Does no one complain about the obvious audience plants on Graham Norton?

There’s this show on BBC America, The Graham Norton Show, which involves in part wacky stunts involving ostensibly randomly chosen audience members.

Except every time I’ve seen an episode, it was pretty clear that the audience member was a plant, in on the joke from the beginning.

For example, in a recent episode, an audience member was pulled out to be made up like Kurt Russell’s character in Escape from New York. The big tipoff that the audience member was fully prepped beforehand was the fact that he was wearing a shirt with tear-away sleeves. Yes, it’s that blatant.

I can’t see what the entertainment value of this is supposed to be. I mean, it would be barely amusing if it was just a random audience member, but at least it’s clear what the joke is supposed to be in that case. But what’s the joke supposed to be if it’s not a random audience member but a pre-selected fully prepped participant in the scene?

Are you talking about when they get them on stage to participate in a stunt? Because they dress them when they’re back there.

Sometimes it’s clear they invite audience members in, but they’re upfront about it, because they mention they had contacted the show, or they run some website that Graham is interested in so his team invited them to the screening.

I don’t really have any idea what you’re talking about. I think I saw the episode in question, and weren’t the sleeves torn away while he was being filmed on a green screen backstage? They put those people in costumes you know…
Like this?

If you mean like when audience members had their diaries read or something like that, that’s not “plants” as it is that (however it was done) they were contacted beforehand and told to bring in the relevant info.

I’d have to watch it again, but to my recollection, they pulled him out of the audience, did some stuff to his face, and put him in front of a greenscreen. He never was shown being taken backstage or anything. It appeared to me as though it was supposed to appear as though he was just some random guy out of the audience.

No, not like that. The scene I was describing took place, to my recollection, entirely in front of the audience, with no going backstage for a costume change or anything like that.

I guess I’ve just been misunderstanding what they’re trying to portray to me. I’d say the reason for my misunderstanding was because I was making the charitable assumption that they’re at least trying to amuse me…

“At least trying to amuse” you? Do you mean that you don’t find his show amusing? I think it’s hilarious.

I’d take Norton over most US late night any day. That said, since he’s moved to BBC1, he’s toned down and gotten rid of audience gags, except the chair flip.

It’s alright, I just don’t find the audience participation bits to be amusing, because they always come off to me as contrived.

The “at least trying to amuse me line” wasn’t meant to indicate the show isn’t funny, but rather was meant to explain why I’ve been assuming the audience participation bits are supposed to appear spontaneous and unscripted. If they’re scripted, I can’t even see what the amusement value is supposed to be. If they’re not, I can at least see what the amusement value is supposed to be.

To be honest, it hasn’t been as amusing lately. Perhaps that’s because of the change in channel mentioned by II Gyan II. Some of the stuff from the old show was much better. I remember one episode where they had a remote camera watching as this very hairy man got a body wax (including in some really intimate places). There was one point when Graham asked him if he was OK, and he just had his head down, in obvious pain, and just gave a thumbs up.

I’d have to see the clip again to really see what happened. (Do you know who the guest was? I looked but I didn’t see it on the Kurt Russell episode.)

They do edit a lot of stuff out though, so just because someone was shown being taken out of the audience, and then in the next shot they are in front of a green screen, doesn’t mean they didn’t stop rolling for 10 minutes to get him set up. The only way to tell would be if he was wearing the same shirt while he was already sitting in the audience.