After our recent sojourn in the mid 80s, let’s jumps forward in the collection a bit, and watch some episodes of Saturday Zoo, Jonathan Ross’s Saturday Night entertainment show, one which introduced a few now famous faces.
The first episode here sees Rowland Rivron playing the man who Action Man was based on. Confusingly named Lesley Judd.
Music from Stereo MCs
Steve Coogan as Paul Calf.
Danny DeVito is the big guest, talking about his new film Hoffa. He even gets to slightly nerd out about shooting anamorphically, and how pan & scan on TV is horrible.
Jo Brand does some stand up comedy.
Music from Mica Paris
Some musical hints and tips from John Shuttleworth.
The next episode, I notice, is recorded in Long Play mode. This is a very unusual thing for me, as the quality drop is pretty huge, and I wasn’t so poor that I couldn’t afford videotapes. So perhaps it was a mistake.
Rowland Rivron is a regular. I have never been a fan of Mr Rivron, he’s just never done it for me. Raw Sex was sometimes funny, but generally, he’s not.
Craig Ferguson does a character.
PM Dawn provide some music
Rivron is back, as a worm, although he looks more like a piece of shit.
Bruce and Larry do showbiz gossip, played by Simon Day and John Thomson.
The studio guest is Ben Elton.
Bloody hell, yet another pathetic Rivron bit. This time he’s Barnacle Bill.
It’s a bit of a Saturday Live reunion, as Steven Wright does stand-up.
Denis Leary does a bit on guns.
Ben Elton sings a comedy song. Oh yes.
Not more Rivron. Please make it stop.
We’re back to SP for the next episode, so it was probably a mistake that the last episode was in LP. Inevitably, Rowland Rivron is back again.
As is Craig Ferguson as the reverend Barry Lauder.
Another returning face, Paul Calf.
Music from Paul Weller
Denis Leary talks about the British Invasion.
The studio guest this week is Christopher Walken, who seems very nervous.
Stand Up from Mark Thomas
More from Rowland Rivron, and fair play to him for setting his arm on fire on live TV.
Christopher Walken reads a children’s story.
After Ben Elton last week, this week, Jonathan himself sings along to ‘Town Called Malice’. He should definitely not give up his day job.
John Shuttleworth talks about being a dynamic performer.
Back to Rowland Rivron, who’s now exploding pyros on his head.
The next episode is a Showbusiness Spectacular.
The whole cast is assembled at the head of the show, including Steve Coogan, who has to be introduced as the person who plays Paul Calf, because he wasn’t famous.
There’s a strange stand-up, from Z, the robotic comedian.
Rebecca Front appears as a buddhist.
The studio guest is Richard Wilson
Music is from Vegas, comprising Terry Hall and Dave Stewart, performing ‘Psycho Killer’.
Stand-up from Mark Thomas
This week, even Richard Wilson does some singing and dancing.
Denis Leary talks about equal rights.
More comedy from Paul Calf
The next episode is a Mother’s Day special, so all the regulars have invited their mothers. This includes Jonathan Ross’s mother.
Just before this entry was to be published, I heard the awful news that she had died. I’m so very, very sorry.
In this episode there’s a phone vote for who the public wants to close the show, something for the mothers. Competing for the honour are John Inman.
Fire eater Dave Flame
and The Dreamboys
There’s music from Chris Isaak in a shiny suit.
Chris Evans is this week’s studio guest.
This is quite interesting because it’s just a week after he was caught by Noel Edmonds on NTV on the House Party. They talk about that, and how they set it up in the morning and can see you all day. Now, many of you will have heard the urban legend that when it was time to turn on the cameras, Evans was busy ‘enjoying’ baywatch so they had to wait. This interview takes place the week after, and Evans gives no suggestion that there was any problem with the bit. But there is a bit where he says that his wife phoned the production to tell them “you’d better not watch because he’s asleep, and when he wakes up, what he always does after…” But there’s no implication that anything was actually caught on camera, especially since his wife knew it was a possibility.
After the break, Evans and Jonathan Ross perform a rather silly piece. Evans is wearing a g-string for this, but Ross is naked save the guitar, which he guards jealously.
Chris Isaak is interviewed.
Jo Brand is doing more stand-up.
More from Paul Calf.
Rowland Rivron has brought his mother on this Mother’s Day special.
And the result of the phone poll is in, with John Inman winning, and singing a song at the end.
The tape ends after this episode.
There’s not many ad breaks on this tape, but there’s one ad that caught my eye. For a forgotten Nestle chocolate bar, it shows a man trying to track down a woman, using a chocolate bar as leverage. This woman obviously doesn’t want to be found, but her friends are obviously fickle, since they roll over for a chocolate bar. I guess this is supposed to be romantic, but all I could think is why is he looking for her, and why does she obviously not want to be found? I feel that if the advert continued, she’d be beaten to death just after the cut.
- Renault Clio
- Chambourcy Real Chocolate Mousse
- Nestle Clusters
- Natrel Plus
- Max Factor
- Persil Micro System
- Diet Pepsi
- Scent of a Woman in cinemas
- News of the World
- American Airlines
- Mercury – Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
- Nat West