Hugely influential, surreal and anarchic parody of the variety show format. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer introduce a selection of eccentric characters. The show often appears to be completely random, ramshackle and nonsensical.
Along with 'Whose Line' co-star Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton landed his own show on Channel 4 in the early '90's. It was a deliberate throwback to the madcap sketch shows of the '60's, such as 'At Last The 1948 Show' and 'Marty'. Merton would take a situation, such as a father telling his daughter she's adopted, turned it inside out ( he tells her she isn't ), and by piling absurdity on absurdity, created an explosion of inspired comic lunacy. The sketches were linked by surreal monologues such as 'there's a time tunnel at the back of my fridge', delivered from a railway station tobacconist's. The show miraculously avoided lavatorial humour and brought back something that had been missing from television for some time - visual comedy. His 'Old Ladies' Grand Prix' wouldn't have have looked out of place in 'The Goodies' or 'Monty Python'. Sadly, it didn't enjoy the success it deserved, and apart from reruns from 'The Paramount Comedy Channel' has more or less been forgotten. As Paul would say: "Work that one out!".
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