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View Full Version : Andy Zaltzman is the opposite of funny


Acsenray
10-26-2010, 11:31 AM
I get my regular dosage of John Oliver human from the Times Online's "Bugle" podcast featuring John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman.

I must be a huge fan of John Oliver, because the more I hear Andy Zaltzman, the more I hate him. The man is just not funny, not funny at all.

So far as I can tell, his humour falls into two main categories --

(1) Puns

(2) Outrageously unbelievable fiction

Oliver is actually funny -- he discusses events in an amusing manner, and makes jokes that actually relate to factual events in some way, whether exaggerated or otherwise made humorous, pointing out absurdities of real life, hypocrisy, etc.

Zaltzman just makes shit up. He seems to believe that the more unlikely something is, the funnier it is, intrinsically. Not true. It's especially bad when he invents historical facts that are nothing more than wildly unbelievable or simply impossible that in no way relate in some way to the factual circumstances of the history.

What do y'all say?

Gyrate
10-26-2010, 11:44 AM
I haven't quite reached the "open antipathy" stage and I have laughed at many of his actual jokes but DEAR GOD the pun thing has been beaten to death, then to a pulp, then to its component molecules and now Andy just waves a stick through the air where it used to be. Please make him stop.

To be fair and balanced, however, John Oliver must never sing again. It's like listening to a banshee scraping her fingernails on a chalkboard turning on rusty hinges.

Acsenray
10-26-2010, 11:52 AM
For me, the puns are the lesser evil. It's the other stuff that has become more tiresome for me. Like ridiculous fictional histories of professional sports clubs, that could never be true and are only funny because they're impossible.

Smeghead
10-26-2010, 04:43 PM
I was about to join in with an enthusiastic agreement, but then realized I was thinking of Andy Parsons, off Mock the Week. Can we make this a general thread about crappy British comedians named Andy?

Acsenray
10-26-2010, 04:52 PM
Oh, and I've grown to hate Zaltzman's girlish giggle.

woodstockbirdybird
10-26-2010, 05:17 PM
Although there's no reason for it to be so, I actually don't mind Zaltzman at all. But I am also a big fan of the groan/chuckle combo.

Novelty Bobble
10-26-2010, 05:22 PM
I like him, but then I only know him from Radio 5's "seven day sunday" He works well alongside Chris Addison.

(I suspect a lot of it is to do with his "Good sport-Bad Sport" monologue which is in the Iannucci word-play surrealism style that I like)

Kyla
10-26-2010, 05:24 PM
I like him okay, but am very, very tired of the puns.

Gyrate
10-27-2010, 05:39 AM
I was about to join in with an enthusiastic agreement, but then realized I was thinking of Andy Parsons, off Mock the Week. Can we make this a general thread about crappy British comedians named Andy?Oi! I like Andy Parsons. Russell Howard, however, needs to learn when to stop telling a joke. If you have to explain why the joke you just told was funny, Russell, you didn't tell it right.

Elvis Chimney
10-27-2010, 06:12 AM
I like Zaltzman - in fact, I think he's by far the funnier of the two. On The Bugle at least, John Oliver just seems to be along for the ride - most of the actual funny material tends to come from Zaltzman imo.

The puns are supposed to be terrible - and it's their tenuous nature, along with the shared understanding of their awfulness that makes them funny.

I saw him live at the Edinburgh Festival for the first time earlier this year and was quite impressed, so I'll definitely go and see him again.

Andy Parsons, on the other hand, is possibly the least funny comedian working on television, which is quite an achievement given the array of unfunny tools who regularly appear on Mock the Week. "Hopefully..... By leaving massive pauses in my sentences.... I can cover up for the fact.... that I've never said anything funny.... ever...."

Smeghead
10-27-2010, 06:27 AM
Andy Parsons, on the other hand, is possibly the least funny comedian working on television, which is quite an achievement given the array of unfunny tools who regularly appear on Mock the Week. "Hopefully..... By leaving massive pauses in my sentences.... I can cover up for the fact.... that I've never said anything funny.... ever...."

Ha! In the spirit of "now that you're aware of it, you'll never be able to unsee it," whenever he walks up to the microphone, he does this weird little funny walk slash smirk, and he gets a laugh from the crowd for it every single time. It drives my wife absolutely insane.

Elvis Chimney
10-27-2010, 06:48 AM
Ha! In the spirit of "now that you're aware of it, you'll never be able to unsee it," whenever he walks up to the microphone, he does this weird little funny walk slash smirk, and he gets a laugh from the crowd for it every single time. It drives my wife absolutely insane.

Oh god he does do that doesn't he?

Parsons is the main offender in the ever-growing group of third-rate comedians who have adopted the highly-affected style of delivery referred to by Stewart Lee here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVUhSLl1DAQ

"Radio4, where pitch and rhythm are considered acceptable substitutes for content and wit"

Novelty Bobble
10-27-2010, 09:59 AM
Oh god he does do that doesn't he?

Parsons is the main offender in the ever-growing group of third-rate comedians who have adopted the highly-affected style of delivery referred to by Stewart Lee here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVUhSLl1DAQ

"Radio4, where pitch and rhythm are considered acceptable substitutes for content and wit"

Stewart Lee is a comedy god, his recent "comedy vehicle" was a masterclass.

He is definitely in my top 41 comedians.

PetroPetro
05-28-2011, 05:22 PM
I must say, this thread made me feel like I am not alone and rather simpatico with people like Acesnray. As a loyal "Bugler"' I also find myself getting angry at the made-up sport stories and strings of puns and I think puns, even groaners are funny but not three solid minutes of tourtured and contrived ones. After listening to this week's episdode and hearing a string of god-awful puns about priests' clothing I reached "open antipathy," turned it off and googled "Andy Zaltsman is not funny" to see if there were any others who felt the same and this was the first hit.
What confuses me is how he is a "working comedian and writer." On the Bugle he constantly talks about how bad his gigs have been an how few people attend and it doesn't seem like modest self-deprecation judging by the frequency.
I've heard him on the News Quiz and the Now Show where is is also not funny, though better than on the Bugle. Are there programmes that he absolutely shines on? is he a performer who just needs to be live? (I've heard some of their tapes on the podcast and am not convinced)
I am also in accord with the thoughts on Andy Parsons, too as well as some of the awful Radio 4 'personalties' (Henning Wehn, for example)
Ah, thank you Straight Dope and Acsenray for giving me a place to vent my spleen and know that it is okay to love the Bugle but dislike Andy. Oh, and thanks for the formal introduction to Stewart Lee, I had never seen his standup and the Radio 4 bit is spot on!

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