Danger 5

Danger 5 is like the Thunderbirds meets The Champions meets Garth Marenghi and it’s lovely. There’s an attention to detail here: the camerawork, lighting, model work and performances are all spot-on in a 60s adventure show style. As funny as Garth Marenghi was, it always felt like it was parodying something that never actually existed, whereas Danger 5 is more akin to Police Squad – an affectionate, accurate and brilliantly funny spoof of a recognisable TV genre.

Not surprising it’s so accurate given that its creators, Dario Russo and David Ashby, were responsible for the rather excellent “Italian Spiderman” movie parody.

Oh, and it has stop-motion nazi dinosaurs in it so, you know, I’m kind of programmed to like it on a genetic level.

Jesting About

Hoorah! I got selected to develop some ideas for online comedy with the BBC. I could play it cool, like, “sure, that’s nice” but I have to say I am beyond chuffed about this.

There’s a press release on the BBC website*.

The basic gist is: the BBC hands over some money and I work up the three pitches I submitted (one live action dingus – Doorsteppers – and two animated thingummies – The Answer Yam and The World of the World with Ben Klimmek) and hopefully come up with a few more. From what I can gather, I have to produce three minutes of something by the end of April. Wonder what it’ll be? Can’t wait to find out. Hope it’s good…

It was interesting when I got the call to say I’d been accepted ‘cos I couldn’t exactly remember what I’d pitched. I’d got the deadline so totally wrong that all three pitch documents had to be written and submitted in around three hours. Which meant Ben had to generate the art super-quick. Bet he was pleased. He looked pleased. Welcome to the world of working with Harris, Klimmek. It’s all part of my charm. Unreliability is charming, right?

Here’s a Klimmek pic from The Answer Yam pitch. Grand!

*this got me a mention on Chortle – which I didn’t realise was a bit of a dream come true until it happened.

Mitch Hedberg Joke Evolution

Two Mitch Hedberg jokes:

Spaghetti… I can’t eat spaghetti, there’s too many of them. No matter how hungry I am, 1000 of something is too many.
– Mitch Hedberg

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.
– Mitch Hedberg

So these two are pretty much the same joke, but for me the rice joke is better, and I think it’s obvious the spaghetti version mutated into the rice one at some point. Or God changed it, whichever. Anyway.

Why is the rice one better? Because…

1. The rice joke is more absurd. The spaghetti joke’s “I can’t eat two thousand of them” – well, who could?

2. The first one is not quite true enough – there aren’t 1000 bits of spaghetti in the average bowlful, but there are more likely to be 2000 bits of rice in a meal. Maybe. Look, I haven’t counted them (or if I have I’ve blocked that particular evening out of my memory) but it certainly seems likelier, doesn’t it? The closer a joke like this comes to the truth, the funnier it is.

3. The rice joke is a positive, which suits Hedberg’s free-wheeling persona more than the negative of the spaghetti version. Point of view is incredibly important when writing jokes for stand up. A different comedian with a different persona would be able to spend five minutes shouting about how he doesn’t have time to eat 2,000 of something, but Mitch was a happy-go-lucky one-liner merchant.

4. Fuck it, rice is just funnier, isn’t it?

5. It is.