Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nice Tomatoes

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.


Stuart Douglas said...

Good, wasn't it? (though we mere proles had to listen to it live and didn't get creator-blessed copies. Show-off :-)

SAF said...

Or, put it another way, you proles had your act together while my time management skills fell into total disarray ;)

IZP said...

Oi Simon, there's a prole on your land!
All Simon did, Stuart, was feel able to ask after the event (obviously as a proper published author he's allowed, we all live in a big house together and have adventures). You I suspect have nefarious P2P cleverness and ripware or somesuch youngity at your beck and call, and thus I reckon procured your own copies while providing valuable hits as the thing happened!

We'll know in Jan if there's more. Obviously, I've written some but not enough to knit a series out of.

You should write funny though Simon. I think it'd be a good combo of your nuts and bolts think it through hard SF side and your whimsy.

PS. We went to Crete in about 1990 (and did a very similar minor tour joke). Heraklion airport remains burned on the back of our minds' eyes. Good to know it's still a hell hole.

IZP said...

Oh and this was comforting-
Here is the Genre information as provided by BBC:



Programme intended primarily to evoke relaxation, feelings of pleasure and/or awareness of beauty.

SAF said...

Thanks for your kind words, Ian. I am fond of whimsy, it's true. Perhaps I should get my finger out and write some sketches or something. I'll stick that on my To Do list for this year. :)
Sadly, there was a shortage of jokes on Crete - certainly in Heraklion - so I'm not surprised we ended up doing similar material on that score.
Meanwhile, good luck with the knitting. ;)