Meet Mr Inquisitor [Redux] - Danny B.

1 Conversation

Meet Mr Inquisitor [Redux]

Blah blah blah, bit nobody ever reads, pointless in-joke, meaningless platitudes, time is tight, go go gadget interview, here's Danny B.

Okay Danny, here's your first question. A quick look at a list of your EG entries suggests you're a bit of a Monty Python fanatic. Is it safe to say that modern comedy like Little Britain and Catherine Tate will never live up to the standards set by the legendary Python troupe?

Well... now... 'fanatic' is such a strong word... OK, so I can't really deny this, can I? I do, however, try to be the sort of socially acceptable Python fanatic who can be taken out in public without reciting the entire Parrot sketch every 7 minutes. I normally only talk about Python when amongst other consenting adults. Honestly.

'Is it safe to say that modern comedy like Little Britain and Catherine Tate will never live up to the standards set by the legendary Python troupe?'

Hmm... I'll try (and fail) to keep this short! In terms purely of immediate entertainment and recognition factor, then one has to admit that comedy evolves. There are, I'm sure, many fans of Little Britain, Catherine Tate, etc who would sit stony faced through most of Python (particularly some of the more obscure episodes of the TV series). These modern comedies clearly achieve at least as much as Python did in terms of having their catchphrases quoted by politicians and newspapers trying to look cool ('Am I bovvered?'), being 'water cooler' TV that everybody talks about at work/school the next day, launching successful stage tours, and so forth. When I was at school, for example, the equivalent was The Harry Enfield Show, which got recited incessantly the next day. But (and it's impossible to tell here and now) will those catchphrases still be common currency in 40 years' time, the way that Python quotes are today (nudge nudge; an ex-parrot; etc)? Look at Not the Nine o'Clock News or The Young Ones, which were both considered to be ground-breaking shows in the early 1980s ā€” how widely known are they today1? I have to admit I've seen very little of Little Britain, but it seems to be 'catchphrase comedy' that owes a lot to The Fast Show. The Pythons tried very hard (in the early days, at least) to avoid simple catchphrases, obvious punchlines and the like, and what they did was, at the time, genuinely original and hadn't been done before. An obvious comparison is The Beatles. Today, very few people under a certain age would class the Beatles as their favourite band, but I'm sure that most people have heard of the Beatles and can name, and possibly sing along with, a sizeable number of their songs.

In short (a bit late for that, methinks...), feel free to find Little Britain infinitely funnier than Python, but don't talk to me about comparisons until two Little Britain films consistently appear in the upper reaches of 'Top Comedy Films of All Time'-style polls.smiley - winkeye

Next question? Or have I used up my entire allotted space in one go..?

I've had longer answers. Once. I think. I'd better go for something to be answered succinctly hadn't I? You've got a 50 Edited Entries badge. Do you think that's something we should all be aiming for, or is it the kind of thing that requires more commitment than the average person can muster?

Sorry, but you did ask..!

I don't think writing 50 Edited Entries is everyone's cup of tea, but it would be nice to think that everyone could add at least one Entry to the EG. I think there are plenty of people who are committed to the site but who just don't have the free time to write a lot of Entries. If I were starting from scratch today I think I'd be very hard-pushed to get to 50 again.

Just to cleanse the mental palate, Iā€™m going to throw in my fight question a little early. In a no-holds barred chess match between the average National Front (or racist organisation of your choice) member and a bag of sand, is it safe to say that the sand would inevitably out-think its opponent within 7 moves?

I'm outraged on behalf of bags of sand everywhere that you think it would take that long. Besides, would National Front members not be so incensed that the Black and White pieces have equal status that they'd refuse to play?

It's a possibility I guess. After watching a number of zombie-based horror movies, a theory popped into my head. Do you agree that all of life's little problems can be solved with the proper application of chainsaws and shotguns?

Having never seen (nor wish to see) a zombie-based horror movie, I'm perhaps not best qualified to answer this. Mind you, when I was a kid I had a boardgame called 'Chainsaw Warrior', which featured a lot of zombies. I don't think I ever
won the game, regardless of the number of chainsaws and shotguns I accumulated, so I think I might have to disagree with your statement.

You're missing out.... You claim that as a Guru, one of your duties to the site is helping old ladies across the road. Surely that's a job for the Scouts?

No, no, no. The job of the Scouts is to thank the old lady for attempting to cross the road, but point out that she's attempting to cross it in the wrong place and could she try over there in the 'Alternative Road-crossing Workshop'.

I suppose that fits in more with their job description. Would it be better for society in general if certain illegal drugs were legalised, taxed and put through stringent quality controls in the same way alcohol is?

Oooh, scarily serious question there... Are you sure this isn't The Forum? Anyway, would you like the short answer (a tentative 'yes') or the long answer, which involves me rambling for hours about Pharmacology lectures at University
and the joys of being teetotal...?

I'm sure we can allow you a bit more space to expand on the joys of being teetotal. Especially as we here at MMI[R] can't get through the week without a pint or ten of tasty, tasty lager.

The joys of being teetotal, eh? Where to start...? For me, it all boils down to one thing ā€” I've never been drunk. Which means (amongst other things), I've never vomited in public, never woken up in a pool of my own bodily fluids, never
got into a fight, never seriously injured myself or anyone else, never been arrested, never woken up with someone I really didn't want to have woken up with, never had photographs of me doing something utterly humiliating circulated to all and sundry, never eaten the disinfectant block from a public urinal, never been banned from driving, never trashed a hospital casualty department or assaulted a nurse, never inhibited a sizeable proportion of the neurotransmitter receptors in my brain in one fell swoop and, perhaps most importantly, never sung karaoke. I'm also going to throw in the word 'cirrhosis' while I'm here.

On the downside, I'm a joyless, misanthropic control freak. You can't have everything....

The Inquisition would like to move to point out that even though a bottle of vodka has led to certain columnists breaking their own spine whilst scalping themselves, drinking is big and clever. Is it a complete travesty that the song 'Angels' by Robbie 'fat dancer from Take That' Williams was voted the 'Song of the Millennium'?

You broke your spine...? Well done, you!

Now then... I realise this may leave me open to ridicule (I'm optimistically assuming that the whole 'teetotal Monty Python geek' thing hasn't done that already) but I'm actually quite partial to a bit of Mr Williams's brand of power-pop-balladry when it shuffles round on my MP3 player.

Anyway, that aside, I concur utterly that the choice of 'Angels' was a 'complete travesty'. Song of the millennium indeed. 'Let Me Entertain You' (also from the 'Life Through a Lens' album) is far superior...

I should halt this interview in sheer disgust right now. However, I need to ask one question first. What's the most important thing you've learnt through being a member of h2g2?

Never admit, even in jest, to being a fan of Monty Python or Robbie Williams, or to being teetotal. Sadly, this enlightenment came to me too late. I only hope that others will profit from my folly...

Thanks to Danny B, blah blah blah, people still on list, blah, can't find Roymondo, blah, something witty. Saba ba sarra wowino2.

Meet Mr Inquisitor Archive

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Danny B

17.05.07 Front Page

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1Some of us own both series of The Young Ones on DVD, thank you very much.2Pashto (Afghanistan) [see you tomorrow].

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