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This Morning With Richard Not Judy
There aren't many times that successful comedy acts are just told they can do pretty much what they like, but This Morning... is certainly one of them.
Apeing the style of the midmorning chat show, TMWRNJ purported to be a perfectly ordinary magazine format, the difference being that all the sections were at least partially weird and mostly, very strange indeed.
At its most beautiful, TMWRNJ's sketches were genuinely original, particularly in the use of intellectual surrealism, childlike wonder and returning characters - a combination rarely used elsewhere.
Favourite sequences and characters were the Curious Orange (also the Curious Alien), and his seemingly innocent questions about life; an inept version of Nostradamus who was always held to account for his inaccuracies; and of course When Insects Attack, which featured not-very-terrifying attack sequences.
The seeming innocence of the approach was aided by the placing of the show at lunchtime on Sundays. This might have been the cleverest thing about the programme, since it allowed comparatively gentle yet analytical comedy into areas it didn't usually get to.
The Sunday Heroes, in which Stewart Lee as Jesus would field expert questions from his various disciples, immediately offended the more letter-writing-friendly sections of the congregations around Britain. This Morning, as a result of this, and other sections, got a lot of complaints.
Basically, however, this was a very funny, surreal and strangely innocent programme that allowed its writer-creators to indulge themselves.
When the writers and creators are people like Stewart Lee and Richard Herring, however, and the surreal ideas include The Organ Gang, a children's programme about organs narrated by Brian Cant, the indulgence is crafted, intelligent, and laugh-out-loud funny with almost every episode.
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