"Your ... baboushka," Andrew called it last night, and he also successfully got me to wonder if that isn't the funniest thing about it.
Can there possibly be a thing I find at all amusing that Andrew does not? I wouldn't have thought so, what with his ever-growing collection of DVDs I never want to see and the fact that he actually knew enough not to bother me about going to see Richard Herring in a few weeks because he has finally learned it's not worth the effort.
Still the answer seems to be yes, and it is The Mighty Boosh
I first became acquainted with it when diffrentcolours
was doing complicated things to my laptop, so we had time to watch many of them. Andrew showed up for the last few and I was surprised later on when he was more bemused than amused. I generally assume that anything I like he will like, but then I realize now this is largely because they're all things he already knows about and he isn't going to show me things he doesn't like. Plus he's picked really good things: Blackadder
, Red Dwarf
, various incarnations of The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
that I didn't know about, Spaced
, Black Books
, Father Ted
... who doesn't like those? And, not having a TV or anything, I have no way of finding out about other things on my own most of the time. So this is an anomaly.
"Monkey whimsy," he also called it, with great scorn and derision in his voice. Oh ho,
, I thought. If anybody in this house is going to think that anything about our primate friends is funny, it is him.
Consider the evidence:
- He keeps going on about how great comics are if they have talking gorillas in them. (I know gorillas are not monkeys, but I think they're tarred with the same brush as far as entertaining Andrew goes.)
- He insisted our credit card have the purple picture of a gorilla on it rather than something I would actually want to look at, and has often called it "the monkey card."
- He lovingly regaled me with an entire Richard Herring sketch about the hilarious consequences of replacing part of a fast-food chain's jingle (namely "We're having a Wimpys") with "We're fucking a monkey." And now, I think, it is on one of those DVDs that I don't want to watch; I know I've heard it since.
- He cannot hear the phrase "monkey monkey monkey monkey William Shatner" without giggling. Even if he's already heard it so many times, and laughed so much, that he is in severe danger of vomiting.
But he insists this is an accepted phrase for "that sort of thing," the phenomenon of people expecting things to be funny just because they're random
. The (first0 problem with this being, of course, not only is there nothing funny there, but that monkeys have become a cliché for this sort of thing so they're not even random, any more than ninjas or zombies or pirates.
I don't know if he just brought to my attention something that was already there, if it was just the headache I couldn't shake, or if we were just watching a couple of intrinsically sub-par episodes last night, but it took the shine off for me. Unrelenting randomness would be bad enough — it's something I expect from the internet, where I used to complain about seeing idiots who advertised their blogs as "random" just because they belonged to a slightly different pop-culture subculture fandom niche from their friends and would make stupid references to anime that their friends had not yet watched. It's not a shorthand for anything genuinely funny or amusing.
And this is worse than that, because as Andrew said it feels like people who are just on TV because their friends at unversity said they were funny. Of course that made my next move all too obvious, but before I could even mention Monty Python or Fry and Laurie or the billions of other things, most of which I know about only because of him, that depend on people at university thinking they were funny. But he rightly pointed out, before I could even speak, that the Pythons and such actually worked hard writing sketches for things, being involved in other people's shows, and didn't just ... I dunno, go to universities full of people doing Media Studies and a world of millions of cable channels that need filler.
Plus, they all had brains. Things to say. These guys don't. And I get the feeling that if I want to hear men talk about their hair and how much better it is to be cool than to be weird, I could just start paying attention to the people I work with. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, the things I want to escape from in my audiovisual entertainment.
There are two problems with my newfound enlightenment about The Mighty Boosh
- I finished off the first series just now (which was actually the first two episodes I saw with diffrentcolours and greyeyedeve) and I'm sure I'm going to borrow the second series from Andrew's brother when we give this one back to him, and
- I know that no matter how much I might grow to despise this show, I am addicted to the theme song. I don't know why! I don't think it helps that it's so entertaining to watch greyeyedeve sing and dance along with it. But it just sounds perfect. I love it so much. It's an affliction.