There wasn’t a great deal to smile about in Comedy Review, M. T. Doran writes

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


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