Have I Got Ever So Much News For You!
September 22, 2022 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Have I Got 30 Years For You [57m] is a retrospective of BBC series Have I Got News For You, covering its run beginning in 1990 and running even until the present day. For Much More News, here is a YouTube playlist that has "best of" compilations from each series (minus a couple), running 30m-1h+ each. Up to 62 series now, and I assume still counting!
posted by hippybear (27 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Great in the pre WWW era and occasionally still great. Spawned so many 'Have I Got X For You' panel shows, for example Have I got Music For You aka Never Mind The Buzzcocks
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:02 PM on September 22


Blocked in my country despite paying the UK TV license fee. BBC digital strategy is to reduce functionality for people as much as possible, hiding radio and podcasts behind a proprietary app. It’s almost like the government stuffed the board with Tories who wanted to make their users hate it so much they’d turn their backs on it pending a Tory-donor vulture capitalist feeding frenzy on it.
posted by davemee at 1:10 PM on September 22 [15 favorites]


HIGNFY Special on Boris Johnson as he left. New episodes start tomorrow (in the UK).
posted by CCBC at 1:12 PM on September 22


This is one of my husband's and my favorite shows. We're in the US, but we love British panel shows and we're into politics and history in general so it's definitely our thing. We've been looking forward to its return. The Boris special was excellent. The 30th anniversary special was also great, especially for the historical look at Paul's crazy shirts and hairstyles.
posted by ceejaytee at 1:21 PM on September 22


This is just so good. Thank you for posting it. I love Hislop! (The others too, of course, but Ian is special.)
posted by chavenet at 3:01 PM on September 22


It's weird how much older everyone got, meanwhile I haven't aged a day!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:36 PM on September 22


Just to be clear, Series 1 of HIGNFY takes place when Thatcher is Prime Minister of the UK. There are multiple cycles of history marked in this program. It's a really fascinating historical (and comedic) document.
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I was obsessed with HIGNFY for many years and watched it religiously (on YouTube.) I think maybe its best years are behind it, it is too much of an institution now and takes fewer risks. Sometimes those risks led to some uncomfortable tv but it was always interesting.

I always found it amazing that some people who got absolutely savaged on the program seemed to suffer few effects - Boris Johnson, Ann Windecombe, Farage were all made to look either corrupt or stupid without missing a beat, even returning multiple times.

I think the moral of HIGNFY is that satire does little to deter politicians and is a poor substitute for journalism and legal enforcement. If anything, satire only punishes those that have shame, clearing the way for shame-resistant people to move into power.
posted by AndrewStephens at 5:10 PM on September 22 [12 favorites]


I think maybe its best years are behind it

I think the "satire just encourages/doesn't deter politicians" discussion boat sailed a few years back, around the time Jon Stewart left The Daily Show. Anyway I watch HIGNFY strictly for the humor - or "humour" I suppose - and the panels (well, especially Paul) are as lightning-fast and hilarious as ever.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:08 PM on September 22


I think the moral of HIGNFY is that satire does little to deter politicians and is a poor substitute for journalism and legal enforcement. If anything, satire only punishes those that have shame, clearing the way for shame-resistant people to move into power.

I sometimes think that HIGNFY was a key element in the ascent of Boris Johnson to power by normalising him and allowing him to hone his rakish buffon persona.
posted by roolya_boolya at 6:28 PM on September 22 [11 favorites]


Yeah, HIGNFY sanitized BJ and made him an acceptable idiot. Then look what happened. Also, they were all about serial sex offender Max Clifford as a guest. Your chummy clubbable types can fuck right off.
posted by scruss at 7:10 PM on September 22 [10 favorites]


It's a really fascinating historical (and comedic) document.

I'm a USian, and one of the very first episodes I saw (on Youtube, cough) was the one they ran immediately after the 2016 US election. Rich Hall was one of the guests, and Charlie Brooker was the host. Charlie opened the show by saying "I'm Charlie Brooker, and on the news this week" and then screaming for a solid ten seconds, and I fell INSTANTLY in love.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]


BBC digital strategy is to reduce functionality for people as much as possible, hiding radio and podcasts behind a proprietary app. It’s almost like the government stuffed the board with Tories who wanted to make their users hate it so much they’d turn their backs on it pending a Tory-donor vulture capitalist feeding frenzy on it.

Running the government like a business, innit.
posted by rhizome at 7:53 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Rich Hall was one of the guests,

One of my favorite factoids enabled by the Internet of the last 10 or 15 years is learning that Rich Hall is all famous and stuff in England. And people laughed at Sniglets! Shows them.
posted by rhizome at 7:54 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


The "across the pond" gap continues to be peculiar to me. David Hasselhoff's singing career in Germany is not the least of the evidence.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I think the moral of HIGNFY is that satire does little to deter politicians and is a poor substitute for journalism and legal enforcement.

On the other hand, it seems pretty clear-cut that SNL's portrayal of Sarah Palin was fatal to her public image. I have seen satire work, but it's less effective than it used to be. I think the secret is that satire works when its explanation of the world is more convincing than the version the target would prefer you to believe. The problem is that, for the satire to be persuasive these days, they need to both hammer on the same joke time after time until it sticks in the memory, and also get past the PR machine trying to paint things a different way.
posted by Merus at 8:58 PM on September 22


*ignores her rancid politics for a minute*

Camilla Long! *bites knuckles*
posted by slater at 9:18 PM on September 22


I sometimes think that HIGNFY was a key element in the ascent of Boris Johnson

Others thought so, too. Here's the NY Times (Paywalled) echoing a Guardian essay in 2019. (Wasn't it longer than that? Decades, seems like.) Also, Boris' father was once on HIGNFY. The family resemblance, in every way, is amazing.
posted by CCBC at 10:21 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I have seen satire work, but it's less effective than it used to be. I think the secret is that satire works when its explanation of the world is more convincing than the version the target would prefer you to believe.

I haven't thought too much about it yet, but my impression is that comedy and with it the craft of satire hasn't caught up with reality and satire of the present is extremely difficult with past forms of comedy. The Onion and dare I say it Twitter and Tiktok have been showing sparks for a long time, but The Onion doesn't have political power and the digs on social media are too fleeting to be anything more than nudges. So far.
posted by rhizome at 10:41 PM on September 22


In early lockdown, back in 'the floor is lava don't go outside' days, they managed to gaffer tape some stuff together and do the show over Zoom. It was perhaps the only funny thing happening in a reasonably scary time.
posted by benoliver999 at 10:48 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]




One of my favorite factoids enabled by the Internet of the last 10 or 15 years is learning that Rich Hall is all famous and stuff in England.

I had the same reaction when I moved to the UK. He seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid, then I never heard his name again. Moved here in 2004, was very surprised to find out that he's a major comedy star. I'm currently listening to the audiobook of his new memoir, "Nailing It". Really good. His background is in journalism, so it's a cut above the average comic's ghost-written cash-in book.
posted by Optamystic at 1:13 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Moved here in 2004, was very surprised to find out that he's a major comedy star.

Yeah, I recall him as being one of the highlights of mid-eighties SNL and then seeing him very little since then. It’s odd because a lot of the other North American transplants on the panel shows — Reginald D. Hunter, Ruby Wax, Katherine Ryan — have a very low profile here while Hall still seems to have a bit of name recognition (it looks like Conan O’Brien had him on a couple dozen times). I suppose the flip side of this is John Oliver, whom I would see on Mock the Week up until his relocation to become aDaily Show correspondent. He was at Cambridge with David Mitchell and Richard Aoyade and I suspect in most universes, he wound up as one of the people turning up regularly on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and the like.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:18 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


I'm currently listening to the audiobook of [Rich Hall's] new memoir, "Nailing It". Really good. His background is in journalism, so it's a cut above the average comic's ghost-written cash-in book.

You've just made a penny drop for me - I was about to remind people that Rich Hall (and "Sniglets", for that matter) first broke big on an American news-satire show on HBO in the early 80s, called Not Necessarily The News. So it's no surprise that he's regularly on Have I Got News For You.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:28 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


And if you want more Rich Hall Facts, Not Necessarily the News was a transplant of the UK's Not the Nine o'clock News, and the Sniglets portion was inspired/co-written by John Lloyd, who made the suspiciously similar The Meaning of Liff with Douglas Adams.
posted by scruss at 7:59 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


A little known fact about John Lloyd is that he turned down a job as one of Esther Rantzen's smart young men who gadded about in front of camera for her That's Life teleprog in the 1970s. And as noted in the thread-top cited Have I Got 30 Years For You [57m] he turned down the role taken by Angus Deayton in HIGNFY. After that he had several wilderness years when nothing he pitched was taken up by main-stream media. QI [MetaPrev a fortnight ago] was incubated out in that cold. Some people are just more useful behind the scenes. Rich Hall has appeared on QI numerous times, so I guess "imitation is the sincerest type of flattery" worked.
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:44 AM on September 23


Well, just because it's brand new tonight: S64E1, 23 Sep 22
posted by hippybear at 4:06 PM on September 23


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