Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer

Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer

"Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer" was comedy double act Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer's third television sketch show, which aired in January 1999 on BBC2 in the United Kingdom. While maintaining certain elements from "The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer", the show was very different in many ways.

As with the previous sketch show, a song kicked off the proceedings, and once again the duo sat at their trademark desk. However, the desk was almost completely bare, (as opposed to their previous prop-covered ones), and had a transparent front, through which the moving form of a naked man (in interviews, the duo explained that he was "a homunculus") could be seen. The studio set was different too, the huge R&M letters replaced with large representations of the pair behind warped glass. The duo's humour had evolved too, their chat at the desk seemed more improvised, but also more obtuse.

There were also changes in the double-act dynamic. Vic's character was frequently unhinged and waved guns and large blunt objects around with relish, while Bob played a slightly baffled innocent most of the time. As usual, however, they would tend to fall out very easily, which would result in one of their trademark slapstick fights, which grew more absurd, violent and freeform as the series progressed. One memorable instance involved Vic's head becoming grotesquely mutated after a spin in a tumble dryer. Bob then gleefully set about the hunchbacked, pathetic Vic with a baseball bat.

There were also a number of pre-recorded sketches, all of which heightened the obtuse, unusual nature of much of the show. These would often feature Charlie Higson, Morwenna Banks, Matt Lucas and David Walliams in supporting or cameo roles.It was a firm favourite with Vic and Bob's cult following, but confused and unsettled many new fans who had joined them after viewing their more accessible game show spoof, "Shooting Stars." With this in mind, it is perhaps ironic that the duo confessed that they originally set out to make "Bang Bang" a genuine attempt to create a show that didn't polarize people's opinions as much as before. The duo themselves are very proud of the show, Bob stating that "We have this hope that if there's anyone left bothered about us in fifty years' time, that will be the one they'll remember".

Recurring Sketches

Lunch-Hour Capers (The Car Door Blokes)

These extremely odd slapstick sketches would see the duo driving around an idyllic location only to park their car between two immovable objects (two trees, two other parked cars, a ship's engine, a petrol pump etc), resulting in a protracted bout of "very frustrating" door-opening attempts, after which the duo would have to resort to other methods. Usually, at some point the boot or the windscreen wipers would fly off the car and explode in a nearby field, and in the last one, the duo found themselves engaging in a bout of staring with some grief-stricken monkeys on their way to a baptism. In these sketches, someone was always killed in a strange way, ejecting an egg from their mouths before vanishing into thin air. The duo explained that the eggs were "their souls". This recurring joke even extended to the desk, where Vic accidentally shot himself with a gun, disappearing and leaving an egg behind, which Bob then greedily ate.

Fun, Fun, Fun

Tom Fun and his best friend Derek (revealed in the last sketch to be the former drummer of Roxy Music) were shown in these oddly touching sketches wandering aimlessly around a city centre at dawn, having been "thrown out of our lodgings" for generally unclear reasons involving Derek's behaviour (one example given being the upset caused by Derek's public attempt to eat an arctic roll "like a pelican might eat it"). Their quest to find something "fun" to do was very childlike and knew no bounds, from going down the drains, prizing up cobblestones and rooting around in a skip. Each of these segments opened with the "fun fun fun" refrain from the song "Five Get Over Excited" by the Housemartins.

The Club

The main event on "Bang Bang" was this spoof-docusoap, which took us behind-the-scenes at Baron's Nightclub, the "4th best club in Hull." Paul Baron (Vic) was the dodgy, oafish proprietor who kept all the keys for the premises on impractically short "luxury chains" about his person, while his long-lost brother Tony (Bob, with a bizarre Chinese accent) was in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, often expressing "serious reservations" about Paul's half-baked ideas. The compere was an insane American called Kinky John Fowler (Vic), whose "plucking peppercorns" routine was not one of Tony's favourites. After a disastrous "Erotic Night," and an even more calamitous "Talent Night" (which consisted of a man with a fox on his head and a man frightening ducks with a strange hydraulic machine), things took a turn for the better when boy band Mandate played a successful set, and Paul managed to secure the services of Les Dennis for one night only. However, a jealous Kinky John got "shit-faced" and threatened everyone with a large gun.

The club's weird bouncers, Carl & Chris, as well as Kinky John (who returned as DI Fowler) would be given their own series in "Catterick."

The Stotts

Once again, the Stotts returned, developing their celebrity interviews, which always started with "a little explosion" to "warm things up". Damon Hill was asked "When you are in a motor race, do you have a map, or just follow everyone else?". Sinéad O'Connor was given a full-frontal view of what lurked within Davey's kilt, a truly baffled Paul McKenna was asked if peanuts were soluble, Caprice was told that Davey's long pointy shoes were offered to him by the King of Spain in retribution for him "attacking his wife with a fish slice," while Michael Winner was quizzed on whether a human could leave fingerprints on a parsnip! One recurring question that was asked, often by Donald (Bob), was whether the guest, after work or at the end of the day, had, "A nice relaxing poo." At the end of every interview, the pair would abandon the celebrity onstage leaving them alone to the sounds of the adagietto from Mahler's fifth symphony.

"Never Previously Considered Funny Enough To Broadcast..."

A recurring series of bizarre sketch scenarios, usually involving parodies of celebrities. They were always introduced by narrator Patrick Allen, who would conclude each narration with "What happened that day has never previously been considered funny enough to broadcast...until now!"

External links

* [ It's Reeves and Mortimer!]

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