As I’ve been kicking about the house so much over the past fortnight I’ve made good use of my time (ahem) by catching up on some luxury telly – i.e. allowing myself the time and elasticity to just wander aimlessly through the channels and see what’s out there.
A lot of crap. As expected.
But I have found something of a gem on Channel Dave.
Yes. That’s what I thought. What a thoroughly dismal name for a TV station: Dave. Is there a secret joke that I’m patently not getting? It evokes a TV channel that dunks itself in cold tea, doesn’t shave for days and likes documentaries about road signage and steeplejacks and likes to pick the winnets out of its arse with a pair of nail clippers on a Friday night.
Not somebody I’d normally choose to knock about with.
However, Channel Dave is showing re-runs of Whose Line Is It Anyway? – the ones with Josie Lawrence and Tony Slattery in.
God I used to love this show in the eighties/nineties. It was the kind of show that, for a while, was worth the effort of coming home early from the pub. It had a freshness and badinage to it that was edgy and yet warm at the same time. It was also my first introduction to improv comedy and it was hugely entertaining to see so many comedy minds tested to the full in front of a live studio audience. Performing on their wits. Sometimes failing (but never completely) and sometimes scoring amazing hits.
My favourites were always Tony Slattery and Josie Lawrence. Tony ‘cos he was just dirty and extremely juvenile – the personification of my sense of humour in fact – and Josie was warm, sardonic and an amazing improvisational singer. Oh yeah and amazingly gorgeous and I fancied the pants off her.
A brunette with a sense of humour, see? Just makes me want to roll over and play fetch all day long. At least that’s what I hope the big stick that Karen is waving at me is for…
Anyway it’s gratifying to admit that the re-runs are still making me laugh and Ben seems to be greatly intrigued by them too. The twin ingredients of madcap and slapstick, I suspect, are what are wining him over as opposed to the sultry charms of Josie or the adult wit of Mr Slattery.
It’s a shame these two aren’t on our tellies so much anymore – sure, I know they both pop up here and there and they’re still treading the boards so to speak… and it’s heartening to know that Tony has recovered somewhat from the breakdown that laid him so low in the nineties… but they’re both (in my opinion) overlooked national treasures that the limelight of success has yet to define brightly enough…
They’re amazingly talented and I have to say I’d rather see them on BBC 2 on a Thursday night than the bloody awful Vivienne Vyle. I mean really. Did somebody forget to flush?
Come back Josie – you’re a star!