Ref NoBSUCA/JP/1/2/8
CollectionJohn Pidgeon Collection
TitleJenny Eclair interviewed for 'Talking Comedy'
Name of creatorPidgeon, John, 1947-2016
Datend [1996]
Duration50 min. 39 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (DAT 95)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format
DescriptionJenny Eclair interviewed by John Pidgeon 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: [00:23] John Pidgeon [JP] starts by asking Jenny Éclair [JE] who first made her laugh. [00:31] Lucille Ball [00:58] JE admits that she’s not “a comedy anorak” because she’s conscious of being original and not having too many influences.
[03:17] JE talks about watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Specials. [04:00] Je says she was more into Donny Osmond and David Cassidy when she was a teenager.
[04:57] She watched The Young Ones when she was a drama student, and did like Monty Python and got the Monty Python Big Red Book for Christmas
[05:45] JE talks about punk poetry, she was a big fan of John Cooper Clark, [06:19] and her other favourites included Roger McGough, [06:51] and John Hegley.
[07:00] JE goes on to talk about performing on the circuit in London with people who weren’t yet household names like [07:08] Paul Merton [07:15] and Julian Clary, known as The Joan Collins fan club in those days, performing with Fanny the Wonder Dog.
[08:25] JE talks about collaborating with Frank Skinner on Packet of Three, [09:20] she says men’s wit is quicker than women’s and explains why.
[11:47] JE says her favourite female comic is Jo Brand, [12:03] she first saw her at the Tunnel Club, [12:16] Harry Enfield vomited before he went on, Jo Brand acted like she owned the stage.
[12:52] JE says there wasn’t a decent female comic working in the 1980s, apart from herself, Jenny Lecoat and Helen Lederer. [14:25] JE talks about Arthur Smith being underrated, she says he never had a good stand-up act, he was part of a good double act called Fiasco-Job-Job, and he was the world’s best compere, the serious plays
[15:11] JE talks about the great brains in comedy, including Greg Proops and Simon Munnery also known as Alan Parker Urban Warrior and The League Against Tedium.
[17:10] JE talks about Harry Enfield, and how strange it was to see a friend of hers on TV. [17:46] JE mentions a similar situation with Rory Bremner. She did a show in Edinburgh with impressionist Chris Barrie, where first saw a young Rory Bremner.
[18:48] JP asks about her American choices, Sam Kinison and Denis Leary. [19:41] JE talks about seeing Denis Leary live, and having dinner with him along with Frank Skinner. [20:30] JP talks about interviewing Joan Rivers, who talked about the terrible irony of Sam Kinison cleaning himself up and dying in a car crash.
[21:17] JE brings up being a fan Victoria Wood, despite the two of them being poles apart. JE was asked to go on the Wood & Walters Show, and goes on to talk about her chemistry with Julie Walters.
[23:08] JE then talks about the other famous female double act French & Saunders, [23:50] JE talks about Jennifer Saunders’ huge hit with Absolutely Fabulous, with emphasis on Joanna Lumley’s performance as Patsy, who JE says closely resembles herself, and the physical comedy.
[24:46] JE mentions Lee Evans in relation to physical comedians.
[24:50] JE says she doesn’t like clowns, but there are certain performers who walk funny or have funny faces, and mentions John Cleese and Joyce Grenfell.
[25:45] JP talks about Joyce Grenfell’s pathos in comedy. [26:11] JE describes it as a Dorothy Parker style of comedy, and also mentions Alan Bennett in this context. [26:54] JE praises Alan Bennett’s diaries and the play he did with Julie Walters, Patricia Routledge, and Thora Hird.
[27:15] JP asks JE about Mark Lamarr. [28:54] JE talks about her seven year old daughter developing a sophisticated sense of humour and watching videos of Fawlty Towers, Mr Bean, and Dad’s Army. [31:26] JE talks about preferring British sitcoms to American sitcoms, and mentions how Men Behaving Badly eventually grew on her despite herself.
[31:55] JE brings up character comedy, with emphasis on Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge in Knowing Me Knowing You, which she would try to record from the radio.
[33:13] JE talks about Kenneth Williams. [34:28] JE mentions Malcolm Hardy to JP.
[35:00] JP plays the clips. [35:35] – [36:11] Kenneth Williams [36:24] – [37:23] Morecambe & Wise, JE says Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer must owe a lot to Morecambe and Wise [37:34] – [38:13] Alan Bennett [38:24] – [39:27] Fawlty Towers [39:38] – [40:33] Blackadder [41:06] – [41:52] Sam Kinison [42:02] – [43:02] Victoria Wood [43:24] – [43:55] Denis Leary [44:05] – [44:36] Rory Bremner [44:45] – [45:52] Alan Partridge [46:14] – [46:53] Jo Brand [47:00] JP gets JE to record the trailers
[50:28] 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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