King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Wednesday, August 6

Comedy catchphrases

Comedy, by and large, works on some simple aspects. Timing, surprise, expression, and also predictability all make the best comedy work. The predictability has mainly been brought forward in the form of catchphrases, and the apprehension that the sketch or scene will have this single line means that the viewer waits with baited breath and then laughs harder when it's said. It really is a timeless way to demonstrate comedy. Lets look at some examples...
  • "You dirty old man"
  • Mrs Slocombe's pussy
  • "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once"
  • "I was very, very drunk"
  • "Will you not have a cup of tea?"
  • "Computer says no." (not in my opinion very funny, but ho-hum)
Now one of my all time favourite comedy sketch shows was formed back in the late 80s and played late on a Saturday night on Radio 1. The Mary Whitehouse Experience's brief was simple enough. Make a half hour programme guaranteed to get the Morality campaigner writing with complaints to the BBC. And, oh boy, did they deliver. Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis were already a double act, and the inclusion of Rob Newman (whatever happened to him?) and David Baddiel made some truly momentous comedy moments. My all time favourite was a character played by Hugh Dennis, called Mr. Strange. He was the man your mother warned you about, the weird bloke that you avoided in the street. And in this case, very very funny. And his catchphrase of Milky Milky was enough to reduce a grown man (me) to tears each time. I was explaining all about him to John on Saturday night, and then after a quick check on youtube I found the original in all it's glory.

Now, being on youtube, I got offered loads of alternative sketches. One of them had me and John laughing and almost heaving, and I said to him afterwards that's going to have to be my video of the week. And so, here it is.