Legendary sitcom Seinfeld was famously “a show about nothing”. This is, of course, cobblers. That sublime show is about anything and everything - from the mundane to the existential – and partly what makes it, in my view, one of the greatest TV comedies of all time.
Download Robin and Josie's Utter Shambles here.
It is in this glorious tradition we all approach each recording of comedy podcast Robin and Josie’s Utter Shambles. This gloriously rambling collection of freeform nonsense is now in its third series – or fourth if you count first incarnation Robin Ince’s Show and Tell. See? The whole thing is such an utter shambles, we don’t even know how many series there’s been.
The idea for the podcast came about in 2007 when award-winning comedian and writer Robin Ince approached Comedy Central back when it was Paramount Comedy for an idea where he would be joined in the studio by fellow comedian Josie Long, accordion player Martin White and a special guest from the stand up circuit.
Together they would talk about something the guest had brought in from home and so Show and Tell was born. With guest spots from circuit comedians who have become huge successes such as Rhod Gilbert and Stewart Lee, Show and Tell soon earned a small but perfectly formed band of loyal followers.
A return series followed but Martin couldn’t take part, presumably because somewhere an accordion desperately needed playing. Renamed Utter Shambles, the roster of guests got bigger. Well, taller anyway. Stephen Merchant popped in, as did comedy legend Barry Cryer, and alternative stand up heroes of the 80s and 90s, Alexei Sayle and Rob Newman respectively.
When a second series of US was mooted Robin suggested opening up the guests beyond comedy. After all, you don’t have to be a professional comedian to be funny. What united these guests is they are all interesting people who have something to say.
And so Utter Shambles continues to lumber on, featuring big names like Monty Python’s Terry Tones, Hollywood writer director Edgar Wright and comics legend Alan Moore, to political post punk icon Billy Bragg, journalist Jon Ronson and spoken word hero Scroobius Pip. Of course there is always room for the very best in comedy, including Al Murray, Al Murray and Richard Herring.
Most recently we recorded a superb alternative Christmas viewing podcast where Alan Moore and Sherlock/Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss returned to discuss together what they like to watch over the festive period. It was arguably the most high-concept US has ever attempted but they pulled it off.
But don’t take my word for it, listen for yourself. And don’t worry that Christmas has passed; they talked about loads of other stuff as well.
Read on for Part 2...
Copyright : D.Stringer/Comedy Central UK