by Magnus Shaw Quite when the crisis started, it’s hard to say. That, I suppose, is the nature of a crisis. But somewhere between the last episode of Extras and this weekend, TV comedy stopped being funny.
There have been glimmers of genius like ‘Peep Show’ and ‘The Inbetweeners’, but they are merely the diamonds in the manure. The whole reeking heap reached a pinnacle this week with the first half of Channel 4’s fortnight of late night humour. The format was sound enough: air some brand new shows then follow them up with vintage material into the early hours. But in execution, an unintended consequence struck. The retrospective programmes threw the staggeringly inept nature of the unseen work into sharp relief. Night after night, it was abundantly clear C4 had invested heavily in original scripts and substantial performers only to be left holding a collection of embarrassingly poor television without so much as a chuckle to offer.