/ Count Arthur Strong. I don't geddit

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ThunderCat - on 16 Nov 2012
I love to laugh. I love something that makes me laugh my arse off until I can't breath. I like a bit of highbrow comedy and I like a bit of lowbrow comedy. I'm not really fussy. Long as I laugh

But I caught a bit of Count Arthur Strong on Radio 4 on the way home from work this week and I wanted to commit Hari Kari by the end of it. Chronically, painfully unfunny. About as amusing as burglars who break into your house, steal your stuff and take a dump on your carpet.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pxvds/Count_Arthur_Strongs_Radio_Show!_Series_5_The_Musical/

Yet I've got friends who swear by him. I appreciate that comedy is very subjective but like my Philip K Dick thread earlier on...am I missing something?
I like climbing - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:
I didn't get it either ......
jonathan shepherd - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat: I have radio 4 on almost every day so have heard a few of the Arthur Strong sketches and apart from an odd occasion when it's managed to raise a a tiny smile most of it is very very unfunny. I was going to say it's childish but that's not the right word and some childish humour does make me laugh out loud.
Jonny2vests - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

I tend to find not many women like it for some reason.
Clarence - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

And yet I find it funnier than a funny thing. I suspect its appeal may be regional, my southern friends don't get it, just as they don't get John Shuttlewoth. You probably have to know someone like Strong, he is the spitting image and sound of my grandfather.
victim of mathematics - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Radio 4 are always putting on utterly, inexplicably dire 'comedy' programmes in that slot. Yet every now and then they turn out something totally brilliant. Their commissioning editors must be on crack, that's the only way I can explain it.
Ava Adore - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Oh, it's supposed to be funny?? ;-)
pog100 - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to jonny2vests:
Yes, I have noticed that too! Personally, I love it, but just like music and films it is a taste thing, isn't it.
ThunderCat - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Clarence:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> And yet I find it funnier than a funny thing. I suspect its appeal may be regional, my southern friends don't get it, just as they don't get John Shuttlewoth. You probably have to know someone like Strong, he is the spitting image and sound of my grandfather.

I'm from Sunderland, Mrs TC is from Manchester. Both of us found it equally unfunny and we're both grubbby northernern.

Painfully, cringingly unfunny,

Now John Shuttleworth I find very funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8eh72REd_s



Dave Garnett - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Clarence:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> And yet I find it funnier than a funny thing. I suspect its appeal may be regional, my southern friends don't get it, just as they don't get John Shuttlewoth.

He makes John Shuttleworth sound like Oscar Wilde. It strikes me as a failed attempt at retro-humour of the the Jimmy Clitheroe school. Two problems with that; first, it's not as good as Jimmy Clitheroe; second, Jimmy Clitheroe wasn't very funny either.

Perhaps it's meant ironically, which is often the excuse for things that are not funny but the studio audience do sound pretty old. And probably northern. And perhaps not very sophisticated (these things are independent variables).
Dave Garnett - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> Radio 4 are always putting on utterly, inexplicably dire 'comedy' programmes in that slot. Yet every now and then they turn out something totally brilliant. Their commissioning editors must be on crack, that's the only way I can explain it.

The only reason I can forgive them for Count Athur Strong is that they also come up with people like John Finnemore.

Fredt on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Count Arthur Strong is brilliant, but you need to listen to three or four episodes to understand his character, and thus the humour.

I didn't get Father Ted for ages.

I still don't get Red Dwarf
flipper - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat: Can't stand it: it's one of only two things that I regularly turn of on Radio 4, the other being Thought for the Day, but that's another can of worms.
Dave Garnett - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Fredt:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> Count Arthur Strong is brilliant, but you need to listen to three or four episodes to understand his character, and thus the humour.
>

I've listened to quite a few, I don't really ever turn R4 off, I just wander off when it's something I don't like.

I think the character is part of the problem. He's a celebration of ignorance. CAS is a bombastic, incompetent, inarticulate, dishonest excuse for an old age pensioner. For any situation comedy to work you have to have some sympathy with the protagonist and in this case I just don't.
Fredt on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to Fredt)
> [...]
>
> I think the character is part of the problem. He's a celebration of ignorance. CAS is a bombastic, incompetent, inarticulate, dishonest excuse for an old age pensioner. For any situation comedy to work you have to have some sympathy with the protagonist and in this case I just don't.

I can certainly identify whith him then!
digby - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

You don't find it funny and nothing I can say will change that. But I do. So I won't bother putting up any arguments I'll just say I think it's beautifully crafted and hilarious.
ThunderCat - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to digby:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> You don't find it funny and nothing I can say will change that. But I do. So I won't bother putting up any arguments I'll just say I think it's beautifully crafted and hilarious.

Odd what appeals to different people isn't it. I found Vic Reeves hilarious from the first time I saw him on Big Night Out on C4 yonks ago, but I've got a mate who thinks he's the most unfunny thing ever (probably the same as I feel about Arthur Strong.).

Me and this friend have lots of comedy 'likes' in common, but on Vic Reeves we're polar opposites.

I didn't get League of Gentlemen at all the first time round, but love it now. You've only got to say "WE DIDN'T BURN HIM!!!" and I start to laugh.












Neil Foster - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

One of the funniest things on the radio at the moment. Not 'laugh out loud' funny. It's more subtle than that.

But it is indeed beautifully crafted, and seems to be improving with age.

(Wouldn't the world be a boring place if everyone shared the same tastes...?).

Neil
estivoautumnal - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Fredt:

> I didn't get Father Ted for ages.
>
> I still don't get Red Dwarf

Father Ted was funny from minute 1. Red dwarf is funny, you heathen.

C.unt Arthur strong. I've tried, a few times, but.....No.
Siward on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to Fredt)
> [...]
>
> I don't really ever turn R4 off

Undoubtedly the best way to live one's life...
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tobykeep - on 17 Nov 2012
In reply to Siward:

I love it. Last time I commented on him on here I got an email from Steve Delaney, who writes and performs Count Arthur because I misreported an aspect of his personal life!
ThunderCat - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to tobykeep:
> (In reply to Siward)
>
> I love it. Last time I commented on him on here I got an email from Steve Delaney, who writes and performs Count Arthur because I misreported an aspect of his personal life!

I wonder what I'll get off him for suggesting he's as funny as being given a prostate exam by a doctor who's wearing a boxing glove.

Jim C - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:
Blackadder -funny
Dads Army -Funny
Only fools- UNfunny,
But every one else around me is rolling around in fits At Only Fools!
I have no idea why I can barely do more than occasionally smile.

Maybe I should try CAS.

It takes all sorts.
Clarence - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to Jim C:

Maybe you should, I find Only Fools and Horses spectacularly unfunny as well.
Bobling - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

First time I heard it I had the same reaction, now I quite like it. I'd rather listen to it on an endless loop than be subjected to "Just a minute" - the only thing on R4 I turn off instantly (I gave in on the Archers yonks ago).
Robert Durran - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to Bobling:
> "Just a minute" - the only thing on R4 I turn off instantly

Me too. Can anyone explain to me what is meant to be entertaining or interesting about?
ThunderCat - on 18 Nov 2012
In reply to Bobling:
> (In reply to ThunderCat)
>
> First time I heard it I had the same reaction, now I quite like it. I'd rather listen to it on an endless loop than be subjected to "Just a minute" - the only thing on R4 I turn off instantly (I gave in on the Archers yonks ago).

Agreed. Instantly turn it off.

I think it's one of those things which has become such an institution that it's allowed to carry on.. bit like 'last of the summer wine"


nufkin - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

I don't much care for Count Arthur either, though I appreciate some of the verbal mix-ups can be quite clever. I also don't really like 'I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue', which also seems massively popular just because it's been going so long, but I can't really get in to (Samantha jokes etc.)

On the other hand, I do like the Shuttleworths, even though I'm not northern, and a fair few other things that crop up in the 6:30 or 11pm slots. 'Cowards' and more recently 'Party' come to mind, for instance.
I suppose things you don't like are the price you pay for things you do with the BBC, and has been suggested you can always wander off for a while until appealing programming is resumed.


Simon Caldwell - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Neil Foster:
> One of the funniest things on the radio at the moment. Not 'laugh out loud' funny.

It makes me laugh out loud. Maybe I've misunderstood it ;-)
MeMeMe - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

I don't get it either, it's the only thing I change to a different radio station to avoid.

Mind you I don't get quite a lot of Radio 4 comedy.
Clare in the Community?
Cabin Pressure?

Are they really someone's idea of good comedy?
They a bit mundane, I want something that is clever.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Family guy - funniest thing ever
Simpsons - funny in doses
Fags, mags and bags - very funny
Listen against (R4) - exceptional
Only Fools - meh!
Blackadder series 2, 3 and some 4 - funny

Count Arthur - pointless waste of license fee.
Dave Garnett - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to MeMeMe:

Now, Cabin pressure is an example of exquisitely worked plots and scripts. John Finnemore is a brilliant writer as well as performer and he has an A list cast to work with.

His Souvenir Programme was excellent too.

Anyway, each to his own. As I said before, I'm prepared to put up with Arthur Strong (and Just a Minute and, of late, Sorry I Haven't a Clue) as long as I have John Finnemore, the News Quiz, and the Now Show.
Dave Garnett - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Yes, and Fags, Mags and Bags and Listen Against too.
Fraser on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

For me, most of C.A.S. is very unfunny, but when it's good, it's very funny indeed. The percentage is low however.
Jon Read - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to MeMeMe)
>
> Now, Cabin pressure is an example of exquisitely worked plots and scripts. John Finnemore is a brilliant writer as well as performer and he has an A list cast to work with.
>
> His Souvenir Programme was excellent too.

Agreed. His Souvenir Prog sketch about the three guards (one who always tells the truth, one who always lies, and one who alternates between lying and telling the truth) is a masterclass on logic as well as being very funny (imho, obviously).
Dave Garnett - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to Jon Read:

This was my favourite:


RED: My friends, there isnít much food, God knows, but there is enough for all of us. And when we scrabble for it between us we demean ourselves before our oppressors. So this time, when our food is contemptuously thrown to us, we will not fight for it, but with dignity we shall each, in turn, take a piece, until it is fairly divided. In that way we will all eat sufficiently, and we will show our captors our unity, and our power. Agreed? My comrade in blue!

BLUE: Aye

RED: My comrade in green!

GREEN: Aye

RED: My comrade in yellow!

YELLOW: Aye

RED: And I, your comrade in red. Very well then, I hear them approach. Remember, one at a time...








CHILDREN: Three, two, one, go!

(gobbling)

RED: Oh, my poor friends. They cannot help themselves. They are such hungry, hungry hippos.

(gobbling)

jonathan shepherd - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to MeMeMe: I thought Cabin Pressure was one of the funniest comedies they've had on radio 4, that and the one set at Bletchley Park with the codebreakers.
Robert Durran - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to MeMeMe:
> Mind you I don't get quite a lot of Radio 4 comedy.
> Clare in the Community?

This is pure genius.
I once nearly had to stop driving on my way to the wall I was laughing so much.
jshields - on 19 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat: You are not alone, I can't see the humour, not even in an awful Christmas cracker way!
Jon
Bobling - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Thanks for that - I heard that one when it was but didn't know what show it was. Since then I have still thought of it from time to time and chuckled.
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What Goes Up - on 20 Nov 2012

Interesting how this thread is panning out with likes and dislikes - doesn't seem to be too much of a pattern. Unless I missed it above no-one's mentioned Rudi's Rare Records yet, which I find agonisingly unfunny. But then Lenny Henry has never had much of a track record in making me laugh. I'll chuck my opinions on the others in here for the sake of disclosure...

CAS: No way, spectacularly unfunny. One dimensional, laboured and tepid
Cabin Pressure: Very good, brilliantly and tightly scripted
Just a Minute: Can be excellent depending on who's on
I'm Sorry I...: Cringeworthy retirement home
Listen against: Funny
The Archers: That guy falling off the roof last year was top slapstick, but generally needs more nob gags
Clare in the Community: More good than not good
Bleak Expectations: Absolutely superb

And I completely agree with the comment above that R4 18:30 slot can be baffling in its randomness and quality. But then that's just my opinion.
What Goes Up - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to What Goes Up: And having just listened to it now, that three guards sketch mentioned above is great!
Dave Garnett - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to What Goes Up:
> I'm Sorry I...: Cringeworthy retirement home


I know. I used to be a great fan but the truth is that, good as Jack Dee is, something died with Humph and it just isn't the same. Especially when Graeme Garden isn't on (he's funny in anything he's in).

Sadly, I think it should be put out of its misery.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 20 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Garnett: Agreed
Bulls Crack - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to ThunderCat:

Are you missing something? Not if you don't like him. I find him funny but how to explain?

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