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Stand-up comics that have writers


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For thirty years or so, the world of the stand-up comic has been dominated by comedians performing material that they have written themselves. In July of this year, Stewart Lee revealed that many household name comedians are employing writers to produce their material. The likes of Michael McIntyre, Jack Whitehall and Frankie Boyle are mentioned.

 

I'm not talking about comic performers like Rowan Atkinson or Richard Wilson here. They're not on every panel show pretending to be funny at the moment.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/comedy/news/stewart-lee-accuses-highprofile-comedians-michael-mcintrye-jack-whitehall-and-frankie-boyleof-using-writers-8718101.html

 

For stand-ups though, I am a bit of a puritan. I feel the relationship between comic and audience is cheapened when one side of it isn't authentic, but then, that's just my opinion. If you pay money to go and watch a stand-up and end up laughing all the way through the show, does it matter who wrote the gags?

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Any different to singers singing songs they didnt write?

 

No, but people make determinations on those lines too.

 

Manufactured pop groups singing songs from corporate writing houses will never have the credibility that writer-performers have. Rolling the same principle back a few hundred years, who do we remember? The composers or the people who played the instruments?

 

We have a great deal of respect for creators.

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No, but people make determinations on those lines too.

 

Manufactured pop groups singing songs from corporate writing houses will never have the credibility that writer-performers have. Rolling the same principle back a few hundred years, who do we remember? The composers or the people who played the instruments?

 

We have a great deal of respect for creators.

 

This is precisely why Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra will never leave a lasting cultural legacy like what Mumford and Sons will do like.

 

And why Britain will always cherish Lee and Herring and Newman and Baddiel over Morecombe and Wise and The Two Ronnies.

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This is precisely why Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra will never leave a lasting cultural legacy like what Mumford and Sons will do like.

 

And why Britain will always cherish Lee and Herring and Newman and Baddiel over Morecombe and Wise and The Two Ronnies.

 

Ah, Sinatra and Presley - two templates of manufactured music that others have been so very keen to follow. The thing is, both are now seen in their proper contexts; superb performers able to evoke a fixed point in time. They didn't advance music like the Beatles (Helter Skelter must surely be credited as a birth cry of actual rock music). Can Elvis personally be credited for what his music did? Fuse the blues of black influences into something palatable to white tastes?

 

I may have been hasty in my previous assertion that there is no difference between comic and musical performers. What if you can write great pop tunes but cannot sing yourself? That doesn't really apply in comedy. Most people can do stand-up, and if you can't do that, you can write your own show. Some do both.

 

My fundamental objection is the chasm between expectation and reality. We've been spoiled with some great comics on both sides of the pond in the last thirty years and we've been used to them doing their own stuff. When someone is playing to that expectation and yet not playing by the rules, I think its fair to ask why, especially if the limelight they get from their borrowed glory is keeping other comics in the shade.

 

Stand-up is very much in its infancy. In his examination of the provenance of gags, Stewart Lee remarks that before the 1980s, jokes were just shared around by anyone touring the scene. Some of the gags were so common that venues would have a board for performers to read; indicating which gags had already been done.

 

I have to say, while I have a great deal of admiration for Eric Morecambe's comic stylings, I find it hilarious that you'd hold up Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies as enduring comedy icons. Monty Python were operating at the same time, released three movies and are known around the world. They wrote their own stuff. I know there are lots of people who'll probably go gooey-eyed at the nostalgia, but the comics you mention weren't even the best in their time. They were just popular for the masses, which is usually the greatest hallmark of unfunny you can encounter. Monty Python's comedy will still be relevant in a decade or two, perhaps more. I can't see your timeless examples lasting the distance.

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All the sixth form ramblings in the world won't stop Elvis being Elvis and Sinatra being Sinatra. You specifically mentioned people "remembering" classical composers. Well people will remember those two.

 

And Q magazine/Paul Morleyisms about "birth cry" of Helter Skelter? Purlease. Even ten Beetles fans in a room won't agree about that. Personally, I'd say it started with Please Please Me.

 

And I specifically put those comedians in British cultural history. They are a massive part of British cultural history, the existance of Python makes no difference to this irrefutable fact. Remember it's only you saying people only value own-written material. It's simply not true.

 

Python are important, as are the Beatles, but just because you over-estimate the value of "stuff wot I wrote" doesn't mean the world agrees with you. They are too busy listening to Dusty Springfield and The Supremes.

 

And Elvis and Sinatra "won't last the distance" but Stewart effing Lee will? Jesus Christ you are mental.

Edited by CB Fry
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Christmas Day 2023

 

BBC1 8pm

 

This Morning With Richard Not Judy Remembered

 

Timeless cultural icons Rich and Stu are joined by Paul Puttner and the actor Kevin Eldon for an hours' reminiscence about how like they are enduring comic icons who have "lasted the distance" and, like, no-one remembered The Two Ronnies twenty years after their last series. With music by someone, like, real and who has "lasted the distance". Elastica or someone.

Edited by CB Fry
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All the sixth form ramblings in the world won't stop Elvis being Elvis and Sinatra being Sinatra. You specifically mentioned people "remembering" classical composers. Well people will remember those two.

 

And Q magazine/Paul Morleyisms about "birth cry" of Helter Skelter? Purlease. Even ten Beetles fans in a room won't agree about that. Personally, I'd say it started with Please Please Me.

 

And I specifically put those comedians in British cultural history. They are a massive part of British cultural history, the existance of Python makes no difference to this irrefutable fact. Remember it's only you saying people only value own-written material. It's simply not true.

 

Python are important, as are the Beatles, but just because you over-estimate the value of "stuff wot I wrote" doesn't mean the world agrees with you. They are too busy listening to Dusty Springfield and The Supremes.

 

And Elvis and Sinatra "won't last the distance" but Stewart effing Lee will? Jesus Christ you are mental.

 

I never said that Stewart Lee was going to be an enduring comic icon. He's just the source of the quotes.

 

You and I both know who Morecambe and Wise (and the Two Ronnies) are because of our age. My eighteen year old daughter has no idea who they are, and while that proves nowt in itself, why would she? Porridge has endured far better than the Two Ronnies, and the only time you really see Morecambe and Wise on TV is on clip shows.

 

The alternative comedy of the 1980s dragged us out of the racist and sexist age of the seventies. The media-savvy comedy of the '90s grew into the likes of Alan Partridge, Brass Eye and Veep, which is doing it over in the US right now.

 

I ask, not because I think I've got you in a corner, but because I'm genuinely interested. What do you think that Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies added to comedy? What will they be remembered for?

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All the sixth form ramblings in the world won't stop Elvis being Elvis and Sinatra being Sinatra. You specifically mentioned people "remembering" classical composers. Well people will remember those two.

 

And Q magazine/Paul Morleyisms about "birth cry" of Helter Skelter? Purlease. Even ten Beetles fans in a room won't agree about that. Personally, I'd say it started with Please Please Me.

 

And I specifically put those comedians in British cultural history. They are a massive part of British cultural history, the existance of Python makes no difference to this irrefutable fact. Remember it's only you saying people only value own-written material. It's simply not true.

 

Python are important, as are the Beatles, but just because you over-estimate the value of "stuff wot I wrote" doesn't mean the world agrees with you. They are too busy listening to Dusty Springfield and The Supremes.

 

And Elvis and Sinatra "won't last the distance" but Stewart effing Lee will? Jesus Christ you are mental.

 

So erm, are you actually saying that Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnie's were ever stand-up comedians?

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I never said that Stewart Lee was going to be an enduring comic icon. He's just the source of the quotes.

 

You and I both know who Morecambe and Wise (and the Two Ronnies) are because of our age. My eighteen year old daughter has no idea who they are, and while that proves nowt in itself, why would she? Porridge has endured far better than the Two Ronnies, and the only time you really see Morecambe and Wise on TV is on clip shows.

 

The alternative comedy of the 1980s dragged us out of the racist and sexist age of the seventies. The media-savvy comedy of the '90s grew into the likes of Alan Partridge, Brass Eye and Veep, which is doing it over in the US right now.

 

I ask, not because I think I've got you in a corner, but because I'm genuinely interested. What do you think that Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies added to comedy? What will they be remembered for?

 

 

You haven't got me in a corner. Rolling out a one line distillation of a Radio Times article on "alternative comedy" doesn't dilute the fact that both of those double acts have a cultural legacy that has endured.

 

You can sneer at them all you like, but M&W never made a program in my living memory, so they have lasted. Just because you don't value them doesn't mean they don't have value. "People value creators" you said earlier in this thread. What both thoses acts "created" is on the screen and will (and has) endured.

 

There are literally thousands of people watching Veep in this country. Okay, tens of thousands. If it was on BBC I would have seen it, but I haven't. Sure I will someday. I have no doubt it is jolly good but it unlikely to be "timeless" (your words) is it?

 

And you do realise that Armando and all the rest grew up watching The Two Ronnies, yes?

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So erm, are you actually saying that Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnie's were ever stand-up comedians?

 

The Ronnies weren't, but M&W had more of a stand up act than any of the Pythons ever had. You started talking about Composers, and manufactured pop stars, and the Pythons and Armando and Chris Morris so i think the conversations broadened out from stand ups, did it not?

 

But yeah, you've really got me in the corner now.

Edited by CB Fry
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You can sneer at them all you like, but M&W never made a program in my living memory, so they have lasted. Just because you don't value them doesn't mean they don't have value. "People value creators" you said earlier in this thread. What both thoses acts "created" is on the screen and will (and has) endured.

 

I specifically asked what you felt they contributed to comedy. We've learned here that their massive contribution is being remembered by yourself even though you didn't watch them at the time. They were popular double acts that appealed to the masses in variety shows.

 

Have you at least watched them now, or are you genuinely arguing the merits of an act you've never seen?

 

Iannucci considers Woody Allen his comedy hero,btw.

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I specifically asked what you felt they contributed to comedy. We've learned here that their massive contribution is being remembered by yourself even though you didn't watch them at the time. They were popular double acts that appealed to the masses in variety shows.

 

Have you at least watched them now, or are you genuinely arguing the merits of an act you've never seen?

 

Iannucci considers Woody Allen his comedy hero,btw.

 

"People value creators" you said, with the implication that writer/performers endure and appeal more than just performers.

 

I've given you four examples two globally in the world of music and two very British comedy acts that disprove this, pretty easily. Their "creations" do and will endure, and you rambling about Comedy-Store-Alexei-Sayle-just-like-punk-old-racist-comedians-etc-etc" doesn't ever change that.

 

My personal opinion on the acts themselves are neither here nor there, can't say I'm a particular fan of any of them excluding The Two Ronnies, especially RB who I like a lot.

 

I am a huge fan of Lee and Herring, Chris Morris, Partidge and co for twenty odd years though. I don't expect my daughter in a decades time when she is fifteen to be culturally aware of the Friday Night Armistice. But I bet she will have seen some M&W and heard a few Elvis songs by then.

 

"People value creators". Too right they do. Like Elvis and Eric Morecombe.

 

Stick to back issues of U n cut Magazine, Pap.

Edited by CB Fry
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"People value creators" you said, with the implication that writer/performers endure and appeal more than just performers.

 

I've given you four examples two globally in the world of music and two very British comedy acts that disprove this, pretty easily. Their "creations" do and will endure, and you rambling about Comedy-Store-Alexei-Sayle-just-like-punk-old-racist-comedians-etc-etc" doesn't ever change that.

 

My personal opinion on the acts themselves are neither here nor there, can't say I'm a particular fan of any of them excluding The Two Ronnies, especially RB who I like a lot.

 

I am a huge fan of Lee and Herring, Chris Morris, Partidge and co for twenty odd years though. I don't expect my daughter in a decades time when she is fifteen to be culturally aware of the Friday Night Armistice. But I bet she will have seen some M&W and heard a few Elvis songs by then.

 

"People value creators". Too right they do. Like Elvis and Eric Morecombe.

 

Stick to back issues of U n cut Magazine, Pap.

 

They say the emptiest vessels make the most noise. It's clear that you've no real interest in original question posed, and no evidence apart from the fact that people vaguely remember them as to their enduring longevity.

 

As a matter of interest, have you ever heard of The Intelligence Men, The Magnificent Two or That Riviera Touch?

 

What about Life of Brian, Holy Grail or The Meaning Of Life?

 

The first set of films starred Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, and were written by others. You don't need me to tell you who did the other three films. There's your endurance and longevity right there.

 

Besides, we're not even comparing like with like. M&W never pretended to write all their own stuff. Whitehall, Boyle and McIntyre do.

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Elvis may not have written his own stuff Pap, but he was a fantastic singer that influenced some of the greats that did. Lieber and stoller may have written it, but its the performance and the voice that sold it to a generation. Elvis was actually let down by the crap the colonel got him to sing. When he insisted on picking his own stuff pre army and then around '68 there was nobody to touch him. Same with comedians, Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper had writers, but the genius was in their delivery. Shame Jo brand and other unfunny comedians don't use better writers. So rather than bemoan stand ups using professional writers, you should wish more did.

 

As an aside George martin wanted the Beatles second single to be "how do you do it", but Lennon hated it. "Write something better and I'll record it" replied martin. So John and Paul came back with please please me. Shame somebody didn't encourage Elvis to give it a serious go.

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Elvis may not have written his own stuff Pap, but he was a fantastic singer that influenced some of the greats that did. Lieber and stoller may have written it, but its the performance and the voice that sold it to a generation. Elvis was actually let down by the crap the colonel got him to sing. When he insisted on picking his own stuff pre army and then around '68 there was nobody to touch him. Same with comedians, Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper had writers, but the genius was in their delivery. Shame Jo brand and other unfunny comedians don't use better writers. So rather than bemoan stand ups using professional writers, you should wish more did.

 

As an aside George martin wanted the Beatles second single to be "how do you do it", but Lennon hated it. "Write something better and I'll record it" replied martin. So John and Paul came back with please please me. Shame somebody didn't encourage Elvis to give it a serious go.

 

I really don't have an issue with someone else being the comedic vehicle for a writers' talent, as long as the writer is credited. Same thing for music. Not all songwriters are going to be effective singers, so they'll sell their songs to people who can actually sing. No problem there either.

 

I do take issue with people attributing the success of others to themselves. On all of Elvis' big tunes, or indeed in any celebrated sitcom you'd care to mention, the writers are credited. Officially, Whitehall, Boyle and McIntyre all write their own stand-up without help. No-one else is given any credit, despite that not actually being the case.

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They say the emptiest vessels make the most noise. It's clear that you've no real interest in original question posed, and no evidence apart from the fact that people vaguely remember them as to their enduring longevity.

 

As a matter of interest, have you ever heard of The Intelligence Men, The Magnificent Two or That Riviera Touch?

 

What about Life of Brian, Holy Grail or The Meaning Of Life?

 

The first set of films starred Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, and were written by others. You don't need me to tell you who did the other three films. There's your endurance and longevity right there.

 

Besides, we're not even comparing like with like. M&W never pretended to write all their own stuff. Whitehall, Boyle and McIntyre do.

 

None so empty as you, squire.

 

No interest in the subject? My book shelf will disagree with you as it significantly over indexes in books about the history of British Comedy. Including a few on the Pythons, individually and collectively.

 

Also fully aware of Lee's thoughts on all this - it's been done to death and it is far from news as you seem to think. Lee and Herring have a natter about it, in one of Rich's many podcasts. You see, I am interested and knowledgable in this topic

 

Not sure you can make the same claim. Your dismissing M&W as being "vaguely remembered" is not demonstrating any interest in (or knowledge of) British Comedy history or popular culture in this country.

 

Just on more line on your awfully sweet black and white worldview: why can't Python and M&W both have longevity? Because, in the human world where I live, they do.

 

Keep frothing Pap. You've really got me in the corner.

Edited by CB Fry
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Anyone interested in the original topic might want to listen to this podcast - lots of them are fascinating (if you are a comedy anorak).

 

Specifically the one with Adam Bloom addresses the topic of additional writers for stand up.

 

Some of you might remember Bloom - he was briefly famous in the 90s - and he now spends much of his time "helping" other comedians including some very big stars (unnamed in this podcast).

 

Anyway, link to the podcast here. As well as the Bloom one, the Jason Manford and Milton Jones ones are great too.

 

http://www.comedianscomedian.com/

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None so empty as you, squire.

 

No interest in the subject? My book shelf will disagree with you as it significantly over indexes in books about the history of British Comedy. Including a few on the Pythons, individually and collectively.

 

Also fully aware of Lee's thoughts on all this - it's been done to death and it is far from news as you seem to think. Lee and Herring have a natter about it, in one of Rich's many podcasts. You see, I am interested and knowledgable in this topic

 

Not sure you can make the same claim. Your dismissing M&W as being "vaguely remembered" is not demonstrating any interest in (or knowledge of) British Comedy history or popular culture in this country.

 

Just on more line on your awfully sweet black and white worldview: why can't Python and M&W both have longevity? Because, in the human world where I live, they do.

 

Keep frothing Pap. You've really got me in the corner.

 

Your continued contrarianism is extremely funny. Can I ask what you're arguing here?

 

One of your comedy heroes has claimed that other, more successful comedians, are employing writers and not crediting them.

 

Incidentally, I've been a big fan of Lee and Herring myself. I've listened to Herring's podcasts for years, including the one you mention. You can't point to any enduring examples of M&W, apart from the fact that you know who they are despite not seeing them yourself.

 

If you're so interested and knowledgeable in the topic, I have to ask - why on Earth would you cite M&W as a potential influence of Armando Ianucci? For starters, you've never seen their work. Second, it's perfectly apparent that Ianucci is drawing from a different source than light entertainers of the 1970s. Doesn't sound like you know what you're talking about, or at the very least, you're prepared to talk about subjects you know nowt about.

 

I'm not claiming to be a comedy expert, but I'm into all the same things as you claim to be. On Lee and Herring, I'm geeky enough to know about the huge spat they had with Patrick Marber, funnily enough, over a similar theme ( the misattribution of talent to others ).

 

If you're as much of a fan of comedy as you claim to be, how do you defend stand-ups who pretend that someone else's work is their own?

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Your continued contrarianism is extremely funny. Can I ask what you're arguing here?

 

One of your comedy heroes has claimed that other, more successful comedians, are employing writers and not crediting them.

 

Incidentally, I've been a big fan of Lee and Herring myself. I've listened to Herring's podcasts for years, including the one you mention. You can't point to any enduring examples of M&W, apart from the fact that you know who they are despite not seeing them yourself.

 

If you're so interested and knowledgeable in the topic, I have to ask - why on Earth would you cite M&W as a potential influence of Armando Ianucci? For starters, you've never seen their work. Second, it's perfectly apparent that Ianucci is drawing from a different source than light entertainers of the 1970s. Doesn't sound like you know what you're talking about, or at the very least, you're prepared to talk about subjects you know nowt about.

 

I'm not claiming to be a comedy expert, but I'm into all the same things as you claim to be. On Lee and Herring, I'm geeky enough to know about the huge spat they had with Patrick Marber, funnily enough, over a similar theme ( the misattribution of talent to others ).

 

If you're as much of a fan of comedy as you claim to be, how do you defend stand-ups who pretend that someone else's work is their own?

 

When did I say I have never seen M&W? I said they had never made a programme in my living memory - ie they stopped in the early eighties. Yet they are still significant and remembered and still on BBC 2 on prime time on Christmas Day 2013. Or Eve. The other day. I watched it.

 

And explaining the impact of Morecambe and Wise on the history of British Comedy to you would be like explaining electricity to a wasp.

 

Trust me, Armando will agree with me and not you.

 

And on the topic of writers/associates for stand ups, I don't believe I have defended it. But, it ain't a big deal. It's a tradition as old as time.

 

Armando, Lee, Herring and Marber have all done it.

 

But yeah. I know nowt about it.

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When did I say I have never seen M&W? I said they had never made a programme in my living memory - ie they stopped in the early eighties. Yet they are still significant and remembered and still on BBC 2 on prime time on Christmas Day 2013. Or Eve. The other day. I watched it.

 

And explaining the impact of Morecambe and Wise on the history of British Comedy to you would be like explaining electricity to a wasp.

 

Trust me, Armando will agree with me and not you.

 

And on the topic of writers/associates for stand ups, I don't believe I have defended it. But, it ain't a big deal. It's a tradition as old as time.

 

Armando, Lee, Herring and Marber have all done it.

 

But yeah. I know nowt about it.

 

So at the denouement of all your bluster, you don't really have strong opinions about it?

 

I think you should get yourself a new hobby. Stalking my posts and banging out insults without actually having any strong convictions can't be edifying.

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So at the denouement of all your bluster, you don't really have strong opinions about it?

 

I think you should get yourself a new hobby. Stalking my posts and banging out insults without actually having any strong convictions can't be edifying.

 

Err, I have a strong opinion that "program associates" writing gags for Russell Howard is not a massive conspiracy like you seem to.

 

Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it not a strong opinion.

 

And its a more informed opinion than yours which seems to be based on a newspaper article as old as the ark that you seem to have just discovered.Well done you.

 

And your sixth form common room opinions on "oh-Elvis-is-so-manufactured" is too pathetic to walk by. So uninformed it is almost soul-destroying.

 

Let me know where I've insulted you on here by the way.

Edited by CB Fry
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I'm getting lost in the willy-waving but would just like to add that Woody Allen started as a stand-up comic for what its worth

 

Actually he didn't. He started as a gag writer for newspapers (from a really young age) and then for other comics. (The kind of thing Pap hates)

 

There is a brilliant two part documentary about the great man (Woody not Pap) that is well worth seeing.

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Err, I have a strong opinion that "program associates" writing gags for Russell Howard is not a massive conspiracy like you seem to.

 

Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it not a strong opinion.

 

And its a more informed opinion than yours which seems to be based on a newspaper article as old as the ark that you seem to have just discovered.Well done you.

 

And your sixth form common room opinions on "oh-Elvis-is-so-manufactured" is too pathetic to walk by. So uninformed it is almost soul-destroying.

 

Let me know where I've insulted you on here by the way.

 

 

Oh dear. We're here again, are we? The issue is very simple. It's about people taking credit for work that is not their own. You're okay with that. I'm not. Everything else, including your beloved Morecambe & Wise, fall outside the scope of the OP.

 

Seeing as you are entirely unwilling to use your vast knowledge to deconstruct Morecambe & Wise, let me fill you in. They were a double act that are most famous for doing variety shows on the TV. A huge part of their fame is down to timing. They operated in a three channel world, and were able to command huge ratings with their Christmas special, but also, they were operating at the end of an era - one of the last such acts of their kind doing a variety show. They're fondly remembered by many who watched them at the time. Vic and Bob directly cite M&W as a big influence, as does Miranda "fall off a chair" Hart. Ant and Dec are seen as modern day successors.

 

I know you're busy explaining electrons to wasps, but do feel free to chip in with your own assessment of their impact whenever you're ready.

 

Your entire strategy on this thread has been to imply that I'm thick as sh!t or pulling my opinions from magazine articles you happen to have read. "Uninformed", "sixth form common room opinions" and the suggestion that I'm a less capable learner than a winged insect - despite the fact you've offered very little in else in the way of argument.

 

You're probably past the point where you recognise that this is insulting.

Edited by pap
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Pap ,surely loads of art has people not credited. Im sure George Martin had a massive part in the Beatles sucsess, you only have to look at the albums Phil Spector ruined to see that. Maybe these writers just tweaked jokes or added lines rather than wrote the whole joke. My favourite band The Band had this , Robbie Robertson wrote most of the stuff but the others added riffs, lines, words ECT. It did create a lot of bad feeling that he got credits and they didn't. But the songs were his, they just added the cream on top.

How much they contribued and what credit they deserve, is as old as music itself. Its not just black and white.

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Pap ,surely loads of art has people not credited. Im sure George Martin had a massive part in the Beatles sucsess, you only have to look at the albums Phil Spector ruined to see that. Maybe these writers just tweaked jokes or added lines rather than wrote the whole joke. My favourite band The Band had this , Robbie Robertson wrote most of the stuff but the others added riffs, lines, words ECT. It did create a lot of bad feeling that he got credits and they didn't. But the songs were his, they just added the cream on top.

How much they contribued and what credit they deserve, is as old as music itself. Its not just black and white.

 

I'm sure it has gone on loads, but it doesn't make it right, whatever medium it happens in. It gladdens the soul to see people like yourself itching to set the record straight.

 

Credit should be attributed correctly. The problem with the gag writing arrangements is that nothing is transparent. We don't know the extent to which others are involved, but if they're directly responsible for something that ends up in the act, they deserve recognition.

 

I'm a freelance computer programmer. When I make a sale, my customers have an expectation, always met, that it'll be me doing the work.

 

A chap I replaced was sub-contracting work to others, spending his own time in the office checking his stock portfolio. He got found out and the business took the view that they would rather hire a single expert than a middleman controlling offshore interests. He feigned competence, basically. Now if he'd have been upfront from the start he may not have gotten the job, but everyone would have understood the situation.

 

Same principle applies for creative credit. As long as the situation is understood and transparent, no-one gives a toss.

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The Morecombe and Wise show was the highlight of Christmas TV viewing when I was young; indeed, for many, those shows were the highlight of Christmas full stop. Now, if I watch a re-run of those shows, I find them quite dated, although no more so than Monty Python etc.

 

As regards to who wrote the script, my family were laughing too much to give that a second thought. Actually, we probably thought it wasn’t scripted at all: Eric seemed to be adlibbing most of the time. Of course, we now know that wasn’t true: even the apparent adlibs were carefully scripted and rehearsed over and over again.

 

A scriptwriter called Eddie Braben (who died earlier this year) was responsible for much of their material. Obviously, he deserves huge credit, although I doubt whether his material would have been as funny performed by people without M & W's superb sense of timing and delivery.

Edited by Halo Stickman
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The Morecombe and Wise show was the highlight of Christmas TV viewing when I was young; indeed, for many, those shows were the highlight of Christmas full stop. Now, if I watch a re-run of those shows, I find them quite dated, although no more so than Monty Python etc.

 

As regards to who wrote the script, my family were laughing too much to give that a second thought. Actually, we probably thought it wasn’t scripted at all: Eric seemed to be adlibbing most of the time. Of course, we now know that wasn’t true: even the apparent adlibs were carefully scripted and rehearsed over and over again.

 

A scriptwriter called Eddie Braben (who died earlier this year) was responsible for much of their material. Obviously, he deserves huge credit, although I doubt whether his material would have been as funny performed by people without M & W's superb sense of timing and delivery.

 

I've seen Flying Circus recently. It is dated, and even the Pythons have dismissed a lot of it as unfunny. The movies are timeless though, especially Life Of Brian.

 

I've no problem with M&W's setup because it was transparent. Anyone producing comedy at the time would be aware of Braben's role as originator of the content.

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Oh dear. We're here again, are we? The issue is very simple. It's about people taking credit for work that is not their own. You're okay with that. I'm not. Everything else, including your beloved Morecambe & Wise, fall outside the scope of the OP.

 

Seeing as you are entirely unwilling to use your vast knowledge to deconstruct Morecambe & Wise, let me fill you in. They were a double act that are most famous for doing variety shows on the TV. A huge part of their fame is down to timing. They operated in a three channel world, and were able to command huge ratings with their Christmas special, but also, they were operating at the end of an era - one of the last such acts of their kind doing a variety show. They're fondly remembered by many who watched them at the time. Vic and Bob directly cite M&W as a big influence, as does Miranda "fall off a chair" Hart. Ant and Dec are seen as modern day successors.

 

I know you're busy explaining electrons to wasps, but do feel free to chip in with your own assessment of their impact whenever you're ready.

 

Your entire strategy on this thread has been to imply that I'm thick as sh!t or pulling my opinions from magazine articles you happen to have read. "Uninformed", "sixth form common room opinions" and the suggestion that I'm a less capable learner than a winged insect - despite the fact you've offered very little in else in the way of argument.

 

You're probably past the point where you recognise that this is insulting.

 

The fact you are sneeringly suggesting M&W are no more than the Ant n Dec of their day backs up my decision to not bother explaining anything to you. What's the point?

 

And nice dropping in a "my beloved" even though I have already said I am not a particular fan of them. Got me in the corner have you?

 

As someone has already said, most people are too busy laughing to care who has written what. And most big comedians are there because they can deliver the lines. Hack writers can't and therefore don't.

 

And all of these programme associates/writers get paid for their work. There is no crime going on.

 

It's all very sweet that you have you have turned your little "IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY" worldview to Live At The Apollo but maybe you want to get on with your life?

Edited by CB Fry
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The fact you are sneeringly suggesting M&W are no more than the Ant n Dec of their day backs up my decision to not bother explaining anything to you. What's the point?

 

This is an object lesson in how the prejudicial bias of the receiver can twist the content of a message. I wasn't sneering. It may have escaped your notice, and they may not be your cup of tea, but Ant and Dec are a popular double act that enjoy near ubiquity on the highest profile shows on ITV. Their appeal lies very much in their banter and on-screen one-up-manship, something that was a hallmark of M&W's chemistry. Besides, I'm not the only person to have made this point. Perhaps you should contact the authors of these respective articles and tell them they know f*ck all about comedy.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9974435/Ant-and-Dec-are-the-new-Morecambe-and-Wise.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/3318465/Ant-and-Dec-are-new-Eric-and-Ernie.html

http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/fergus-kelly/382040/A-reminder-of-Morecambe-and-Wise-on-Saturday-night-TV

 

But we’ve never come close to splitting up. People find it hard to believe, but we’re friends first and foremost.

 

 

Among double acts, Morecambe and Wise are number one, definitely. But there’s a load of influences. Vic and Bob second – they were a huge influence when I was growing up and, being from the North East, I really loved them. For a double act to work, you shouldn’t have egos. You shouldn’t worry who gets the funny line, just that you’re being funny as a double act. With us, it flips all the time. There’s no real straight man or funny man.

 

And nice dropping in a "my beloved" even though I have already said I am not a particular fan of them. Got me in the corner have you?

 

Arf. You're quite taken with the "corner" thing, aren't you? It was a failed attempt to arouse some honest debate from you instead of the usual failed character assassination. Please keep spinning it; especially now that you're aware of its provenance.

 

As someone has already said, most people are too busy laughing to care who has written what. And most big comedians are there because they can deliver the lines. Hack writers can't and therefore don't.

 

Is this an attempt to open up my eyes to the world of possibility? I think you'll find that's a question I posed in the very first post of this thread. I'm not sure why you're repeating a point in the 34th post that was floated in the 1st.

 

And all of these programme associates/writers get paid for their work. There is no crime going on.

 

Adultery isn't a crime, but it can cause certain people to get upset.

 

Wouldn't you, as someone who presumably appreciates writer-performers, want to know which comics doing the circuit fell into that category? The issue is about creative credit, not the renumerative kind.

 

It's all very sweet that you have you have turned your silly little "IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY" worldview to Live At The Apollo but maybe you want to get on with your life?

 

Again, more pathetic every time you have to wheel it out.

 

Come back and talk to us about comedy next time, yeah?

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This is an object lesson in how the prejudicial bias of the receiver can twist the content of a message. I wasn't sneering. It may have escaped your notice, and they may not be your cup of tea, but Ant and Dec are a popular double act that enjoy near ubiquity on the highest profile shows on ITV. Their appeal lies very much in their banter and on-screen one-up-manship, something that was a hallmark of M&W's chemistry. Besides, I'm not the only person to have made this point. Perhaps you should contact the authors of these respective articles and tell them they know f*ck all about comedy.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9974435/Ant-and-Dec-are-the-new-Morecambe-and-Wise.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/3318465/Ant-and-Dec-are-new-Eric-and-Ernie.html

http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/fergus-kelly/382040/A-reminder-of-Morecambe-and-Wise-on-Saturday-night-TV

 

 

 

 

 

Arf. You're quite taken with the "corner" thing, aren't you? It was a failed attempt to arouse some honest debate from you instead of the usual failed character assassination. Please keep spinning it; especially now that you're aware of its provenance.

 

 

 

Is this an attempt to open up my eyes to the world of possibility? I think you'll find that's a question I posed in the very first post of this thread. I'm not sure why you're repeating a point in the 34th post that was floated in the 1st.

 

 

 

Adultery isn't a crime, but it can cause certain people to get upset.

 

Wouldn't you, as someone who presumably appreciates writer-performers, want to know which comics doing the circuit fell into that category? The issue is about creative credit, not the renumerative kind.

 

 

 

Again, more pathetic every time you have to wheel it out.

 

Come back and talk to us about comedy next time, yeah?

 

So we have moved on from your dismissing M&W as being nothing more than "vaguely remembered" and now you are pulling up articles showing they have played a role in British cultural life and have influenced others. Well, it's progress. Well done you.

 

The adultery thing...what? As I have said these writers get paid, they do get credited where possible. Some enjoy the work and the anomnity. You're seeing a conspiracy where there is none.

 

Listen to Adam Bloom on it but of course you won't as it doesn't confirm your existing prejudices.

 

Stay in Papworld, son. Everyone's in on it. Everyone, I tells ya.

Edited by CB Fry
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So we have moved on from your dismissing M&W as being nothing more than "vaguely remembered" and now you are pulling up articles showing they have played a role in British cultural and have influenced others. Well, it's progress. Well done you.

 

Ah, you're thrashing now, akin to a crazed hillbilly being put in a sleeper hold by his burlier and more sensible brother.

 

You thought you had your point when I mentioned Ant and Dec, shot the usual boll*cks from the hip and have done yourself up again. Consequently, the order of the day is a complete lack of humility and attempt to steer the subject somewhere, anywhere else.

 

I've qualified all of my M&W points throughout the thread. Your standard response is to give us nothing, and yet insist I know nothing.

 

The adultery thing...what?

 

The go-to example of something which can be legally okay but morally wrong. Keep up.

 

 

As I have said these writers get paid, they do get credited where possible.

 

What's a good example of where it isn't possible?

 

Some enjoy the work and the anomnity.

 

Fair point. Not qualified, but hardly in a position to argue.

 

You're seeing a conspiracy where there is none.

 

No mucker. You're bereft of ideas, have given yourself a hiding, and are employing your tired old tactic of mentioning the conspiracy word in an attempt to invalidate any opinion I have elsewhere.

 

Listen to Adam Bloom on it but of course you won't as it doesn't confirm your existing prejudices.

 

You complain of my prejudices but exhibit your own in the very same sentence. Nice. I'll listen to the Adam Bloom podcast, ta.

 

Stay in Papworld, son. Everyone's in on it. Everyone, I tells ya.

 

CB Fry. Bankrupt until the end.

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Ah, you're thrashing now, akin to a crazed hillbilly being put in a sleeper hold by his burlier and more sensible brother.

 

You thought you had your point when I mentioned Ant and Dec, shot the usual boll*cks from the hip and have done yourself up again. Consequently, the order of the day is a complete lack of humility and attempt to steer the subject somewhere, anywhere else.

 

I've qualified all of my M&W points throughout the thread. Your standard response is to give us nothing, and yet insist I know nothing.

 

 

 

The go-to example of something which can be legally okay but morally wrong. Keep up.

 

 

 

 

What's a good example of where it isn't possible?

 

 

 

Fair point. Not qualified, but hardly in a position to argue.

 

 

 

No mucker. You're bereft of ideas, have given yourself a hiding, and are employing your tired old tactic of mentioning the conspiracy word in an attempt to invalidate any opinion I have elsewhere.

 

 

 

You complain of my prejudices but exhibit your own in the very same sentence. Nice. I'll listen to the Adam Bloom podcast, ta.

 

 

 

CB Fry. Bankrupt until the end.

 

 

Just a rent-a-Pap retread then.

 

In Papworld M&W has gone from being "vaguely remembered" to "look they have influenced so and so" in the space of a few posts. I accept your apology.

 

 

I mention conspiracy because you are portraying this stuff as a conspiracy, and your comparison to adultery (again, what?) is just an extension of this.

 

Let's remember it is Stewart Lee complaining, not the put-upon program associates/writers complaining. Stewart Lee who has written for other people in his time, and script edited programs for Harry Hill, and one of the first two series of Little Britain. Can't remember which one. Not the third (weak) series, that was Herring. Herring has also helped out with Russell Howard doing exactly what you object to. Oh, the humanity!

 

So, who is the victim of this "adultery" then? The audience, who don't care? The writers, who don't seem to be complaining and continue to do it?

 

If it's all so morally wrong, how come no one gives a fig?

Edited by CB Fry
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Just a rent-a-Pap retread then.

 

Repeats are a b!tch, kid. Trust me, I know - but they're all you deserve when you're in re-run mode yourself.

 

In Papworld M&W has gone from being "vaguely remembered" to "look they have influenced so and so" in the space of a few posts. I accept your apology.

 

I was in the uncomfortable position of having to make your case for you. Forgive me if I did a good job. Perhaps next time, you can articulate your thoughts instead of letting me go first.

 

Of course I accept that M&W are still recognised artists; they pulled 28m viewers in their heyday. This year, they got 2.08m, which is more than decimation in the ratings stakes. My kids know who Vic and Bob are, but they don't know who Morecambe and Wise are. M&W have got fans among the older crowd. I've got an appreciation for what they do, but I don't find them laugh out loud funny. When everyone who has a relevant living memory of M&W being on the telly is gone from this Earth, do you think they'll still be on every Christmas? Can the re-runs sustain public interest?

 

More people know who Ant and Dec are right now.

 

I mention conspiracy because you are portraying this stuff as a conspiracy, and your comparison to adultery (again, what?) is just an extension of this.

 

You mention conspiracy because you're grasping; a shaking man grasping for the same cure-all pill that has done f*ck all for you in the past. Your defence of stand-ups using uncredited writers is that "it's not illegal", adultery is another example of something that isn't illegal but some could consider immoral.

 

Let's move on.

 

Let's remember it is Stewart Lee complaining, not the put-upon program associates/writers complaining. Stewart Lee who has written for other people in his time, and script edited programs for Harry Hill, and one of the first two series of Little Britain. Can't remember which one.

 

I'd invite anyone interested to view Lee's views on where writers fit in. You make him sound like Alan Partridge begging for a second series.

 

 

I see the grasping continues with your red Herring. Your debating position is "sins of the comedy partner" at this point.

 

So, who is the victim of this "adultery" then? The audience, who don't care? The writers, who don't seem to be complaining and continue to do it?

 

If it's all so morally wrong, how come no one gives a fig?

 

Believe it or not, some people do give a sh!t about correct creative attribution. It's why the sh!t hit the fan when Milli Vanilli were found not to be singing and why people don't suddenly assume that football manager "autobiographers" that employ ghost writers were dormant literary talents all along, and why no-one thinks Ringo is a master of word and song.

 

FWIW, if Herring had written some of Russell Howard's show, I think he should have had a writing credit. Same thing for Lee on Little Britain - sources would be nice, guv. Their potential hypocrisy doesn't invalidate the issues raised.

 

Writer-performers get the most respect from me in stand-up, and I make no apologies for that. Those who pretend to be such but outsource get the least, and I make no apologies for that either.

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Repeats are a b!tch, kid. Trust me, I know - but they're all you deserve when you're in re-run mode yourself.

 

 

 

I was in the uncomfortable position of having to make your case for you. Forgive me if I did a good job. Perhaps next time, you can articulate your thoughts instead of letting me go first.

 

Of course I accept that M&W are still recognised artists; they pulled 28m viewers in their heyday. This year, they got 2.08m, which is more than decimation in the ratings stakes. My kids know who Vic and Bob are, but they don't know who Morecambe and Wise are. M&W have got fans among the older crowd. I've got an appreciation for what they do, but I don't find them laugh out loud funny. When everyone who has a relevant living memory of M&W being on the telly is gone from this Earth, do you think they'll still be on every Christmas? Can the re-runs sustain public interest?

 

More people know who Ant and Dec are right now.

 

 

 

You mention conspiracy because you're grasping; a shaking man grasping for the same cure-all pill that has done f*ck all for you in the past. Your defence of stand-ups using uncredited writers is that "it's not illegal", adultery is another example of something that isn't illegal but some could consider immoral.

 

Let's move on.

 

 

 

I'd invite anyone interested to view Lee's views on where writers fit in. You make him sound like Alan Partridge begging for a second series.

 

 

I see the grasping continues with your red Herring. Your debating position is "sins of the comedy partner" at this point.

 

 

 

Believe it or not, some people do give a sh!t about correct creative attribution. It's why the sh!t hit the fan when Milli Vanilli were found not to be singing and why people don't suddenly assume that football manager "autobiographers" that employ ghost writers were dormant literary talents all along, and why no-one thinks Ringo is a master of word and song.

 

FWIW, if Herring had written some of Russell Howard's show, I think he should have had a writing credit. Same thing for Lee on Little Britain - sources would be nice, guv. Their potential hypocrisy doesn't invalidate the issues raised.

 

Writer-performers get the most respect from me in stand-up, and I make no apologies for that. Those who pretend to be such but outsource get the least, and I make no apologies for that either.

 

Can you tell me who the Milli Vanilli is here then?

 

Milli Vanilli, one of the most famous examples of complete artistic fakery in popular music history. Pretty much fraud top to bottom.

 

Give me some idea of a current British comedian who you think is achieving Milli Vanilli levels of fraud. Essentially their entire career from start to present day is fake.

 

Who are you thinking of exactly?

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Can you tell me who the Milli Vanilli is here then?

 

Milli Vanilli, one of the most famous examples of complete artistic fakery in popular music history. Pretty much fraud top to bottom.

 

Give me some idea of a current British comedian who you think is achieving Milli Vanilli levels of fraud. Essentially their entire career from start to present day is fake.

 

Who are you thinking of exactly?

 

Tell you what. Before I accede to your demands for an answer, how's about you provide a few candid answers to those questions of mine you've avoided?

 

I think I've been pretty comprehensive so far. Do feel free to pull me up if there is something I've missed.

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Tell you what. Before I accede to your demands for an answer, how's about you provide a few candid answers to those questions of mine you've avoided?

 

I think I've been pretty comprehensive so far. Do feel free to pull me up if there is something I've missed.

 

What, is Morecambe and Wise going to survive beyond the next hundred years? Probably not. Won't have the unstoppable staying power to be relevant in 2075 like what Veep will. For the ages that one.

 

I mean, M&W were decimated in the ratings with a pathetic 2m viewers for thirty-forty year old content. Not like the smash hit "I writ it all myself, me" stuff like The Thick of It and Stew's Comedy Vehicle which generally achieved audiences of, er, half that. For brand new episodes.

Edited by CB Fry
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What, is Morecambe and Wise going to survive beyond the next hundred years? Probably not. Won't have the unstoppable staying power to be relevant in 2075 like what Veep will. For the ages that one.

 

I mean, M&W were decimated in the ratings with a pathetic 2m viewers for thirty-forty year old content. Not like the smash hit "I writ it all myself, me" stuff like The Thick of It and Stew's Comedy Vehicle which generally achieved audiences of, er, half that. For brand new episodes.

 

Ah, jolly good - some recognition that the appeal of performers operates on a sliding window. They'll be forgotten, as will Ant and Dec, as will most performers. The myriad stars of any particular era are condensed into a few exemplary cases.

 

Over the long-term, humanity respects creators. It's why we know who Shakespeare is and yet, most are unaware of the actors that performed his works back in the day.

 

Perhaps that has all changed with the shift to the video age, but I doubt it. While I acknowledge that we've got outstanding actors from each decade, most of the talent that operated around them has faded from view, unregarded. I remember watching shows like Mr Ed and Green Acres when I was a nipper. That stuff isn't on the telly anymore; shows are more likely to be remade for modern audiences than re-run as originally shown, making the sliding window even smaller.

 

I share your view that M&W probably won't be on the box in 2075, but I'd lay decent money on a fair few of our novelists being well known at the same time, just as we celebrate long dead authors from our past.

 

Is that an example of the veneration of the creator I suggest or simply a recognition of the type of documents that survived from those times? Moving forward, it's perfectly conceivable that the sheer volume of video will have the pendulum swinging the other way, but so far, the brief history of video has shown that all but the brightest stars fade from view.

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Ah, jolly good - some recognition that the appeal of performers operates on a sliding window. They'll be forgotten, as will Ant and Dec, as will most performers. The myriad stars of any particular era are condensed into a few exemplary cases.

 

Over the long-term, humanity respects creators. It's why we know who Shakespeare is and yet, most are unaware of the actors that performed his works back in the day.

 

Perhaps that has all changed with the shift to the video age, but I doubt it. While I acknowledge that we've got outstanding actors from each decade, most of the talent that operated around them has faded from view, unregarded. I remember watching shows like Mr Ed and Green Acres when I was a nipper. That stuff isn't on the telly anymore; shows are more likely to be remade for modern audiences than re-run as originally shown, making the sliding window even smaller.

 

I share your view that M&W probably won't be on the box in 2075, but I'd lay decent money on a fair few of our novelists being well known at the same time, just as we celebrate long dead authors from our past.

 

Is that an example of the veneration of the creator I suggest or simply a recognition of the type of documents that survived from those times? Moving forward, it's perfectly conceivable that the sheer volume of video will have the pendulum swinging the other way, but so far, the brief history of video has shown that all but the brightest stars fade from view.

 

Like you say no one remembers the actors from Shakespeare's day but this is due to media than people respecting creators.

 

There is very little of Max Miller available now, so he has pretty much gone from cultural consciousness. Where Chaplin, with his films, and an unmistakable image, has survived. We live in visual age of icons.

 

So what will survive are the icons of the age - you've already dismissed Elvis and Sinatra but they are significant figures in the history of the planet and will live on like Shakespeare, Elvis especially. They are creators, they created and it will survive.

 

This won't be true of, say, Hanif Kureishi, Ian McEwen or other contemporary authors - but Dickens, from the golden age of the novel, will. For the same reasons the Mona Lisa will be packing them in in 2075, Damien Hirst more of a curio.

 

Films have and will enter the canon - Life of Brian, for reasons on top of it being the funniest film ever made - this is some of the essential art of our age, more than any novel.

TV fits here too and there is a canon forming. M&W will be in there, as will Python and lots of other stuff - it's the dominant media post war. It's The Globe Theatre with electricity.

 

Ant and Dec, being unlikely to be rerun 30 years hence, won't be. Like Noel Edmunds, Des O'Connor and other light entertainers that aren't Morecambe and Wise. No one is going to produce not one but two West End productions (proper plays by "creators" no less) in tribute to Ant and Dec.

 

So no, these days it isn't about creators, or it is if you accept that the creation of an icon is creation in itself.

 

How this all fits in with Jack Whitehall using writers I'm not sure.

Edited by CB Fry
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