02 July 2009

Laughter Is (Sometimes) the Best Medicine

I went to see The Now Show being recorded tonight, probably lucky as I definitely had a face for radio tonight. A full post will be coming tomorrow when a) the show has been aired and I won't be spoiling anything and b) I have more time as I won't be needing to get up early the following morning to catch a train to Nowheresville.

I haven't laughed so much and so hard for a long time but now, of course, I wish that each week, I got to listen to the full, 80 minutes of recording that get edited down to the 28-minute show (not least because although some of the less successful jokes get edited out in the final cut, some of the best ones also get cut out for legal reasons, presumably, including one very funny one involving Peter Sissons and Anne Robinson). Listening to the radio show, you also (obviously) miss out on seeing the bizarre and superb "warm-up" impersonations performed by Hugh Dennis (which included a pterosaur and a ski-jumper tonight), which is a big error, although part of the fun this week will be working out which bits will make the final cut (some were more obviously not going to make it than others).

I have also discovered that it's quite hard work to laugh loudly almost non-stop for 80 minutes. Obviously, I was hoping my laugh would make it on air (assuming I'm even able to recognise it) but I've come to realise that I'm not very good at laughing loudly. I'm more of an amused-chuckle kind of person, although when something is very funny I can laugh hard and fast. The brevity is the problem because when there are 300 other people laughing, you'd have to be really loud to be heard.

Or you could be like the guy sitting next to us who had a really irritating laugh that was like a deeper, more nasal machine gun. This in itself would have been OK but he was clearly laughing with the sole purpose of getting onto the radio show because he would usually start laughing after everyone else (implying he hadn't got the joke) and then continue for a few seconds after everyone else had stopped. It was immensely irritating and definitely not the least bit medicinal for me.

On balance, though, the benefits of my own laughter did outweigh the costs of having to listen to Stupid Laugh Guy and I would definitely be keen to see (or hear) the "outtakes" of The Now Show each week, as they have started doing for Have I Got News for You.

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