Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

A growing collection of NewsGrabs© from the current UK Leadership Election & based on the character assassination of leadership contender, Jeremy Corbyn:

1st September 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘I have become death, the destroyer of worlds’

#Trident @springstien

OsborneTrident2

24 August 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘If You Lay Down With Dogs…’

‪#‎JezWeCan‬ @springstien

hammond1

21 August 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘Corbyn ‘linked’ to War Criminals Shock’

‪#‎JezWeCan‬ @springstien

CorbynWarCriminalsShock

16 August 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘Brown to play King Canute. One Performance Only’

Supermarkets see rush on Popcorn & Beer.

‪#‎JezWeCan‬ @springstien

brown1

15 August 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘Manchester Sinkhole Blamed on Corbyn’s ‘Evil Thoughts”

‪#‎JezWeCan‬ @springstien

Corbyn Sinkhole1

14 August 2015

NEWSGRAB©: Breaking News – This just in…

‘Evil Jeremy Corbyn Took My Photo’

‪#‎JezWeCan‬ @springstien

Prince George1

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Tragedy Plus Time

Posted: June 12, 2015 in Comedy, Humour, Science, Stuff
Tags: , ,

#(T+t)=C  #TragedyPlusTime

You know you shouldn’t, but…

It is often said that the formula for Comedy is nothing greater than Tragedy Plus Time. So, following this morning’s fortuitous recording of the tragic beating of a six year old child by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, I decided to put this to the test.

In the interest of full disclosure and to remove an unwanted variable I should add that whilst I have since discovered the little Maisie suffered no long term effects from her ordeal, I was unaware of this at the time.

“(T+t)=C”

(for the experiment the acquisition of ‘C’ is defined as the production of Laughter where ‘C+’ is defined as Laughter plus an involuntary bodily function such as the excretion of a little bit of wee.)

I initially timed this out @ +0.1.2586 seconds.

I then waited exactly ten (0.10.0000) seconds before donning a white lab coat and watching the video again.

Acquiring ‘C’ @ +0.0.3572 seconds, and ‘C+’ @ +0.0.10892, soiling said lab coat.

Thanks for giving us a laugh, Maisie. I hope you got lots of sweets, and an Xbox.

:

Anvil Springstien.

#Specsavers

Should’ve gone to Specsavers

A Mountain Spirit in Malaysia took exception to tourists who stripped naked for a photograph and urinated indiscriminatelypictures_showing_foreigners_stripping_off_for_a_photo_on_mount_kinabulu_posted_to_facebook_E1 on a mountain top. The Mountain Spirit, who was not available for comment, responded with a 5.9 earthquake which destroyed property and killed 18 unconnected people.

Local politicians, keen to point out the real perpetrators following the earthquake, demanded a nationwide search for the holiday-makers who were reportedly still in the country.

Most have now given themselves up to police with only two left ‘on the run’.

A tribal leader in the region has demanded payment of ten water buffaloes (male or female) to placate the angry Mountain Spirit, and has graciously offered to ‘look after’ the offering after pointing out that the Mountain Spirit has no hands, “… or legs, or even a head”, he added.

Deity Rage.

The incident is yet another in a long list of errors by deities that have had catastrophic implications for completely innocent people. Gay men in Los Angeles were apparently to be smitten with a tsunami in 2011 for putting the ‘pee pee thing near the poo poo thing’. The tsunami eventually struck thousands of miles away in Indonesia.

The small British town of Carlisle was submerged by a great flood in 2007, again due, according to an informed bishop, to Gayers and a small amount of Lesbianity. Thousands lost their homes and possessions, though a later Pew Poll showed that residents of Carlisle had never even heard the word ‘gay’ and had only seen a black person once, on TV.

Eats Babies
dawkins

Deity Rage Victim, or Inner-Ear infection?

Arch villain and known baby eater, Richard Dawkins, was unavailable for comment following an ‘incident’ at Sao Paulo airport, Brasil. However a spokesperson pretending to speak for him said, in a rather passable accent, “Who do these Deities think they are? For goodness sake!

At present no deity has claimed responsibility for the Sao Paulo incident, though colleague and friend, professor Lawrence Krauss, ‘chick-lit’ author of the bestselling thriller, ‘It Came Out of Nowhere‘ was overheard to say the very accuracy of the smite suggested no metaphysical involvement whatsoever.

The Pope, at a loose end whilst waiting for president Putin to finish looking at gay porn, said, “Hey, somebody pisses on you in an indiscriminate manner, you gonna’ kill a few folk. It’s only natural.

In other news, shares in water buffalo soared.

#EveryPictureTellsaStory

I’d always thought that the Military – any Military – was rather absurd and infantile in the paraphernalia they would produce in order to impress both themselves and others. Marching in time, especially goosestepping and the various exaggerated movement associated with this, seemed to me to be particularly humorous. I could never get away from the fact that someone had made it all up, so to speak. It all seemed so, well… juvenile.

Probably why I laughed so much at Monty Python’s The Ministry of Silly Walks.

I then (this morning) came across a shot of a certain Mr Baghdadi, Supreme and Glorious Leader (now rumoured to be dead) of a bunch of simple-minded thugs who have been persuaded that really really bad things are, in actuality, really really good things. Ah, yes, isn’t all religion simply wonderful. Main title card of Charlie's Angels

In this particular shot, Mr Baghdadi and his cohorts appear to be auditioning for a spaghetti western.  The pure childishness of the image took me back for – and I hate to say this but – I’ve been there: I joined the Armed Forces when I was sixteen years old. My first priority was to get hold of a weapon; my second, to get hold of someone with a camera to take a shot of me with said weapon. I can still recall how I held it for the camera. Juvenile, I know – but then in my defence, I, at least, was a juvenile.

The Baghdadi shot itself appears to be a rip-off of a late 70’s TV show called Charley’s Angels – hold on, I’ll do a quick Google… Yup, You can see the similarity, can’t you?

After I’d stopped laughing I became intrigued as to what must have went on during the actual ‘photo shoot‘: what must have been said; who was telling who to do what?

I penned a (rather rushed) scenario which barely competes with the hilarity of simply looking at the antics of these grown men in the original photograph. I’ll re-write it when I get some time, hopefully funny it up.

Meanwhile: Apologies for spoiling the humour.

Photoshoot

photoshoot

“Okay, five minutes everybody! Hurry up with those sandwiches and please, darlings, wipe you’re mouths. The last thing the world wants to see is a Jihadi with bacon and tomato ketchup on his upper lip.”

“Tea cups back on the pick-up, and if you need to go, then please, please, please go now”

“Anyone seen the yellow flag? Anyone? Listen up everybody. Bit of hush. Did someone pick up the yellow flag? No, darling, that’s black. Yellow – like custard… like a banana? Oh, thank goodness… thank you, James – that’s my whole vision for the shot, right there. Phew.”

“Okay, Stevie, if you go into my bag in the first pick-up you’ll find a large roll of grey gaffa-tape. I’d like the yellow flag taped to the tea-urn and placed here, and then we’ll build the shot around it…”

“Well then, put a heavy rock in it and we’ll clean it out before lunch. Yes, I know it’s got a Man United crest on it but it won’t be in the shot.”

“Can we have all the people who have a black flag to line up here, please… and everyone with an assault rifle… if you can just spread yourselves in between starting with the fat guy on the left?”

“Brilliant!” Sorry? Okay, darling, big boned it is. No offence meant.”

“Perhaps those without shoes in the middle?”

“Great!”

“Pistols now, people! Attention everybody or we’ll be here all day. Look, I know it’s hot but the sooner we get this done the sooner… thank you.”

“So pistols in a flying ‘V’ formation here, with Mr Baghdadi here at the front?”

“Yes, yes, on one knee would look really cool!”

“Yes, just like Daniel Craig in James Bond, Mr Baghdadi!”

“Okay, Let’s look at you all… hmm, the guy with the red band and the Liver Bird on your balaclava? Sorry? A present from your Gran? Er, okay, can we have you in the middle then, just behind the tea-urn?”

“Fantastic.”

“Could we possibly turn it inside out so we can lose the Liver Bird?”

“Wonderful.”

“You’re all stars, people! Nearly there.”

“Now. Motivation. I want you all to imagine… imagine that you’re protecting something very valuable – the most valuable thing you could ever think of. Your wife, or your first born child.”

“Sorry?”

“Yes, it could be the tea-urn I suppose?”

“Why not? In your imagination it could be a solid gold tea-urn!”

“Okay, imagine that the tea-urn is a golden tea-urn and you’re protecting it with your very lives.”

“Yes of course, down to the last brave warrior of Islam.”

“No, not quite like The Alamo?”

Magical? If that’s what you want.”

“No, no, not Custer’s Last Stand?”

Well, because they were both battles that were…”

“Yes, yes ‘Knights of the Magical Golden Tea-Urn’ – very good, Mr Baghdadi, another brilliant thought!”

“No, no, not… okay, yes, why not. Dragons.”

“Well, yes, I suppose the tea would give you magic powers if you drank it?”

“Look, c’mon, look everybody, hush now! Let’s just stick with the ‘Knights of the Magical Golden Tea Urn’, okay? You’re protecting the Magical Golden Tea Urn from an attack by fire breathing dragons but you’re protected from fire because you’ve all drunk the magic tea of life”

“Okay… hold that look… pistols a tad higher….”

“Say CHEESE!”

photoshoot

‘Knights of the Magical Golden Tea-Urn’
Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’

Original Direction & Choreography Susan Stroman

Directed by Matthew White

Empire Theatre. Sunderland. United Kingdom. 14th May 2015

 

Aristotle once wrote:  “One swallow does not a summer make…” This morning I went theproducersIntacross the road for a sly fag – I’m not allowed to smoke in the house, see, (I’m not allowed up on the furniture, either) – only to see not one but two swallows hunting insects on the wing. A brief burst of the joy of life swelled in my chest to be quickly replaced by the rattle of a coughing fit.

I smiled. Aristotle’s intent was to opine on the fact that a momentary flash of happiness does not necessarily make for a happy man. I concur. I’ve been fairly unhappy recently – more so since the British general election where I observed another proverbial bird not only voting for Xmas in their droves but happily mixing-up and applying their own stuffing.

Proof, if ever it was needed, that given massive amounts of money and control of the agenda, you can persuade the most normal of people to do the most stupid of things.

Still, I appreciated the glow provided by the swallows, so fuck you, Aristotle! I’m happy for the moment and I intend to stay that way for as long as possible.

I’ll admit though, that, swallows aside, my joy-pump had been primed previously by a visit, last night, to the Sunderland Empire to see Stroman and Whites production of Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ – and quite frankly I’ve been buzzing ever since.

Brooks’ wonderful creation has an enduring appeal to successive generations, perhaps holding greater resonance just now both due to recent events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the intolerance of fundamentalists to criticism of their ideas exemplified in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the rise of Islamic State.

Neither of these were at the forefront of my mind as I took my seat for Saturday evenings performance and cracked open a tub of popcorn. As I said, I’ve not been particularly happy lately and was looking forward to a bit of a chuckle. For the first fifteen minutes that, unfortunately, is all I got.

You may recall the story: Max Bialystock, a failed Broadway producer, employs an accountant, Leo Bloom, who notices an anomaly in the books whereby a show that closed after its opening night on Broadway could make more money than one that had a successful run. Bloom, after an internal tussle with his conscience is persuaded to partner Bialystock to produce Broadway’s greatest failure making them both rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Now, generally, setting up the narrative that leads to the inciting incident – in this case the decision to implement the fraud – can be a slow and painful process for many plays. The director has to give the impression of plodding normality whilst secretly developing character and racing to get to the moment where the world turns upside down so s/he can get on with expressing the real reason for the performance – telling the story, telling what happened next.

‘The Producers’ doesn’t suffer from this, yet… the first 15 to 20 minutes were missing something?

Quite what was missing I wasn’t too sure? Not initially at least: The dialogue was snappy; the narrative easy to follow; the song and dance routines brilliantly performed and choreographed. Perhaps we were all in a state of shock at the incredible singing ability of Leo Bloom (played by comedian, Jason Manford)? Whatever the reason the overly polite and somewhat forced applause from the three–quarter-full house following each routine said that they were eager for something more.

They got it with the entrance of Ross Noble. Ross plays Franz Liebkind, ex-Nazi stormtrooper, pigeon-fancier, and author of the worst-play-in-the-world: ‘Springtime for Hitler’. Aficionados will recall the scene where Liebkind is visited in his pigeon-loft by Bialystock and Bloom as they attempt to secure the rights to his play. From the moment the German-helmet-wearing Franz turns and manically faces the house (Noble gets a huge cheer at this) it becomes obvious what the production has been missing so far: the explicit involvement of the audience. Noble, after a six-month tour of his latest comedy show, can’t help, however subtly, acknowledge, and play to, the audience. The audience in its turn acknowledged that we knew that he knew that we knew that he knew, etc’. In that instant the Fourth Wall came crashing down, the audience visibly relaxed, and this stage production of The Producers became what all stage productions of The Producers secretly long to be – a grand British pantomime of high camp.

From that moment on I barely had time to catch my breath. Tears were constantly being brushed from my cheeks as the audience applauded, hooted, hollered, and laughed out loud. The intermission came and went and we seamlessly, and joyously, picked up where we left off. Scene by scene flew past as stunning performances fell effortlessly from the entire cast as we romped towards the climactic – and spectacular – Broadway showing of ‘Springtime for Hitler’. A truly amazing scene replete with giant hydraulic arms that rise from the wings in a Brobdingnagian Nazi salute, worthy of a standing ovation all of its own. [click image to enlarge]Producers

It would be inappropriate to mention the beautiful performances of David Bedella as Roger De Bris, or Stephane Anelli’s wonderful Carmen Ghia, or the colossus that was Cory English as Max Bialystock, or Tiffany Graves’ ‘Ulla’, or Jason Manford’s voice – yes, it really does have to be heard to be believed – without bringing your attention to the inch perfect, pitch perfect display of the entire Ensemble. May they never, ever, rest.

Simply put, ‘The Producers’ has to be the funniest thing I’ve seen in years – trust me, I’m not a Doctor.

Okay, there was that first fifteen minutes, but maybe this was down to my comedic bias expecting Manford to play to the room when perhaps the development of Bloom’s meek character was more important? There was also a moment, in the later prison-scene during the denouement, where Noble, now in a wheel-chair due to two broken legs, does nothing more than move across the stage. An opportunity missed for the popular character to say au revoir to the audience? Perhaps. I certainly think so.

Whatever, none of this detracted from the sheer joy of this production. A joy that lays out and then transcends the lesson that tragedy plus time always equals humour, and that stupid ideas are always deserving of ridicule.

This is a truly great show and one that shouldn’t be missed.

So, can one show a summer make? Most definitely. Had Aristotle been at the Sunderland Empire on Saturday, he’d still be pissing himself with laughter. United Kingdom residents feeling particularly depressed following the General Election should make this performance an essential part of your recovery.‘The Producers’ will keep you feeling happy for weeks on end and should be made available on the NHS.

Kill for a ticket – Unlike Hitler, you won’t regret it.

Anvil Springstien.

Rating: Four and a half anvils

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Website, Tickets, and Tour Dates:

http://theproducersmusical.co.uk/

pics © theproducersmusical.co.uk