Cue & Ehh? With Charlie Brooker
If you don’t know Charlie Brooker, you don’t know T.V. and lets face it… who doesn’t know T.V.? Brooker, presenter of ‘Screen Wipe’, creator of ‘Nathan Barley’, writer of the Guardian featured ‘Screen Burn’, infamous Grouch Potato, and the latest victim to suffer Cue & Ehh? harassment. Annoyed to the extent were he’d rather view a constant stream of ringtone ads than receive another correspondence from my good self. He finally couldn’t take it anymore and squeezed a few ‘me’ minutes in his already hectic schedule.
Am I proud? ‘Course I am, I got to swap words with one of the funniest and most observant media critics this shitty little land has to offer. Have I any regrets? Only one… playing with my Star Wars figures in the bath.
I've been a huge fan of your stuff since the Tvgohome website & book, I have dribbled urine on around twelve pairs of jeans at the hilarity of some of the entries. On Amazon the book's selling for 40-150 quid?! Any thoughts? Is there any plans to reprint it?
Dunno about plans to reprint it, but someone contacted me a short while ago to ask if I minded if they scanned their copy in and put it online. I don’t have any objection to that, and if it’s possible (legally) I’ll host it on the tvgohome site. So it may soon be available for nuffink…
The only other books that have made me laugh out loud uncontrollably are Mike Leigh's 'How to be a Superhero' and 'Calvin & Hobbes'. Have you any recommends?
‘The Meaning of Liff’ by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd is extremely funny, as is 'The Dirt’ – Neil Strauss’s Motley Crue biography. Those books are totally unrelated, but they just popped into my head at once so there they are. Also anything by George Saunders – he writes short stories that read a bit like Grandaddy songs, but with jokes in them. The Complete Peanuts (which is being lovingly reprinted by Fantagraphics) is worth getting as well – I think a lot of people think of Peanuts as being this really twee, saccharine little strip, but it’s often almost unbearably bleak (and funny with it).
For Screen Wipe/Screen Burn you have to watch an awful lot of TV, has there ever been a stage were you have thought, 'Fuck this, I'm away out to fly a kite, or build a go-cart'?
God yes. But then again, there’s always something delightfully revolting round the corner.
I was talking to a mate about the worst series on TV. We decided that it had to be 'MY Hero' (Father Dougal with a cape). Though saying that, the 'Murder She Wrote' without the 'she' or the writing is coming in close second. (It's got, what looks like, the camp mustached guy from Bargain Hunt as the sleuth). What's your choice?
There’s so many. Right now it has to be ‘Coach Trip’, the oppressive daytime reality show on C4 where ghastly couples go on a tacky jaunt round Europe and moan and whinge and learn to truly hate one another. It’s like someone breathing scotch-egg-scented breath down your throat for an hour. Utterly horrible.
I have to say that I believe that 'South Park' is maybe the best thing on TV right now. It's scientology and Chef's death episodes are genius. (Though if I was asked in secrecy I'd actually say either 'Myth Busters' or 'How it's made'). What show makes you smile?
I really like Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! which I think airs on FX over here. It’s a sort unhinged skeptic’s rant at the world and it’s always good fun.
My friend and I had a bet where we had to masturbate and climax to the most challenging thing on TV. His choice was the news, mine was 'Sponge Bob Square Pants', what would yours be?
See above. Got to be Coach Trip. Especially the bit at the end where they have to vote each other off. Jizz over that and you’ll need years of therapy to unravel the damage.
Your name implies that you are a cocaine dealer (Charlie Broker - sorry... (sigh)), did you have evil parents or or you actually in the manufacturer to user liaison trade?
My first name is actually Charlton, which is pretty stupid. I think a lot of people assume my first name is Charles, and that I’m therefore posh, but I’m not. I’m a disgusting comprehensive school commoner.
Having appeared on 'Screen Wipe' my girlfriend thought you were a twat and although loving the show, I did have the urge to strangle you, but it would've been with silk rope or a length of Andrex Toilet Tissue. Something soft, strong and very very long. Do you get that a lot?
Not that often. I’m sorry you wanted to strangle me. We’re doing some more Screen Wipes at the moment, so I’ll try to look less killable – if I possibly can.
You wrote a column claiming the demise of George W. Bush via a team of super assassins. The Secret Service got wind of it, didn't see the funny side. The Guardian retracted it and you apologised. You were probably feeling the same confusion that the Muhammad cartoonists had been feeling. Did it shock you how serious it had all become?
In a word, yes. I can understand the confusion, mind: it was a TV review column that appeared on the Guardian website devoid of context (i.e. the A5 surrounds of The Guide), and a lot of overseas readers mistook it for a serious op-ed piece. I got plenty of abusive mails and death threats, which was initially amusing, then frightening, and ultimately depressing. For a while it feels like having a heavy iron cloud hanging over you, but hey, water under the bridge.
It shows how powerful mark making can still be. If you had to make a one-word statement before your execution, what word would it be?
Nathan Barley 2. Is it bullshit rumour or in the works?
Possibly both or neither.
What are you doing with yourself now?
I’m doing some more Screen Wipe shows, then when I’ve finished those, there’s this secret thing I’m writing that I really must finish off. It’s very, very secret and will probably never make it on-screen, but oooh it’s daft. There’s also a radio thing I want to do. We’ll see.
The Weird & Freaky Question :
Sam Beckett from Quantum leap jumped into many different people but which of these would you like to see aired?
A) Sam Beckett leaps into a woman who happens to be right in the middle of sex. When he phases in and realizes where he is and what he's doing, he is shocked. Looking down he notices his legs are apart and the man atop of him is thrusting away. Scrolling up he views the man's face and realises that it is himself. He has leaped into his wife's body. He is being screwed by himself. 'Oh Boy...'
B) Upon re-phasing Sam notices that he is wearing a tight collar around his neck. Looking himself up and down he realizes that he's totally naked apart from the collar. He looks around and sees that he's attached to a leash being held by a slim wealthy lady. He believes he has leapt into a fetishist. 'Oh Boy...' he sighs, but on surveying the room surrounding him further he spies himself in a mirror and sees a dog looking back at him, he discovers that he is that dog. 'OH BOY...' The rest of the episode features actor Scott Bakula (Sam) naked, on all fours, weeing against walls, sniffing other dogs bums and trying to keep his owner from getting mugged and killed in central park.
That’s a tough call. A) has immediate gross-out value, but I think B) would be funnier in the long run, especially if he bites the face off a nine-year-old girl at one point.
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