Television Comedy: Free Agents

What is hard in comedy is to be very funny AND to have emotional depth; the default is to be have some jokes and lurch to an awkward sentimental moment, with neither section working very well. However, Free Agents manages this feat, made even more impressive by the fact that it was written by a former talent agent himself. Unlike Entourage, where Ari Goldman is the scene-stealer, Free Agents is about talent agents themselves – Stephen Mangan plays Alex, going through a terrible divorce after he had a nervous breakdown and left his wife and two kids, and Sharon Horgan […]

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Live Comedy: French and Saunders – Still Alive

I’ve seen most of the comedians who had an impact on my burgeoning enjoyment of comedy in a live setting – I saw Ben Elton while he was still funny, I saw Rik & Ade doing Bottom on stage, I saw Newman & Baddiel (although not in the notorious Wembley gigs), I saw Steve Coogan doing Alan Partridge live (hearing him ad lib in character is a delight), to name a few. Yet I hadn’t seen Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders doing a live show. French and Saunders, dubbed the godmothers of alternative comedy, were the first female comedians to […]

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