The Comic Strip Presents… Press Release

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

1984

THE COMIC STRIP PRESENTS Transmission: Saturdays late from 7 January

The critics rave: “BITINGLY FUNNY” — Standard

“MY TOP TITTER AWARD FOR 1982″/”HORRIBLY FUNNY” — Daily Mirror “BRILLIANT” — Sunday Mirror

“SHOCKING BAD TASTE”/”UPROARIOUSLY FUNNY” — Daily Express

“GOD I LAUGHED” — Time Out

“IRONIC, EXTRAVAGANT, SELF-CONSCIOUS. THE COMBINATION IS UNBEATABLE AND THIS SERIES MUST RANK AS THE FUNNIEST ON BRITISH TELEVISION” — The Times

“YOU WILL EITHER HAVE TO TAKE MY WORD FOR ITS FUNNINESS OR WATCH FOR YOURSELF NEXT WEEK” — The Guardian

The first series of The Comic Strip Presents won all these epithets in Channel 4’s early days – indeed their first show Five Go Mad in Dorset on the channel’s opening night won the Broadcasting Press Guild’s award as the best TV comedy of 1982. And in the guise of the infamous five they returned to go mad on mescalin on C4’s anniversary night.

On 7 January 1984 this group – embracing many of Britain’s brightest young comedians – returned with six new half-hour comedy films, all different spoofs but all exhibiting the anarchic humour that won cult status for the first series. (And these shows are followed on Channel 4 by repeats of their earlier six.)

The group was brought together by Peter Richardson in October 1980 and made its first live appearance in a seedy strip theatre belonging to Paul Raymond (hence the title). The show, compered by Alexei Sayle, featured some of the best stand-up comics in London. After a successful nine months in this venue, followed by tours of the UK and Australia, The Comic Strip were commissioned to write and produce their first series for C4.

Some of those writing and performing in this group remain best known on TV for this series, in particular PETER RICHARDSON and ADRIAN EDMONDSON. Others are now gaining fame elsewhere on TV, notably RIK MAYALL in The Young Ones on Another Channel. NIGEL PLANER is also in The Young Ones.

And DAWN FRENCH and JENNIFER SAUNDERS have won acclaim for their two-person revue at Edinburgh, also seen on C4, and regularly gatecrash on C4’s Tube.

But only in The Comic Strip Presents do they have the scope and the film resources – well marshalled by directors Bob Spiers and Sandy Johnson – to boldly step where few TV comedians have trod before – right in it…

The six new films are:

1. DIRTY MOVIE: Terry Toadstool – a desperate man and manager of a local cinema – is frustrated in his plan to watch a dirty movie all by himself.

2. SUSIE: A cosy sexual triangle in a quiet Norfolk village is disturbed by the arrival of a newcomer, Gary – an ageing new wave pop star who buys the village.

3. A FISTFULL OF TRAVELLER’S CHEQUES: Miguel and Carlos, two mean, ugly, gunslingers are on their holidays from the Polytechnic. They are in Spain to do ‘the whole spagetti thing’. On their search for cowboy adventure they run into a series of desperate characters leading to a violent climax in a hacienda/wine bar in the burning desert.

4. GINO: The story of Gina the delinquent and Angie the party girl who, after a series of adventures, make their stand against the media and the police in a seedy Essex hotel.

5. EDDIE MONSOON, A LIFE: A television biography of the most offensive TV star South Africa has ever produced, in which Eddie reveals his mental anguish at having his chat show banned by C4 last year (on the grounds of overwhelming bad taste) and argues his case in quite the most distressing interview of TV journalist Peter Woods’ distinguished career.

6. SLAGS: The story of a bizarre gang of mavericks led by the terrible female duo, Passion and Little Sister, set in a futuristic landscape.

 

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