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What Went Wrong With… Comedy Panel Shows?

An Image made by combining the logos from UK Comedy Panel Shows by What Went Wrong With

There is always a point in time when an idea becomes routine and stale. The Comedy Panel Show is a great example of this, and its multiple offspring have now been on our television screens for what seems like aeons. Over the last two decades, the “No Prize, No Point, All Celeb” Comedy Panel Show has become so common in Britain; it makes the viewer feel like they are stuck in an inescapable time-loop. If you switch between channels after say 9pm, you are bound to come across one of these shitty shows, all complete with the same faces and almost the same sets.

In the nineties, shows like “Have I Got News For You” and “Never Mind The Buzzcocks” began springing up on TV. These shows sported a slightly subversive feel and a new concept; replace the contestants with celebrities and remove the prize. The result was a brand new format with a “youthful” and “cool” look. Both “Buzzcocks” and “News For You” had a great satirical edge and both featured fresh young comedians. Flash forward to the present day, and this once vernal and energetic idea has now become tired, decrepit, and when it comes to the comedians involved; old and knackered.

Paul Merton, whose surrealist deadpan comedy was something new in the late eighties; is now a sagging mass of unfunniness, and ever since Angus Deayton’s departure, “Have I…” has slowly become a middle-aged centre-right BBC crapfest. The “Buzzcocks” (ever since Mark Lamarr and Simon Amstell left) has also become a dull and dire bag of shite. Mark Lamarr made a great move by jumping ship; his once hip show has now been transformed into a Pop-sucking mainstream mess. These days, some of the lamest guests (who would have been mocked by Lamarr or Amstell) appear alongside Phil “I’m Not 51 look at my Dr. Martens” Jupitus and Noel “Ignore my lack of comedy prowess by concentrating on my vintage clothes” Fielding. Both these shows are now so shitty, it is a wonder how and why they are still being broadcast, and whoever thinks these celebtestants are still funny are as broken down and geriatric as the shows themselves.

The other relatively “new” shows on the block such as BBC’s “Mock The week”, Channel 4‘s “8 Out Of 10 Cats” and “Big Fat Quiz Of The Year” (and more recently BBC Three’s “Sweat The Small Stuff)” are now also becoming worn out. Ever since Frankie Boyle left “Mock The Week” the risqué comedy has completely vanished. Frankie Boyle’s humour (which was the only thing that made it watchable) has now been replaced with PG rated BBC-Safe un-comedic comedy. “8 Out Of 10” and “Big Fat Quiz” have also become a hackneyed mess, and with all the other shows on TV which feature Jimmy “Ventriloquist’s Doll-Looking” Carr; they may as well be the same programme. Flicking between channels and switching between shows is now a futile act, you are bound to see upper-middle-class types like David Mitchell or Richard Ayoade somewhere on there, and if not there’s always Chris Ramsey or Russell Howard pretending to be working-class and young. All of these wannabe neoteric shows are fast becoming a huge coagulated mass of crap, and were it not for the gigantic logo emblazoned on the set, I don’t think the audience could tell the difference between them.

The broadcasters in the UK need to understand that continuing with a format when everybody knows its had its day; is lunacy. These lily-livered-lames need to realise, that by relying on the same gaggle of gagsters for all the comedy on all of television, they are slowly killing comedy itself. Just like in the eighties, when it seemed Ben Elton and all of “The Comic Strip” were constantly on TV, these days it’s Seann Walsh, Josh Widdicombe, Jon Richardson, and Micky Flanagan on every motherfucking show. Please somebody find some new fucking talent.

8 Out Of 10 Twats.

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