Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Souvenir Programme, Series Six, Episode Three

Possibly should have mentioned this before, but Souvenir Programme is back! It's going out at 6:30 on Tuesdays. The first three episodes are available here, and the next three will go up there too in due course.

Random thoughts on today's episode:

The Pachelbel sketches (One Hit Wonder and Loose Canon. I still give sketches names, even though only Ed and the cast ever see them) were written for Radio Three's anniversary last year, on the condition I was allowed to re-record them and use them in my show too. Susannah Pearse arranged and played the canon, of course, while I sat next to her, miming, and at one point helpfully knocking the music off the stand, as she played, live, on Radio Three... (For non-Brits: Radio Three is the big serious classical music station.)

I do genuinely own all those shirts, and that jumper I bought in the sixth form, which as one of the cast kindly pointed out to me means that it is older now than I was when I bought it. The pineapples on the pineapple shirt are subtler than the ones you're probably imagining.

The first policeman sketch was inspired by Line of Duty, which is why I asked Simon to do a Northern Irish accent, in honour of Adrian Dunbar.

Apparently, the reason we can get away with saying Coca-Cola is made of dissolved children's teeth is that, to prove it was defamatory, they would have to a) argue that a reasonable person might think it is, and b) reveal their secret recipe to prove it's not!

The parrots sketch came out of Silly Voices Day*, and was Lawry's idea. The Save the Children sketch last week did too - that one was inspired by a perfectly nice woman one of the cast once worked with, who had a witch-y voice. I want to say which member of cast, but perhaps I shouldn't, just in case...
(Just in case the woman somehow reads this and is offended, I mean. Not just in case she actually is a witch.)

Ol' Vine Leaves, Baggy Grey, and Pineapples. See? Subtle. 

*It occurs to me this could probably stand some elaboration. Every series we have a Silly Voices session about half way through the writing process, where Ed, the cast, and I get together, and I pitch half-formed sketches which I don't yet know how to make work; and also quite literally get everyone to do silly voices in case that inspires something, which it often does. Other sketches that began at Silly Voice Days include: Basking Sharks, Kirates, the family reunion one with everyone being older than the person before, the slow-talking emergency briefing one, and many more.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff as ever. Since you ask me for a double dactyl next?

s w said...

Thanks John, now 97% of Trump voters think Coca-Cola is made from dissolved teeth. The other 3% think teeth are a lie put out by the liberal media since they've never seen one in person.

Tealin said...

Oooh I did wonder about the legal stuff! Those guidelines seem far more sensible than I've been led to believe is the case in most situations.

Those shirts are far less gaudy than I imagined, listening to the sketch. Not that I can recall ever seeing you in a gaudy shirt, but six years in an environment rich in Hawaiian shirts will tilt the imagination somewhat.

Interesting notes as always! Thank you for sharing!

David Matcham said...

I love your radio show! It's the best thing on the BBC.

:D

Jü said...

Thank you for those insights and also, as always, thank you and all the cast and crew for the show!

The Pineapple shirt is indeed beautiful in its surprising subtlety and now I somehow wish they sold that around here somewhere, for a summerly 'I stole my brother's/next door neighbour's/favourite comedian's shirt and now use it as a cardigan sort of thing' look.

boddiesdrinker said...

NI accent? sorry, sounded more Wurzels/West Country. good show, mind you.

Valerie Conroy said...

I have seen you wear vine leaves a few times but not pineapples. I think that from now on when you wear baggy grey, Simon must follow you around saying "I'm comfy". Silly voices day obviously works, basking sharks is one of my favourites xxx

Lothiriel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lothiriel said...

I really wish we could get to see the names you give to sketches.
By the way, I absolutely love both the shirts and the Pachelbel sketches, and thanks to one of your tweets I'm currently trying to imagine how they could have been combined together. As you do.

Anonymous said...

The shirts sketch was wonderful.

Michael said...

John,

You probably get people throwing sketch ideas at you all the time. If so, I'm sorry, but here's another one. It's been stuck in my head for a while, I don't know if it could be made to work, but it's yours if you want it and think you can make something of it.

The premise: There's something very frustrating if you're an engineer or a scientist about pub quizzes. The questions are universally either history or general knowledge, and when there is a science and technology round, the questions are normally along the line of 'In what year did Stephenson's Rocket..." which of course is still history, and nothing to do with engineering.

The sketch: Set in a pub quiz(!). A group of friends answering questions, along with comments like "didn't you study the Victorian era, you should know this one" then it comes to the science and technology round. All focus on the engineer. The frustrated engineer has had enough, and has a "this isn't engineering, it's still bloody history" type rant. The chap calling the pub quiz tries a few new questions on the spot, but they're all still history or general knowledge. Eventually after some negotiation they settle on a question that is actually engineering (Something like, calculate the change in enthalpy for a gas passing through...)

But, of course, at this point the historian pipes up, and points out that although remembering dates is kind of history, it's not really got much to do with what he/she studied at university. There's more arguing until they settle on a history question along the lines of an essay title.

Skip forwards to a future pub quiz, where each element now reflects degree level subject knowledge ("you should all have completed the pre-reading" "what conclusions can be drawn from..." that type of stuff.

The punchline could then be a subject that doesn't change, it really is just remembering stuff. Off the top of my head, perhaps "and now the zoology round, which animal goes moo"

Anyway, sorry if this is all very dull for you, it happens all the time and isn't of interest, but if it is any use, it's all yours.

Jamie said...

Brilliant show as always. I'm always genuinely disappointed when the "Since you ask me..." section doesn't actually become a full-blown sketch - as was the case last night - but on the plus side it just makes it all the better when it does! And of course the closing Pachelbel sketch was superb...

Thanks for all the (many) laughs and keep up the sterling work.

Kirsty said...

Your wardrobe sonds very like mine...
Another great show - thanks!

EnoWeb-News said...

Your Radio Three appearance can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p049kvp8

Anonymous said...

See, the funny thing about me is I've been awake since 2am listening to JF's SP and assorted other JFPs and whatnots and so yeah.

Get. Out. Of. My. Head.

Stephen said...

We are all the BBC lawyers!
Haahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Joyous tears of laughter for hours on end today. I can't thank you enough for the restoration job your humble endeavours have done on my outlook. Humour surgery of the highest order. I stand and applaud you, even though I'm belly-laughing half off the chair with a Coca Cola.

Anonymous said...

I went to one of new material nights last year and thought the Bouncy Castle sketch had been dismissed, when it didn't turn up in series 5. It's good to see it. Loved the shirt sketch and the words to cannon. Episode great as always.

Anonymous said...

I've always assumed Basking Sharks was a cunningly purloined Beyond The Fringe outtake.

PurpleSparklePony said...

Somewhere, in the parts of the wardrobe that rarely see daylight, we all have a baggy grey.

Philippa Sidle said...

Oo! Souvenir Programme! Will download and listen. :)

Fiona said...

Would love your sketch by sketch commentary about yesterday's epi! Esp the referendum sketch.

Mary T. said...

The APU startup button was shown on 'Sherlock - The Final Question'. Was that a nod to Benedict Cumberbatch's role in Cabin Pressure?

Anonymous said...

Mr Finnimore, you do realise the day you turn 40 you will automatically love The Archers and there is nothing you can do about it!

Unknown said...

Good idea calling the first sketch 'The Parrots Sketch'. In my own mind, I had already named it 'The Parrot Sketch' but your name is superior as, apparently, there's already a well known sketch called 'The Parrot Sketch' and yours has more than one parrot. Although there is a danger that someone will hear it and think it is 'The Parrot's Sketch' i.e, the sketch that belongs to the parrot.

Ariadne said...

Great stuff as usual, shouldn't have listened at work, people are frowning as I'm laughing (and then can't complain as the work still gets done).

However...I've replayed the last bit of the parrot sketch about 20 times and whether on tablet or pc, I just can't work out what's being said which is quite frustrating. :(

EnoWeb-News said...

Ariadne, the last lines appear to be:

Parrot-Lee: I think he suspects!
Mike: What was that?
Lee: Nothing!


I hope the shirt sketch was called "Get Shirty".

More Finnemore: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1Pcx4hW0yCzlcdq6sCt9Rvm/the-lord-of-misrule-took-over-radio-4

jafar said...

Senior Wry Woman on last night's Archers said she'd often thought of putting a brick through a certain stained glass window.

I wonder where they got that idea from?

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Ariadne said...

EnoWeb-News - if you see this past all the...unusual messages - thank you very much! Once you see it written you can hear it but I swear I rewinded over and over until I felt very stupid.

Kirsty said...

I have just, finally, after several listenings, got the 'since you asked me' :-)

Tab said...

Judging by the audience's rapt reaction in Ep6, they shared my view that Susannah has been exposed as the finest tunesmith in musical theatre today.

Her parody tunes are so absurdly catchy, it should be her scores playing in the West End that she's parodying.

Except then she couldn't parody them...

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Su said...

Such joy you bring, thank you...But at present I am writing my masters thesis which I have to submit in two weeks and I tend to listen to classical music whilst trying to analyse my data on interactions with funeral directors ( so many sketches so little time) and then you did the Pachebel thing...ahhhhhhdobedodobedoooooahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So when I say thank you I really mean ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Eddie Mair did it with pigeons saying "take two cows taffie"

Why do you keep messing with my head radio 4?

Please don't stop, Su