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Monday, 9:00 AM. Briefing meeting with Deparment Research Team Thirty-Two.
April 3, 2011 4:53 PM   Subscribe

The Department. Regular listeners to The Bugle (previously) will have been missing their usual weekly dose of historico-politico-silliness. But there is a fallback.

While Bugle co-host Andy Zaltzman has been travelling about Asia, the regular Bugle feed is vamping with filler. If you're missing The Bugle, read on.

For three seasons prior to their launching The Bugle in 2007, John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman wrote and acted in the BBC Radio 4 comedy The Department. The Department, a bureaucratic organization hidden from both the public and the government, has secretly been running the country (Great Britain) for ages. Working for The Department Oliver and Zaltzman form two-thirds of Research Team 32. Each week the team addresses one of the Big Problems facing the country, such as Trade, Immigration, Terrorism, or The British Transport System. The show starts with the statement of the problem and then lays out several silly solutions.

In one episode, proposed solutions to the problems of Transport include lowering expectations, being brutally honesty with travellers, an award show for the worst rail disasters, installing football managers to manage transit employees, etc..

(The third member of Team 32 is played by Chris Addison, better known for playing the cherub-faced bastard Ollie in The Thick of It.)

So if lines like "Blaming hip-hop for gun crime is like blaming J. M. W. Turner for stormy seas." is your type of observational comedy, give The Department a try. But where to listen? Sadly, the BBC isn't currently re-running it or making it available for purchase, so I'll quote The Bugle's own tweet "Google and the word 'torrent' can help out.
posted by benito.strauss (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Andy in Dhaka filler episodes are worth a listen, although he does reuse a decent amount of material. First law of clowns: embody fundamental truths in your satire.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 5:23 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed the Dhaka stand-up -- he played off his audience well. Also, best comedy bit I've ever heard on Israel-Palestine. (Of course, it's the only bit I've heard, maybe more people should be making jokes about it...)
posted by jb at 6:28 PM on April 3, 2011


I really enjoyed the Dhaka stand-up -- he played off his audience well.

Agreed. And even though I've heard it before from him, the "To be fair, Jesus was guilty" bit always kills me.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:11 PM on April 3, 2011


Yeah... that was very silly. The thought of Zaltzman in Dhaka by itself is pretty funny...

I still don't really get how the Bugle is funded, given there are no ads or anything.
posted by ph00dz at 8:36 PM on April 3, 2011


I still don't really get how the Bugle is funded, given there are no ads or anything.

The Bugle = The Times = News Corporation = Rupert Murdoch
posted by Sys Rq at 9:02 PM on April 3, 2011


Sys Rq: The Bugle = The Times = News Corporation = Rupert Murdoch

Damn you, Sys Rq, now the fiery disdain in which I hold Rupert Murdoch is a mere flickering flame!
posted by Kattullus at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck.

(Feel better?)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:11 AM on April 4, 2011


I love the Bugle to pieces, but isn't this a little thin for a post? Building a FPP around material that's unavailable via HTTP (not even so much as a clip) doesn't really strike me as best practice in these parts.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:22 AM on April 4, 2011


but isn't this a little thin for a post?

Yep. Lesson learned. It was my first post and I hadn't realized that "stuff that I came across on the Internet that MeFi'ers would enjoy" is not the same as "stuff that will make a good MeFi post".

I think I need to get my own blog.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:47 AM on April 4, 2011


Naw, man, I love The Bugle and I would never have heard of The Department without this post. Is good post.
posted by JDHarper at 5:29 PM on April 4, 2011


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