Are you sitting at home, thinking "I miss the classic 20th century simplistic jokes with punchlines so easy to spot I wrote them down on paper and put it in an envelope before the show started and got them all right, because I, at times, like to feel like some sort of comedy Derren Brown."? Then I have some incredible news for you! Lee Nelson's Well Good Show, aired on BBC 3, delivers all of these demands and more!
"But," I hear you introduce your list of unusual, yet oddly specific demands that would make a serial hostage-taker proud. "But I haven't had an old woman pull funny faces at me since I was, at most, two years old. I feel the absence of this factor in my otherwise idyllic life has caused me to become emotionally repressed and socially awkward!". Well, help is at hand, because this show features and old woman gurning at the audience for nearly a minute, curing you of your crippling phobias and possible impotence instantly.
The show, hotly tipped to win the coveted "Misnomer of the Year" award, famously given to Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic" in 1996 (The award's peak, of course), features Simon Brodkin as lovable cockney Lee Nelson, and also features Simon Brodkin as unrelenting irritation with stupid cockney accent, Lee Nelson. Also, there is his best friend, Omelette, a man so gargantuan in stature he thinks about little but food. Indeed, when Lee Nelson asks him "What's it time for?" he responds with "Pudding?". "Ohohoho" I chortled maniacally, and not without a goodly amount of sarcastic hatred. You see, it's funny because he's fat. I say "Funny". I use the term loosely. A better expression would actually be "Not very funny at all". But then, if we were to be as specific as that, the show might lose its "Comedy" status.
The show also has a moment where an audience member (Read "Stooge") wearing a waistcoat has to pick from 4 women and gets 5 minutes in the disabled toilet with whoever he picks. They were facing with their backs to him. Stop me if you've guessed the punchline. Oh? Already? Yeah, me too. I know, right? Who would have thought it, these 4 people masquerading as gorgeous women weren't actually gorgeous women! Two were men, one was an old woman and the other was ACTUALLY a gorgeous woman put in there to pretend she would have been, and I quote, "Well up for it", and the audience member, nick-named Stoogey McStooge was really unlucky to pick the bloke with a beard and not her. Oh, how I laughed. "How unexpected!" I managed to splutter out with gasping breaths as I giggled with uproarious laughter, the room veritably thundering with my glee.
Apart from one brief glimmer with a character, Dr Bob. Possibly the only bit I found funny, I put it down to sheer chance. Unless you're showing me a gritty real drama or, perhaps, a documentary on the ravages of worms in Africa, I'll probably laugh at something, anything, once in any given half-hour period. Credit where's it's due, that was tolerable.
Then the show took a turn for the worse, impressively. The show was already classed in my mind as "Pretty abysmal" when, suddenly it plummeted in estimation to "Hand-crafted by some demons who clearly are out to wreak havoc upon my life" (Then I saw Russell Kane was a writer, and all became clear). This, obviously, happened with "Faliraki Nights", a sketch which so soured the whole show so much, it was like they'd announced that watching it caused blindness (Some might say a blessed relief, during this sketch. That's right. This sketch was worse than blindness). It was so bad I actually complained to the BBC. Obviously it was intended with great dollops of irony poured on a culture which glorifies drinking and sex, or "Club 18-30" as is its technical name. They tackled this with all the subtlety of a channel 5 shock-doc on the boy with no fingers , or whatever. "Hey, there's a certain group of people we could parody by showing them the extremes of their lifestyle" works within the laws of good taste, and this sadly fell so far outside the boundaries of good taste that, briefly, I toyed with the notion of hurling my own shoes at the screen to make it stop, as the remote was fully 6 inches away, and that was too much time to endure of it. Fortunately, though, I blacked out for 2 or 3 minutes, and can only assume I actually died of embarassment before coming back.
This sort of thing is fine, provided it's funny. If it's hilarious, but in poor taste, I don't mind. If, however, it is appallingly unfunny and in poor taste, it amplifies the "Poor taste" thing by a factor of about 62,312. "This is meant to be funny?!" you find yourself thinking, rhetorically, because you know it is, but you can scarcely believe it. Anyone who found this section of the show funny should claim a refund for their lobotomy due to the unwanted side-effects.
Seriously, who at the BBC stood up, cutting a lone figure across the office floor, and yelled "I've got it! A solution to the disenfranchised youth population! We'll lure them back in with a comedy sketch where people race to ejaculate! That's what young people like, right?". Rather than this man being gunned down (As would be the logical thing to do), for some reason, I can only assume the entire office burst into applause. "God bless you, sir." they said with their eyes welling up with tears of joy tinged with admiration, "For you have surely saved the BBC!"
Anyways, finally, Lee's Nan, a small white woman, sings us out to MC Hammer. You see, it's funny because she's a small white woman, and not an angry black rapper. Almost as hilarious as the rest of the show.