Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Quote of the day

"I think we showed that you can use the style of the broadcast and make that part of the joke, that it didn't just have to be sketches and to explore the medium and the format and to be more experimental. Comedy at the time seemed to be either sitcom or sketch show - it was showing people that you can write a different way. It was recognising that we were also the first generation of comics that were TV literate, so it wasn't just about writing the lines but also looking at how it was shot and using cut points."

Armando Iannucci on the pioneering spirit and subsequent legacy of The Day Today.

Iannucci was speaking to Daniel Dylan Wray for an oral history of the programme to mark its first appearance on our screens 25 years ago. Also interviewed were Peter Baynham, David Schneider and Patrick Marber - no Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front or Doon Mackichan, sadly, though the absence of contributions from the "king" himself (Marber's term), Chris Morris, doesn't come as a surprise.

The creators' insights into the vision behind and production processes of the show are fascinating. Oh to have been in that basement improv room - Schneider admits, "I felt privileged just to be in this tiny audience watching these incredibly brilliant comic minds at work".

Intriguingly, Marber comments that in the current climate "we need The Day Today back", and Baynham adds in what reads like a wistful tone "It would be fun to do it again". It couldn't make a comeback, could it?

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