5 items from 2015
Russell Howard has spoken of his surprise of seeing how passionate and geeky his American fans are.
The British comic's BBC series Good News has proved popular around the world thanks to its YouTube presence, while he recently completed a successful Us tour which peaked with a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Russell told Digital Spy: "I did a tour of America in the summer, and I was amazed by it, as they knew specific clips. I was in Washington in a tiny room with 400 people. And people were going 'tell us about the meerkat lady', which was from, like, series three [of Good News]. They were really brilliantly nerdy and committed.
"They're just so happy! That's the oddest thing. You do gigs there and they cheer and whoop. After a while, you just miss British cynicism. In the UK, they go 'go on then, make me laugh, dickhead!'. »
Autumn may have hit us with its reliable double-header of persistent drizzle and pitch-black commutes, but its better-looking sibling, Autumn TV, has our backs, insisting we hole in our warm sofa sanctuaries for fear of missing any brilliant telly.
Digital Spy has whittled down the next seven days' broadcasting mother lode to a must-watch list of 10, including the much-anticipated return of The Big Bang Theory, Sky1's Never Mind the Buzzcocks wannabe and the opulently decorated tears of Judges' Houses on The X Factor.
1. The Big Bang Theory - Thursday, 8.30pm on E4
The biggest TV show in the world right now returns for its ninth series, after its greatest cliffhanger yet saw Amy dump Sheldon who intended to propose. 'Bazingas' might be in short supply.
With Penny and Leonard also eloping for a Las Vegas wedding, the geeky chums are in for an uncharacteristically dramatic season opener. Sheldon might »
Viewers were asked to vote on how they would like the show to finish, either with diehard Arsenal fan Alex Brooker wearing a Spurs football shirt, Greg Davies weightlifting Josh Widdicombe or Hills shaving his head.
Looking good @adamhillscomedy! #su2c #standuptocancer pic.twitter.com/PpDV5ZQmdP
— The Last Leg (@TheLastLeg) October 9, 2015
The poll was announced at the end of the show as 11% for the Spurs shirt, 23% for Greg's weightlifting and an overwhelming 66% voted in favour of Hills going bald.
Quick to pick up the clippers were Brooker and guest Russell Howard, who didn't take long to shear Hills of his thick head of hair.
The impact seemed to dawn on the comedian, who shrieked: "What have I done? What have I done?!"
Thanks for watching »
Mock the Week will celebrate its 10th birthday when it returns next month.
The BBC Two topical series will come back for six weeks in June and July for its 14th series, before returning again in September and October.
Other comics that are set to appear include Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Zoe Lyons, Katherine Ryan, Josh Widdicombe, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, James Acaster, Matt Forde and Ellie Taylor.
Topics will include the election aftermath, the royal baby, American presidential candidates and a summer of sport.
Comedy Central has axed Lee’s programme and will broadcast a new one by Howard – leading critics and comedians to debate standup’s future on the telly
The state of standup on the telly is under the microscope this week, with the announcement that Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience has been axed by Comedy Central, while a new Russell Howard-helmed standup show is to be broadcast on the same channel. Coincidence? The arts critic Bruce Dessau certainly didn’t think so, blogging on the subject under the headline Russell Howard 1, Stewart Lee 0. (Lee has mocked Howard, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise, in his live act.) Howard’s new show, writes Dessau, “sounds ominously like a cross between Live at the Electric and Live at the Apollo”, and diminishes the variety (and quality?) of standup on the small screen.
Related: Stewart Lee review – tricksy gags about liberals, rightwingers and ‘the Islams »
- Brian Logan
5 items from 2015
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