Monday, February 13, 2006

"Aw Raugh" - Karl Pilkington


There is a phenomenon crawling it's way across the planet. It's roots may have been planted by Comedian, Writer and Actor, Ricky Gervais, though the stem and flowers are most definitely Idiot Savant, Karl Pilkington. The number one downloaded podcast, 'The Ricky Gervais Show' is not a new format for Gervais, co-writer Steve Merchant and Pilkington, infact it's a very well worn format that first aired on Gervais and Merchant's Show on XFM. Featuring reconstituted formats such as 'Monkey News' or 'Knob News' the show has really only one aim; Ask Pilkington a question and sit back and listen to the reply.

Now on it's 11th Episode in a number of 12, the show had already started to droop with interspersed Channel 4 ads, a regular reading of Pilkington's diary and the increasingly unbelievable monkey career positions in our society. Losing it's appearance of an unscripted, unplanned and conversation based show is the podcast's downfall. Although the format always had the definite resemblance of the radio style banter between songs from which it first arose, it always had the benefit of containing no ads or songs. The show simply existed as a series of infrequently edited portions of themed conversation. Conversations between dry quipping, straight man Merchant, the stupid, ill thought out ideas of Pilkington, and middle man Gervais tipping to and fro from intelligence to frustration to uncontrollable laughter.

With one show to go I hope that the show goes out with a bang rather than a flutter, similar to it's predecessor XFM show when Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington finished early so that Gervais could make an utter embarrassment of himself on the Live8 stage. I have been an eager listener, now finding myself waiting up Sunday night to download the show Monday morning (around 00:03) to listen to in bed. I have had moments of sheer disbelief, joy and repulsion, all coming from a great piece of free entertainment.

My favourite moments all arise in episode 4. Conversations about giving a goat to the poor as a charity gift for a friend or family member leads to Pilkington summing up that there would be three unhappy parties. The gift receiver getting a non-present, the receiving family not being able to feed another member, and the goat, being 'happy over here and then getting over there to barren land'. Or Pilkington's un-interest in space exploration due to him 'not even visiting Scotland yet' saying, "why look in other back gardens when you haven't had a look at your own". All funny, but only a run up to what has to be the funniest segment of the series, Pilkington's inability to choose a super power and find a valid use for it.

Further 'Gripage' 'Bungled' below:
Reader Recommended Karl Pilkington Fansite
Wikilington
Gervais' Website Feature
Bears3 Shorts - Requires Quicktime though.
Meet Karl Pilkington from Politics DVD
XFM Archives
Downloadable XFM Episodes
Animated Monkey News
Knob At Night T-Shirt
Karl's Gob T-Shirt
Monkey Wire - Huge Monkey News Archive

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