Ref NoBSUCA/JP/1/2/11
CollectionJohn Pidgeon Collection
TitleJo Brand interviewed for 'Talking Comedy'
Name of creatorPidgeon, John, 1947-2016
Date01/04/1997
Duration1 hr. 13 min. 30 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (DAT 124)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format
DescriptionJo Brand interviewed by John Pidgeon at The Sound Company, London, for 'Talking Comedy', a BBC Radio 2 programme in which comedians talk about the people that make them laugh. This is the unedited interview, not the programme as broadcast.

Summary: [00:04] John Pidgeon [JP] begins by asking Jo Brand [JB] who she remembers first making her laugh.
[00:34] Morecambe & Wise particularly Eric Morecambe, [01:25] she found Ernie Wise annoying and doesn’t know whether either would have worked solo.
[01:54] JP brings up French & Saunders, Dawn and Jennifer’s specific performance style, [02:15] Dawn French is visually funnier whereas Jennifer Saunders is very good at one-liners and sharp retorts.
[02:44] JB talks about women in comedy no longer caring about looks thanks to French & Saunders. [03:15] JB brings up Victoria Wood in connection to this point. [05:33] JB says that French & Saunders weren’t like the “all-purpose woman” [Pamela Stephenson, not actually mentioned by name] in Not The Nine O’Clock News.
[05:53] JB mentions the benefit of women writing their own material, as opposed to having material written for them by men, being typecast as either a Barbara Windsor type or Reg Varney’s “hideous” wife [sic] in On The Buses.
[06:41] JP brings up Victoria Wood. [08:15] JB says she wishes she was working in Tony Hancock’s time because he did the same set for 15 years.
[09:45] JP brings up Billy Connolly in relation to Victoria Wood. [10:32] JB says before Billy Connolly, most traditional comedians like Jim Davidson and Mike Reid just told jokes, whereas Connolly told funny stories and wrote his own material.
[12:35] JP asks JB if it was daunting when she started doing comedy. JB goes on to talk about her early career, her stage presence and her process. [17:04] JB says that comedians like Eddie Izzard and Mark Steele seem much more relaxed on stage.
[17:43] JP asks about Mark Steele. [19:20] JP mentions Les Dawson.
[24:57] Beryl Reid, The Killing of Sister George [25:57] JB says that Beryl Reid reminds her of Caroline Aherne as Mrs Merton.
[28:20] JP remarks on the fact that JB hasn’t put many Americans on her list and asks if this is a deliberate choice. [29:04] She says she can’t stand Robin Williams.
[30:09] JB talks about Bill Hicks. [30:50] She knows there have been people like Lenny Bruce before him, but says that Bill Hicks should’ve been English.
[31:34] JP talks about Dennis Leary stealing the Bill Hicks style. [32:53] JB brings up Andrew Dice Clay as similarly being contrived, and compares him to Bernard Manning.
[33:46] JP brings up Harry Hill. [36:03] JB compares him to Eric Morecambe. [36:15] JP mentions John Hegley.
[39:00] JP mentions JB picking two classic sitcoms on her list, Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones.
[40:06] JB talks about how Fawtly Towers has aged well despite some racist jokes, and says it isn’t like Bernard Manning style comedy. [41:16] JB loves the John Cleese character as well as all the other characters.
[42:21] The Young Ones. [43:18] JB praises the characters, particularly Rik Mayall’s character. [44:23] JP mentions the cameos in The Young Ones, including Hale & Pace, Stephen Frost, Mark Arden, and JB metnions Arnold Brown.
[44:46] JP brings up Spinal Tap.
[47:46] JP talks about seeing the woman who played Bobbi Flekman [Fran Drescher, not mentioned by name] on one of Ruby Wax’s shows.
[48:22] JP and JB listen to the clips. [48:54 – 49:16] Les Dawson [50:04 -50:35] Billy Connolly [51:55 – 52:22] Victoria Wood [53:32 – 54:30] Fawlty Towers [55:28 – 56:21] The Young Ones [57:03 – 57:42] French & Saunders [59:17 – 01:00:42] John Hegley [01:01:04 – 01:03:15] Spinal Tap [01:04:11 – 01:05:31] Bill Hicks [01:06:24 – 01:07:16] Harry Hill [01:07:48] JP gets JB to record the trailers and intros.
[01:13:07] Recording ends
NotesLPCM wave 16 bit 44.1kHz. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) captured using a PC running Windows; SPDIF connection via RME PCI card. Digitisation engineer Adrian Finn, Greatbear analogue & digital media ltd. Digital file topped and tailed.
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsThis recording is available for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU for study/research purposes only. Access to audio-visual recordings is through digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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