Among the many ambitions I secretly – and now not so secretly - harbour, I always rather fancied writing a spot of radio comedy. I’m sure there are some out there who found my Big Finish audios laughable, but being me I’m simply not content to count that particular dream as fulfilled. Meanwhile, others are doing it better than I could, so that’s fair enough. At least I can consider myself rubbing e-shoulders with those that are. Or one of those that is.
Ian Potter knows what I’m talking about. He’s the man – or presumably artificial intelligence, because no organic life form could be that smart, surely – behind No Tomatoes. 6 quarter-hour capsules of aural tickles that aired on BBC Radio 7 this year. That’s right: aural.
Unfortunately, owing to one of life’s crazy-busy spells I managed to miss two-thirds of them on broadcast, but what I’d heard left me keen to listen to the rest. Mr Potter was kind enough to send me the boxed set – i.e. the discs in an envelope. Now, some might think I owe the creator praise for his works. But when you find yourself sitting laughing at your computer screen when all it’s showing is some swirly psychedelic graphics courtesy of Windows Media Player, you have to conclude there’s more to it than that.
Suffice to say, Mr Potter’s tomatoes – or whatever fruits he’s offering in their place – are funny. Each 15 minutes feels packed. It’s the sort of funny that demands you pay attention – on the first installment I had notions of attending to emails etc while I listened, but it was just too easy to miss good stuff. Maybe I’m just rubbish at multi-tasking, but then again I am currently managing to take sips of coffee between spates of typing, and in any case I’m more inclined to believe that the comedy on (figurative) show in this case was of that clever, intellectual and proudly mad species that must be of the family Pythonidae. Some of the highlights for me included a great Sooty sketch, an in-depth discourse on the Laughing Cow, a skit skit, Word Association Tennis and Generic Cop, There are even sly Doctor Who references for the geeks among us along the way.Here’s hoping he lands another series. As for me, until those ambitions of mine ripen into some sort of action in that direction, my tomatoes must remain a delicate – admiring – shade of green.