Book – Mock The Week: Next Year’s Book
Author – Various
Year – 2010
Genre – Humour
Pages – 159
Bought for me by Annette Wickenden
I am a big comedy fan, and love most of the panel shows out there that seem to be a good launching ground for comedians to get some exposure. Shows such as Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI, and They Think It’s All Over… have proven to be incredibly funny shows, with some classic moments. However, there is something about Mock The Week that I have never quite got on with.
There is an air of smugness to these shows sometimes, that is often easy to gloss over, but this show alone seems to be smug with no reason. It is effectively a low brow version of HIGNFY but instead of having a genuine comedy genius like Paul Merton, they pull in people like Frankie Boyle and that short, bald one with the beard. When Annette very kindly bought me this book however, I thought I may as well give it a shot.
Unfortunately, it lived up to expectations. The book is basically one liners from different subjects such as ‘Unlikely Things To Hear At An Awards Ceremony’, ‘Unlikely Health And Safety Advice’ and ‘Harry Potter Titles You’ll Never See’. And the overwhelming problem is that they are almost entirely not funny.
They fall into several broad categories. The most common is ‘Let’s put some rude words or innuendo down because smut is funny’. Alas, it isn’t. Then there’s ‘Let’s be mildly sexist or racist because that is funny’. Alas, this also isn’t. Add in some ‘Funny obvious puns’ (not funny), ‘Let’s laugh at celebrities’ (still not funny) and some ‘Sod it, let’s just nick some things from our kids jokebooks’ (did you ever think that that was going to be funny?) and you are left with something that not only didn’t make me laugh very much, but didn’t even raise a smile from me for about the first fifty pages. I was going to put some examples on here, but really, just pick up the nearest item to you with some writing on – be it a cereal box or bank statement or bus ticket – and read it to get a similar level of hilarity. Except with less swearing.
There were two jokes in here that I found genuinely funny. However, this is a pretty poor return for a book of 159 pages with around fifteen jokes a page. And the gloom bought on by the rest of the dross in the book meant that I forgot what they were immediately, so I can’t even remember them. Maybe I am overreacting to it and it is actually far funnier than I am giving it credit for. Or maybe it’s just a bit of a crap book that was rushed out to cash in on the inexplicable popularity of the TV show. For their next book, I shall suggest the section ‘Unlikely Things That I Will Recommend To Someone To Read’. Guess what may make an appearance…
2/10 (because I am in a very good mood tonight, and I actually bought someone a copy of this last Christmas – sorry Jamie – and so should probably defend it in some way. A bit)