Monday, December 08, 2008

Manuelgate: the aftermath

Elderly comic actor Andrew Sachs is said to be shocked by the award handed to Russell Brand at last weekend's comedy Oscar show (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3659933/Andrew-Sachs-angry-over-Russell-Brand-comedy-award.html).

"It baffles me as to why he is so popular," comments a bemused Manuel. "There's no style or structure to his work. He speaks off the top of his head."

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of Brand's poorly judged phone calls to the veteran star of Fawlty Towers, I'm not sure that the absence of style or structure is necessarily a barrier to good comedy. If every comedian followed a script in which he endlessly repeated phrases such as "Que?", the world would certainly be a safer place. But not automatically a funnier one.

Jonathan Ross (in style of John Cleese):
"There is too much butter on those trays."

Russell Brand:
"Que? Eh? What you talkin' about?"

Jonathan Ross:
"There is too much butter on those trays."

Russell Brand:
"No, no, Mr. Ross, uno dos tres. I wore a condom. Put the phone down."

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