Crap Christmas Cracker Joke Challenge 2: Lost in New York

In spite of popular demand, The Advent Calendar Crap Christmas Cracker Joke Challenge is back! As last year, I posted a new festive-themed #crackerjoke a day on my Twitter feed, with variable success – everything from tumbleweeds to ticker tape parades. But for the benefit of everyone, here are all 24 compiled in one handy groan-inducing mega-post. So dial 99, and get ready to press that final 9 in case your sides split (from laughing, that is!).

I’ve got my Dad a watch for Christmas. There’s no present like the time.

Q. Where does tinsel come from?
A. Hollywood.

I don’t get why the guy looking at those three ships on Christmas Day thought they were such an eyesore. Boats are lovely.

Q. Which play depicts a famous TV interview with one of Santa’s reindeer?
A. (Jack) Frost / Vixen

Q. How does Christopher Biggins avoid getting scurvy?
A. Pantolimes.

I used to look forward to parsnips at Christmas lunch, but then Ma told him he had to keep his shirt on.

Q. Which broadcaster moonlights as one of Santa’s helpers and boasts of his toy-making abilities?
A. Elven Bragg.

I loved my Christmas tree so much last year, I’m pining for it now.

Q. Which Ancient Egyptian figure visited the newborn baby Jesus?
A. Nefertivity.

Christmas pudding makes me horny; must be all that randy butter.

Q. How did Christmas Eve come about?
A. Christmas Adam’s rib.

Q. How do blind homosexuals read about the Annunciation in the Bible?
A. Gay-braille.

Q. What does Nina Simone sing when preparing mulled wine?
A. “Oh Cinnamon, where you gonna run to?”

Q. Which bestseller exposes the socio-financial impact and backroom dealings behind the gifts presented to Jesus?
A. Threekingnomics.

Q. Did you hear Santa has a new fragrance out for Christmas?
A. It’s Scent Nick (Pour Homme).

Q. What do Australians hang on their door to stop people entering at Christmas time?
A. A Great Barrier Wreath.

Q. Which artist is always Christmas Number One on the Starship Enterprise?
A. William Riker, with “Snowfrakes”

Q. What treatment did Mary undertake to conceive Jesus?
A. The Holly and the IVF.

Q. What’s in Joan Rivers’ diary the day after Christmas?
A. Botoxing Day.

Q. What do you call a dinosaur that only feasts on people called Stephen?
A. Wenceslasaurus Rex

Q. What cut of dress or robe was the fashion of the time where Jesus was born?
A. The Bethle-Hem.

Q. What makes snow white?
A. Catchy songs, comedy dwarfs and a great villain!

We were going to stuff the turkey this Christmas, but thought it’d be quicker and easier if we just bury it.

Q. Why does Father Christmas put a lump of coal in children’s stockings?
A. Dementia. 😦

The 2011 Advent Calendar Crap Christmas Cracker Joke Challenge

Image from Treat Studios' E4 Xmas Idents

At the start of the month, I set myself a Twitter challenge (and you should follow me if you missed it): come up with a brand new festive-themed joke every day until Christmas in a sort of marriage twixt Advent Calendar and Cracker Joke. The Advent Calendar Crap Christmas Cracker Joke Challenge (or ACCCCJC for short) didn’t exactly set the world alight (no thanks to the surprisingly underused #crackerjoke hashtag), but, for posterity and to feed my own rampant mulled wine-fuelled ego, I present to you now all 24 of them for you to share amongst (or bore witless) family and friends across the entire Holiday Season…AND BEYOND!

You may note that as time went on, the punchlines became more strained, and the subject matter more questionable, but still I pressed on. In any case, I tried to pitch them somewhere amongst the traditonal cracker jokes of yore, the made-up jokes submitted to the Adam and Joe Show on 6 Music of today (and somewhat inspired by the cracker jokes featured in The Adam and Joe Book), and the Digitiser Man Daddy jokes of in between those two time periods, plus a few Peter Serafinowicz Twitter Q+A / Look Around You Databank pieces of faux-trivia.

Here they are, 24 slices of fried Christmas comedy gold!

Q. What does Santa eat for breakfast?
A. Grott-o’s!

Did you hear Christopher Nolan is directing a version of the Nativity?
A. Immaculate Inception: in which Leo DiCaprio leads a team of angels into Mary’s womb to implant the Son of God.

Q. What was stuck on the bottom of Santa’s boot?
A. Bauble-gum!

Q. Who did the third wise man bring along to the birth of Christ?
A. His Myrrh-maid.

Q. What should one serve after Christmas dinner?
A. After-dinner (New Testa-)mints!

Q. How can you spot a Snow Communist?
A. From his (hammer and) ice-sickle!
Bonus Answer: From his Marx in the snow.
Addendum: Snow Communist = Snowviet.

Q. How does Father Christmas monitor the fluctuations in the naughtiness and niceness of the world’s children?
A. Through the Stock-ing Exchange.

Q. Why did the drug-abusing Christmas tree visit the NHS walk-in centre?
A. To drop off its needles. #sayHOtodrugs

Q. What does the Duke of Edinburgh have for breakfast on Christmas Day?
A. The Queen’s Peach!

Q. Why did the snowman blush?
A. He had (sun blushed) tomatoes for cheeks! Also, he saw a naked Lady Snowman.

Q. Where is the best place in the world to eat Christmas Dinner?
A. Torquay (minus a million Christmas points if you answered Turkey)

Q. What is the most watched Christmas broadcast of all time?
A. The 1973 Morecambe and Wise Moon Landing.

When I was little, I was cast as the donkey in the school Nativity play, but then again, I was always making an ass of myself.

Q. What does Santa use to fuel his sleigh when the reindeer are resting?
A. Elf-anol!

Q. Why do Americans hang popcorn from their Christmas tree?
A. As punishment for being unfaithful to Mom Corn.

Q. What do you call someone who thinks Santa bringing gifts to kids is a cultural high water mark?
A. A stocking filler-stine.

Q. How did Penfold locate the Baby Jesus?
A. With a Manger Douse(-ing Rod)!

Q. Why is Rudolph’s nose so red?
A. Years of substance abuse. 😦

Q. What did Batman receive on New Year’s Day?
A. A Dark Knighthood – that’s SIR Batman to you!

Q. What injury did the WWI Christmas Day football players sustain on the Somme?
A. Missile-toe (kinda like trench foot, but festive).

Q. What does Sadako like to sing when she goes carolling?
A. “Nooo weeeellll, Nooo well!”

Q. What did the Trebor undercover agents eat while engaged in industrial espionage at the Polo factory Christmas party?
A. Mint spies.

Q. What is the grammatical term to describe being nervous that someone likes what you got them for Christmas?
A. Present tense.

Q. How many Father Christmases does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Zero – he doesn’t exist, kids. 😦

A Classic Internet Comedy Christmas

The WWW (or World Wide Web, in case you needed ‘splaining) has been around for so long now, believe it or not there are even children today, YES CHILDREN, unaware of a time before electronic mails, messageboards, and dial-up tones. Show them the Angelina Jolie/Fisher Stevens mega-smash Hackers, and the characters might as well be riding around from LAN party to LAN party on penny-farthings for all they care.

Now, the “kidz” of today get their Christmas comedy kicks not from the likes of bona fide TV gold such as Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge, and the Bottom, Father Ted and League of Gentlemen Christmas specials, but from YouTube, College Humor and Funny or Die. However, just as we return to those television classics time and time again, so too do I find myself watching this trio of gems from the internet archive during the “holiday” “season” as well.

Nick’s Winter Wonderland (2006)

Having previously wowed us with his Girls Costume Warehouse commercial, salty New Joisey discount emporium magnate Nick branches out into the world of Christmas paraphernalia in this faux advert from College Humor. The phrase “limp dick” has never been delivered with so much disdain. Nick would later return in their series Street Fighter: The Later Years, made a return in the SF series as who else but Guile. Certainly did a better job of the character than Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The Christmas Tree (2006)

John Roberts is the character comedian behind the amazing Jackie and Debra (which remains to this day perhaps one of the greatest comedy shorts of the century), but his most successful character, Mom, came from this original video, about one woman’s obsession over her Christmas tree (which, in a stroke of genius, we never actually see). A masterclass performance in establishing a believable and hilarious personality in less than 2 minutes. Perfect.

KrisMissâ„¢ (2010)

The fake infomercial is an obvious and well-worn comedy set-up but when it comes from Astron-6,  it’s best to sit up and take notice. Though their output is primarily at the grindhouse/80’s DTV-nostalgia end of the spectrum, they are one of the few to get the aesthetic spot-on, while also being funny/disturbing at the same time. Now branching off into features and working with the Troma label, this is a departure from their usual work, but still with their trademark attention to detail and dark comic streak.

And to leave you with something bang up to date, here’s a wonderful extra Christmas message for 2011 from the gleefully warped mind of Cyriak. Enjoy!

Comedy Showcase/Lab: The Results Part I

Channel 4 and E4 have just completed the first half of runs of both Comedy Showcase and Comedy Lab respectively, a useful training ground for both established and upcoming comic acts to test out pilot episodes for prospective full-length series (examples that have made it include PhoneShop, Campus, School of Comedy, Fonejacker, Modern Toss, and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret) or just one-off exercises to introduce new talent (Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr and Peter Kay all made early forays into telly through Comedy Lab). Let’s take a look at them one by one…

Chickens

First out of the gate and, having received most of the publicity and, most probably, the budget too, Chickens is set on the Home Front during the First World War. Inbetweeners Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, and Edinburgh Comedy Newcomer Award Winner Jonny Sweet write and star as a trio of young men who have declined the call of duty for various reasons, and are left to be made a mockery of by the far more capable women that remain. Beyond the by-no-means-infallible Blackadder, period comedy is still a novelty, perhaps due to budgetary restrictions, but the set-up certainly has enough comic potential, and the pilot makes a fair case for it. This is in large part to the likeable Sweet, who despite playing the most detestable character (preying on the widowed and likely-to-be-widowed) balances his unsavoury preoccupations and selfish attitude with an effortless charm and great comic timing and delivery. Bird and Thomas are fine, if undefined, and the toilet humour jars somewhat, but with all the attention heaped on it, especially given the success of The Inbetweeners Movie, it would be a shame if Chickens didn’t make it to series. 3/5

Anna & Katy

Though both Anna Crilly and Katy Wix have appeared together and apart in a variety of comedy shows in recent years (including Not Going Out, Lead Balloon and Tom Basden’s play turned radio comedy Party), this is their first chance to make one of their own, the imaginatively titled Anna & Katy. Though a sketch show format is perhaps the simplest way to demonstrate the range of one’s talent, it usually takes more than one episode to really get going. However, on the basis of this, it’s a case of dead on arrival. The five or so sketches in the first half of the show (including a German hospital soap with Lee Mack, a quiz show with a twist hosted by Eamonn Holmes, and a corrupt W.I. awards meet) raise barely a titter amongst them, so to basically repeat them all in the second half shows a real lack of ideas. The best of the bunch is Congratulation! – a daytime telly piss-take with viewers phoning in to be congratulated for minor triumphs. It’s a nice concept, even if the cod-Jamaican accents leave a little more to be desired. Crilly and Wix are undeniably fun performers in other work, but this first attempt going it alone is unoriginal and uninspired. 1/5

 

Coma Girl

Perhaps the situation comedy with the least potential in its situation, Coma Girl focuses on three former school friends (Him & Her‘s Sarah Solemani, The I.T. Crowd‘s Katherine Parkinson, and Katy Wix – again), visiting the fourth member of their group, Lucy (Anna Crilly – again), currently comatose in hospital. There’s not really a lot more to it, though we do get the odd dream sequence of Lucy trapped in her subconscious. These brief segments are nicely shot and break up the episode, even if they would be better served doing more to subvert convention a la Living in Oblivion rather than simply sticking to the clichés. At least there wasn’t a ‘spirit guide’, though it would have given the titular Coma Girl someone to interact with. Overall it’s not bad, with okay performances all round, but it’s a brief interlude with a sarcastic nurse and the always classy Julia Deakin (Marsha in Spaced) as Lucy’s mum who actually bring the funny. 2/5

Totally Tom

Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton are Totally Tom, and they offer a much stronger if decidedly different set of sketches than Anna & Katy. While there are familiar set-ups (a police interrogation, two bitchy coke-addled party girls, a pastiche of Skins), they often end up in more grotesque territory than you’d first expect. The final sketch is a perfect example, taking a pretty straightforward T4 link format, sending up youth TV culture, and twisting into something smarter, darker and cringe-inducing. It’s by no means consistent, the sketches are perhaps overlong and its attempts to shock sometimes overpower their attempts to raise a chuckle. However, as a first chance to enter the warped minds of Palmer and Stourton, Totally Tom suggests that in some shape or form they will be ones to watch. 3/5

 

The Fun Police

Perhaps the most “star-studded” of the showcase so far, with The Flight of the Conchords‘ Rhys Darby and Vic Reeves (under his real name, Jim Moir) amongst the cast, The Fun Police positions itself as an I.T. Crowd-esque studio sitcom with mismatched characters in an off-kilter place of work (here, a seaside town’s Health and Safety Department). Reeves’ brief appearances as a brash swaggering town-planner are the clear highlight, and Darby is entertainingly incompetent, adorably proud of the terrible new mascot he’s devised. Nice suit too. But the rest of the cast are less successful: Jack Doolan (Cemetery Junction) is a drippy lead, Clive Rowe appears utterly superfluous as his counsellor, and (once more) Katy Wix’s robotic arm is a daft gimmick too far. It all amounts to a whole lot of nothing – aimless and shallow and simply not as funny as it should be. Best title sequence though. 2/5

Rick & Peter

Writer, comedian and occasional Coward Tom Basden ropes in T4 presenting chum Rick Edwards to play a version of himself, opposite Hollyoaks actor Peter Mitchell (also as himself), in the best of the run thus far. After making a series of unfortunate on-air ‘retard’ jokes, the producers pair Rick up with disabled Peter for a lesson in political correctness, understanding and sensitivity – even though neither participant is particularly enthusiastic about the project. The beauty of the show is not just in the deft performances, the naturalistic style and witty script, but that Edwards himself is host of Channel 4’s 2012 Paralympic Games coverage, making it a far more targeted skewering of tellyland personality clashes than your average self-reflexive mock-doc. Add in the scene-stealing Joe Wilkinson (Him & Her) as ‘The Sheriff’, Edwards’ free-loading buddy, and a couple of delicious cameos, and Rick & Peter is an example of Comedy Lab delivering the goods. 5/5

 

Channel 4’s Comedy Showcase and E4’s Comedy Lab return on 14th October.