EDitorial ± 17-Mar-2003

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Badgers

Alternative (not alternate, note, 'cos we're not quite the 51st state yet) titles for this week's musings included King Of The Hill - I sell propane and propane accessories - and The Trouble With Harry - a minor Hitchcock film about a corpse, most noteworthy for being Shirley "Crystal" MacLaine's debut. If my chosen title means nothing to you, I'd strongly advise following the link on the right.

Last night Mr Harry Hill, direct from ITV1's Harry Hill Show, was good enough to pay sleepy Ipswich a visit. And the royal we was there. Pre-show announcements included:

  • souvenir programmes were available and "priced according to the prosperity of the region"
  • no badgers would be appearing since they were busy forming a badger shield around an Iraqi palace

Oddly, the last time I was in the Corn Exchange (a venue for the exchange of corn, explained HH) was for a kids' show called Bodger & Badger, featuring a talking nocturnal mammal with a passion for mashed potato. I took my eldest along, you understand. Fortunately yesterday's crowd were not to be disappointed since a martial arts badger popped up late in the performance to aid the karate demonstration.

Harry has recently changed his signature rendering all previous autographs invalid

Harry Hill's humour covers many bases, from Steven Wright-style one-liners (I went to see some go-go dancers but they'd gone), through clever running gags (there's one involving Madonna, Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim), to outright slapstick (being chased by his drummer having knocked out the pianist). I'd guess, as well, that there'll always be comparisons with Vic & Bob with some of the more way-out material. Funny that both acts have left "alternative" Channel 4 to be embraced by the more mainstream BBC2 and ITV.

A sweaty first hour included baiting any member of the audience on the first couple of rows with facial hair or glasses. Pointedly the guy with the beard who'd been picked on didn't return after the interval. There was also a killer joke in semaphore; words can't convey. Harry stormed straight into a David Bowie medley to kick off the second half, with all the hits: Ashes To Ashes, Ziggy Stardust, A Mars A Day, you name it.

All this and completely gratuitous mention of the A12 too.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Other highlights:

  1. Stouffer made a welcome appearance courtesy of Harry's Bernie Clifton-esque arm device, and did an impromptu version of Liam Lynch's Whatever
  2. explaining the difference between overarm (hostile: squash ball!) and underarm (friendly: shuttlecock!)
  3. amusing Afghanistan crack: he was hoping the Northern Alliance would triumph since that was who he had his mortgage with

Be seeing you!