Jun 4, 2005

Can you please knob down the volume on your telebox?

Will Johnny Vegas please stop shouting?

Like Vic Reeves with his stupendously surreal Catterick, Johnny has grabbed all the jelly and vomit that comprises his beer-stained brain and poured it into one show. What funnels out of his slightly disturbing imagination is 18 Stone Of Idiot, currently slurping its way out of your telebox every weekend.

Now, I appreciate Vegas. I too have little control over my belly, and I often dribble more out of one side of my mouth than the other. I too have visited Beauty's Castle.

But the joy of Johnny is often in his witty asides, subtle glances into nowhere, and that cheeky little grin when he thinks of a joke that he know he couldn't tell without getting the We-Hate-The-KFC-Ad brigade breathing self-righteously down his neckhole. The problem is with 18 Stone Of Idiot is that he shouts. All the time. Loudly.

We are living in an age where sublety is a crime. Surely, the Crazy Frog has an emotional, vulnerable side underneath that warty exterior? Maybe, just maybe, Michael Howard's brick-handed politics of dog whistling and minority lynching will be tempered by the Tories' next campaign of fighting crime with fluffy bunnies and homemade cookies.

Maybe I am just getting old. I can still remember a prime-time TV moment when Les Dawson, putting his porky arm around a Blankety-Blank contestant wearing a distateful bright red dress, remarked "Bloody hell, woman, you look like a hemorrhage." Unsubtle, totally offensive and more than enough giggle to tickle your ribs sillyways.

If then Johnny Vegas is today's Les Dawson, I can forgive him for all his shouting and dribbling and tomfoolery. But he isn't. Isn't he?

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