Thursday, 23 October 2014

We're back… last week.




So, the fourth series of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme began, er, this time last week. So, what better time for a post about that episode? I can't think of a better time. I don't think there is one. Shut up.

Teaching Aid

This sketch, about someone getting an idea whilst trying not to watch a muted TV in a pub, was an idea I got whilst trying not to watch a muted TV in a pub. True story!

Bodyguards

Simon has pointed out that every series there's at least one sketch of he and I trapped somewhere, and getting on each other's nerves (e.g. Snow Leopards, Go East, Train Manager). And when that happens, he generally chooses to be Scottish.

Snap

This was originally about Noughts and Crosses. We recorded the Noughts and Crosses version twice for the last series, but both times the audience laughed a bit at the initial reveal, and then politely waited for it to be over So, I rewrote it completely, to be about Snap, and for some reason that worked much better. I think perhaps because the main joke of the Noughts and Crosses one was that two competent players will always draw, which is quite a dry detail to build a sketch around, whilst this one builds to a sort of climax, however meaningless.

Trio

Interestingly, I am one of a select band of vocalists whose singing voice is actually improved when I hold my hands tightly over my mouth.

Emmeline and Albert

I just don't understand the obsession with getting the vote out. Motivate people to want to vote, by all means. But don't encourage people to vote when they don't know what they're voting about, just for the sake of it. It's not like recycling. (In Australia, I believe, voting is compulsory. And the Prime Minister is Tony Abbott.)

Sisyphus

Apologies if you found this sketch baffling. In the recorded version, there was a speech where we set out the details of Sisyphus' punishment. In the edit, we decided that this was Radio 4, and everyone would know already, so we cut it. Yesterday, I discovered a member of my own family didn't know it, and so had no idea what was going on. Uh-oh...


The BBC iPlayer has rather splendidly extended how long they keep episodes up, so you can still listen to this episode here. And you can hear the next episode this very evening, at 6:30, and here after that.



33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the new series and especially Sisyphus. But the song too, and Snap and all of them and especially these new amazing photos.

Looking forward to tonight!

Anonymous said...

Great to have this tiny making of, makes it even funnier.

Anonymous said...

Ah careful, this Simon fellow sounds like he may be taking over the whole show......

Anonymous said...

Is that a bucket on your head?

zendarenn said...

This episode was so good, can't wait to hear the rest.

That comment about Tony Abbott is so true. As an Australian I know so many people who don't vote properly and then wonder why things like Tony happen.

Anonymous said...

Sisyphus was my favourite!

Christen said...

Love the new series! cannot wait for the rest! Can't stop singing the monkeys song!

Peter A. said...

Just listening to Episode 2. Superb !!

Makes up for a lack of any hope of a new series of Cabin Pressure.

Peter A. said...

And it got it better...

MartinPic said...

Great stuff John, good to hear you back on the radio. And thanks to the Beeb too for allowing this to play overseas, which they don't with the tellybox iPlayer.
Looking forward to episode 2 becoming available now...

Conor Cooley said...

I love the new series almost as much as the recordings!!! My fave has to be either snap or Belgium, but looking forward to next week!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course notice a week late is fine - just reminds us all to listen to one of the repeats on Radio $ Extra!
Quality as high as ever - a joy!

Anonymous said...

That picture is brilliant. Simon seems to be wearing something eerily reminiscent of Martin's hat.

Amanda said...

Hi John. I am a newbie to your sketch show. Just started listening to it last week. Its the funniest sketch show I have heard in a long time. These two episodes made me laugh so hard. I've listen to the first episode twice now, and I keep laughing at it. I am currently, going through the previous series now. I am really enjoying them as well. Can't wait, until next week to hear episode three. Thanks for making these.

Anonymous said...

Superb smart comedy as ever John. The new highlight of my week. Thanks for my birthday card, I cried real manly tears when my daughter Ailsa handed it to me. You really made her day, and mine.Two fans for life.
Richard.

Laetitia said...

As a Belgian, I particularily enjoyed the last episode. Thank you for the links, and thank you for all these moments of hilarity you're giving us.

Anonymous said...

I've often thought that you, Mr Finnemore, and Andy Hamilton have a lot in common (great writers for radio - star in own programmes) - and now I see you share a coat! See cover of 'Revolting People' audio books....

Anonymous said...

The snap sketch reminded me of the annual rock-paper-scissors tournament (janken taikai) held by Japanese girl group AKB48.

You can see lots of footage of it (or watch all 4 hrs of this year's tournament) on Youtube (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jAT17LngcI)

The venue is the Nippon Budokan, an arena originally built to house the martial arts tournaments in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mr Finnemore! Greetings from Hong Kong! I've been a fan of your radio shows for quite a while now, though I've always been too shy to say hi...

*Hi!*

And while I can wax lyrical about 'Cabin Pressure' and sing your praises as a comedy genius ;) I do have a burning question about the latest series of your 'Souvenir Programme'.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I've been trying to work out what the Speak No Evil monkey is singing (or rather, humming), but there's one line I cannot guess:

What is the Speak No Evil monkey trying to say after the line, 'And although some may say it's weak to sacrifice your right to speak'?

Great job with the singing (and humming), by the way! :) Looking forward to the rest of the episodes!

Best wishes,
Andromeda

Anonymous said...

Snap sketch reminded me of 'Big Train' and the world staring championship - another classic

Philippa Sidle said...

Such brilliant stuff as ever.

The 'Belgium fake-out ending' in episode two was honestly the funniest thing I've heard for ages. I was walking the dog while listening to it, and it's just as well I live in the middle of a rural estate, or I would have looked a real idiot bellowing with laughter into thin air.

Liafelis said...

As a Belgian, I'm very partial to the second episode too (I always regretted that Douglas didn't get to go to Spa in Cabin Pressure, so...) but Sisyphus is my favourite too. I was surprised by the voice of Tantalus, though, never thought he was a woman! Oh, well, maybe part of his punishment was left out of the mythology books...

Anonymous said...

When I was searching Amazon for whatever, they recommended "Cabin Pressure - Zurich" which would come out on January 15, 2015. Does that mean that you (er... finally) have an airing date? Christmas Special, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I have waited so long for this to come back; I swear to goodness I made the whole household shut up for 30 minutes straight, until someone spoke and I locked myself in my room with Radio 4 on. Also, the second episode is on the weekly comedy podcast! I've already played it six times...

Anonymous said...

That hat is paramount.

Erika said...

Congratulations on the latest series of the Souvenir Programme - if only I was still living in the UK and could enjoy it!

Totally off topic I'm afraid, but I thought you might find this amusing:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/man-taxied-plane-down-main-street-to-pub/5861970

Not quite on the scale of Cabin Pressure, but perhaps a modest homage?

Anonymous said...

My 12 yr old daughter loves your series (plural) so much she chose to listen to it over and over again during a stay in hospital and whileshe had an unpleasant mag3 scan! In between sobs, she would quote lines before they were spoken! And she was particularly pleased that the Belgium episode was the bbc podcast download last week!

Anonymous said...

I think you're pretty good.

Holly said...

I always enjoy the songs, from "Don't Say Simples" to "Insomnia," and for a long time "Captain Dinosaur" was my favorite. But I think The Three Wise Monkeys song just trumped it. I love it so much.

Anonymous said...

Tony Abbott? Oh God, if only he was the least of it! Compulsory voting has provided us will a billionaire running his own party for his own ends getting elected; a politician who goes on the radio to discuss using a whipper snipper on her Lady Garden (not to be confused with your new minister in the UK...); Shooters and Fishers Party who really need no further comment; The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party and as for just about every politician in New South Wales where the majority of them seem to spend more time in front of the Independent Commission Against Corruption than in parliament... Tony Abbott is, I am afraid, just the Cherry on a weird and unpleasant cake of politicians. If the saying is "You get the politicians you deserve' I often wonder what on earth we have done to deserve this lot....

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if you could tell us a story about time travel. Maybe one in which audible.com decided to make the whole series available for purchase and download before the final two episodes were transmitted.

Philippa Sidle said...

I'd love to see more of your thoughts on later episodes of the series. :)

The Pink Lady said...

Since you ask me for a comment on your Souvenir Programme, I shall give you one...

This series has been the best so far, and decidedly the best comedy on R4 since Cabin Pressure started. Long may you reign, John Finnemore. I'd pay my licence fee just for these three hours a year. Take note, BBC.