From left to right: Phil Brown, James J Harringman, Jon Ware, Sam Kinchin-Smith.
This is actually a pretty good idea. Bremner, Bird and Fortune seems to have wandered off for good, and it was starting to feel a bit dated anyway. So an entertainment show on current affairs with a cheerfully open bent towards the youthful-liberal demographic, sketches, interviews, sarcasm…
Basically, the Daily Show.
Yeah. Except that we don’t have any comedians with enough warm-hearted charisma to carry such a show all by themselves, so essentially we’re going to tag-team three of our best-known snarks and I’m going to sit in the corner asking straight-man questions so that they can come up with some real belters.
I’m Lauren Laverne.
I’m Lauren Laverne.
And I’m David Mitchell. I’m going to do one of those rants they’ve been putting up on the Guardian, and then interview some people, engaging with the material so earnestly in my blustering-yet-impassioned way that the show actually livens up a bit.
I’m Charlie Brooker. You know exactly what I’m going to be doing. Look at my sexy silver perma-stubble.
Jesus, what am I doing here? I’m at my best when I’m clipping off sharp, wincey one-liners or being a poor man’s Angus Deayton. I have absolutely no place on a current affairs programme. I bet they’ll give me loads of warmed-over material about paedophile Catholics.
JIMMY does an unfunny, warmed-over bit about paedophile Catholics. Also, the Pope’s a Nazi. Hahahaha. Then CHARLIE’s forced to perform a sketch about Sarah Palin that manages to be frantically uninspired, far too easy, and miss a great many possible targets, in spite of being one of the parts of the show that isn’t actually live.
DAVID gets in three articulate people with opposing views and tries to solve the issue of Goldman Sachs’ bonuses. Each of them gets to speak a single sentence before he’s forced to end the debate so LAUREN can do a shitty, pointless sketch about Sudan in which she pretends to be American in some sort of cheesy stupid American news programme or something.
JIMMY interviews BJORN LOMBORG.
You’re just a bit of an idiot, aren’t you? Releasing sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere? Volcano? James Bond villain?
No, wait – I’ve suddenly decided I'm going to try and conduct this interview seriously and try to actually wring something out of it. Dammit, this show’s going to need to find a coherent identity for each of its segments if it wants to survive, and it’s going to have to figure out what to do with me. Am I the light-hearted funnyman to Charlie and David’s grizzling snarlers? If so, why am I doing the interview about the issue that could potentially destroy our planet?
Anyway, it doesn’t matter because we’re out of time. More adverts!
DAVID does a rather good one of his Guardian video-blog rants and CHARLIE, shattering his established TV persona once and for all, watches some things on a screen and says sarcastic stuff about it. It’s also pretty funny. It’s also pretty superfluous, seeing as how it’s about Tunisia, which JIMMY already covered in an extended bit. Fortunately, CHARLIE is funnier than JIMMY, so we soon forget about JIMMY's bit.
DAVID interviews David Willetts and tries to have a very sincere go over tuition fees, bless him. But he doesn’t get very far before it’s time for more adverts.
DAVID, JIMMY and CHARLIE gather around a table. LAUREN, lurking quietly in the darkness behind them, tries to set them up for zingers, but most of the time they just end up talking over each other. Then it’s time to go home.
This wasn’t actually…bad, was it? I mean, it started pretty appallingly but it got a decent head of steam going towards the end.
Needs better writers and a more fully-formed sense of itself.
Needs me to actually do something, not just get handed the weakest segment that could have been performed by any of you three.
Needs to drop the whole ‘live’ thing. No audience member gives a toss about it being live – surely it could be filmed almost live a few hours before broadcast, thus maintaining its up-to-date thing while giving us a little more space to manoeuvre?
Maybe…just maybe…needs one of us to step up and fill the central Stewart role. It'll make the show have a much better focus and it'll end the desperately democratic way we keep skipping between each character to make sure everybody gets equal airtime.
CHARLIE, JIMMY and DAVID give each other dagger looks.
Except for me.
Nobody seems to hear her. LAUREN's legs are enveloped by the ever-rising sand.
It might even help to get some big-name politicians onboard.
The sand is up to LAUREN's waist now.
Actually, if there's one thing that this show really does need if it's going to survive, above all...
It needs to be less Channel 4.
As the sand reaches LAUREN's head, she begins to sing 'I love you so' from The Merry Widow.