The Lowest Form Of Wit


Actually, It’s Quite Funny

mock·er·y [pronunciation: mokuh-ree]
-noun, plural -er·ies

  1. ridicule, contempt or derision.
  2. a derisive, imitative action or speech.
  3. a subject or occasion of derision.
  4. something absurdly or offensively inadequate or unfitting.

Sarcasm, when you think about it, is a very odd basis upon which to design a quiz show, but there it is, right in the title of the latest Have I Got News For You-wannabe, Mock The Week.  Dara O’Briain acts as genial host and kicks things off with a self-indulgent little stand up routine, and already my heckles have been raised.  As things move on, we are introduced to the panel of six comedians who work through a series of typical quiz show rounds, but even here the structure is haphazard to the extent that there is one round when Russell Howard’s team doesn’t even get a go!  There is a very distinct feeling, which is evident throughout, that the whole thing is overly rehearsed.   There was a show on last year, Rob Brydon Annually Retentive, which showed the behind the scenes sketches of panelists writing their “impromptu” jokes and anecdotes, so you’d have thought someone would have told them.  My final irritation is the scoring.  In these kinds of programmes there are two schools of thought, (1) The Question Of Sport style where point scoring is a very exact science, or (2) the QI sytle when the scoring is completely unfair and all part of the fun.  In Mock The Week, it falls between two stalls and fails on both counts.

So, why do I watch it?  Well, the main reason, the only reason is that it is very funny.  There’s a good selection of comics (all men though…. perhaps female comics aren’t good at “sarcastic”) and each of them seem to get a chance to shine.  The politicos and headline makers of the week get a suitable degree of mocking from the team and the fun often crosses the line of common decency into bad taste, which again, is no bad thing in my book (must get round to “my book” one day).  Anyway, check out Wikiquote if want to see what the fuss is all about.

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