July 6, 2001
9:46 AM   Subscribe

Last night's Brass Eye special was mysteriously pulled from the schedules, seemingly because it concerned "an army of paedophiles". Apparantly, this is not the case
posted by Grangousier (15 comments total)
Heh.... neat.
Love a good hoax.
posted by dong_resin at 9:55 AM on July 6, 2001

If you look at the Forum of Some of the Corpses Are Amusing (sorry, no deep link) you'll see how upset some people have been getting about it. They seem to be relieved rather than embarrassed now. I, certainly, would much rather that Morris pulls some insane stunt than actually had the programme pulled because it was a bit shocking.
posted by Grangousier at 10:01 AM on July 6, 2001

Could someone maybe provide some background for those of us unfamiliar with the story?
posted by jpoulos at 10:26 AM on July 6, 2001

Brief description here.

Also the Corpses have a page about the series and its censorship history under Edit News.

Essentially, Brass Eye was a spoof of a current affairs programme which combined sketches parodying the way news was reported with (real) interviews with (real) celebrities about (made up) causes celebres.

The most famous of these involved convincing an MP that the country was flooded with a new drug called Cake, which "affected the part of the brain known as Shatner's Bassoon".The MP asked questions in the House about this "made-up" drug. Subjects covered were Drugs, Animals, Sex, Crime, Moral Decline and something else which eludes me right now.

Many people felt very foolish and well-known right-wing rag the Daily Mail whipped up a hate campaign against Morris, particularly since one sketch (cut before broadcast) was about a musical starring the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe as himself.

The series was unrepeated until last Saturday. Channel 4 (and their new offshoot channel E4) kept promising to repeat it and then cancelling it at the last minute. Then there were rumours of recuts, the Sutcliffe sketch and some other bits and pieces being reinstated, some things cut. And it was announced that there was going to be a new, one-off episode, to be broadcast last night.

Excitement was high amongst the rabid Morris-fan community.

The rebroadcast of the whole of the recut series finally went out last Saturday.

And then at the beginning of this week there were rumours that the programme had been pulled or postponed, only confirmed a couple of days ago. And now this.

Morris has been mentioned on MeFi several times before. He's something of a phenomenon.
posted by Grangousier at 10:44 AM on July 6, 2001

So is this stuff going to be terrestrial or digital (if it happens)? I set the VCR to record last night's episode, but my clock was wrong and I missed it. Is there more to come?

BTW, you've got to love the subversive sod. :)
posted by malross at 11:22 AM on July 6, 2001

This sounds like the kind of thing which might eventually get sold on DVD. (I've got a complete set of Monty Python already.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:46 AM on July 6, 2001

The new Stereolab albumn features a song with lyrics taken from a Chris Morris sketch.
posted by sad_otter at 12:05 PM on July 6, 2001

Ahh...much clearer, thanks, Grangousier. We Americans also get a kick out of humiliating each other.
posted by jpoulos at 12:09 PM on July 6, 2001

see, i was just about to make a comment about tom green, jpoulos.

ah what the hell. so chris morris is like a british tom green, except he messes with politicians? also, isn't cancelled, right?

posted by sugarfish at 12:27 PM on July 6, 2001

No, there is absolutely no comparison with Tom Green. Both are intelligent and funny, but Chris Morris is a genius in the true sense of the word. There is no-one in the comedy firmament who has half the originality, intellect and abstract lateral-thinking of Morris.

The humour in Brass Eye is so multi-layered that I've seen every episode five or six times and am still discovering new jokes and ideas within it. It's more than just humiliating celebrities; Morris exposes and dissects every trick of the media trade to such a degree that I can no longer watch a news show without seeing the ridiculousness of it.
posted by tobyslater at 1:15 PM on July 6, 2001

Both are intelligent and funny

Have you seen "Freddy Got Fingered"?

I'm not very familiar with Morris, but from what little of his work I have seen, I get the feeling that equating him with Tom Green is like comparing George Carlin to Carrot Top.
posted by aaron at 1:22 PM on July 6, 2001

Chris Morris is best known to webbies as the man behind a series of airport announcement pranks, which have been widely circulated without attribution.
posted by dhartung at 3:07 PM on July 6, 2001

the man behind a series of airport announcement pranks

Without knowing anything else about Chris Morris, I will attest that he is a genius. I've been passing those pranks around for years. They are maybe the funniest things that have ever come to me via the 'net.
posted by jpoulos at 3:19 PM on July 6, 2001

Much stranger than Tom Green, I think. The airport announcements (though funny) are more puerile than he usually goes for.

And he makes a particular point of being cancelled, but he's got such a reputation for being "cutting edge" that broadcasters can't resist asking him back.

He famously re-edited the Queen's Christmas Speech to the Commonwealth and the Archbishop of Canterbury's oration at Princess Diana's funeral. That got him into trouble. The most celebrated (and misquoted) gag from his Radio One series was when he said "If we get any news of the death of [prominent MP] Michael Heseltine, we will bring it to you immediately." Followed by recordings of politicians giving obituaries (which he had recorded with them to be broadcast in the eventuality of Heseltine's death).

To me the primary theme of his work is the way that the media use the standard cliches and tropes of presentation to hide and bend information. Usually there is taken to be a "gentleman's agreement" about how people are represented, which Morris studiously ignores.

Another wonderful thing is a series of improvisations he recorded with Peter Cook shortly before Cook's death, with Morris as an interviewer and Cook as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling.

And for Morrisian surrealism at its darkest, try Blue Jam, a combination of trip-hop, vicious monologue and sociopathic sketch comedy. Sort of like Joe Frank on very bad acid indeed. (Series 3 is a good starting point becasue the quality of the RealAudio files is better).
posted by Grangousier at 4:15 PM on July 6, 2001

BTW on the airport tapes, I've got a sneaking suspicion that Victor Lewis Smith did exactly the same thing, but first. (Hear his album in full)

In fact, Lewis-Smith and Chris Morris have a long-running feud fuelled by the former's belief that Morris has consistently plagiarised his work. Lewis-Smith is also very, very funny, but can be far more base and puerile, with sketches that go beyond tastelessness into something more obscene. Both of them have a great musical ear and both appear to be great improvisers, but Chris Morris gets the upper hand for the sheer genius of his abstractions.
posted by tobyslater at 12:10 AM on July 7, 2001

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