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Tony Blair can act
March 18, 2007 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Tony Blair did a sketch for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day. (But Ricky Gervais visiting Kenya is better).
posted by hoverboards don't work on water (55 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, Tony... so desperate to be remembered as something other than the guy who bent over for Bush.
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on March 18, 2007


That was ...odd. It loses something in translation I guess.

Gervais was funny, though.
posted by mmahaffie at 8:56 AM on March 18, 2007


Agreed that the Gervais one was perfect.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:02 AM on March 18, 2007


Am I bothered, though?
posted by handee at 9:06 AM on March 18, 2007


It helps an awful lot to know that "Am I bovvered" is a catchphrase from a popular TV show starring Catherine Tate, the woman he was talking to. Translated into American MeFite it might be... like... George Bush appearing on a PBS fundraiser and demanding more cowbell?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 9:12 AM on March 18, 2007


I thought it was something like that. Saturdaynightliveishness.

Which proves that, in the right cultural context, Tony Blair is cooler than I am.

"George Bush appearing on a PBS fundraiser..."

I'm sorry, I can't make any sense out of this string of words.
posted by mmahaffie at 9:14 AM on March 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


god the Ricky Gervais one is funny!
posted by gminks at 9:25 AM on March 18, 2007


Are you having a laugh?
posted by papoon at 9:28 AM on March 18, 2007


The Gervais/Saint Bob/Bono et al sketch makes me more than a little uncomfortable.

Gervais's persona is it seems a bit creepy even when he is being natural - well, as natural as a TV personality can be when the cameras are rolling. Remember his interview with Larry Sanders?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:35 AM on March 18, 2007


Were Ricky Gervais and the Kenyan guy in front of a green screen at 0:40?
posted by jchgf at 9:47 AM on March 18, 2007


The Tony Blair sketch is quality.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:55 AM on March 18, 2007


Oh noes. Never comment on a video before you watched it to the end. Admins, pls delete previous comment. This is almost as embarrassing as having the IT guys see my Firefox page titled "define:bukkake" in the taskbar on my computer at work.
posted by jchgf at 9:56 AM on March 18, 2007


Not a huge Gervais fan but that sketch was pretty funny (especially Jamie Oliver taking the piss out of himself).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:02 AM on March 18, 2007


What is the British persona that Catherine Tate/Lauren Cooper was immitating? It was kind of like Ali G with all of the references to friends, Chavs, etc.
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:11 AM on March 18, 2007


Um, Frank Grimes -- a chav.

Here's Lauren, who ain't bovvered. Lots of other Lauren sketches in the Related column.

It's interesting that "ain't" has migrated as a cultural marker in Britain. It's probably been a lower-class marker for a century or more in the US, but at least before WWII, in the UK it was an upper-class affectation. (The word itself is centuries old, of course.)
posted by dhartung at 10:23 AM on March 18, 2007


at least before WWII, in the UK it was an upper-class affectation.

Seriously?
posted by Aloysius Bear at 10:26 AM on March 18, 2007


From the OED:

used also for am not, is not, in the pop. dialect of London and elsewhere; hence in representations of Cockney speech in Dickens, etc.,and subsequently in general informal use. The contraction is also found as a (somewhat outmoded) upper-class colloquialism.
posted by greycap at 10:38 AM on March 18, 2007


Seriously.

And that Gervais sketch is brilliant.
posted by languagehat at 10:39 AM on March 18, 2007


Meh I ain't boffered.
posted by gomichild at 10:45 AM on March 18, 2007


Kidding! Both rocked. I love piss-taking of self!
posted by gomichild at 10:55 AM on March 18, 2007


Christ, Catherine Tate is the least funny 'comedian' to have ever ended up on British telly. And that's a competitive field. She makes me want to rip my brain out with a coathanger so I never endure the agony of seeing her witless catchphrase crap ever again.
posted by influx at 10:57 AM on March 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


Vicky Pollard though may have amused me more in the first one because I have no idea who that annoying woman was
posted by gomichild at 11:01 AM on March 18, 2007


The Ricky Gervais one is brilliant. Thanks for posting this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:08 AM on March 18, 2007


I don't know, I found this sketch with catherine tate (also on red nose day) to be much more hilarious.

Link also not youtube, and 17MB download, is it?
posted by taursir at 11:16 AM on March 18, 2007


The Ricky Gervais one was very funny.

It isn't shown here but throughout the program they kept showing clips of Gervais weeping in the tin hut and I thought "He cannot seriously do this after parodying it for so long." They had celebrities all over Africa and clips were trailed all night of them genuinely breaking down weeping in the desert but seeing Gervais doing it was a step too far. When the sketch ran and it was clearly a joke I was pretty relieved.
posted by fire&wings at 11:22 AM on March 18, 2007


The Catherine Tate vs Simon Amstell routine from the previous RND works a lot better - it's from before the character got stale.

Top pop fact: Simon Amstell is the most famous celebrity person I've lurched at.
posted by cillit bang at 11:37 AM on March 18, 2007


Awesome!
posted by k8t at 12:16 PM on March 18, 2007


Or better yet, Catherine Tate and David Tennant, it's brilliant. Well at least if you watch Dr. Who and Catherine Tate.
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:24 PM on March 18, 2007


I don't know that much about British actors, but that guy in the first video was fantastic in "The Queen."

(What a terrible makeup job though -- he looked, like, ten years older in that video.)
posted by PlusDistance at 12:39 PM on March 18, 2007


Christ, Catherine Tate is the least funny 'comedian' to have ever ended up on British telly.

Amen to that. I still don't understand how she's essentially built a career out of stripping the wit and filth out of someone else's bit, namely Vicky Pollard.

Gervais's persona is it seems a bit creepy even when he is being natural

Um, that's the joke.
posted by jack_mo at 1:03 PM on March 18, 2007


I still just do not understand this obsession with Ricky 'Cunt' Gervais. He's disasterously unfunny, self-absorbed and plainly just, well...shit. The sketch last night was cretinous. I can't understand why the likes of Bono and Geldof feel the need to feed an already overfed ego like Gervais'. Even the Mr Bean 'wedding' sketch was funnier than Gervais' 'Kenya' sketch - and that really, really wasn't funny.
posted by metaxa at 1:11 PM on March 18, 2007


Did Vicky Pollard exist first? That's who I thought of when I saw the Lauren sketches -- I'd never seen Catherine Tate before today, so my apologies if she came up with the character.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:22 PM on March 18, 2007


It's a good thing humor isn't subjective.
posted by dhartung at 1:23 PM on March 18, 2007


Isn't Mr Blair a good actor? Makes you wonder about other occasions, doesn't it? Also makes me think what might happen when Mr Brown arrives at No.10. I cannot imagine the equivalent next year for Red Nose Day.
posted by kbp61 at 1:49 PM on March 18, 2007


The Gervais interview of Sandlers had me in tears. I do hope they were both playing off each other and "in character", as the alternative is really sad.
posted by geoff. at 1:50 PM on March 18, 2007


Did Vicky Pollard exist first?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Matt Lucas did Vicky Pollard on the first radio series, which was 2001, when Catherine Tate was still doing bit parts on Casualty and plays at the RSC (she's a really rather decent straight actress).
posted by jack_mo at 1:53 PM on March 18, 2007


Tony Blair can act

Indeed he can.
posted by reynir at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2007


jack_mo writes "Yeah, I'm pretty sure Matt Lucas did Vicky Pollard on the first radio series, which was 2001, when Catherine Tate was still doing bit parts on Casualty."

Neither character was particularly a stretch though. British streets are and always have been filled with zillions of Vicky Pollards and Lauren Coopers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:25 PM on March 18, 2007


British streets are and always have been filled with zillions of Vicky Pollards and Lauren Coopers.

Indeed. I had a run-in with one when ordering breakfast at a McDonald's in Birmingham... After ordering, she asked if I wanted to eat in or take away, and out of habit I said "Nah, I'd like it to go". Apparently the image of an egg mcmuffin and hashbrown walking around under their own power was uproaringly funny. She was cowed into awed silence by my drinking my coffee black, though.
posted by CKmtl at 2:56 PM on March 18, 2007


Catherine Tate always seems to me like a kind of copy of about a quarter of Jennifer Saunders' oeuvre.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:58 PM on March 18, 2007


as the alternative is really sad.

There's an essay somewhere online that demolishes Ricky Gervais for being indistinguishable from the cunt he takes the piss out of himself for being. I can't find it though.
posted by cillit bang at 3:07 PM on March 18, 2007


jack_mo:
I dunno if that's true. If I get you, you're saying that even when he is naturalistic, at the closest he ever comes to his true self, having stripped away the multifarious layers of irony in his 'character', Gervais is a bit creepy. It's not an act.

Not that likeable, not that funny, and not a plan for career longevity, I'd say. You confirm my dislike of him, and his unbounded ego.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2007


Though The Office is of course, a classic.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2007


cillit, I guess we agree.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:17 PM on March 18, 2007


Love Ricky Gervais, but I do think his character has become so synonymous with who he is when he's playing himself onscreen that it's hard to distinguish any difference at this point. Leastwise for me. I'm pretty sure he's always putting people on any time he's being filmed... even when he's being interviewed as "himself."
posted by miss lynnster at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2007


Is Garry Shandling always such a dick? Is there a backstory to that interview that I don't know about?
posted by slow, man at 3:58 PM on March 18, 2007


Can someone translate what "Am I bovvered" means to this clueless yank? I get it's her catchphrase, but I'm missing something in the translation...
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:00 PM on March 18, 2007


"Am I bothered?" / "I ain't bothered" --> "so what?" ish
posted by CKmtl at 7:06 PM on March 18, 2007


Is Garry Shandling always such a dick? Is there a backstory to that interview that I don't know about?

Like Gervais being his character, that's Shandling. His bit became about how shallow and horrible people in show business are, especially after so much practice doing it on the Larry Sanders Show. Good stuff. And Gervais deserves it. Nobody does nasty show business like Hollywood.
posted by dammitjim at 9:04 PM on March 18, 2007


Uhm... I don't get it.

I prefer my british humor with men dressed as women squeaking in high-pitched voices. Penguins exploding help too - so I know when to laugh.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:24 PM on March 18, 2007


Tony who?
posted by three blind mice at 10:36 PM on March 18, 2007


The Borat Interview was the funniest/awkwardest sketch on. "12 chocolate ones". Heh.
posted by seanyboy at 1:44 AM on March 19, 2007


dash_slot- writes 'jack_mo:
'I dunno if that's true. If I get you, you're saying that even when he is naturalistic, at the closest he ever comes to his true self, having stripped away the multifarious layers of irony in his "character", Gervais is a bit creepy.
It's not an act.'

I meant that it is always an act, and much more subtle one than the 'Ricky Gervaise' character of old, when he was a borderline-deranged Daily Mail-reader bigot on The 11 O'Clock Show. I've heard the reverse of what cillit bang says, that he's not awkward, bigoted or obnoxious in real life. (I don't find him that funny myself, to be honest, but I do think it's an interesting schtick, if irritating - any criticism of him slides off, because someone like me will come along and suggest that everything objectionable is part of his comedy persona!)

PeterMcDermott writes 'Neither character was particularly a stretch though. British streets are and always have been filled with zillions of Vicky Pollards and Lauren Coopers.'

Oh, of course - I just find it a bit odd that, given the existence and huge popularity of the Vicky Pollard character, Catherine Tate scored such a hit with Lauren Cooper. I suppose it's because Lauren is less of a grotesque, and considerably less odd (the only time I find Vicky Pollard laugh-out-loud funny is when Matt Lucas suddenly switches delivery mid-flow, giving Vicky the voice of a plummy old gent/stoned Rasta/whatever, George Dawes-style).
posted by jack_mo at 3:54 AM on March 19, 2007


Point of interest, or not - the "Kenyan" guy in the Gervais sketch is actually Zimbabwean, and was speaking Shona rather than Swahili or other Kenyan dialect. My wife and I had a moment of dissonance before we realised what was going on. They are, of course, related languages, but I was wondering if they were much were more similar than I had thought...
posted by rootz at 7:07 AM on March 19, 2007


I didn't get the Tony Blair one until the Lauren Cooper character was explained to me, but the "Regardez mon visage! Suis-je bovvered?" linked somewhere upthread was freaking hilarious.

British comedy is all rather hit-or-miss with me. I can't stand Ricky Gervais or The Office because he reminds me way too much of my stepfather, who is equal parts David Brendt and Walter Sobchack. Funny in theory, but painful to witness in reality.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:35 AM on March 20, 2007


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