Ref NoBSUCA/JP/1/1/12
CollectionJohn Pidgeon Collection
TitleLaughing Matters with Frank Skinner (as broadcast)
Name of creatorPidgeon, John, 1947-2016
DateOctober 1995
Duration2 hr. 0 min. 59 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (DAT 120)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format
DescriptionFrank Skinner interviewed for 'Laughing Matters' by Tony Robinson (edited programme as broadcast on British Airways Radio) (in two parts).
[00:39] Recording starts. Frank Skinner [FS] and Tony Robinson [TR] chat about FS’s upcoming gig, football and other general topics.
[05:55] Clip of Woody Allen plays. [12:35] Clip ends, TR & FS discuss liking Woody Allen in spite of recent news stories. [13:42] TR asks FS about his education. [14:41] FS said never read a book, he only read comics, the first novel he read was Billy Liar when he was 21. [16:35] TR asks FS about his “laddish” reputation.
[17:30] Steve Coogan, FS talks about meeting Steve Coogan at the Comedy Club. [18:53] Clip of Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge plays. [29:42] Clip ends, TR asks FS about hecklers. [31:12] FS tells an anecdote about a gig at the Red Rose in London where a blind man heckles him.
[31:45] Mel Brooks, TR talks about him being hit and miss, TR and FS talk about Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein being good, and To Be or Not To Be and Spaceballs being dire. [32:58] Clip of Mel Brooks plays. [40:37] Clip ends, TR asks FS about working on panel shows. [40:57] FS says it’s a joy to work with Bob Monkhouse. [41:43] FS talks about Bob Monkhouse quoting Ted Ray. [42:11] FS talks about taking comedy advice from an American comic called Ray Hanna. [42:25] TR asks FS about working with Terry Wogan.
[43:59] Clip of Frank Carson plays. [48:33] Laughing Matters jingle plays. [48:38] TR and FS talk about Frank Carson and older comedians. [49:14] TR asks about his sitcom Blue Heaven, Seamus Cassidy at Channel 4 offered him a show, expecting a stand-up show. [49:50] FS thought it would be interesting to make a sitcom without a laugh track to see if it would work, and talks about M*A*S*H.
[50:48] FS will laugh at Man With Two Brains with Steve Martin which doesn’t have a laugh track. [51:04] Clip of Steve Martin plays. [53:15] Clip ends, Laughing Matters jingle plays.
[53:19] TR said the first episode of Blackadder worked better with a laugh track. [54:04] Clip of The Two Ronnies plays. [56:29] Clip ends, FS says he laughs more at the Two Ronnies than at Morecambe and Wise. [57:48] TR said that they were funnier together than in their solo sitcoms, with the exception of Porridge, FS disagrees and says he likes Sorry and Open All Hours. [58:16] They discuss the writers, FS says Ronnie Barker was one of the few mainstream comics who wrote his own material.
[59:16] TR asks FS why he thinks being a comedian is the best job in the world. [01:00:27] British Airways Radio Jingle plays.
[01:00:51] WC Fields, FS says he had the best double take he’d ever seen, including James Finlayson in the Laurel & Hardy films. [01:02:17] Clip of WC Fields plays. [01:07:38] Clip ends, TR asks FS how he got into comedy. [01:10:03] TR asks FS what comedians influenced him at the time. [01:11:09] FS quotes John Keats.
[01:11:26] Clip of Al Read plays. [01:14:08] Clip ends, FS says his flatmate David Baddiel didn’t know who Al Read was.
[01:15:01] TR asks about living with David Baddiel, and asks if it looks like the set of Fantasy Football League. [01:15:15] TR explains who David Baddiel is, he was part of The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Newman & Baddiel. [01:16:17] TR asks more about Fantasy Football.
[01:17:37] TR asks about Statto [Angus Loughran], the Fantasy Football expert [01:18:01] TR describes him as a cross between Magnus Pyke and John Motson.
[01:19:19] Clip of Billy Connolly plays. [01:26:03] Clip ends, Laughing Matters jingle plays.
[01:26:08] TR asks FS if he still enjoys doing stand-up. [01:27:44] FS says even Jo Brand gets tense before she goes on stage.
[01:28:05] Bob Hope, [01:28:54] Clip of Bob Hope plays. [01:32:31] Clip ends, FS talks about seeing him at the Albert Hall with David Baddiel. The Squadronaires lead singer did an Anthony Newley medley, Brian Conley was incredibly lovable, Thanks for the Memory started playing, and Bob Hope ironically couldn’t remember any of the material. [01:35:10] He told Bob Monkhouse about the show, and Bob Monkhouse said he experienced a similar thing with Arthur Askey, who made light of getting old.
[01:36:17] TR points out that FS hasn’t chose any women comedians, FS explains that in his view Jo Brand is funnier than most female comedians. [01:36:57] Clip of Jo Brand plays. [01:43:11] Clip ends, FS goes on to describe Jo Brand as a very “male” comedian, and describes Victoria Wood as being similarly “butch”, and says he can’t think of a really funny feminine female comic. [01:44:07] TR brings up Lucille Ball as being seen similarly in the old days. [01:44:29] FS asks TR what his thoughts on this are, [01:44:44] TR mentions Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
[01:46:04] Max Miller, someone introduced FS to Max Miller and told him that he reminded them of him. [01:47:12] Clip of Max Miller plays.
[01:50:54] Clip ends, TR and FS discuss. [01:51:23] TR says that not many comedians do all of the messing about around the main joke anymore like Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper and Max Miller did. [01:52:00] FS talks about comics who use an invisible figure in the wings, uses examples of Larry Grayson and Tommy Cooper.
[01:52:23] TR asks FS if he likes any of the old-style film comedians. FS says his all-time favourites are Laurel & Hardy. [01:52:52] FS says he likes Groucho Marx but not the Marx Brothers, when he was a kid he liked Harpo, later he liked Chico, and when he grew up he liked Groucho and found the other two incredibly tiresome. [01:53:38] Clip of Laurel & Hardy plays.
[01:54:44] Clip ends, TR says FS looks a bit like Stan Laurel. [01:54:56] FS talks about working with a ventriloquist called Terri Rogers. She said that FS looked just like Colin Crompton, who used to host the Wheeltappers and Shunters club. [01:55:31] Colin Crompton talked about his battle with cancer on Mavis Nicholson’s chat show, and did gags about it. FS says now that Richard Attenborough has done a biopic on Charlie Chaplin, he could do one about Colin Crompton and cast FS as the lead role.
[01:56:20] John Hegley, FS says the first alternative comic who thought he was funny was Nick Hancock, and the second was John Hegley. [01:56:56] TR says John Hegley may become a megastar soon, like Angus Deayton briefly did. FS says the alternative comics don’t really want to be successful or on TV. [01:57:34] Clip of John Hegley plays.
[02:00:51] Clip ends, recording ends.
NotesLPCM wave 16 bit 48kHz. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) captured using a Mac running MacOS; SPDIF connection via RME PCI card. Digitisation engineer Adrian Finn, Greatbear analogue & digital media ltd. Digital file was topped and tailed.
CategoryAudio recordings
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