Adopting the American tradition of the comedy roast, where a guest of honour is affectionately mocked by comedians, Jimmy Carr introduces this as “good -natured bullying". Three shows on consecutive nights that feature Sharon Osbourne, Chris Tarrant and kicked off with Bruce Forsyth. You have to ask if this was really worth importing. Has it produced a string of unforgettable comic moments? Aren’t tribute and award shows in this country already littered with affectionate barbs? Questions like these hung in the air as Jonathan Ross, Sean Lock, Barry Cryer, Jack Dee, Jason "who he?" Manford, John "oh Christ not him" Culshaw and a couple of other mooks did their thing for Brucie.
"Man alive, this was grim. Peter O’Sullivan’s commentary has been done to death since 1969 and there cannot be any one breathing who finds the observation that Bruce Forsyth has catchphrases of interest."
As you could easily enough predict there were jokes about his age. “When the dinosaurs died out he was taken in for questioning". Good one. "He’s seen Haley’s Comet three times" Right, OK. “The font on his autocue is so large you can see it on Google Earth" So, this Forsyth guy – he’s old you say?
And the other thing we know about Bruce Forsyth? He has catchphrases, many of them, something John "no joke too obvious" Culshaw has observed and created a little comic vignette about. In it, he runs through a horseracing commentary describing a race between Bruce’s catchphrases. Man alive, this was grim. Peter O’Sullivan‘s commentary has been done to death since 1969 and there cannot be any one breathing who finds the observation that Bruce Forsyth has catchphrases of interest.
"Manford knew it was desperate material and it showed in his delivery. He couldn’t wait to get off – a sentiment he at least shared with the audience."
Sean Lock did a half decent turn which seemed to have a bit of an edge to it. Is that the right tone? I don’t care, I just think it bears asking. Jason Manford absolutely stank the place out with a game of Play Your Cards Right. He knew it was desperate material and it showed in his delivery. He couldn’t wait to get off – a sentiment he at least shared with the audience.
So what did we learn? Brucie likes catchphrases, has a once attractive wife, only does it for the money and was at school with Methuselah. Fine. They rib him and they rib each other but it’s essentially a gigantic circle jerk with the payloads spraying off in every direction. Not often does it land on the bathroom rug of funny.
There’s a place for this. It’s just not in my viewing schedule.
The verdict on Bruce Forsyth – A Comedy Roast: Not really something that should concern you .
Marks out of 10: 5
Imagined: Friday, April 09, 2010