Thursday, 3 February 2011

Upon the Language of Television

Look, I know it's been a while since I blogged. But, it's not you babe. It's me. Ok?

Anyhoooooo, I've been admiring Tim & Eric's stuff for a while:

There are just two things you need to know about Tim & Eric. One is that their comedy is born from that beautiful, almost supernatural place where men go solely to crack themselves up (a place most comics -including Peter Cook- wouldn't dare to actually map out, for fear of losing their way there all together). Secondly (and more to the point, Mr. Fucking Patience) is that they comprehensively understand the underlying, and inherent violence of television. Especially advertising.

For Tim & Eric, advertising is a particularly gruesome freak show. One in which ugly, obscure or unsavoury businesses claw, scream and puke their desperation at us from a delirious (and often hilarious) purgatory. In their world, advertising is little more than the futile plea of a lunatic; a madman shaking a geranium, as T.S Eliot cheerfully puts it. And as I'm particularly enjoying this extended metaphor, I'll go on to say that television itself, meanwhile, is their soiled, and rusting holding cage. In Tim & Eric we see TV advertising driven mad, not just by the crappy products and insincere endorsements of "Cinco", but by the actual form of television.

And that is very interesting. Because as anyone who as ever had to make a television commercial will tell you, just mention TV to a client and the agency walls will be smeared with eight shades of excrement before the brief's even been written.

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