Archive for the ‘saturday smiles’ Category

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And especially right now, we can do with silliness. Fuck me, can we do with some silliness. So, while not all of the videos below are of the ‘stay the hell at home’, some…? Yeah, some are.

 

I’ve got to start with the obvious this week: Mitch Benn’s exhortation to do right now what the government tells us to in his usual subtle way.

 
 
And following Mitch Benn, here’s Samuel L Jackson (and how often do you get to say that?) with essentially the same message.

 
 
And here’s Smon Pegg and Nick Frost, redoing that scene from Shawn of the Dead

 
 
Plenty of people are doing silly videos. I did like this one…

 
 
And since The Edinburgh Fringe has been cancelled this year, this is what you’d be missing….

 
 
See you tomorrow, with something else.

Housekeeping:: Yeah, I genuinely went back and forth as to whether to retire the Saturday Smiles for 2020. For one thing, it’s getting harder to find videos or clips or even funny stuff that I haven’t used at least once before. And while some of them are definitely worth a re-airing, it’s not fair nor sensible to keep pulling out stuff I’ve put up in this slot before.

On the other hand – ah, Tevye, thank you – on the other hand, the central message of these posts is still relevant, perhaps more relevant than ever.

So for the moment at least, they’ll continue.


Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with a ‘how the hell should I know?’, here’s some much needed silliness.

 

I’m always had a soft spot for Marvin The Martian. Here’s some of his history.

 
 
Rachel Parris shows you how to deliver a public apology

 
 
Here’s Laurel and Hardy. What else do you need to know?

 
 
While I loved the clever and satirical congs of Flanders and Swann, sometimes you just need some silliness from them.

 
 
Johns Bird and Fortune, as ever being wonderful; This time, George Parr is a senior diplomat at the British Embassy in Washington during the time of George W Bush…

 
 
OK, one of my favourites from Mitch Benn, this time, about a certain song that’s hard to track down…

 
 
See you tomorrow, with something else.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with a groan, a shrug, and a wince, here’s some much needed silliness.

Something a bit different this week; no videos; a couple of other things instead.

Starting with something I came across years ago and – at one point – I had it printed out in Olde English above my desk.

It’s fairly self-explanatory, and I suspect will spark some recognition among anyone who like me thinks one of the essential skills you learn online is to read fluent tyop.

An Owed to the Spelling Checker
I have a spelling checker
It came with my PC
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
Be four a veiling checkers
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if were lacks or have a laps,
We wood be maid to wine.
Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know faults with in my cite,
Of non am eye a wear.
Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped words fare as hear.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud.
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.
Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas.
And why I brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.
—– anon.

And for those who prefer something about pronunciation?

I used to know this by heart, but it’s been a long time since then. Again, it’s anonymous, as far as I know, but worth sticking it here:

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; it’s said like bed, not bead
For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there’s dose and rose and lose
Just look them up – and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!
—– anon.

(Feel free to leave a comment below when your tongue has removed itself from the roof of your mouth and unknotted itself.)
 

This next bit has always amused me; as someone who’s met thorugh their career of friends more than a few ‘household names’, this rang so true. If you ignore the names of those in the piece below (an small piece in the Readers’ Questions and Answers slot in The Times), you could be reading about any two people…

Did Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington ever meet?

The fact that they met probably won’t surprise anyone. How they met and what happened might…

Nelson met the future Duke of Wellington in a room of the Colonial Office, where they were both waiting to see Lord Castlereagh. Nelson had no idea that he was talking with somebody of any reputation or importance, although Wellington recognised Nelson. According to Wellington: “He [Nelson] entered at once into conversation with me, if I can call it conversation, for it was almost all on his side and all about himself and, in reality, a style so vain and so silly as to surprise and almost disgust me.”

Nelson then left the room for a moment, apparently to find out who exactly he had been speaking with. When he came back, his manner was totally different. Wellington continued: “His charlatan style had quite vanished . . . and certainly for the last half or three quarters of an hour, I don’t know that I ever had a conversation that interested me more. I saw enough to be satisfied that he was really a very superior man; but certainly a more sudden or complete metamorphosis I never saw.”

And that’s it. No videos this week.

OK, one video, since the latest Star Wars has just been released.

One very silly video.

Enjoy.

‪Darth Vader Feels Blue

See you tomorrow, as we approach the final days of this year, and the final days of this countdown.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with a groan, a shrug, and a wince, here’s some much needed silliness.

 

Let’s start this week, with some more Road Runner. Enjoy.

 
 
Have some Gary Delaney, because… well, just because.

 
 
if you’ve not seen this before, from Duck Soup, or even if you have…

 
 
Ronnie Barker, with a poor… thingummy.

 
 
Johns Bird and Fortune; the Investment Banker interview

 
 
Mitch Benn has a message for those of you who, at this time of year, drink at the Bar Humbug…

 
 
See you tomorrow, with something else.,

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with a groan, a shrug, and a wince, here’s some much needed silliness.

 

Let’s start this week, with the glory that is What’s Opera, Doc? If you haven’t seen this, you’re in for a treat. If you have, then you know what a treat it is. Enjoy.

 
 
Have some Stewart Francis being daft, just because why not…?

 
 
And here’s some Milton Jones, at the same veune

 
 
Ever ordered a large round of drinks? Yeah, me as well. Ronnie Barker shows us how it’s done.

 
 
Sir Humphrey explains to his minister The Five Standard Excuses in Yes, Minsitsr

 
 
Mitch Benn lays out the rules about celebrating Christmas before December.

 
 
But it is December now…

 
 
See you tomorrow, with something else.,

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with a groan, a shrug, and a wince, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
Let’s start this week with some utter silliness, some unfettered silliness. Have some Road Runner.

 
 
Here’s some Emo Philips, just because why not…?

 
 
And here’s some Steven Wright, for the same reason

 
 
Rare that the opening scene of the first episode of a sitcom tells me I’m going to be hooked. Cheers managed it. Finest sitcom pilot I’ve ever seen.

 
How to keep a clean conscience in government? Sir Humphrey advises how

 
 

Mitch Benn has some advice for American families this week. How to talk to your pro-Trump relatives this Thanksgiving

 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Yes, it’s Saturday, so a Saturday Smile

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with ‘How the hell do I know?‘, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
Peter Cook, with Experiences Down The Mine. I’d forgotten quite how clever, and good, this is.

 
 
And since we’re back in history, Bob Newhart goes even further back with a call from Sir Walter Raleigh, Introducing Tobacco To Civilisation

 
 
Here’s Rowan Atkinson, with How Shakespeare Should Be Done…

 
 
Want to know why the government will never ban smoking? Yes, Prime Minister explains why…

 
 
Two from Mitch Benn this week.

Mitch’s favourite film was, and indeed is, Blade Runner. Mitch was more than slightly worried about the sequel

 
Then he saw the movie…

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Oh, it’s Saturday, so it’s a Saturday Smile

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the only sensible reaction to the news is to answer Twitter’s ‘What’s happening?‘ with ‘How the hell do I know?‘, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
Michael Spicer does ‘The Room Next Door’. Watch the attached and you’ll see what I mean. Gloriously original, and clever as hell.

 
 
Here’s Kate Lucas again, on dating…Not For Me

 
 

Here’s Rowan Atkinson, with The Three Wedding Speeches

 
 

It’s been done before, but here’s Yes, Prime Minister on who reads various newspapers…

 
 

I shouldn’t enjoy this The Blacklist as much as I do.

 
 

Mitch Benn has some advice for you, or rather for those who throw out one particular name for someone they don’t like: Shut Up About Hitler

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

It’s Saturday, so yes, of course it’s a Saturday Smile

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the world has effectively said ‘yeah, we don’t know either, mate’, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
Not the Nine O’Clock News with a possible solution to football hooliganism.

 
 
I’m not sure if I’ve ever put this one up before, but even if I have, definitely worth a rewatch Classes

 
 

Here’s Monty Python, with Michelangelo

 
 

Some Yes, Prime Minister seems appropriate, since we’re all currently ydrowning in opinion polls…

 
 

I wasn’t aware that this was on YouTube, the full things, I mean, but since it is, enjoy.Blackadder: Back and Forth

 
 

A less silly one from Mitch this week, but equally important; I pull this out whenever there’s an election coming up, but it’s always relevant. Don’t be surprised if you see it again. This, from a couple of weeks before the 2017 election. Have you registered to vote? well, you should, shouldn’t they, Mitch?

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

I’m running out of Saturday Smile titles; can you tell?

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the world has effectively said ‘yeah, we don’t know either, mate’, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
This has at least two titles that I’m aware of. I kind of like the album title of Comments Section. Anyway, here’s Kate Lucas.

 
 
The Two Ronnies Nuts, milord

 
 

Here are Stilgoe and Skellern with Mrs Beamish

 
 

Jonathan Lynne and Antony Jay always swore blind they invented things like ‘the standard Foreign Office response to any crisis for Yes, Minister and its sequel. I remain to be convinced.

 
 

Have a Minions mini-movie: Panic In The Mailroom

 
 

I’ve been waiting for this ever since I saw him do it in previews. This week from Mitch Benn, one of my favourites from his Edinburgh show and his new touring show: Ten Songs To Save The World: Moving To Scotland.

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

I know, I know, but I’m running out of Saturday Smile titles; they’re going to get a bit weird, ok?

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the world has effectively said ‘yeah, we don’t know either, mate’, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
This shouldn’t work nearly as well as it does: The Doctor Who Theme if Ennio Morricone had arranged it

 
 
Nor should this Doctor Who/Star Trek mashup: Quantum Breach

 
 

A few months ago, I put up Liz Ryan’s version of Richard Stilgoe’s Joyce The Librarian. Here’s Stilgoe and Skellern with the definitive version.

 
 

This is rather lovely. Eric Idle rewrote his Galaxy song for a BBC2 promo

 
 

If I’d seen this before, I’d completely forgotten it. Here’s a Minions mini, The Competition

 
 

This week’s Mitch Benn, a newer song. I do like it when he has a bit of fun: Let’s Keep Boris There Forever.

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

I know, I know, but I’m running out of Saturday Smile titles; they’re going to. get odd, ok?

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when the world has effectively said ‘yeah, we don’t know either, mate’, here’s some much needed silliness.

 
 
The Two Ronnies as Jehosphat and Jones

 
 
Back in the day, BBC 1 would close down transmission around 1am, with a final few minutes of broadcast. Imagine that, no telly until the following day. Not The Nine O’Clock News, here, with something that will be instantly recognisable to anyone over the age of 40, and entirely unrecognisable to anyone under 35: Closedown

 
 

Armstrong and Miller here, with Wartime pilots

 
 

The wonderful Michael Flanders and Donald Swann with Have Some Madeira M’Dear

 
 

And here’s the wondrous Tom Lehrer with his Masochism Tango

 
 

I put up one YouTube video of one of Mitch’s songs, last week; here’s another. So here’s Mitch Benn, with Sir Ranulph.

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Housekeeping note: I’ll carry on with the numbering in the titles until Friday, when there’ll be a new numbering system kicking in. Those with memories of three years ago might recall the reason for the new numbering. If not, then you have a nice surprise waiting for you, don’t you?
 


 
The day will surely come when I’m too embarrassed by a Saturday Smile blog entry title to let it go live. As today’s entry title proves, this is not that day.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when we look at the world and ask ‘what the f—?’ here’s some more silliness.

 
 
While searching for something else this week, I came across this and it amused me. That’s as good a reason as any to include it here: If Doctor Who had been Remade in America

 
 
Ten years ago, on The Now Show, Marcus Brigstocke lamented that the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention on Climate Change was so ludicrous, it was like it’d been designed by Dr Seuss, which gave him an idea…

 
 
Not often she does a flat out comedy song, but this one qualifies; Amanda Palmer and Black Death

 
 
Here’s Phil Pope, at The Distraction Club with his Rhyming Song

 
 
Once upon a time, there was The Ice Bucket Challenge. Everybody did their own video of it; I decided to do something a bit different with mine. Mister Budgie Gets Wet

 
 
Not often I made a YouTube video of one of Mitch’s songs, but when he did one about Michael Gove getting slammed for his ignorance as Education Secretary, I couldn’t resist. So here’s Mitch Benn, with Michael Gove Knows Better.

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Yes, OK, even I’ll admit to a wince when I typed the title of this one…

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after yet another week when we look at the world and ask ‘what the f—?’ here’s some more silliness.

 
 
For no reason other than it came up in conversation this week… Not The Nine O’Clock News: Union Negotiation

 
 
Always surprises me how few people know that The Four Yorkshiremen sketch long pre-dated Monty Python and was originally from At last, the 1948 Show.

 
 
Ronnie Barker loved language; here’s his Cockney Rhyming Slang sermon

 
 
One of the all time classic examples of what can be done with a standard cartoon format Duck Amuck

 
 
And if we’re talking about classics, here’s Abbott and Costello: Who’s On First…?

 
 
And if we are talking about classics, I suppose it’s imposible not to have this on here: Victoria Wood, with The Saga of Barry and Freda. This is the original performace, I believe.

 
 

And from Mitch Benn, this week, if Dogs Ruled The World.

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

No desperation with the titles of these Saturday posts. not in the least…

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s some more bits of silliness.

 

 
 
With the long and detailed Brexit court case we’ve just had in the UK Supreme Court, this seems entirely apposite. Not The Nine O’Clock News: Aleebee

 
 
As I get older and find myself occasionally reaching for the right word in conversation, I have more sympathy with Bert and Charlie as portrayed by The Two Ronnies.

 
 
When I was at school, corporal punishment was still allowed. I was never caned, but was threatened with it on one occasion, for some minor offence. (As far as I’m aware, my headmaster never actually caned anyone, but threatened it on regular occasions.) Anyway, here’s Roman Atkinson and Angus Deaton with Fatal Beatings

 
 
Dunno about a smile, but this is always worth watching. (And no, for the gullible among you, this isn’t something anyone actually made from farm equipment. Animusic

 
 
Victoria Wood was an utter genius, who died long before her time. So many songs of hers that I love. This one, however, may be my favourite: Things Would Never Have Worked

 
 

Mitch Benn, on the welcome and delightful disintegration into meaninglessness of UKIP. It’s quite sweary, as, of course, it should be. And though written before the Brexit Party’s creation, warns about it….

 
 

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Figured, given the various times people read this blog, and the various time zones they’re in, it was only fair to give people a multiple-choice option.

Nothing at all to do with the specific subject matter of this Saturday Smile and that it’s a wince inducing reference to Doctor Who or anything…

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

But yeah, if you’ve paid attention, you’ll have seen that I’m in the middle of doing a run of posts on Doctor Who, so I thought, what would be more fitting than to include – as part of the Saturday Smile that falls within the middle – some Doctor Who related silliness? Especially since Doctor Who is and should always be on Saturday evening.

So here’s some Doctor Who related silliness.

 
 
When Doctor Who returned in 2005, after a nineteen year absence from the television screens, other than the movie, Mitch Benn was ready. So, so ready, in fact that he had a warning for friends and family…

 
 
 
 
Now, lets be fair, I doubt there’s anyone who’s both a) reading this, and b) hasn’t ever seen this before, but this is always worth a rewatch: Comic Relief does Doctor Who

 
 
And since I repeated the previous one, I’m going to repeat this as well… this glorious piece of wonder is beautifully executed: Celebrating 50 Years of American Doctor Who

 
 
erm… There are no words.

 
 
So, Moving Right Along

 
 
Oh, It’s Bigger On The Inside

 
 
To finish off, Mitch Benn, once wrote a song entitled Be My Doctor Who Girl

 
 
But of course, he updated it for 2018:

 
 
See you tomorrow, with more proper (?) Doctor Who stuff.

You know, I wonder if anyone’s suspicious that I’m getting a bit desperate with the titles of these Saturday posts. Naaah, shurely not…

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s some more bits of silliness.

 

 
 
My lad pointed out to me that we’re coming up – in a couple of weeks – to Monty Python‘s 50th anniversary. That seems as good a reason as any to show you this, The Argument Sketch

 
 

May I introduce you to… Gerald The Gorilla

 
 
Ah, can’t believe I’ve never put this one up: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore with One Leg Too Few

 
 
An old BBC ad for childrens’ television, which always gives me a smile, anyway

 
 
And for grownups, this from the BBC: Perfect Day

 
 
And a couple of short ones, from Mitch. For his usual shows, Mitch will often ask for three news stories from the audience and will write a one-off song about them. When he does kids’ shows, however, he does something different. here are two of my favourites from them

Phil’s Fishy Ballet

 
And Guinea Pig Squash

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s some more bits of silliness.

 

 
 
Here’s the wondrous actor Brian Cox, giving a lesson to a very young pupil…

 
 

May I introduce you to the genius of… Monsterpiece Theatre.

Take it away, Alistair Cookiemonster:

Me Claudius

 
 
The King And I

 
 
Upstairs Downstairs

 
 
and the delight of…

Little Red Riding Cookie

 
 
Now let Tom Lehrer introduce to The Masochism Tango

 
 
The Two Johns – Bird and Fortune… or interviewer and George Parr, Gordon Brown’s advisor

 
 
An old favourite, more relevant than usual, perhaps, given the likely election coming our way: Sir Humphrey Appleby schools Bernard Wooley on opinion polls

 
 
Mitch Benn never went though a ‘Smiths Phase’, you know…

See you tomorrow, with something else.

OK, it’s been two weeks since the 55 minus run ended; time for the return of The Saturday Smile.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s six bits of silliness.

 

 
 
Robin Williams does SET LIST. Set List is a phenomenon: comedians actually doing what standup is the art of pretending to do: making shit up on the spot. They have no idea what’s going to appear on the screen and have to immediately do a set based on it. Williams, no suprise, was a master at it.

 
 
Rowan Atkinson welcomes you to Hell, as The Devil

 
 
Sir Humphrey Appleby and James Hacker discuss… Smoking

 
 
A bit longer than the usual videos included in here, but it’s worth it: The History Of Wacky Races.

 
 
Have some Mick Jagger and David Bowie just fucking around. I mean, ok, it’s an official video for Live Aid, but yeah, it’s them just fucking around: Dancing In The Street

 
 
After pirates hijacked an oil tanker, Mitch Benn did a Pirate Song… of course he did. I like the animation on this as well..

See you tomorrow, with something else.

Last time this 55 minus run, one final Saturday Smile.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s six bits of silliness.

 

 
 
Most love songs are all about the wonder, the majesty of Love. Here’s Howard Reid, on the other hand, with A Dull Practical Love Song

And Nick Doody with his A Mediocre Love Song

I love Time In A Bottle as a song. It’s just about perfect. The only thing that could improve it is a muppets version. So here’s the muppets’ version.

And while we’re talking about great songs, here’s Cher with The Shoop Shoop Song.

An old favourite, for those who haven’t seen it… and for those who just wish to watch it again: Pigeon Impossible

A less silly one from Mitch this week, but equally important; I pull this out whenever there’s an election coming up, but it’s always relevant. Have you registered to vote? well, you should, shouldn’t they, Mitch?

See you tomorrow, with something else.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve much silliness; so here’s six bits of silliness.

 

 
 
While we in the UK always vote on a Thursday, in the US, they vote on a Tuesday. John Oliver sometimes asks How Is This Still A Thing? Here he is asking the question about that voting on a Tuesday thing… 

  

 

John Fortune and John Bird – the Two Johns – did fantastic mock interviews with ‘people of power’; sadly, many of them aren’t on YouTube. Joyfully, many of them are. Here they are discussing investment banking. 

 
It’s just about possible, I guess, that somoene reading this blog has not seen Four Candles. Written by Ronnie Barker, as Gerald Wiley – and there’s a story of its own – it remains one of the finest comedy sketches ever broadcast. Whether you’ve seen it or not, watch it in wonder.

 

And since we’re reaching back into history, here’s Morecambe and Wise with The Breakfast Sketch, more commonly known as “Oh, the one they do to ‘The Stripper'”

 
Again, from when they were much, much younger, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis make it impossible to watch British war movies in the same way again, with an explanation of Spot The Stiff

 

A bit more recent for this week’s from the always present Mitch Benn. Think Pluto’s still a planet? Mitch has your back

See you tomorrow, with something else.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

And after the week we’ve all had, we deserve some silliness; here’s a few bits of silliness from some of my favourite musical comedians.

Obviously Mitch Benn goes right at the top this week, expressing some frustration with the people who wanted something, got it, and then blame everyone else for it being shit

 
 
Here’s Richard Stilgoe, ably assisted by Peter Skellern, with a song about the Church of England: Mrs Beamish

  

Rich Hall is smart, funny, nice, and loves what he can do with language. Of course I like him enormously. I always think of this song as ‘Goddamn Working Dog’, but it’s officially titled The Border Collie Song

 
 
Carly Smallman is funny, filthy and lovely. And here she is on being self-employed: Ten Minutes of Work

 
 

Nick Doody is one of smartest comedians, hell, he’s one of the smartest people I know. Wickedly funny, with a weird way of looking at the world. Here he is on Clowns

 
 
And here’s another of Stilgoe’s songs, performed by the mezzo-soprano Liz Ryan. I love this version of the song… the tale of Joyce The Librarian

I’ll return to the usual ‘not solely musical comedians’ for next week’s Saturday Smile but I’ll probably do another one, since there are so bloody many good muscial comedians out there.

If you want to see some of them, and can be in London on the first Tuesday night of the month¹ come along to The Distraction Club. We’ve got lots there…

See you tomorrow, with something else.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.


¹Not the first Tuesday in August; everyone’s up in Edinbugh for the Fringe. But the rest of the year, first Tuesday of every month, we’re at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, W1. Doors open at 7:30pm

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

After a week of blogging, I figured everyone, myself included, deserved something trivial and silly on a Saturday.

Note that I don’t say “unimportant”.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

So… some silliness, from some of my favourite musical comedians.

 

Here’s what Siri would have been like in the 1980s. (Actually, I think it’s more acurate for the early 90s, but I’ll take what I can get…

Got small kids who won’t go to sleep? Howard Reid has the perfect song for you… A lullaby

 

I doubt there’s anyone who’s both a) reading this, and b) hasn’t ever seen this before, but this is always worth a rewatch: Comic Relief does Doctor Who

 

And while we’re on the subject of Doctor Who, this glorious piece of wonder is beautifully executed: Celebrating 50 Years of American Doctor Who

 

Wrong time of the year for this, but I don’t care; I love this one… Yeah, Mitch Benn had a wish for us all as we entered 2019: A Happier New Year

See you tomorrow, with something else.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some snigle panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

After a week of blogging, just something trivial and silly on a Saturday.

Note that I don’t say “unimportant”. Silliness, even in the roughest of times, The worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best things about humanity.

So… more silliness.

A Classic, but it seems more relevant than ever: Mitchell & Webb ask an important question

 

Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard the Thunderbirds theme, but never quite like this

 

Carly Smallman finds her perfect man, and knows they’re Made For Each Other

 

Jay Foreman has a problem with Radio 4, one I would share…

 
And another one from Mitch Benn, this one on being Militantly Reasonable

See you tomorrow, with something else.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some single panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

After a week of blogging, I figured everyone, myself included, deserved something trivial and silly on a Saturday.

Note that I don’t say “unimportant”.

Silliness, even in the roughest of times, the worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best, the most superlative, things about humanity.

So… some silliness, from some of my favourite musical comedians.

Obviously Mitch Benn goes right at the top this week, paying ‘tribute’ to those pieces of excrement in human form: the Alternative Right

 

Kirsty Newton is simply one of the loveliest people on the planet; enormously talented, scarily so; here she is being Sinister

 
Ben Champion is clever, talented and gloriously funny. Here’s his classic The Auto-Correct Song

 

Carly Smallman is funny, filthy and lovely. Fairly quickly, she found her perfect man. And despite one small awkwardness, she knows they’re Made For Each Other

 

Jay Foreman is funny, has a brain the size of a small planet and likes educating people. But he has a problem with Radio 4, one I would share…

 

I love Kate Lucas’s work; smart, funny, and with an edge. Here’s a song on motherhood: The Baby Song

I’ll return to the usual ‘not solely musical comedians’ for next week’s Saturday Smile but I’ll probably do another one, since there are so bloody many good muscial comedians out there.

If you want to see some of them, and can be in London on the first Tuesday night of the month¹ come along to The Distraction Club. We’ve got lots there…

See you tomorrow, with something else. 

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.


¹Not the first Tuesday in August; everyone’s up in Edinbugh for the Fringe. But the rest of the year, first Tuesday of every month, we’re at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square, W1. Doors open at 7:30pm

Long before I started the countdown blogs, every so often, on a Saturday, I’d put up some YouTube videos or some snigle panel editorial cartoons, or even some ‘funny newspaper headlines’… some silliness, anyway.

After a week of blogging, just something trivial and silly on a Saturday.

Note that I don’t say “unimportant”. Silliness, even in the roughest of times, The worst of days, is never unimportant. Indeed, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate silliness as one of the best things about humanity.

And let’s face it, after the past couple of years, let alone the past few months, I don’t think anyone should object to a moment, or a few minutes anyway, of light relief.

And if they did object… well,they’re less than likely to be reading this thing anyway, let’s be honest..

So… some silliness.

Came across this the other evening; I’d seen various silly skits Jimmy Fallon had gotten the cast of the Avengers to do, but this one was new. It’s clever, and fun: We Didn’t Start The Fire

 
I’ve seen the original any number of times; I’m unconvinced this isn’t immeasurably better on all counts: The Bitch Fight of Canary Wharf

 
“It’s Bigger On The Inside!

 
I’ve pushed this one before, but with good reason: one of the greatest short YouTube videos ever: Spiders On Drugs

And one more… get used to this, because you’re going to get one from Mitch Benn every Saturday Smile. As well as being one of my closest friends, and occasional writing partner, I love his work.

So, here’s Mitch, and how – on one subject at least – he has some Hope For The Future

See you tomorrow, with something else. 

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to my fifty-fifth birthday on 17th August 2019. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve used this place, been a long time since I’ve blogged at all, other than the annual A Life In Pictures update, and an equally annual post, commemorating the anniversary of my late brother’s death.

For lots of reasons, oh so many reasons, the past couple of years have been… weird; I’ve moved, lots of things have changed; lots of things haven’t, of course. Though, to be fair, that’s no different than for a lot of people.

It’s definitely been a weird time for almost everyone I know, not limited to politics. More than a few friends have had weird stuff going on in their personal lives, work lives, social lives…

Yeah, it’s been a weird few years.

And yes, it’s not like there’s been a shortage of things about which to blog, but I’ve reserved my outpourings and blathering to Twitter, for the most part.

I haven’t even kept up to date with goingcheep, which is supposed to be my daily (hah!) brain dump, something to kickstart the writing muscles .

Part of the reason I’ve not blogged, I acknowledge, is because I’d have found it impossible to do so without at least commenting upon, and probably forcefully expressing my opinion upon, the shitshow otherwise known as ‘British politics’.

There’s been a… concern, I guess… that if I did that, I’d have to comment on Labour. And that in doing so, I’d end up hurting at best, and destroying at worst, some remaining friendships.

But… I’ve been feeling the itch again, that impossible-to-scratch-any-other-way itch to blog again.

Long time followers of this blog, and of me on Twitter, will know that I’ve previously done some daily countdown blogs over the past few years.

A fifty day countdown to 2014 was the first, and as I type that, I realise that was almost six years ago, and wow, that’s scary.

Then a few months later I did a fifty day countdown to my fiftieth birthday, ending on the day before my birthday, as the day itself was spent celebrating at the Edinburgh Fringe.

A fifty day countdown blog to 2015 followed, then a fifty day countdown – mainly but not exclusively on politics – to the 2015 UK General Election. And then an aborted one counting down to 2016…

A couple of them continued after the countdown completed (with “…plus…” replacing the minus) but I often took a short break after the daily run.

And then came a whopping 75 day countdown to 2017. And I took a break… and never really came back.

You can see where this is going, right?

Well, we’re not quite at fifty days until my fifty-fifth birthday. In fact we’re currently at almost 60 days until my fifty-fifth birthday.

So a fifty-five day countdown seems appropriate. Starting on Sunday.

Why not?

Why not indeed.

So, as of Sunday, we’ll start.

I’ll start writing it, and hopefully, you’ll start reading it. What’ll be in it? To start with, a re-introduction to who I am, for readers old and new. Then, over the next eight weeks, some thoughts on the city in which I live, some personal stuff, some slice of life pieces, some thoughts on current UK and US politics, some new fiction, some old fiction, comic books, comedy, the return of the Saturday Smiles… and probably some thoughts on those for whom 2018 or 2019 was their last year on earth.

So, the usual mishmash, then.

See you on Sunday.

And here we are. One day before Christmas, eight days before the end of the year…

So something special today, as it’s Christmas Eve.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – in six parts. The original, never bettered.





Jean Luc Picard gets into the holiday spirit

Most people have a classic as their first single ever bought. Mine? It was RentaSanta by Chris Hill.

And, finally, Tom Lehrer’s A Christmas Carol
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Tomorrow is Christmas; enjoy it as much as you can. There’ll be something here if you’re interested, but no worries if you’re not. 

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to 1st January 2017. You can see other posts in the run by clicking here.

Occurred to me as I opened the WordPress app that this is – in this run of seventy-five blog posts counting down to 2017 – the penultimate Saturday Smile post. And in some ways, this is the last of the ‘real’ Saturday Smiles as well. In a week’s time, next Saturday, it’ll be Christmas Eve, and I’ve already chosen my videos for that post; all silly, or daft, or sweet, and all of them Christmas based. 

And exactly one week after that, we’ll be on New Year’s Eve, and if the fact that we’re less than 24 hours from the end of this hateful, horrible year doesn’t lighten your load, then I’m not sure any comedy videos will do the job. So, in two weeks, I’ll write something just for the end of a shitty year.

Time for some classics, I think…

One of the all time classic examples of what can be done with a standard cartoon format- Duck Amuck

So, Who’s On First…? (Abbott and Costello)

Four Candles

Super-Chess, so, so clever

And, finally, as we approach the penultimate week of the year, one might expect Sir Humphrey Appleby to have something to say… and he does

See you tomorrow, with something else. 

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to 1st January 2017. You can see other posts in the run by clicking here.

Once again – as it has been for a few weeks – it’s been a shitty week in a shitty year. 

So, once again, here’s some odds and ends to hopefully lighten your load… 

I’ve always enjoyed those Top/”Best Movie [insert thing of choice]’ things… a mixture of nostalgia, fond memories and disagreements… So here are some for you to enjoy as well.

One Hundred Iconic Movie Quotes 

One Hundred Movie Insults

Top 10 Movie swordfights

50 Great movie themes

And to end, something entirely different I came across; the evolution of warp speed depiction in Star Trek

See you tomorrow, with something else. 

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to 1st January 2017. You can see other posts in the run by clicking here.