Did we like it?
Of all the comedy panel ‘quiz’ shows which have set out to follow in the footsteps of Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week is second only to QI.
What was good about it?
• Presenter Dara O’Briain’s exasperation at the number of sex offenders teaching in schools. “I never had any problems with my teacher, Father Glitter.”
• Rory Bremner’s impersonation of George Galloway.
• Dara: “The live feed of Celebrity Big Brother operates on a 15-minute delay, which caused confusion when Jimmy Savile entered the house as he operates on a 30-year delay.”
• John Oliver’s quip that as an alternative energy source the world could use the hate generated in the Middle-East towards America, and how that paranoid motorists are so desperate for fuel they are squeezing oil-soaked seagulls into their tanks.
• The simmering competitiveness between the panellists. Often, after a particularly amusing joke, the camera pans to a fellow panellist, and upon their face their either exists a mask of forced hilarity as the audience applause drowns out their grinding teeth, or the naked envy that they themselves didn’t come up with something so funny in the week or so since they were provided with the questions. This ensures a diligence amongst the panellists to be funnier than their contemporaries.
• Dara’s camp mimicry of David Cameron.
• Andy Parsons’ observation that Gary Glitter must have been a fool to take his PC back to PC World, which was like Jeffrey Dahmer returning his fridge to Currys or Fred West taking his patio back to B&Q.
What was bad about it?
• It calls itself a ‘satirical show’ when the nature of satire is to harmlessly poke fun at an establishment figure or institution for the brief amusement of a like-minded audience while both the ‘satirist’ and audience communally understand that with the collapse of such institutions they would be led up a stair to the gallows by members of the great unwashed. And so every barb must enable the audience to deride the institution without every risking its fall.
• Yet another show that whores off Celebrity Big Brother for a good portion of its gags.
• The lack of real anger apparent as though they’re satisfied simply to “mock” the week with no hope or ambition of changing or educating the minds of their viewers, unlike Bremner, Bird And Fortune for instance.
• Rory Bremner running. It reminds us of people who run in the office. Unless the flames of eternal damnation are licking your behind, there is no purpose to running in the office. The person on the end of the phone, whom you’re so desperately trying to please, doesn’t know that your office isn’t two miles long so take your time.
• Unfortunately, the end result of Mock The Week was that it only left us in the mood to watch a classic edition of the superior HIGNFY