First published March 2000
Now then, how did we begin this one back in March 2000...? Let's see, how did it go?

"Comedy criticism is virtually non-existent.

It isn't in the nature of listings magazines like Time Out or Heat to offer any genuine three-dimensional opinions about comedy (and few journalists have enough knowledge about comedy history to offer worthwhile criticism anyway). Most fall on the piss-easy option of simply quoting lie-infested press- releases which further confuses the issue.

The views of the comedians themselves can't be trusted. There are no longer any views expressed which don't simply toe their agencies' party lines or aren't half-thought-out, badly constructed, self-serving essays of astonishing tedium.

Fans? Don't trust 'em either. All too often these creatures are utterly defensive of any kind of criticism, without realising that a questioning audience is what keeps their desired comedians on their guard from turning shite. Some fans affect an air of criticism but this is kept deliberately low-key to avoid incurring the disinterested wrath of the comedian who might just refuse that all important guest-list place or interview. It's when those fans become recognised as 'journalists' that you need to be wary. Self-serving cunts to a man, shimmying up the drainpipe of comedy in a desperate quest for attention, changing their opinions en route to suit their career needs..."

Do we need to update any of that?


In the Interests of Assisting Ricky Gervais...
Enjoying Derek? Of course you are...

Delboy Falls Through The Bar
Be wary of falling standards and falling Delboys.
Get Funny Fanny
Simon Fanshawe, Esther Rantzen, Garry Bushell and The Mary Whitehouse Experience - all in one sauna together.
Kids' Programme
Doesn't pretty much all comedy these days look like the work of kids?

MWE: 'Martin Comes A Cropper'
Reading out and ridiculing a bad review is a dangerous path...

Positively Negative
Anyone who celebrates the notion of 'positivity' is an imbecile. Yup, that appears to be the gist of this article.
Game Over
With Humph gone, should I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue continue?

An unbroadcast radio debate about sitcom laughtracks which arguably kick-started the 'Dark' backlash...
The latest non-existant genre to hit the fan. We celebrate the birth (and death) of this soon-forgotten phrase.
The Brass Eye Special
Chris Morris attempts to tackle the 'final taboo in comedy' and misses it by a country mile.

Better In The Radio Theatre
An illustration of how a marvellous radio session can be turned into a dull half hour for broadcast.
The Return of The 11 O'Clock Show
It returned. It wiggled about on the telly a bit. And then it went off again. We wonder where it is now.
Channel 4 Winter Press Launch 2000
The first and only time SOTCAA were allowed anywhere near Channel 4.

The 100 Greatest TV Moments From Hell
The current state of affairs at Channel 4 is, of course, exactly like the Holocaust in every possible sense...
Ben Elton Knows The Truth
Quite possibly the funniest attack on Birtism you're ever likely to find.

The Nualas
'Stop being so negative', spat the internet comedy fans. 'Celebrate something current', they whined...
Stop Press
Journalism's a dirty job, but some immoral, self-serving, dick-brained bully has to do it...

'Dark' comedy appears to have become the new orthodoxy...

Let's All Be Elitist
Plebbed-down comedy which aims for great fat middle-ground audience of 'ordinary people' sucks big time...
Critical Condition: Comedy
For anyone who thinks SOTCAA is populated by paranoid, conspiracy-hunting cynics, this is your set text
Publicity or Bust
C4's Edinburgh or Bust is given a sound kicking for two weeks before SOTCAA decides there's little to be gained from it.
Kevin Lie-Go
An email from 'an insider' about how Channel 4 attempted to kill Harry Hill's presence on the station....
The Boosh
Comedy fads can be dangerous things, especially when what that fad is peddling purports to be innovative...
Okay, so how are we gonna cover this one, we asked ourselves?

Stewart Lee Is Wrong
...and was the first of many who took it upon themselves to 'drag the sitcom industry into the 90s'.
The 11 O'Clock Show
Pretty much all the ills of the current comedy climate can be traced back to this point.

Topical Comedy Is A Bad Idea
Enough with the wry looks back at the last seven days already...

Reference Comedy
And if the reference is hot enough, who needs jokes? Fuck 'em - they get in the way.

Cliches, Received Opinions...
Lose ten points for any of the following in your comedy review:

Anal Preventive
Mad, sad, nerdy, anoraky, no-friends trainspotter twats. That's what we are, apparently.

I'm Alan Partridge Was Rubbish
I'm Alan Partridge signalled the death of the original Partridge character...

Dot Dot Dot...And Very Very Funny
Four-times Perrier Award failure Al Murray has something to celebrate...