So Get A Grip heralds Ben Elton’s return to stand-up comedy – with a funky female sidekick to act as a younger hipper person to his old-dad persona…
So it’s a bit of a shame that it hits off with a quick comedy skit about the effectiveness of spam. Gosh, that’s so 21st century. No, it hasn’t been done to death by every other comedian up to now… Plus, for a supposedly topical TV comedy show, to go on about the Diana conspiracy theory doesn’t exactly scream of bang up-to-date comedy.
And it just gets worse. Alexa Chung might be ok at reading off an autocue, but she certainly doesn’t seem human doing it – couldn’t they get a funky young female sidekick who actually looks capable of responding to Ben ad hoc instead of reading from a script? (Shame I have to diss her really – how often do you get half-Chinese people on prime-time ITV?) Hell, she looks like Tracy Barlow as she smiles there watching her ranting sidekick go on. Plus, someone should have told her that one of the first rules of comedy is not to smile and laugh at your own jokes.
Ben hasn’t exactly moved on either – all the comedy sketch interludes are almost exactly the same format from his BBC series The Man From Auntie (which was 17 years ago), right down to the upside down chins. He’s kept his ranty persona – but now it sounds like the old dad (that he is), rather than anyone actually funny.
Producers of Get A Grip, there is one thing you can do which would make it so damn better. Get them out from behind the desk – it might make the show just a little more dynamic instead of having two people just sat there reading off an autocue.
Of course, this followed the hilarious comedy City Lights which had our two main characters hounded out of your house after witnessing a gangland killing. ITV’s Wednesday comedy night has some way to go methinks.
PS: I would link to my superlative Ben Elton website at this point, but I’ve got no idea where it’s gone. Such is the way of old web sites.