John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 10 Spectacular

by on Dec.09, 2009, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Rum Doings returns a week early for a very special tenth episode special. Very, very special. You may have noticed one subject comes up again and again, and in this episode we line a hundred sharks up in a row and jump them in spectacular fashion. For nine minutes. And then things return to normal.

Once normality is returned the subject not talked about this week is The Now Show. Which brings us to discussions of home made orange liqueur, the etymology of freelance, thoughts on drunkenness, and Nick’s stolen nitrous oxide. John’s hyper-evolved teeth come under scrutiny, what makes a good town, and wondering if it’s a good idea to cure cancer. And this leads inevitably to thoughts of environmentalism and the entropic death of the universe. And finally, what scared us as children.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

If you want to send us an email, it’s Or leave a comment below – we appreciate a little note to say hello, or how much you hate us.

And once again, the only thing we ask of your is promotion. Please blog, tweet, Facebook, IM, email, or whatever you wish, encouraging everyone you know to listen. Retweeting is massively helpful, and especially if you’re a world famous superstar. Join us in a couple of weeks for our Christmas Not As Special.


27 Comments for this entry

  • Duncan

    Wow, this is a lovely surprise. Thanks you lots and lots.

  • EthZee

    Okay! I concede! I will not listen to The Now Show intentionally again.

    And yes, bring back Charm Offensive etc. Great show, chaps!

  • Miles

    Speaking of things to be scared of in school, people seemed insistent on convincing me that an asteroid would demolish the earth around 2020, and this literally terrified me for years. Soon after I realised that people were stupid, and the news is bunch of scaremongering buffoons; This is probably what also turned me so monstrously cynical. Anyway, great show guys, hilarious introduction.

  • CMP

    Being an American listener, I took your advice and listened to the nooOOOW SHOW! Your spoof was sadly nearly spot on. That was awful.

  • EthZee

    Also, damn you both but I must again disagree! I’m living in Guildford at the moment and I like the cathedral, especially up-close.

    Although I do also quite like the Brutalist and Modernist styles of architecture, like for example the Royal Ontario Museum: (Get a look at those crystals!)

    …Hm. It might just be that I actually have no taste in anything, at all.


  • Zarniwoop

    Cambridge is nice. It has some rubbish bits, but it also has a lot of nice bits.

    Really though, what you need to do is go to Aldborough, maybe around late November/February when you still get the golden winter sunlight, put some Britten on your portable music player, and go for a walk.

  • Quercus

    So, you deliberately parody what you consider an inferior programme by writing even more inferior material to illustrate your point? Hmm. Luckily I could fast forward to the rest of the podcast.
    Get over yourselves and focus on something other than the Now Show please, which while not great radio comedy, is okay as a filler for things like The News Quiz and Charm Offensive.
    I remember listening the appalling Week Ending (or Weak Ending as it was also called) and the Now Show is far better by comparison.

  • John Walker

    Wow, in the previous episode’s comments you argue that ridiculing something using sarcasm is high satire, but when we do that we’re told off!

  • NM

    Quercus is a strict taskmaster, John. We need to “get over ourselves”. Hmmm.. how does one achieve this, and to what end?

    Also, a parody where you generally show, unironically, how good the thing you’re parodying is – well, I’m not sure that would work.

  • Quercus

    John, no I didn’t say ridiculing something with sarcasm was high satire, I was just arguing that claiming that there has been no satire since Brass Eye is wrong and that even the Now Show contains elements of satire.

    Nick – okay, fair point.
    If the point of parody is to take the worst elements of something and present that as the standard, then you achieved that very well. But in doing so you are misrepresenting what the Now Show is typically like.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to presume to tell you off, but I also don’t feel your constant criticism of the Now Show is merited.
    As I said elsewhere, I listen to a fair number of Radio 4 programmes, including comedies. There are certainly better shows than the Now Show and there are also worse shows.
    I just don’t quite see why you constantly single out one specific show (even creating an eight minute scripted mockery of it), when other, arguably worse shows (such as Fred McCauley’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The News”) merits only a single comment in passing.

    I don’t remember the exact details but I seem to recall that a lot of the root of this is some disagreement with Mitch Benn and I can’t help feeling that his association with the Now Show is what contributes to it being such a target for you.

  • NM

    Quercus: there are a number of forms of satire, as you know – primarily, Juvenalian satire and Horation satire. Rather than suggest that The Now Show is not satire, perhaps one would more properly suggest that it thinks it is stringent Juvenalian when, in reality, it is tepid Horation. It is this gulf between what it desires and what it achieves that I find annoying: it’s not a bunch of students, but is one of the premier programmes on Radio Four. One rightly expects better.

    I hope this clarifies things.

  • John Walker

    Quercus: A very, very bad topical comedy programme occasionally containing some tepid version of your diluted definition of satire obviously doesn’t meet that criteria, as you said twice yourself. Which leaves me confused why you’re so cross by our comment that there’s no satirists left working, nor satire being made. (There is one, in fact, but it’s no fun to give away the answers that prove my arguments wrong.)

    Our criticism of the Now Show is merited because it’s so utterly awful, and yet so widely endorsed. It’s also merited because we both loath it, and we both enjoy saying so, on a podcast that we both enjoy recording. (I’ve in fact said that McCauley’s ghastly programme was worse – it doesn’t deserve further mention because it has only existed for one short series, and I highly doubt will ever exist again – a programme so awful even the theatre audience very often didn’t laugh. The Now Show has been going for ten years.)

    I can assure you I had the same opinions of The Now Show before my altercation with Mr Benn, and have since had no cause to change my mind.

    I wonder why you are so bothered by our complaints about a programme you keep professing indifference toward.

  • NM

    There is indeed no proper corruscating satire on the radio. There is one exception on television: The Thick of It.

  • Quercus

    Please don’t confuse my disagreement with your opinions as anger. I am currently angry about a few things (notably Modern Warfare 2 for the PC and the politicians still maintaining the pretense that they didn’t start the Iraq war because they wanted to rather than for any humanitarian or self defence reasons), but radio comedy isn’t any of them.

    I haven’t said I am indifferent to the programme, I have said that I enjoy it but it certainly isn’t one of my favourites. Specifically, I frequently enjoy Hugh Dennis, Marcus Brigstocke and sometimes John Holmes.

    I’m not bothered by you complaining about it (it is after all your opinion and your podcast), but you seem to focus a lot more attention on it than seems reasonable.

    I would say that most satire on television (and in radio when it has appeared) is Horatian, simply because it seeks to entertain. By the very nature of Juvenalian satire it is less attractive and therefore rarer and this is the category that programmes such as Brass Eye would fall into.

    I actually don’t like the more Juvenalian form because while it is indeed searing and unforgiving, I don’t find it that entertaining.
    Would you consider The Office to be a satire on office life?

  • Quercus

    Sorry, I don’t mean to appear negative – I do actually enjoy the podcasts and find them both interesting and amusing.

  • Patrick

    I have a sense of humour that tails into the simplistic sometimes, so I had a sneaking suspicion that I’d actually find The Now Show funny, despite your protestations. Oh what sweet irony, were I to have discovered it and become a fan through your own declarations.

    I lasted THREE MINUTES. It’s awful, droll, and predictable, and this is from a man who finds “bottom” hilarious.

  • Quercus

    Really? You find Bottom hilarious?
    I liked the Young Ones, I even enjoyed Filthy, Rich and Catflap, but Bottom seemed to be all the base jokes and visual humour without the intelligence.

  • Patrick

    I find slapstick funny. The cringy/disgusting/awkward bits I can’t watch.

  • Quercus

    Fair enough.

  • Juliet

    I just listened this morning – absolutely loved the Now show parody, though it did become quite nightmarish!

    I agree heartily about Charm Offensive.

    I’m realy enjoying the podcast – it’s making my current job packing Lego in a cold warehouse very much more bearable.

  • MrsTrellis

    The Now Show has been around since at least 1989 when it took the form of the Mary Whitehouse Experience. It follows *exactly the same* format, comedy songs and all. Also, N+J forgot to mention that the Now Show has a bastard clone, Good Week/Bad Week which is identical in every way except that it involves Sue Perkins and is broadcast on Radio 2.

    Why hasn’t the UK produced any comedy animation of the standard of South Park, the Simpsons or Family Guy?

  • Geejay

    Monkey Dust…

  • EthZee

    There are a couple good comedy programs on Radio 4 at the moment. One is funny and informative; Infinite Monkey Cage, with Robin Ince and Brian Cox (the physicist, not the other one).

    Also, Andy Zaltzman’s History of the Third Millenium. It might be in the vein of TNS, but I think it manages to be slightly better (although that just might be because I’m entertained by Andy’s continuing extraordinary rendition and torture of the common simile)

    Any others?

  • John Walker

    Thanks for alerting me to Infinite Monkey Cage – I’ve been waiting for ages for it to start, but missed it. I stopped following Ince on Twitter due to the volume of gibberish he was posting. Although it isn’t comedy of course. It’s science programming that has wit to it.

    I’m not sure about Zaltzman. I enjoy the Bugle, but I tend to wince through his tedious monologues, desperately waiting for Oliver to interrupt. Their interaction is great, but Zaltzman’s tiresome flights of fancy I find remarkably dull.

  • Bodnotbod

    Lovely podcast. But please don’t do that stuff at the start again, that was quite alarming (though the production on the laugh tracks was admirable).

    And the correct way to pronounce “tooth” is not ‘teuf’ but “TOOFF”; like a South London pub gut-lord emitting a ‘T’ immediately before being punched in the stomach.

  • Patrick

    Good spot, infinite monkey cage looks intriguing. Some podcasts I follow occasionally touch on similar subjects, but there’s usually more Pop than Sci.

  • Danny

    Wow, I think I need to hear this now show.