Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Babymetal fans are intense aren't they...

If you're a regular in these parts, you'll know how thrilled I was with the way in which Martin Roberts responded to being featured in episode one of this series. Well now I can add Christine Hamilton to the list too:

Incidentally, the episode in which Christine featured was taped on June 28th... I blogged about it a few days later because of this tweet...
... although at the time I wasn't able to include the details because I didn't want to put any spoilers out there for the show and I didn't want to alert Christine to the how, why and what of it all. But as you can see she sent that tweet at 5.24pm on the day of the recording. We open the doors to the audience at 6pm. It's not unusual to be making last minute changes to the show's content in the final half hour before the recording, but it's normally decisions I'm making because of having to cut or add time or because I've tried something a few different ways in the dry runs and have taken til then to assess the relative merits of the various options... it's rarely done because someone has run into the dressing room and shouted, "Hamilton's tweeted about the beehive!"

Still, it was nice to get proof that I was telling a true story, moments before I started telling it!

There was another part of the show that seemed to attract quite a lot of feedback... the part in which I referred to the number of retweets given to some of Harry Styles tweets... a lot of people were aghast at the fact that I said "Baby Metal" was just two random words...

That's just a smattering of the tweets that came in about it. Within a minute of it being on the box I'd tweeted to say that yes, I knew they were a band... but they still kept on coming. And they carried on coming in their droves on Wednesday night and on Saturday night when the show was repeated. And they're still coming in now. Blimey. Oh... and there was also this - and others like it - on facebook:

There are lots of things I say in the show that are true. There are also lots of things I say that aren't true. I think the audience is normally able to work out the difference between the two... and when I'm fibbing, I'm sure they can tell why. Last week for instance... I don't think anyone was thinking I genuinely have a pet elk.

To be clear... when I first saw the Harry Styles' tweet that contained just the two words, "Baby metal" I didn't know what it was about. I'm a 44 year old man. I don't feel stupid for not being completely up to date on the Japanese Metal Idol scene. My thought process on seeing it was, "that looks like a tweet containing just two random words... which will give me a good excuse to mention that Eamonn Holmes tweet I've been looking for a way of putting in the show... I wonder what Harry meant? I'll google it. Oh. It's a Japanese Metal Idol band. That's interesting. Still... no point saying that... or I won't be able to make the joke about Eamonn Holmes."

This sort of thing happens all the time. I play dumb about something in order to connect some of the dots. I assume that the audience knows I'm doing it... and when it's really obvious that it's going on, it probably enhances the joke for people.

Of course, in a situation like this, it's not really obvious that it's what's going on. After all, a large number of the audience won't have heard of Babymetal either because... well, because they're a Japanese Metal Idol band and not everyone feels obliged to educate themselves in every pop-culture sub-genre. But it still seems odd to me that those who know would imagine I'm so incurious that I would get as far as saying the words on a telly show without having googled them first. And why - when it doesn't really matter - would I take a joke out of the show in order to show off that I now know they're a band?

In series 1 there was something similar about a tweet that used the words, "That's like dent without the burns." I didn't know what it meant when I read it. I played dumb - aided by the lack of capitalisation... I mean, if you're not going to write 'Dent' when it's someone's surname, how do you expect someone to intuit what you're on about? The audience laughed. And then hundreds of people told me it was a Spiderman reference. Two years later, if the show is repeated I still get a burst of tweets telling me the same with varying degrees of outrage.

There's something rather sweet about someone watching a show that they know is two years old, believing someone's unaware of a Spiderman fact and thinking, "comic book fans aren't the sort of people to have pointed this out to him... so I'd better step up to the plate and let him know..."

I think the fact that these two examples relate to a band and a comic-book villain is probably a pointer as to why so many people feel the need to correct my "mistakes". There are dozens of other similar examples that have passed by in the three series without anyone feeling the need to comment. But they don't tend to relate to pop-culture. When they do - especially when it's an area of pop-culture that people use to define their personalities - the urge to show off one's superiority is so much greater. (The fact that my shows are often about pointing out the mistakes or falsehood of others probably adds to it as well.)

Honestly... I do google things. It's just that the version of events I select is the one that leads to the biggest laughs when I road test the shows.

Anyway... episode five is on at 10pm tonight. It starts with a whopping big lie. But only for the studio audience. I tell the viewers at home about the lie before the show starts. It's okay, it's a white lie. Well... it's actually a green lie...

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Best Two And A Half Days Of My Life...