Ben, they’re not laugh­ing now

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

IWONDER if Ben El­ton’s thought of that old Bob Monkhouse line any­time in the past three weeks: ‘‘ They laughed when I said I was go­ing to be a co­me­dian. They’re not laugh­ing now.’’

Poor sod. More im­por­tantly, poor us. But if you’re go­ing to call your­self a co­me­dian, you’ve pretty much painted your­self into a cor­ner and now, well, we have ex­pec­ta­tions. Also based on Ben El­ton’s other shows: The Young Ones, Black Adder, Mr Bean . . . as I’m writ­ing this I’m think­ing, why is he work­ing? Isn’t he rolling in resid­u­als? Or as the per­son who merely wrote these shows did he end up get­ting dud­ded?

So I’mon a plane the other day, all the peo­ple I can see around me are read­ing, and the only time any of them look up at the news is when the story about Shane Warne be­ing ac­cused of shag­ging the porn star came on. Even the guys in the pin­stripe suits who are also the first to reach for their phone and who are the busiest most im­por­tant peo­ple on the plane.

My mother says to me: Oh, I’m so sick of Shane Warne. Re­ally. Yes, we were all just say­ing down at wher­ever, over mul­ti­ple cups of cof­fee, how sick of him we all were. Ev­ery­body’s talk­ing about Shane Warne. No­body’s talk­ing about Ben El­ton. Only we are, in the me­dia, and that’s only be­cause we can smell a kill. We al­ways carry on like this. And by carry on I mean car­rion, as in Ben El­ton Live From Planet Earth’s rot­ting car­cass. Which isn’t go­ing to hap­pen any­way, I don’t reckon. Nine’s just go­ing to run the shows they asked for in the first place, the end. That’s like, an­other episode? Three maybe, if there’s some pro­gram­ming rea­son? And then I’d be putting Shane Warne’s show back on. Kind of crazy, but some­thing in­tan­gi­ble’s hap­pened to his Q score since his Liz Hur­ley what­ever that was and I feel like peo­ple want to see him again. Peo­ple other than Liz Hur­ley, I mean.

And let’s get The Farmer Wants a Wife out of that stupid spot it’s in now. Eight-thirty is in­sane for this show. It’s got 7.30pm writ­ten all over it. It’s not like we’ve got farm­ers nud­ing up three deep in a hot tub. I’ve been wait­ing five sea­sons and it’s never go­ing to hap­pen, I know that now. It’s dy­ing where it is, at that time and on that night. What’s wrong with a Mon­day? There’s noth­ing spe­cial go­ing on there. You’d run Farmer at 7.30 . . . it’s rated PG any­way. And then you’d put This Is Your Life in there when the se­ries ends, be­cause it’s not an 8.30 show ei­ther. Don’t ever feel you can’t just ring Chan­nel 9 with pro­gram­ming so­lu­tions of your own. They love it.

Painted into a cor­ner: Ben El­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.