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    #2
    One of my mothers best friends was Brendan's aunt, I never met him but my Mam did and thought the world of him. By all accounts he seems to have been a great bloke and Frank Sinatra's favourite comedian bizarrely.

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      #3
      What a line that is. There must have been squillions of characters in shows who are as obnoxious and selfish as Fr Stack but he's in such a position of strength he just comes right out and says it. Smashing into the fourth wall and even chuckling a bit as he delivers it.

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        #4
        That's because he did a gig entertaining Sinatra, liza minelli and sammy davis jr back in I think 1987,. I have vague memories of him being a big fan of Haughey, but I think that may have been an artifact of the times. I think you can see from his episode in Father Ted there was a lot more to him than the drunken father of the bride speech, or Bottler. He came along at a time where there wasn't the outlets in Ireland for him to spread his wings. Instead he wound up touring the ageing diaspora in the US, and going through the same rut. Had he been born 20 or 30 years later he would have had many more opportunities.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Kevin S View Post
          What a line that is. There must have been squillions of characters in shows who are as obnoxious and selfish as Fr Stack but he's in such a position of strength he just comes right out and says it. Smashing into the fourth wall and even chuckling a bit as he delivers it.
          It's the distilled primal roar of the Baby Boomer Generation. it's the following 20 years of politics in the anglophone world crammed into a single sentence. It covers both Brexit and Trump.

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            #6
            Father Ted had that same knack of producing simple but great quotable "lines to be applied elsewhere in life" as Withnail. "And now, onto the liars" and "that would be an ecumenical matter" being others. Shame Graham Linehan has since revealed himself to be a bit of an arse

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              #7
              Originally posted by E10 Rifle View Post
              Shame Graham Linehan has since revealed himself to be a bit of an arse
              Understatement of the century, that one.

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                #8
                Shame Graham Linehan has since revealed himself to be a bit of an arse

                I think it's more he's turned into an arse late in life. I don't think he could have done the things he did if he was like that all along. He suddenly, and without any warning became interested in shitting on trans people, and with a surprising level of intensity.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                  I think it's more he's turned into an arse late in life. I don't think he could have done the things he did if he was like that all along.
                  Either that or Arthur Mathews wrote all the funny bits and for some reason indulged the transphobic cunt. That's what I tell myself anyway - makes it a bit easier to still enjoy their work.

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                    #10
                    Linehan was a truly fucking appalling music journalist and film reviewer for Select in the early 90s. I'm calling Mathews as the genius too.

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                      #11
                      I think that you can take from Black Books and the IT crowd that Linehan is the one who turned it from a script into a functional working TV comedy. That's the really hard bit.

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                        #12
                        Mmmm. Not so sure about that. How one feels about Black Books largely depends on your tolerance for Dylan Moran's character, who is by and large an exaggeration of Moran's stand-up persona: cranky, dishevelled, borderline alcoholic, middle class, straight white guy rages against the morons who make his life so hard and who, from his perspective, constitute 90% of humanity. Personally, that lost its appeal for me a long time ago. I recently re-watched Moran's Monster DVD and cringed at most of it. Particularly the skit about how women "have no feelings." I laughed at the time but that's because I was an idiot.* Moran clearly wants you to laugh along with him at that, he's not playing a character in the way someone like Jerry Sadowitz is when he's doing stand-up. Moran comes across as a bit of a supercilious wanker in general. There's a bit on the cast commentary of the Shaun Of The Dead DVD** where Simon Pegg or Nick Frost is talking about how hard it was to shoot a particular scene considering how long the day's shooting had been and Moran loudly cuts them off with, "'Oh, if only I could go work in a sewer!'" None of the other actors laugh, they protest with "Look, that's not what we mean Dylan..." and you see what they're getting at.

                        Anyway, Linehan. I struggle to recall anything genuinely funny in Black Books. Struggle to recall much of it at all, if I'm honest. I know there's an episode where Bernard Black has opened his shop relatively early some Saturday and is complaining to someone about how he shouldn't have to because nobody wants to buy books early in the morning, only for a character played by Linehan wearing an "I LOVE BOOKS" t-shirt to materialise in the shop and say something like "Can I buy some books please?" That's largely the kind of humour the show dealt in - really twee, relying largely on eccentricity for its comic effect. This show was airing at the same time as things like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Curb Your Enthusiasm - two truly dark, acerbic and hilarious pieces of television that specialised in taking a good, hard look into their characters' withered hearts - and next to them it looks embarrassingly bland and trite. Then there's another episode featuring a joke where Peter Serafinowicz's character has a voice that induces orgasms in women. Again, there's nothing intrinsically funny there other than "Wow, hasn't Serafinowicz got a deep voice?" And then there's an episode where Bill Bailey's character turns out to be a latent piano genius but his talent vanishes during a public performance or something... all very old hat.

                        As for The IT Crowd, I challenge you to look on any of that fondly after you've had to endure every other egotistical software developer you've ever encountered riffing on "Wenger - tryin' to walk it in!" or "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" for a decade. There were some funny moments in the first season. But afterwards it plummeted. Wasn't there an episode where smokers were depicted as oppressed citizens of some Sovietesque republic and they started speaking in comedy Russian accents? And that's before we get to the episode where Matt Berry's character is traumatised after he realises he's slept with a transvestite.

                        All of this perhaps wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the almost fanatical devotion to being a cunt that Linehan displays on social media. When he's not spouting transphobia with the force of a geyser on one of the Solar System's outer moons he's indulging in pure FBPE, "Corbyn is a threat to our way of life" bollocks or, hilariously, declaring he's going to quit Twitter in protest at its continued tolerance of Donald Trump. I mean, does he even read his own tweets back to himself? I love the idea of the senior executives at Twitter finally banning Trump because some comedy writer 20 years past his heyday has threatened to close his account otherwise.

                        If you really want to read the funniest stuff that Linehan has written since Father Ted, seek out his Twitter exchange with Miguel Delaney. For the uninitiated, Miguel Delaney (now the chief football writer at The Independent) had been engaged in a discussion on Twitter about Father Ted, of which he was a fan, and opined that he found the third season to be relatively poor. Someone subtweeted that to Linehan who proceeded to declare Delaney a "fucking cunt" before telling him to "fuck off out of my mentions!"

                        So, yeah. Linehan can get fucked. He's almost deserves to be preserved in liquid nitrogen for future generations to be able to study the embodiment of cis male privilege.

                        * I still am in many ways, I just like to think I'm about 5% less idiotic than I was 15 years ago.

                        ** I'm an exceptionally sad man.
                        Last edited by Reginald Christ; 13-07-2019, 18:14.

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                          #13
                          I can't watch the IT crowd for any length of time because I am allergic to Chris O'Dowd, and The point is not that it is funny or even good. it's that it's a relatively well constructed, structurally competent sitcom, which is the step that has killed all other irish attempts at televised comedy. That's the thing linehan is good at.

                          i'm not sure about the dylan moran bit.Firstly you need to remember that Dylan Moran the person and Dylan Moran the comic persona are two different and separate things. Also Middle class is a stretch. His father was a house carpenter, in 70's and 80's Navan, and his mother worked in a bar. He left school at 16, at the height of our first bankruptcy. I mean he's not exactly Jim Royle right now, but he's not exactly Jack Whitehall either. In terms of socio-economic status and upbringing, He may well be the most working class person under 50 in UK entertainment. The most working class person in UK entertainment is Liam Cunningham.

                          Also I sent my sister your bit about Monster. She had a good giggle. She would take serious issue with your interpretation of This joke.. To her mind (which has a misogyny hairtrigger) this joke is about highlighting the absurdity of gender roles by inverting them, and the offending line is in her opinion a joke against himself and also a cue that what follows is meant to be taken as absurd. If she thought otherwise she wouldn't have bought me a ticket to go and see dylan moran with a couple of her friends a couple of weeks ago. (I couldn't go so she gave her ticket to another one of her friends and they all had a good catch up and traded stories about their time working with each other in Amnesty, and on the repeal the 8th campaign. As I said, hairtrigger response to misogyny.) Also where did you get the idea that you're supposed to sympathize or agree with Bernard Black. He's an emotionally stunted manchild, and misanthropic monster. I'd call him the Irish Steptoe, if Wilfred Bramble wasn't from dublin. And it's not 90% of people he has a problem with, it's all of them. It's also clear that this is always unreasonable. This is the perfect example. If anything you're supposed to sympathize with the bill Bailey character, for having to put up with the other two neurotic loons.

                          Also there is no point in comparing uk comedy shows and US comedy shows, because they are entirely different things. UK comedy shows have at most three series of six episodes, are written by two or three people at most, have a cast of about five, and have to cram a lot into a very short space of time and have a budget of about a tenner. An American Tv show will have 20 episodes a series, go on for a decade, have a cast of at least 10, about 100 writers, and employ about a thousand people. They're just not the same thing. It's like comparing 10 years of coronation street with an episode of the scottish version, Taggart.

                          Also...
                          All of this perhaps wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the almost fanatical devotion to being a cunt that Linehan displays on social media. When he's not spouting transphobia with the force of a geyser on one of the Solar System's outer moons he's indulging in pure FBPE, "Corbyn is a threat to our way of life" bollocks or, hilariously, declaring he's going to quit Twitter in protest at its continued tolerance of Donald Trump. I mean, does he even read his own tweets back to himself? I love the idea of the senior executives at Twitter finally banning Trump because some comedy writer 20 years past his heyday has threatened to close his account otherwise.

                          This is still consistent with him having completely lost his fucking mind relatively recently. Surely This happens often enough in this country for you to be aware of the phenomenon?
                          Last edited by The Awesome Berbaslug!!!; 13-07-2019, 20:19.

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                            #14
                            The imperative of any work of comedy is to be funny. It doesn't matter how well-constructed or structurally competent it is. If it's not funny, it's failed. A horror movie that doesn't scare you is by definition bad. Ditto a thriller that doesn't excite you. The IT Crowd might well have faithfully adhered to the established conventions of British comedy but given that Linehan had been working in that field for a good decade or more by the time he got around to writing the show, it would have been embarrassing if it didn't.

                            Moran's persona is, I'm sure, not completely representative of who he really is. But I've seen and heard enough of him outside his work to know that I've had my fill, just as you've made your mind up about O'Dowd. He might be a lovely person in real life but I'm never going to meet him. I only know him through what he puts out there. And that's more than enough for me, thanks. Also, I said his persona is middle-class. I've no idea about his background. Nor do I care, to be honest. Well, I care to the extent that I hope that he's had a decent life - everyone deserves that at least - but knowing more about him wouldn't suddenly make me think his work is better than I'd thought.

                            I've no doubt that your sister is more keenly-attuned to what constitutes misogyny than I am or ever will be. This may be my neanderthal brain speaking but that still seems like a rather convoluted reading of what's essentially the same kind of joke that male comedians have been making for a long, long time - "Aren't women just a bunch of materialistic ninnies? Don't they realise how sensitive we are?"

                            Also where did you get the idea that you're supposed to sympathize or agree with Bernard Black.
                            I didn't say anything about how you're meant to sympathise with his character. I was referring to Monster: "Moran clearly wants you to laugh along with him at that [the joke we've been discussing]".

                            An American Tv show will have 20 episodes a series, go on for a decade, have a cast of at least 10, about 100 writers, and employ about a thousand people. They're just not the same thing
                            That doesn't describe the two shows I mentioned. Always Sunny, for example, was filmed on about two cameras for its first few seasons and was mostly written by its cast. But, yes, it's perhaps unfair to compare British and American comedy shows seeing as the two styles of humour differ quite a bit.

                            This is still consistent with him having completely lost his fucking mind relatively recently. Surely This happens often enough in this country for you to be aware of the phenomenon?
                            Sorry, you've lost me. What do you mean?

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                              #15
                              Back when I was doing standup, the BBC had one of those every couple of decade moments where it realises that perhaps people outside of Oxbridge should be allowed to do this "BBC radio/television comedy" thing and set up the BBC Northern Comedy Unit*. They had a night at the Frog and Bucket and arranged Fred Barron ("My Family", "Larry Sanders"), that one who Did Two Pints Of Lager and Graham Linehan to be sort of talking heads giving advice. I went along because of curiosity and the fact that I had an idea that might be an ideal setting for a sitcom based on my last proper jobs. And most importantly, the promise of some free drinks.

                              It was a good night, and each talking head gave advice and I was quite encouraged. Until Linehan answered a question on future projects with "Well, I'm currently working on this idea for a comedy set within an IT department".

                              I saw my One Great Idea disappear into the bin of eternity.

                              *Which is where Ideal came from.

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