Show me the funny episode III – Streetly come laughing ***
Last night’s episode featured the remaining 8 contestants and was filmed at Streetly School, Walsall, West Midlands.
The audience for their gig was schoolchildren aged 12-14 plus their School teachers and Headmaster.
You got the sense early on that this one could see the exit of one of the show’s big favourite’s Rudi Lickwood, for he left the viewer and his partner for this episode, one of the show’s other two hot favourites, Patrick Monahan, in no doubt whatsoever, via his facial expression and words that he felt uncomfortable being back at school. He detested School as a child, did not feel inspired being back at school and emphasised that his audience simply wasn’t school children.
Whilst understandable I wonder whether he’d forgotten that £100k, an ITV backed nationwide tour and DVD was the prize at stake. I’d have developed a sudden love of performing to school children for that sort of offer.
We saw them paired of delivering a variety of lessons – sport in Patrick and Rudi’s case; crime solving for ex-Model Ellie Taylor and ex-Policeman Alfie Moore, who worked well together; world war II history for Dan Mitchell and Tiffany Stephenson.
Though not really played for laughs it was an opportunity for them to engage with the children and for the children to decide who they liked most and who they wanted to handle the running order for the show.
Cole Parker and Stuart Goldsmith proved the biggest hits with the children and picked Ellie Taylor to open the show, which along with the closing set, is the hardest slot of the night. Hardest as the audience haven’t been warmed up and had the funny bones tickled, thus putting a lot of pressure on the opening act not only to do well for themselves but to set the tone for the rest of the gig.
Whilst not going down as well as in previous gigs Ellie did once again engage well with the audience, show she’d done her homework and tried to do some tailored jokes to engage with the children.
Few of them really went down a storm with the children. Alfie was well received, Dan was brilliant, and Patrick was very well received too, getting a standing ovation for his set.
Although I must say I didn’t like the whale impressions and spitting over the audience, it was innovative and he really seemed to connect with the children. They seemed to like it though, as did the judge’s and that’s all that matters for this show I guess.
Patrick (above) did find himself called back as one of the final four though, more to praise him and caution against too much chatter, not enough gags at the start of his set, but other than that he was praised for connecting with the audience and being one of the only act’s not to talk down to and patronise the children.
Tiffany was also called back and was given advice to just go for it.
Rudi unsurprisingly got called back, having walked of stage after giving less than 5 minutes of his set. He said on stage he was “dying” and drying up, yet that was just his self-created fears as to me and Judges/fellow contestants/audience he was doing fine, getting laughs and engaging with the children.
I can sympathise with his fears, but they were presumably the same all of the contestants had, apart from Patrick perhaps who does children’s shows and seems incredibly laid back about the whole process.
Could it be that as the contestants approach the mid-point of the show, there is a subconscious fear within Rudi of the big prize ahead, the breakthrough to national exposure and prominence and into the big league of TV comedy?
Luckily for him there were other worse performers on this episode and he’s through to the next round.
Then it was down to one in front of the Judges. Bad boy Cole Parker. Alas it was 3 no’s from the Judges, none of them finding him funny yet after 3 episodes. Kate Copstick actually went so far as to say to his face that, “You are shit. You’ve been cashing in comedic cheques your talent can’t bank.” Ouch!!
I don’t think it was necessary to go that far as this is a man’s career. Some constructive criticism wouldn’t have gone amiss surely?
There are just 3 shows 2 go to final, with seven contestants remaining.
The next show is on Monday, 9pm ITV, repeated on ITV i-player with full 5 minute performances from all performers from each episode.
You can catch Patrick, Tiffany and 1,000’s of other comedians, singers, actors and performers of all types at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival starting on Friday 5th August 2011 until 29th August 2011.
New Ronnie Corbett show about comedy starts Saturday 6th August 2011, BBC1 9pm and on 13th August 2011.
The final is being held on 25th August at the prestigious Hammersmith Apollo, London.
Tiemo Talk, 2nd August 2011