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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Watching the last couple of episodes of the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm was a bit of a strange experience. Seinfeld is an ever-present, um, presence throughout Larry David’s schlemiel-celebrating, political correctness-challenging  HBO show, but usually only in passing references. In the seventh season, Larry puts together a Seinfeld reunion show – just to try to get back with his ex-wife; the last two episodes feature pretty, pretty, pretty long segments of the show within the show in rehearsals and later on TV.

Which made me feel kind of strange.

As I’ve watched the first seven seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it’s a fair bet that I like it a lot. Some episodes are better than others (it’s a lot patchier than many other TV programmes, I think), but the good ones are fantastic. Seinfeld, on the other hand – from the admittedly little I’ve seen – was, not terrible, exactly, but not funny in the slightest. All the characters seemed to have exactly the same voice (perhaps not Kramer), there was something smug and shallow about it, it was very static and the laughter (or laughter track) never matched up to the wit (for want of a better word) of the dialogue. I found Jerry Seinfeld moderately amusing as a stand-up comedian, but his show just didn’t work.

So in the midst of the hilarious awkward-fest that is Curb, you had these leaden, clunky bits of a made-up Seinfeld episode that everyone in the programme was made up with – but they were just as unfunny as Seinfeld ever was.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Seinfeld

Maybe it started growing on me, however. There was one snippet that I found droll.

George: Well, I’ll never meet anyone else again.

Jerry: Probably not.

George: Meeting is hard.

Jerry: Meeting is hard. Why can’t you meet?

George: Can’t meet! Why is that?

Jerry: This is what single people are thinking about the minute they wake up in the morning. And yet we’re surrounded by people – they’re right next to us on the bus, on the street – but we can’t meet them.

George: Why won’t they meet us?

Jerry: Because strangers have a bad reputation.

George: A few bad strangers have ruined it for the rest of us.

Jerry: It’s unfortunate.

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Isn’t it great when one of your favourite things references two of your other favourite things?

Sheldon: What kind of tea would you like?

Amy: I think I’m gonna try … green tea mixed with Lemon Zinger.

Sheldon: (doubtfully) Two tea bags in one cup. (acerbically) You’re not at a rave.

Sheldon: Now, imagine this: you and I, entering Stuart’s party, and all eyes turn to see America’s most beloved and glamorous couple …

Amy: Yeah?

Sheldon: R2-D2 and C-3PO. Dibs on Threepio.

Amy: Sheldon, when I said couples costume, I meant, like, Romeo and Juliet or Cinderella and Prince Charming, not two robots from some silly movie I don’t even like.

Sheldon: (shocked) OK. Now, I’m gonna let that slide because I know you’re hopped up on teabags.

‘The Holographic Excitation’, The Big Bang Theory.

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A quote from Douglas Adams – one of my heroes – who died ten years ago yesterday at the depressingly young age of 49. Here’s what the Guardian has to say about the occasion.

And here are some more Adams quotations.

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Charlie Brooker on Radio 4’s So Wrong It’s Right.

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Charlie Brooker introducing a round called This Putrid Modern Hell on the Radio 4 panel game, So Wrong It’s Right:

Critics say our reliance on text messages and tweets is making us worryingly inarticulate, but luckily there’s a wealth of scientific research to suggest the truth is actually a whole opposite bunch of stuff to that.

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In the most recent episode of the wonderful Big Bang Theory, Amy, Sheldon’s friend-who-is-a-girl (ie, girlfriend; Amy is like a female Sheldon, possibly more Sheldon-like than Sheldon), was having drinks with Penny and Bernadette when one of Penny (numerous) exes walks in with a delivery for the bar. Amy experiences some disconcerting physiological phenomona – namely, she gets a bit ‘excited’ when Zack says hello to her.

The following is from Amy and Sheldon’s conversation at work the following day (she’s dissecting a human brain while they have lunch):

Amy: Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my temperature.

Sheldon: Are you monitoring your circadian rhythms in order to identify your periods of maximum mental acuity? I did that one summer. [wistfully] Ah, youth.

Amy: No, I experienced some distressing symptoms last night, so I’m checking my vital signs every hour.

Sheldon: I’d be happy to create a chart and participate in a differential diagnosis.

Amy: Oh, that sounds like fun.

Sheldon: All right. What were the symptoms?

Amy: Elevated heart rate, moist palms, dry mouth and localised vascular throbbing.

Sheldon: Localised to what region?

Amy: Ears and genitalia.

Sheldon: Interesting. Not body parts that usually team up.

Later …

Sheldon: Possible explanations for your symptoms are – in descending order of likelihood – hyperthyroidism, premature menopause, hosting an alien parasite, or – and I only include it for the sake of covering absolutely all bases – sexual arousal.

Amy: [beat] Where would I have picked up an alien parasite?

Later …

Amy: Let’s look at this logically. I have a stomach – I get hungry. I have genitals – I have the potential for sexual arousal.

Sheldon: A cross we all must bear. You know, in difficult moments like this, I often turn to a force greater than myself.

Amy: Religion?

Sheldon: Star Trek.

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