewing figures were a bit disappointing. 0.7 million to start and down to 0.4 by the end (one of the worst we've ever had) but then there was a lot of sport on (The FA Cup started half way through the show - where we lost 0.3 million). But there's still the repeat to boost that up a bit. Having weeks off, shows cancelled and no publicity can't be helping either.

We didn't get too many complaints - a couple of religious ones and one from a man in Wales who wants to sue us for racism - somewhat missing the point of the Stephen Lawrence material (and maybe the Scots Alt-Com skit - which was taking the piss out of people who take the piss out of the Welsh - or people who complain about people taking the piss out of them, when they are doing the same thing themselves). There were a couple of very positive calls too. I suspect more of you may have rung, so do insist they note your comments down. Remember to compliment or complain about any programme the number is 0181 743 8000 and ask for the TV duty log.

In e-mail terms one person mailed to complain that the Jimmies said "Scotch accent" as Scotch is a drink and Scottish people are Scots. We knew this and that was kind of the point of the joke, that the character was so unaware of genuine Scottish politics to make such a terrible error. Another e-mailed to say the Thelma and Louise sketch was sexist. I mailed back to say "Sorry you found it sexist. It wasn't meant to be. If anything it was parodying the worthiness of Thelma and Louise which at the same time played up to the sexiness of the main characters I think you'll find many eminent feminists agree with us on that one It was more of a "imagine if after all that they then did that" kind of joke - Thanks for mailing though"

We have had very little press attention thought the Melody Maker gave us a nice mention this week.

Here's a look at this week's show:

1) Greg and Tim - a little dig at the BBC for cancelling our repeat in favour of the tennis. At the start Rich was meant to knock a ball back to Stu but it got stuck to the other balls in his hand. Before the show we had a discussion about what the eggs of a half hen half man beast would be like - would they be tiny like a human's but with a bird like shell, or big like a birds but just all fluid. We came to no real conclusion.

2) I'm the dandy highway man - our song this week, of course an Adam and the Ants classic. Did you notice the pickled onion monster munch on the table behind Rich? Rich's first fluff (of many) he should have said "We can't go into that on daytime TV".

3) Menu - nothing interesting to day about this.

4) Richard Thomas sauce pan - the Welsh Ted Danson lookalike got up to some unspecified shenanigans with a sauce pan which was stuck on his head all show.

5) Chris Evans - Rich went staccato and did a Robot Wars voice to try and make his point. Stu rightly pointed out that this did not make what he was saying any more true. TMWRN Judy stands for Todger Merkin Wee Ring Nuts Judy. Next week is to be the final time we do the Chris Evans mon-ster bit and it's going to be a good one, so watch out!

6) Unusual Priest - threshing machine - this joke appeared in the original incarnation of this character which we wrote for On The Hour (Trebe Lopez played by the curmudgeonly Patrick Marber).

7) Alligator - this harked back to an old routine from Fist of Fun days about Rich having sex with flies "a gnat's chuff is literally as tight as a gnat's chuff". It was a little dig at the BBC for not repeating the series and also to people who complain about us doing old jokes. Testis flies - "My dad calls them testes flies and he should know", again harks back to a few routines in the first series, most notably Rich's dad pronouncing the word Doritos, like Domestos (this really happened). The "of course they're all x by the time I've finished with them" formula will probably receive it's last outing next week too - we don't want to start boring you! Expected some complaints about the line - "I got a pet puppy for Christmas last year and when I flushed that down the toliet it didn't come back" - but nothing yet!

8) Eerkan Mustafa/Robbie Fowler - the paint gag didn't make the edited repeat so anyone watching on Friday will be mystified as to why Rich has white stuff all over his face (it was in fact yoghurt, not paint) The "I don't call him x, I call him y" is another formula we hope to incorporate in coming weeks.

9) Aims - we were particularly pleased with the 2 that mocked the Stephen Lawrence suspects (oh let's face it, murderers). Only the one caller failed to understand this gag.
S Aim 4 - is to point out to Stephen Lawrence murder suspect David Norris that simply repeatedly calling Martin Bashir "Martin" in a polite voice is not enough to establish his innocence.

R Aim 5 is to have all the leek eating taffy countrymen of Wales, chopped up mate and they should be left with nothing but freaking stumps.

S You can't say that. It's racist

R It's just banter, Martin, harmless banter. I'm a loveable rogue.
Of course it paraphrases what one of the racist twats actually said, though it wasn't "countrymen" or "freaking" of course. Stu was so pleased by the audience reaction that he almost forgot to carry on, hence Rich's comment "Press on"! Again we were already over running at this point, largely due to the enthusiastic audience - which is a nice problem to have.

10) Simon Quinlank was to have returned this week, but due to us having much stuff we've had to push his debut back a week.

11) Lettuces - "Long eared lover from Liverpool" - here's the English script:


DAD Evening dear. I'm home.


DAD Oh. That's odd.


MUM Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

DAD Alice!

MUM George! I can explain!


RABBIT Looks like you arrived just in time!

Keen eyed viewers will spot we have not only combined the first two scripts jokes into one, but that the footage in the living room is the same that was used in show 1 (carrot) The first few of these sketches were filmed on the same day as we did one of the Bible stories - hence the rather amusing site of me, Stu, Emma and Paul dressed as biblical figures, operating lettuces and making stupid voices!

12) King of the Show - Trevor and Nathalie were dressed as Grange Hill school girls. I've already had 2 e-mails from people who had confusing feelings inside seeing Trev dressed like that. We weren't allowed to use real Grange Hill uniforms so we had slightly different copies made. The Robbie Fowler Drugs and Homophobia memorial trolley celebrated the antics of perhaps the 6th most stupid man in the country (after the Lawrence suspects). The flags of the homophobic were Shabba Ranks, Norman Tebbit, Ian Brown and St Paul. The trolley had a model of John Belushi dressed as a bee holding two syringes stuck to it. This was a birthday present (minus the syringes) from Paul Putner to Stewart Lee and serves as a timely warning about the dangers of drugs. We were to have done some material about McVities Crack Pots, which we came up with last year, but apparently they are no longer commercially available. Here's what we were going to say:
STU Following on from the Golden Graham Acid we've found another evil manufacturer trying to sell drugs in an disguised form, Crack Pots.

RICH Don't be stupid they couldn't do that. (STARTS TO EAT)

STU And representing homophobia, St Paul.

RICH (STILL ON CRACK POTS) Mmmmm, they've very more-ish aren't they

STU I warned you.

RICH Aaaaah there are peas coming out of my face.

STU Rich.... You resemble Row-land from Grange Hill... on crack.
You may have also spotted an allusion to an old Lee and Herring routine - heroin is a drug, from Fist of Fun including the dead baby walking across the ceiling gag that we incorporated on tour. The heroin was blue liquid, like the heroin in the Trainspotting sketch from show 2.

13) Histor Cannabis - a sketch we wrote for the last series, which never got made. It appeared in the last tour programme (in cartoon form drawn by Joseph Champniss) but then included material about wicked William Straw. Histor and Pliny divide the country. Half of you hate them and find them annoying, half of you love them. I have a foot in both camps. I love the fact that they are annoying. Paul and Kev played the hippies (drinking cannabis in liquid form). Paul really looked like David Baddiel (he has a new image as you'll see later in the series when he guests on the alt com sketch).

14) King of the show - 3 more ordinary members of the public vied for kingship. We haven't had many good ideas through the post but do keep sending them in. Remember to keep them short and original. Also not too fan specific, we won't choose anyone who has a reason which is baffling to an audience who doesn't know everything about the show. If the bloke who is a ghost in Edinburgh is reading this, Carlton "Noel's House Party" Dixon lost your letter. Could you write again?

15) Food and Milk: American Beaver - I really milked that goat. It was fun. I like the fact that the character Richard Herring refers to all the animals he milks as "he" and the milk producing goat was called "Gary". He just doesn't understand does he! In the first take the goat tried to kiss Rich, but unfortunately Rich laughed, the twat.

16) Lazy Comedy Slags - the comics in the cartoon (by Champniss) are Lee Hurst, Richard Herring, Ian Lee and 2 other comics that Champniss chose to include, can't remember who they are. He chose them, not us. Here's a slightly longer version of the script of this bit
R And this week's on lazy comedy slags , "and then I got off the bus."

S Comedians will never fail to surprise us with their inventive ways of doing the same pull back and reveal joke again and again. I will now demonstrate the And Then I Got Off The Bus joke (CUT THIS "in its most basic format").


You know the other day I got so drunk. I woke up bare ass naked, sick all over me, I had a traffic cone stuck up my bum. I was in a state of priapic excitement ... and then I got off the bus aaaah.

R What? You were on a bus all along?

S That's right.

R I assumed you must have been at home on your own!

S No. I was on a bus.

R Wow! My expectations were confounded and from thence the humour arose!

S Indeed. Observe once more as I bewitch you all again. (TURN) The other day I was really badly constipated. I was straining away (GRUNT GRUNT) for about three hours, then finally I managed to release my bowel.... then I got off the bus.

R Ah ha! I thought you were in the toilet

S No! I was on a bus all along. (TURN) The other day I was indulging my own sexual pleasure in the sinful act of onanism. And then I got off the bus. Aaaaah.

R Yeah. That's happened to me a few times as well Stew. Embarrassing isn't it? I didn't want to get off the bus, but the police made me.

S Eh. I was joking?

R Oh. And me. Ha ha! Imagine that.

S Another good tip is to go aaah at the end of the phrase 'and then I got off the bus', as it gives the impression that you are moving on to a new piece of material, and flatters the audience by implying that they were clever to have spotted the joke so quickly.

R And then I got off the bus aaah. Right. Can I have a go Stew?

S No you messed it up last week...

R No, no, please...

S OK, go on.

R (TURN) I was on the bus the other day.

S I'm gonna have to stop you there.

R No, let me go with this Stu. I think I will confound you. (TURN) I was on the bus the other day, I got on at Balham, travelled two stops to Tooting, rang the bell... and then I got off the bus aaaah.. aaaaaah. Aaaaaaah. And then I got off the bus aaaaaah etc

S No. The fact you are on a bus has to be a surprise, in order to confound us. And the thing you're doing has to be something you couldn't imagine taking place on a bus.

R OK. OK I got it. I wasn't on the bus the other day. I was indulging in behaviour that you wouldn't expect in such a public place as a bus, because as I said I wasn't on a bus.... Then I got off the bus.Aaaaah. aaaaaah aaaaaah.

S No. For experienced scholars the And Then I Got Off The Bus joke doesn't even have to take place on a bus, it could be any public place...

(CUT THIS "R A coach?

S Well yeah but..

R A minibus?

S Anywhere

R A double decker.

S Yes. ")

S Other possible punchlines (cut this "instead of 'and then I got off the bus aaah' could be...") include - And then I was thrown out of the library aah, and then I got out of the toddlers' paddling pool aah, or the classic, and then I was sacked as head of the girls' boarding school biology department,aaah. That's right. I was one of the teachers!

R Wow! That was a double surprise! Brilliant!
17) Sunday Heroes: Thaddeus - The characters of the disciples are really starting to take shape now. Trevor Lock was excellent as Thaddeus (we should let him speak more often) and Stu has Jesus down to a T! He should have been a teacher or a messiah! Shades of Mr Kennedy from the teachers sketch in Jesus this week! Watch Trev in the background of this sketch. He is very funny. The sketch came from an idea we had last series about Rich being the new Jesus and Tim Vine being one of his disciples (he was to be dubbed "Double checking Tim Vine") Rich then expanded the idea in his play "Playing Hide and Seek With Jesus" having discovered 2 disciples (Thaddeus and Bartholemew) that don't really get the press the others get.
Did you spot Matthew hitting Peter as they exit for being a swot?

18) Curious Orange - the idea of using the 28 years old gag again came from one of the crew who basically made this joke to us at the Saturday rehearsal. We did genuinely get a complaint that the show had disturbed someone's child.
The orange's question was originally posed by the unpleasant philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. I do not believe that he used to scream like the orange when upset though! The guard was played by Ivanhoe who you'll recognise from some of the other sketches. Unfortunately due to a cock up you saw the orange still on his podium when Ivanhoe was putting him in the box, but you know, it's all pretend really.

19) Extra Final Scenes: Thelma and Louise - we filmed this sketch in a bit of wasteland by Wormwood Scrubs. We hope the prisoners saw us. Maybe for some of them it would have been a long time since they'd seen women like us! The backgrounds were bluescreened in later. Rich really enjoyed being able to drive a Thunderbird around (did you spot the GB on the back - not accurate!) We shot another trail in these clothes but the BBC chose not to use it (they don't want us to build up a following). Paul played Harvey Keitel and the policeman was played by an American student we have working on the show called Justin. The lezzing up accidentally looks more graphic than we intended. Rich was merely touching Stu's false bosom but you couldn't see that in shot so it looks worse than it actually is. It was meant to be like blue heroin , ie our pathetically naïve idea of what lesbianism entails.
Boring fact - the helicopter at the start of the sketch just happened to fly over us as we were filming and sharp witted camera man Tony managed to get a shot of it.

20) Octopus - Rich nearly forgot to make his long-eared donkey gesture, but the accidentally late timing actually made the joke funnier. We were a bit distracted towards the end of the routine by the dry ice being sprayed for the entry of Nostradamus, though I don't think you could hear it on TV.

21) Nostradamus - the missing prediction on the board was of course not really Trevor's fault, but it was fun to blame him. We expected more of a reaction from the prediction of the death of Margaret Thatcher. Let's hope Nostradamus gets this one right! If you spot anything that could be construed as any of her predictions coming right do let us know. This week's predictions are:
Prediction 1 A very flighty actress will make a spectacle of herself at the BAFTAS tonight.

Prediction 2 Lady Margaret Thatcher will die.

Prediction 3 The great fish will come to complain and weep and it'll rain on Friday.
22) When things get knocked over - the first time the 3 main characters in the series come together. Each week the gravity based disaster will revolve around these people and of course their son Tim. We filmed this in a pub near the BBC. Carlton is the barman and Justin and another American student Betsy are in the background. Look out for 2 Quinlank sketches filmed in the same location (we are running out of money quite rapidly!) It was ironic that Kevin had a newspaper with a headline on the back with the word Kevin in it.

23) Corrs Shrine - we rushed this a bit and fucked it up a little bit (especially the start of the watching the Corrs routine) but again we were running out of time and trying to cut corners. (Corr-ners)

24) Alt-com: the Jimmies - Played by Matthew Pidgeon (who was in Playing Hide and Seek With Jesus) and Paul Blair (who helped us out in rehearsals for that play when we hadn't cast one of the parts). They did brilliantly in this, especially in portraying the rather less threatening modern day "actory" twits who advertise shortbread in a "Scotch" accent! The SDP mug will be appearing in all the skits. Look out for it!

25) Enchanted toilet - we've always enjoyed playing around with embarrassment and on tour Stu has often "bullied" Rich to the point of tears, so it was nice to give this a go on TV (though we had to rush the end a bit unfortunately). Chris Miles, the floor manager played himself in the routine (and got a pretty good laugh, damn him!) Look out for more examples of Rich embarrassing everyone and himself in future weeks.

26) The Unusual Priest - a lovely pay off to the then I got off the bus runner. I love the way that people can actually be surprised by a joke we've spent the whole show explaining and deriding! Kev plays a blinder though.

27) Jaws pastiche - as most of you will have realised the end was a jaws parody (with an orange instead of a shark). We filmed this after show 2 with that audience (only a few minor injuries in the rush!) The lady playing the distraught mother is a dead ringer for the actress from Jaws (though not the one from the scene we were parodying I don't think).


Update 14/4/99

We got this e-mail today:
To whoever it may concern,

I sat down in front of the television expecting to be entertained, but was greeted by nothing more than a bunch of poorly-executed, unfunny, vaguely topical gags that were obviously made up to fill the space left by lack of any original material. There was not one joke that I found even remotely amusing, and the way in which the program resorted to shock value was both desperately juvenile and incredibly tawdry.

And then I switched off the "11 o' Clock Show". AH!...

David Gilmour (Not the fat guitarist from Pink Floyd)

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