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Guess which Mayor is sticking his oar in...

The hyperactive media relations team for Livingstone is at it again, as he has taken umbrage at Wandsworth Council exercising its right to cut off the money tap to the Battersea Arts Centre, and marshalls a gallery of luvvies the great and the good to decry this decision.

He comments, 'Wandsworth council must immediately reverse its decision to cut all funding from Battersea Arts Centre'. Erm no, it is entirely within the competence of the council to do whatever it pleases with subsidies, the removal thereof etc. Normally I would call on elected officials to stick to their knitting, but I suppose he can do less harm through this grandstanding than by getting on with beggaring London. I was also under the impression that he was making a nuisance of himself in Davos.

Given that the BAC was responsible for launching the careers of the thoroughly tiresome French & Saunders and Harry 'I'm about as funny as tuberculosis' Hill, the good burghers of Wandsworth may well count themselves lucky.

Anyway, subsidising the arts - yes or no?

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Anonymous this newt said... 12:25 pm

When Ken the Red (sorry i bin reading about Eirikur Roedur) was suspended for his abuse, he argued that it's up to the voters to sanction him. So it's up to the voters of Wandy to sanction their own cancil.  

Blogger Newmania said... 1:04 pm

We are not allowed to subsidise the mass arts because of our membership of the EU . It would constitute unfair competition in films say. You are only allowed to subsidise films with a national cultural input . This distinction is decided according to Byzantine regulations deep in the centre of the ants nest.
We have previously discussed the deadening affect of state funded art and the way it has slewed the art establishment leftward and dullward. I would support funding on heritage lines but not contemporary art and creative work. Pointless and harmful

Funding for Opera for example is ridiculous and superfluous  

Anonymous verity said... 1:37 pm

How heart-warming that someone else thinks French and Saunders are pointless and irritating.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:42 pm

Yes, greatly cheering for me too.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 1:48 pm

good art doesnt need subsidising.
and who told Al "landlord" murray that he was funny?  

Blogger Newmania said... 2:35 pm

How heart-warming that someone else thinks French and Saunders are pointless and irritating.

Well I feel as if I have stumbled through the jungle and discovered my tribe . Verity , French and Saunders are not funny and PHITCH double yes. I saw "The Pub landlord before he was famous at the meccano club" . This very business of him not being very funny was one I repeatedly broached from the audience. Dawn French in particular has never ever added to my quotient of laughs in her endless and mystifying career. This is not a matter of being a Bernard manning fan .Eddie Izzard ..funny, Ricky Gervaise……I`m in..Rhona Cameron that lesbian…funny funny..and Even Billy Connolly.. insufferably conceited but he can be amusing. Incidentally there is comedy writing duo on Radio 4 called Penge and something who have consistently avoided humour for years.

BTW I also like Frasier and those smart US shows .He stole every mannerism from Bob Hope , another hero, dated I know, but I loved the Road Films . It all starts when Bing sells Bob into slavery to pay the Dinner bill , how could it be bad?

Slap stick has dated badly but I also like a well delivered pie and the Laurel and hardy when they end up blowing each others houses up is a reason to be alive . It’s the facial expressions  

Anonymous verity said... 2:59 pm

First, why is this site coming up in Spanish? It is extremely irritating. The comments are coming up in English, but everything else is Spanish. So it doesn't read: "Newmania said". It reads "Newmania dijo". Where it tells you to choose a name to make a comment, it says, "Elegir una identidad" - and so on. It is really, really irritating.

French and Saunders are not funny. They are not mildly amusing. They are duds. I don't find Billy Connelly funny since he assumed the mantle of greatness. Ditto John Cleese. Preachy isn't funny.

I don't see any echoes of Bob Hope in Frasier. And both those actors were in the previous sitcom, Cheers, with the same personnas. (Of course, they were playing the same people, so fair does.)

What about that woman from Glasgow who did a video in response to Dave's video showing him being "ordinary" in the kitchen? She was FUNNY!

All in all, save for a handful of classics, American sitcoms outclass British sitcoms by a factor of around one million.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 3:01 pm

Bob hope hilarious

love laurel and hardy (and the three stooges)

French & Henry possibley the least unamusing coupling possible.

David Badiel wanker
ernie wise wanker  

Anonymous verity said... 3:18 pm

Bob Hope was a genius.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:22 pm

The only people in the arts who need subsidies are people who are no good. How is it the arts establishment manages to elide over, with no one calling them to account, this glaringly obvious fact?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:25 pm

My prize for least funny comic act is Little Britain, which as I have noted before is not post-modern, it is merely vilely misogynistic.

V - No signs of Spanish when I psot, so I am mystified.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:36 pm

Croydonian - I've sent you a copy in an email.  

Anonymous nick drew said... 4:13 pm

"...manages to elide over..."

Mr Mania didn't put you up to this, did he Verity...?

I am very easily bated in these matters, and he loves to pull my chain  

Blogger Newmania said... 4:24 pm

No I did not Nick and doubtless you will be wishing to adminisiter the same crushing reproof you aimed at me in the direction of Verity. Now speaking personally I wouldn`t be queueing up to pick Verity up on her use of English but I `m sure you are up to the task Nick. Army background and all that

Off you go then

Verity how can you say that Kelsy Grammer is not Bob Hope-like . The next time you see Frasier,look at the use of hands ,the expressions the very physical appearance. Its pure Bob Hope sucked straight form the primordial Hope Spring. Humour me,just try it, you will be amazed and stunned at how right I am . promise  

Blogger Newmania said... 4:37 pm

French & Henry possibley the least unamusing coupling possible.

Thats right , straight into the not funny bin and Verity is right on American Sitcoms. I know a producer of radio comedy and she was telling me that the American system of having teams of writers has never worked here. In the US it keeps the inventiveness up for years but here it turns into committee comedy,. No idea why.
I liked Porridge actually …

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair you are a habitual criminal who sems to regard confinement as an occupational hazard.I therefore feel constrained to hand you the maximum sentence allowed…or something

Black Jock “eez in the black watch inee”… what innocent times  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:46 pm

kelsy Grammer reached his peak as side show Bob on The Simpsons  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:50 pm

Agreed, we've had a few decent sitcoms in these parts. However, they tend to be reliant on one or maybe two inspired writers, and when the inspiration dries up we end up with superfluous characters being thrown in and / or being prolonged way beyond their natural lifespans, like 'Fools and Horses', guilty on both counts. Another favourite is the trio of characters- the one who isn't as clever as he thinks he is (Delboy, Father Ted), the stupid one / stooge and the 'mad' one. Same with Absolutely Fabulous and the just plain awful 'Last of the Summer Wine'

Whereas a British comedy will be commissioned on the basis of six or twelve episodes, American ones will have to have ploy outlines for several seasons minimum, and the scope to run for years  

Anonymous verity said... 4:53 pm

I think the reason they don't have teams of writers in British TV comedies is because they all think alike. They're all drab, boring lefties, so none of them has anything new to bring to the table.

Also, top quality comedy writers cost major dollars and the Brits only like to pay large sums of money to people who don't actually do anything to earn it, like Jonathan Ross.

Also, American sitcoms are tried out before live TV audiences. If a joke doesn't go over the way the writers intended, they stop the show and ask the audience why it wasn't funny. In other words, they tackle comedy as they tackle everything else - with thoroughness. That is why they are so mind-bogglinly successful. They roll up their sleeves and work at it.  

Anonymous This guy dijo said... 4:54 pm

For me the world's funniest is Max von Sydow. Espesh in the world's funniest film (weel, shown in Liw Britn) - the 7th Seal.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:01 pm

TG - you've got blogger acting all Spanish on you too? I always picture the seventh seal as an aquatic mammal....  

Anonymous nick drew said... 5:15 pm

All those who know what 'elide' means, one pace forward

Verity where do you think you are going?  

Anonymous verity said... 5:18 pm

Also, American teams of writers are competitive. They all want to come up with the funniest line, whereas, British "comedy" writer seem to take the collegiate approach.

Father Ted was genuinely funny. As was the awesome Fawlty Towers. 'Allo, 'Allo was very funny. Fools And Horses was very funny.

Last of The Summer Wine was dire. So was Absolutely Fabulous. I saw reruns of Are You Being Served and it was more like panto than a sitcom.

I just cannot imagine any British TV writers coming up with something as brilliant as The Simpsons, or it getting an airing even if they had.  

Anonymous newmania said... 5:24 pm

Tengo 43 años ,soy inglés ,vivo en Londres.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 5:35 pm

You are talking in tongues, are you having a religious episode?  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 8:49 pm


US sitcoms are more funny than British ones becuase they make a million of them before you get a good one.

This one that survives can then be amazing. I cite Seinfled as the greatest example.

Therefore we have to accept a long time between funny British comedies. The yanks will get one a year. However, having lived there I can tell you it is wall to wall dud sitcoms most nights on the gogglebox. No wonder they invented blogging.

Secondly, may of the US shows that run for years are tiresome. Yes, with writing teams they can last longer, but overall they decline and fall. I think it is quite noble that our best shows; Blackadder, The Day Today, The Office etc, are ended at the correct artistic time rather than the extended for financial plunder and the ruin of their reputation; Friends for example ran for about 9 seasons to long.

Finally, US stand-up is generally much funnier than UK attempts. This is mainly becuase rather than insult everyone and call it humour, which Amercians are loathe to do except through ignorance, they are forced to think up funny lines.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:58 am

I agree that Friends ran on for years too long, but most of them don't. They do develop the characters so that you stick with them. That blue collar show Roseanne and that wonderful actor who played her husband saw both their daughters through adolescence and running off with men. So the show had a very strong skeleton.

Same with the Cosbie Show.

Long-running Hollywood sitcoms are popular all over the world because they strike a chord in all of us and they are very funny.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:00 am

That was me. I'm either in Spanish or anonymous. What the hell is going on around here?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:35 am

I do not knuw if you get/got it in the UK or not - me being a permanent expat etc - but I think Everybody Loves Raymond is up there with the best comedy going.  

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