Critics Three

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen and Hugh are in the swivel chairs again.

Stephen Simon Clituris, you saw that. Thoughts? Inferences?

Hugh Well, you see they fell into the old trap, the old trap of going material that is essentially self-referential.

Stephen By saying the term "self-referential", you mean ... ?

Hugh I mean to present myself as an impressive, even perhaps interesting, person.

Stephen Ng. Ng. Aren't you getting a little tired though of humouresque material on television that is about television?

Hugh Very tired. Exhausted.

Stephen I think there's something very incestuous about people who make love to close blood relations. Perhaps it's just me.

Hugh You see I wish, I wish they'd come to me when they first wrote that sketch. I could have just pointed out to them where they had gone wrong.

Stephen This was my feeling exactly. Just nudged them gently in the right direction. It's all they needed. There's some talent there.

Hugh Would you have said that?

Stephen Well, not talent perhaps. I don't think they'd make very impressive critics for example.

Hugh They always put out these things without consulting us first. I mean we're here to help.

Stephen To help and to criticize. I'm sick up to the back stomach with the kind of comedy that has such utter and profound contempt for people like us.

Hugh You see it's interesting isn't it, if you compare that sketch with the work of someone like Diana Suckleigh.

Stephen Ah. Now, you see?

Hugh Diana is observant, she's real, she's truthful.

Stephen Always truthful. Very beautifully truthful and real. Very actual.

Hugh I mean it doesn't all work.

Stephen Oh no.

Hugh She makes mistakes, but then which of them doesn't?

Stephen That's right. We can't all be critics, for goodness' sake.

Vox Pop

Stephen What you've got to do is boil them, for about ten or twelve minutes, and then slice them down the middle. But these judges nowadays are soft. Far too soft.

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