|And a big fat nil at that!
|Have I got news? No, just larfs.
What am I going on about you ask? Well, this week saw two of my favourite 'comedians' (slightly reductive as they are both so much more than simple 'joke~tellers') went head~to~head on the telly (not on the same day though) with new documentary shows. Not only that, they were 'on the road' style travel journals, so comparisons can be easily (or lazily) made. And that's what's happening here.
Nice tie Fry!
Both PAUL "I Keep Thinking It's Tuesday" MERTON
and STEPHEN "Dammit Peter!" FRY
have had a special place in my heart since the mid~Eighties and I guess I 'got into them' (as much as one can 'get into' people)
pretty much at the same time. I have followed their careers closely (I've seen Merton 'live' twice and own a signed book by Fry)
and enjoyed them as much as I did in my formative years. The Paul~ster
continues to tickle my giggle muscles every week on HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU?
whilst The Fry Man
enthrals me whenever he gets round to pod~casting. So, two men very much in my eye and liked accordingly. But now, they're up against each other... Who will win?
Conversely, Fry has his own black cab.
Well, I guess you've read the title of this post so you will have surmised that Paul's
new show, PAUL MERTON IN INDIA
bettered STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA
. The former not only
bettered the latter but also battered it bitterly. Cripes, bettered the latter but also battered it bitterly
... what am I? Some kind of poet? Anyway, moving on. I lurved
last year's IN CHINA
and this year's proves to be just as entertaining; and that's what Merton's
show has in abundance - entertainment.
We revel in his culture shock and experience India
as he does; there's no
teacher and pupil dichotomy here. There's so much joy to be found in his own education concerning his surroundings that its hard not
to be infected by the comedian's otherness
in the country. His travelogue style is not
condescending or patronising, he claims no superior knowledge and takes us with him in that vein.
Apparently, he was very nearly born an American.Yeah, right... Sadly, Fry's
foray into this 'documentary' comes off poorly, rather like his Gutenberg Press
dalliance earlier this year. There's no real insight to his subject and, whilst we're at it, trying to reduce a land mass (not to mention the people)
as the United States
is pointless. I mean, what was the point
to his show? It seemed like an edited highlights of a bad LOUIS THEROUX
series; all Stevey F
did was meet 'odd' people (some 'mobsters' and the creator of Wikipedia)
, make ice~cream and perform as a croupier (hardly a unique experience, let alone an 'American' experience)
. The less said about the segment with STING
the better - what were
they thinking? Let's contextualise for the audience? That an Englishman
can, wait for it, live in New York?
He's tried to take on way too much and, as a result, his brevity leaves his subjects meaningless with no insight or even a theme (apart from that he was in America)
. Must try harder. But, in the mean time, I'll be catching the repeat of Paul's
Thankfully, Paul doesn't claim to be nearIy Indian...
'Til the next time,
Labels: Paul Merton, Paul Merton Documentary, Paul Merton In India, Paul Merton India, Stephen Fry, Stephen Fry America, Stephen Fry Documentary, Stephen Fry In America