Sean’s Show – tape 739

Once again, my low-brow preferences are underlined by the start of this tape. “Now the Thames Summer Seasons continues with the Rennaissance Theatre Co-” at which point the recording switches to Sean’s Show on Channel 4.

Sean’s Show is Sean Hughes’ sitcom, based loosely on the same gimmick as It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, but with Hughes’ loser character as the central character.

His local barman is played by Michael Troughton.

Michael Troughton

There’s a funny cameo from Windsor Davies.

Windsor Davies and some Jelly

Victor McGuire plays Tony, from upstairs.

Victor McGuire

In the first episode, Sean discovers the script to the show, written by Samuel Becket.

In the second episode, Sean sings a lot, and tries to make his girlfriend jealous.

Before the next episode there’s the end of The Golden Girls.

Oddly, the theme tune and titles is different for every show. And he sings it in a different key. Or different octave, anyway.

Tracey MacLeod from The Late Show turns up to interview Sean.

Tracey MacLeod

Also, Steve Coogan does a voice on the phone.

There’s a special announcement before the next episode: “Due to certain unforeseen production problems, some of the script used for tonight’s show has been incorrectly typed, rendering parts of the programme incomprehensible.”

Sean is on holiday in Greece. Some nice fourth wall breakage here.

Sean's Show set

Next, an unscheduled programme, with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer in The Weekenders, part of the Bunch of Fives series.

Apart from Vic & Bob, lots of familiar faces, like Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse in The Weekenders

Simon Day (credited as Tommy Cockles)

Simon Day in The Weekenders

Human League frontman Phil Oakey

Phil Oakey

I’m not even going to try to synopsize this. It’s one of the most surreal things I’ve seen.

The Weekenders

Speaking of credits, Reeves is credited in the writing credit under his real name, Jim Moir. And his character’s name is Jim.

After this, there’s the start of a 4-Play programme, ‘Itch with Alexei Sayle. This recording stops at the end of Part One and underneath there’s a special showing of George Michael’s ‘controversial new video’ Too Funky. It’s got lots of famous models in it.

Then, the recording stops during another 4-Play presentation, Shalom Joan Collins.

And underneath, an even older recording. Gene Hackman and Anne Archer running through a train. It’s Narrow Margin. Actually, it’s a film programme with Archer discussing doing her own stunts, from Sky movies.

Then, a behind the scenes for Basic Instinct. It’s amusing that, in this hyper modern thriller, to show that Sharon Stone’s character is a writer, they show a close-up on a dot matrix printer printing something out. The recording stops during this.

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2 comments

  1. “No, a monetary deposit!”

    Er, anyway, the titles to Sean’s Show were gradually diminished with each successive episode, so it started all bell and whistles and by the last one it was basically acapella with no props. I really liked the first series, but the second one ran out of good ideas in about ten minutes.

  2. That screening of The Weekenders haunted me for years, because I asked my mum to record it and she forgot, and it was never repeated or released on video, so it became something of a holy grail for me. I’ve seen it now. Bob Mortimer used to say that more people quoted bits of The Weekenders to him than anything else they’d ever done.

    Anyway, it’s OK. Bob later said he really loved the first eight minutes, but the rest of it less so, and the ending makes even less sense than it was supposed to because the original ending didn’t work at all so they had to completely rewrite it and record it in twenty minutes. In addition John Thomson and Simon Day fell into a ditch of hospital effluent and had to go to hospital, and it was a funny colour because they filmed it so they could change it into something resembling Eastmancolor, like an old film, but they ran out of money. In addition, Bob wet himself on set because Paul Whitehouse made him laugh too much. Sounds an amazing production to have been involved in.

    One of the reasons why Reeves and Mortimer went to the Beeb was because they wanted to do some more of The Weekenders but C4 didn’t particularly like it and only wanted more Big Night Out, which they’d got bored of.

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