Friday, 22 June 2018
Not the Nine O'Clock News
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC says Monty Python has had its day. Well, yes, it was 50 years ago, so... Naturally, as is only right when you denigrate, however slightly, a national treasure, the knives were out and Mr Allen – who sounds suspiciously like a white male, although (phew) he’s Irish, at least – was variously lampooned across media platforms as a humourless politically correct drone but I’m here to defend him. He’s only doing his job; and on £208 k p.a. what a job.
What he wants is material which is original and fresh. You know, like Mrs Brown’s Boys and Citizen Khan; stuff that could not possibly have been influenced by what came before and bears no resemblance to the stereotypical output of the 1970s. But don’t worry, I have it on good authority that Monty Python is never far from his thoughts. I have been fortunate enough to acquire a transcript of a recent commissioning meeting:
FX: KNOCK KNOCK
SHANE: Come in.
WRITER: Hello, is this the commissioning meeting?
SHANE: I just told you.
WRITER: No you didn’t
SHANE Oh, yes I did.
WRITER: No you didn’t.
SHANE: Excuse me, is this a five minute argument or...
WRITER: I’ll come in again.
CARDINAL RICHLIEU ENTERS.
SHANE: Stop this. This is just silly
VOICE OFF: Mrs Niggerbaiter’s just exploded
SECOND VOICE OFF: She’s a staunch.
THIRD VOICE OFF: I don’t like darkies
FX: KNOCK KNOCK
WRITER: Can we start again?
SHANE: You’re not going to complain about a parrot, are you?
WRITER: No, I have an idea for an all-new comedy show
SHANE: It doesn’t involve unarmed combat against soft fruit, does it?
SHANE: No carnivorous rabbits?
SHANE: You’re not going to parody the son of god?
WRITER: Wouldn’t dream of it; too dangerous these days
SHANE: No Knights who say Ni?
WRITER: No. See, you’ve got Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell sharing a flat in Venezuela...
Wanks as high as any in Wome...
SHANE: I never really wanted this job.... I wanted to be... I wanted to be... a lumberjack!
STIRRING MUSIC. CURTAINS OPEN TO REVEAL MOUNTIE CHOIR.
... OR IS IT?