When I first saw the Trailer for "Al Murrays Multiple Personality Disorder", I was confused.
At first, I though it was an elaborate joke.
I thought to myself: "How strange. This is exactly the sort of thing I would never expect Al Murray to do." Not to mention that the trailer was also strange in that it also failed to even illicit even a smile from me; in fact I watched it in stunned, unlaughing silence.
I viewed the first episode with an open mind, however. This is Al Murray after all, I thought - and everything he's ever done has been nothing short of brilliant.
The titles rolled and the first sketch started.
10 minutes into the episode, and not once had I even sniggered. I had been watching in abject, wide-eyed embarrassment, mainly for Al himself.
After the episode had finished, I just sat thinking.
What has happened to Al Murray to make him want to be associated with rubbish such as this?
Don't get me wrong, the fact that I did not find one single line of the whole 30 minutes funny in the slightest is not a reflection on my own sense of humour.
I find Al Murrays' Pub Landlord hilarious.
It could not be argued that I do not find the new show funny because of the higher amounts of dirty jokes than usual. I am an extremely difficult person to offend, and find some of the crudest jokes you can imagine funny.
This was not the reason I cringed at the sketches involving the sex-obsessed dirty dad, however. The sheer amount of RELIANCE purely on hearing an old man say dirty things and hyper low-brow humour of just this particular sketch is just simply very unfunny.
Sadly, even this trash was better than most of the other sketches on the programme.
For me, the show's ultimate low point was the "big baby sketch". Was the punchline simply the fact that there was a big baby in a business meeting? Christ Al, I hope you didn't write that one.
A lot of the material was very obviously hideously unoriginal. The mobile phone store sketch, and the camp German at the end just reeked of post "Little Britain/ Catherine Tate Show" dross, except managing to to be even LESS funny than both of these.
I know there is a huge audience for this sort of thing - again, Little Britain is incredibly popular, but it is genuinely sad to see such original comic talent as Al Murray stoop to these levels.
I'm also sure the new show will make many people laugh, but somehow I don't think many of those people will be Al Murray fans.
Not only is it without a doubt the least funny sketch show I have ever seen, what really rubs salt into the wound is that it bears Al Murray's name, and he stars in it.
Many people I know share similar views, and a lot of them think Al has totally sold out.
Did ITV pay you a damn lot? Did they want a new sketchshow and ask you to do it? Please don't tell me it was your idea in the first place.
I have by no means lost all faith in Al, though.
Comedians simply don't just cease to be funny. I just hope with all my might that this is the only series this thing gets.
And then we will speak no more of it, and hopefully over the years, it will be forgotten.
Do not be offended by any of this. This is not "hate mail".
I just speak for the many people who want to see you doing what you do best, rather than being associated with tacky, desperately poor sketch shows for depressingly cheap laughs.
Regards, A Concerned Al Murray fan.
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