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Thread: Harry Hill

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Harry Hill

    We'd all agree that humour is subjective, but I've never seen a TV comedian that wasn't a lot better live than on the screen. Even Les Dennis had me laughing when I saw him at a corporate event. Based on what I've seen on TV and a couple of stellar reviews I thought Harry Hill was going to be excellent, and we went to see the erstwhile Doctor Hall at Guildford's not-that-classy G-Live last night.

    Unless you're a dyed-in-the-wool fan, don't bother. I smiled at some of it, admired the effort put into much of it, but only laughed properly twice. On paper, his show - Pedigree Fun - has everything. There's prop comedy, stand-up, silly songs, terrible puns, audience participation and a huge amount of energy. But it didn't work.

    OK, it was Guildford on a Tuesday night in mid-winter, in a room with all the charm of a B&Q, but even so, it was terrible. Something that illustrates this - Hill rattled off a list of 50 titles of songs beginning with L in precise alphabetical order as a set-up for a muttered and not-that great punchline. He then repeated the same feat with the letter M but to no punchline at all. The silence at the end was deafening. A brilliant bit of memory work, but hardly comedic genius.

    I'll leave out the traybake/tear'n'share section - you either get it or you don't (Guildford didn't) - other than to say that if it had been a 2-minute part of the show it would have been surreal nonsense and hugely funny. Unfortunately it went on waaaay too long and the slight ripple of applause at the end showed that the room as a whole was less than impressed.

    We left at the interval and were far from alone.

  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    He's about as funny as haemorrhoids. Stealing a living.

  3. #3
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    Never thought much of him tbh.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    He's about as funny as haemorrhoids. Stealing a living.
    At least he could treat those...

    Yes it's subjective. He may have been having an off night, but I too have found him to be overrated, an "adult" Timmy Mallett.

  5. #5
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    I used to love the mayhem and well observed mocking of TV Burp, but I think he's a bit too surreal for me to get his stand up comedy.

    That said I think Reeves and Mortimer are as funny as a trip to the dentist (played by Laurence Olivier), so, as you say, comedy is subjective.

    Worst 'comedian' I ever saw was Nish Kumar.

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  6. #6
    Grand Master
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    Awful.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post

    Worst 'comedian' I ever saw was Nish Kumar.

  7. #7
    Everything is subjective. I went to a filming of TV Burp and saw him at Watford Coliseum a while back and he was hilarious.

  8. #8
    Master Harry Smith's Avatar
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    He gives great voice-overs. He should stick to that. Better than that screaming bloody Dave Lamb anyway.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Awful.
    BBC luvvie they are the only ones who think he’s funny

  11. #11
    Personally I’ve always found Harry Hill, and Reeves and Mortimer surreally funny and stupid in equal measure. I think you either get their humour or you don’t, neither are really ‘jokes and punchlines’ comedians. I turn off the telly at the merest hint of Michael McIntyre, John Bishop or Nish Kumar. to each their own!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Personally I’ve always found Harry Hill, and Reeves and Mortimer surreally funny and stupid in equal measure. I think you either get their humour or you don’t, neither are really ‘jokes and punchlines’ comedians. I turn off the telly at the merest hint of Michael McIntyre, John Bishop or Nish Kumar. to each their own!
    Entirely fair. However, I've rarely seen as many people leaving at the interval, so it seems that Guildford as a whole thought that HH was an entirely missable experience.

  13. #13
    He was always very surreal but over the last few years has fronted a fair few more mainstream scripted TV shows. So perhaps what he delivered was very different from what was expected?!

  14. #14
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    He can be really funny when he's a guest on a show - hilarious adlibs and off the cuff humour.

  15. #15
    Master reggie747's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    He can be really funny when he's a guest on a show - SCRIPTED hilarious adlibs and off the cuff humour.
    FTFY

    Other than that.....he's $h1te

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longblackcoat View Post
    Entirely fair. However, I've rarely seen as many people leaving at the interval, so it seems that Guildford as a whole thought that HH was an entirely missable experience.
    He might have been trying out new content, even the very best comedians need to test and trial their content. The DVD specials are normally years of work.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodder View Post
    He might have been trying out new content, even the very best comedians need to test and trial their content. The DVD specials are normally years of work.


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    Sadly, no. He’s apparently been running the same show since Autumn 22 (now that I’ve looked into it). Still, it makes him a living.

  18. #18
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    I saw him live somewhere, Putney I think, must be ten years ago. It was a giggle.

    I can understand how he might bomb, more so these days.

    If you truly want a shock-and-awe not funny experience, I'd recommend 'Harry Hill - The Movie'. I don't know who he had pictures of to get that film made.. but boy it is cringeworthy rotten.

  19. #19
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    I really used to enjoy the surreal humour of his early tv shows. His 'mum's mashed potato spoons' routine springs to mind. Havn't been following him recently though.

  20. #20
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Not 'entertained' by HH and his silly shirt collar. He must appeal to some audiences to be so successful but every time I watch his silly act (and interviews) I think to myself, "Some people are too easily amused."
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Awful.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Worst 'comedian' I ever saw was Nish Kumar.
    I wasn't aware that Mr Kumar had started doing comedy. Can't imagine he's very good at it.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    HH has never been funny, ever.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  23. #23
    Bunty hoven likes him.

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  24. #24
    Master daveyw's Avatar
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    I’ll defend Harry. I saw the same show with Mrs Wavey and loved it. Like you said, humour can be subjective. It’s surreal nonsense delivered with confidence and panache.

  25. #25
    Can't see the Funny in HH myself but some people are just better in front of a live audience. Years ago I went to see Shooting Stars filmed live at the BBC. A friends brother was a panelist comedian (who I never thought was funny either). Reeves and Mortimer just churned out the same old drivel of you like that sort of thing but Matt Lucas was spontaneously brilliant in between takes and meeting him afterwards in the Green room he was just genuine and funny. Jack Dee was chatty but serious.
    Some people are just better live.

  26. #26
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    HH isn`t one of my favourites, but I think it's easy to overlook how difficult comedy can be. Unlike a singer or group, who can churn out the same material year after year, a comedian has to always deliver something fresh. There's always a risk that a performance go badly, sometimes the audience doesn`t respond and the comedian starts to get the timing and delivery slightly wrong as he realises it isn`t going well.

    I think comedians have a limited shelf life, after a while their material doesn`t seem as funny and they lose appeal. Years ago I recall a guy called Freddie Philips who performed as 'Freddies Beano', saw him live a few times and he got onto TV brieflye, he was hilarious live but didn`t seem quite so good on tele and he faded from the scene.

    Comedy is a serious business, I think we forget that sometimes!

  27. #27
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    Saw the show with my 14yo in N London in December. Some hit and miss, but we both loved it, laughing like drains. It's quickfire and quite slapstick and surreal, all of which appeal to both of us.

  28. #28
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    Went to see him a while back when he was doing Sausage Time. It was hilarious. I laughed non stop for the full show.

  29. #29
    Perhaps this is more of a cautionary tale about Guildford, rather than Harry Hill?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0hnbarker View Post
    Perhaps this is more of a cautionary tale about Guildford, rather than Harry Hill?
    Maybe. But I don’t live there and I’m very much not of the Guildford demographic so I suspect not.

  31. #31
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Blimey…!

    Harry Hill is my tippy top favourite…. Had a crowd in Leicester in the palm of his hand…. Traybake or tear and share had my sides hurting!

    His previous routine ‘Sausage Time’ was brilliant, so difficult to top…

    I saw him first at the Blue Banana cabaret in Balham ‘96 - Tina Tina…. Tina Turner…. Last two baked potatoes in the baked potato shop…

    It must be two things…. An off night and losing a crowd, plus (the readily observed point) that comedy is subjective…

    I’m off to get signatures for the ‘bring back TV Burp’ campaign…

  32. #32
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I once oversaw a comedy club (a rather bizarre temporary career diversion that lasted about a year or so) - we had a lot of big names when they were relatively new - Graham Norton, Lee Hurst, Jack Dee, Alan Carr, Eddie Izzard, Stewart Lee, and many many more. Pretty much any stand up comedian on the circuit in the mid 90’s came through our doors.

    What was very clear was that the vast majority rapidly fade into obscurity, and the few that have a career that lasts usually go into other forms of media.

    Most comedy, not all, but most is quite “of it’s time”. Tastes change and audiences move on. Reeves and Mortimer are excellent examples of this - they burned very brightly for a few years and then faded fast because their act, brilliant though they were at it, couldn’t really evolve, while audiences do.

    Just my views of course.

  33. #33
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    I saw HH in Bournemouth the other night and thought he was very funny. Stupidly and surreally funny of course but really entertaining!

    Obviously some bits were not so good but the Traybake and Tear n’ Share was quite good and obscure at the same time but I suppose that’s his style.

    In my opinion, some of the stupid type jokes work because it’s how he says them as I couldn’t imagine them being as effective elsewhere. I think sun roof and sun dried tomatoes joke is an example.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
    Blimey…!

    Harry Hill is my tippy top favourite…. Had a crowd in Leicester in the palm of his hand…. Traybake or tear and share had my sides hurting!

    His previous routine ‘Sausage Time’ was brilliant, so difficult to top…

    I saw him first at the Blue Banana cabaret in Balham ‘96 - Tina Tina…. Tina Turner…. Last two baked potatoes in the baked potato shop…

    It must be two things…. An off night and losing a crowd, plus (the readily observed point) that comedy is subjective…

    I’m off to get signatures for the ‘bring back TV Burp’ campaign…
    I think he's brilliant as well, I must say. Very dry humour, very clever, very funny.

  35. #35
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    I think he's brilliant as well, I must say. Very dry humour, very clever, very funny.
    You’re clearly a man of great taste…. Only higher beings such as us ‘get it’ ;-)

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