Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Alternative TOTP Canon #23: NOVELTY WEEK: The Brat - Chalk Dust - The Umpire Strikes Back

Impersonation is a tricky thing to pull off on stage in front of lively punters when performed at a comedy club, so it's no wonder impressionists who score surprise hits can seem a little exposed. Look at Rory Bremner doing The Commentators' N-N-Nineteen (Not Out) - a record secretly produced by Paul Hardcastle himself, by the way - at once at front of stage and yet somehow also laissez-fair distant from the act of performance, having to funnel his big prime time opportunity through the canvas of Jim Laker. For Roger Kitter's loosely defined John McEnroe parody no expense is spared - umpire chair, net, picture on the big screen just in case it's too subtle - and he's giving his all, yet the people sat behind the action for atmosphere seem to have spent the filming breaks coming up with a collective Blockbusters Hand Jive-like routine for their own amusement. Perhaps they realised Kitter doesn't actually sound like McEnroe, just a generic New Yorker.

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