There wasn’t a great deal to smile about in Comedy Review, M. T. Doran
I don’t know why I thought Comedy Review would be funny. Perhaps it was
the jaunty subtitle, ‘the comedy magazine’, perhaps I just don’t
appreciate what a serious business comedy is. Well, rest assured, the
one thing that the Comedy Review isn’t is funny.
We kicked off with a series of interviews with stars of the stand-up
circuit. Either these are the most contrived, self-obsessed individuals
on earth, or the interviewers are hopelessly trying to be funny.
Deeply disheartened, I referred back to the contents page in the hope of
finding something to raise at least a smile. There I spied it, an
article on Fawlty Towers. This turned out to consist mainly of a section
of the script from the Germans episode, but without Manuel and Basil
this just didn’t work. Neither did a dissection of the plot from the
Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. A warning, Comedy Review: these are
favourites, they are wrapped up in memories of childhood, of evenings in
front of the telly with your mum and a mug of cocoa, so if you can’t
treat them with the respect they deserve, leave them alone.
At this stage I nearly gave up. But I’m glad I didn’t, for lurking
within the pages are a couple of real gems. An interview with Stephen
Fry was entertaining, fresh and, yes, funny. The reviews are also
excellent. I wouldn’t have believed it possible after the interviews in
the first few pages, but they actually persuaded me to go out and see
some of the acts.
The Comedy Review seems to be finding it hard to fill its pages and
justify its ludicrous pounds 3 cover price. If it ditched half the
editorial and slashed the cover price, this could be a useful title for
comedy fans and advertisers alike.
M. T. Doran is a group media director of Leo Burnett