Before you read this, listen to Flatshare Slamdown for free on the British Comedy Guide or Pappy’s other podcast, Bangers and Mash on Soundcloud. Having missed being at the recording of the new podcast back in April due to the Tube strikes, I made sure for certain I would attend the dry run recording. And since
Having missed being at the recording of the new podcast back in April due to the Tube strikes, I made sure for certain I would attend the dry run recording. And since was more or less my last week working at the hospital I am based at, I thought it was only fair to lie to my colleagues and pretend I had an appointment to go, and travel to London for my dose of Beef Brothers and Flat Games. I don’t condone doing this, kids. But fuck listening to patients who try to reschedule their partner’s cardiology appointment because they’ve got ‘an important wedding cake to make’ and ‘their partner will live a little longer not seeing the consultant for a couple of weeks’, and then get a phone call saying their partner died because they choked on a piece of that wedding cake which made their heart stop, and… I’ll stop because this intro is becoming too long. *Sigh* I hate the fucking general public.
I normally dislike going to gigs and events by myself because usually I have no one to share my excitement with, but this night was different. Whilst waiting to be ushered inside, I met with Lydia and her boyfriend (I’m so sorry if you are reading this, I completely forgot what his name is), and it was lovely to spend time with a couple of people who freaked out at semi famous comedians more than I did. It was also wonderful meeting fellow fans of Flatslam and actually having the chance to laugh about the show, and have people understand why you were laughing about it. For a change I didn’t feel excluded like I have been when my peers were watching The Only Way Is Hell and Take Desperadoes Out and was unable to join in.
The waiting room was becoming filled with fans milling in, poking into every available crevice they could squeeze into. Me, Lydia and her boyfriend were all minding our business and discussing our favourite episodes, when at the corner of my eye I saw Jameses Hamilton and Huntrods from Casual Violence (one of the best new sketch troupes on the circuit. Watch their sketches here), and on cue, I squirmed in my seat with happiness. It was highly embarrassing, but thankfully no one but Lydia and her boyfriend laughed in in my face. I was just about to go over to the Casual Violence boys and say something I would later regret, but I was saved by doing so when the stage hand called the audience through to the studio.
Having listened to the podcast several times, elements used in the dry run sounded familiar, such as the opening skit, singing a popular pop song with German lyrics, and the Quick Fire Round jingle. However, it was interesting to actually see the sketches and songs being performed right in front of my own eyes. This added a whole new approach to Flatshare Slamdown and I think it actually worked (but then again, I’m biased so I would say I like anything Pappy’s do). One thing I really enjoyed was during the Flat Games round, of the drunken videos taken by Matthew of Tom describing an item, film or song. On audio, it wouldn’t have worked so well, but seeing these short videos was worth the ticket alone. Although I don’t condone binge drinking, shitwrecked Tom should happen more often. This short segment also provided an adorable video in which Matthew filmed a pissed Tom explaining how his baldness was a deterrent with the ladies. It was sweet, hilarious, but also a little heartbreaking. (Just for the record, I would totally go out with Tom. I would marry you in an instant. And yes, I know it’s a possibility anyone from Pappy’s could be reading this, but yo, hook a sista up, can you?)
The guests, Rob Beckett and Katherine Ryan, were perfect choices for the dry run. Both have panel game experience, but unlike the controlled medium of TV where you can see how uncomfortable the panellist obviously is, one could tell they were having fun dicking around and were relaxed as they were playing the game. Plus, it was a reminder as to why I love seeing the camaraderie between comics behind the scenes, something which is very rare when the media likes to report on the conflicts between celebrities and the like. Special kudos has to go to Katherine as she was perfect throughout the whole dry run. I know people like to criticise her, but she was far more wittier than people give her credit for. I would implore you to see her live before passing judgement on her because, despite being the only woman on the panel, she held up her own and at times was far funnier than the men. So stick that up your trumpet, haters.
There were some features of the show that works so well on the internet, others would not and would definitely need to be monitored if the show is commissioned, such as the game names (Yahtzee Germany, anyone?) and, most of all, Tom’s mouth. But other than that, Flatshare Slamdown would be another great addition for our television screens. Do we need another panel gameshow? Probably not, but I’ve always thought to myself that Flatslam was better than half the panel gameshows we currently have on TV. Yes, it maybe childish and some of the contents are a bit basic, but that’s the charm of Flatslam. It’s different from other panel shows – it’s rowdier, but that makes it so much fun. It doesn’t patronise its fanbase neither people who come across it for the first time. You can’t catch your breath because you’ll be laughing at the various stupid jokes in the show. If this isn’t enough indication that it should be commissioned for a full series, then Zai Bennett is a reality obsessed idiot who doesn’t know quality if it bit him in the arse.
Pappy’s sitcom, Badults, has just begun its run on BBC Three. Watch on Mondays at 10pm and catch up on BBC iPlayer.
A new episode of Flatshare Slamdown recorded at the Soho Theatre will be released in a couple of weeks. But listen to a special mini podcast here.