Newest Review: ... funny, secondly entertaining, and thirdly takes the piss out of all the other crap on radio1 - hurrah! Beware, if you are the sort of p... more
Keep flogging the catchphrases....to death
Mark & Lard
Member Name: Sick Boy
Mark & Lard
Date: 14/08/01, updated on 14/08/01 (979 review reads)
Advantages: Hilarious, Different to usual Radio 1 DJs
Disadvantages: Not much variety, Alternative taste in music may put some people off
It seems nowadays the average Englishman cannot turn on the TV or Radio without hearing the straining of some over-hyped 'nu metal' band, or see some equally stereotypical bubble-gum pop group grinning unbearably at the camera. It seems now even Radio 1 has been saturated with pure crap, with the explosion of garage, hip-hop and R'n'B taking over our wirelesses. But in amongst the cesspool of modern radio, there are two beacons of hope, resting firmly between 1 and 3 on (most) weekday afternoons.
Mark and Lard is the title given to the comedy duo of Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley (Lard). These likely lads hail from Manchester, and it is from the Radio 1 studio in Manchester that they do their show. They are without a doubt comedy DJs, an obvious and very successful attempt to draw in working listeners and brighten up the nations working afternoons. They were originally drafted for the breakfast show, but after a disastrous drop in ratings, were quickly shifted to a mid-afternoon slot, from 2 to 4. Recently, many years after finding their niche in the Radio market, they have been moved to a 1 till 3 slot, after Simon Mayo finally left his 3 hour morning show, and left room for Chris Moyles, another of my favourites, to take on an extra hour. I presume the lads were offered an extra hour, but as regular listeners will know, these two will do as little work as possible, an extra hour would not appeal to them. However, the small amount of time it is on air, the duo's show offers a hilarious blend of intelligent (and some, perhaps less intelligent) humour, regular comedy features, mindless, repetitive yet loveable catchphrases and some excellent music.
To put it simply, the whole show is based on the idea that if you repeat catchphrases, jokes or comedy features enough they will become funny. And I don’t mean that as a criticism, as it is this repetition, something that they themselves play upon (‘keep flogging the catc
hphrases…to death’) that makes the show so likeable and funny. The show does, however, have an interesting twist on these catchphrases; including ‘biggedy biggedy bong’, ‘I was having a drink then’ and ‘caddelly caddelly hoo hoo’ they are read on request of the listeners. A typical catchphrase reading would go like this:
“Could you say a biggedy biggedy bong for Jimmy Hogloop in Newcastle?”
“Biggedy biggedy bong”
“That’s from his wife Laura.”
It makes no sense and sounds completely pointless to a ‘non-listener’ and frankly it is, but is something that seems to help the show flow along smoothly and offers a good method of interaction with the listeners. It also helps establish originality in the show, something rarely seen amongst a plethora of DJs up and down the country who will do nothing more than press buttons and say the name of the song.
The comedy features include ‘Fat Harry White’, in which the deepened voice of Mark lists a string of utterly obvious yet hilarious sexual innuendoes in the guise of a friendly anecdote; ‘Beat the Clock’, a ‘gameshow’ with the same contestant each day (a squeaky voiced Lard) who just misses out on a large cash prize (something that occurs in most of the comedy ‘gameshows’); ‘The Wheel of Misfortune’, an actual gameshow featuring contestants who have phoned in from left and right booths (don’t ask) and ‘The Radio 1 Antiques Roadshow’, where a na´ve member of the public, or Lard, is constantly told to ‘back off the mic’ whilst he has his chamber pot valued. These, and countless other features, are used every day for weeks on end until the two either get bored of them, or they come up with a new idea. Then when a new idea does come along, you can be sure that you’ll be hearing it many times for many weeks befo
re your old favourites make a return. Each and every one of these features is hilarious, but the type of humour for each varies little, which can narrow the appeal of the show. It is highly likely that you will either never stop laughing, or not laugh at all.
Along of the hilarity of the pair’s comedy, they offer a very different style of music than most Radio 1 DJs. Although they are obliged to follow the playlist and play some of the usual crap (something that they openly admit to disliking with many references to the ‘playlist clerk’ in their jokes), they make use of the opportunity of having a song of the week, each week choosing a good quality track, past artists including Radiohead, Black Box Recorder and even Kid Rock. They even recently came live from Verona with Radiohead, featuring live renditions from their latest album, Amnesiac, and offering the chance for two lucky listeners to join them at the Verona concert. This alternative taste in music is likely due to the fact that Mark and Lard are actually a pair of middle aged ugly gets DJing on a show aimed at an audience of teens to late twenties.
The only fault to the show is the incontinuity regarding the number of holidays they take. I have lost count how many times I have turned on the Radio to find some substitute, such as the irritatingly dull Scott Mills or god awful ‘Emma B’, chatting away about some ‘excellent new Wyclef Jean tune’ whilst I sit in horror at the injustice of it all. Only recently, after being on holiday for two weeks they returned for just three before taking another two off! OK, maybe I’m being a little selfish, but when on a cold and wet British summers day I sit down to listen to the Radio 1 I don’t want to hear to some bald headed cockney from the R’n’B chart show in place of two of the funniest DJs on the radio.
Mark and Lard offer something very different to, not just the Radio 1 DJs
, but DJs on all radio stations, and I have yet to find anything half as good to listen to between 1 and 3. I urge all to give this show at least a few tries, let the repetition grow on you, and soon you may find yourself shouting ‘back off the mic’ to everyone you see.