The Comedy Vault – Time Trumpet.

Time Trumpet (BBC2, 2006)

A while ago, I reviewed 2004: The Stupid Version, a look back at some of the news events of the year that happened, and some that actually didn’t. Because of the rather surreal but still somewhat satirical style, it was no surprise to learn that Armando Iannucci was behind this, who also contributed to the likes of The Day Today and The Friday Night Armistice.

After this was well received, it was decided to do a full series, and to twist the idea even further, the result was little like any other comedy show around. Time Trumpet was supposedly set in the year 2031 (25 years on from when this was actually made), and various people reminisced about famous news events that were in years that actually hadn’t happened yet.

In every edition, Armando would interview various comedians, although they preferred to be known as important cultural commentators, and they included Richard Ayoade and Adam Buxton, who definitely had a lot to say. Also featuring would be various politicians, TV hosts, and so on, but they are all now much older, and they reflected on the time when they were in the news.

Are they all now rather bitter that their moment of fame has practically become a footnote in history? Well of course. There were also various clips that had been manipulated in some way, along with a look at what happened at the Olympics, and some popular TV shows that had some rather odd ideas. But the icing on the cream really did have to be an appearance by Andy Hodgson off the award-winning Bid TV.

He played the host of a shopping channel that only sold bacon all day. That’s a bargain, just grab it. They should’ve given Andy a comedy show of his own on BBC2. There was only one series of Time Trumpet, which has been released on DVD. This didn’t seem to be as well received as 2004: The Stupid Version was by some critics, but this was still an intriguingly odd take on the world.

More TV Memories – 2004 The Stupid Version.

2004 The Stupid Version (BBC3, 2004)

For a short while, there was a big wave of nostalgic documentaries on TV where people looked back at various things including particular years or genres of music and so on. Unsurprisingly, these shows began to be parodied. Recently I reviewed another show featuring Alan Partridge. One of the people who contributed to writing his shows and went on to create this one was Armando Iannucci, who has worked on a lot of satirical comedy. Indeed, the ideas and turns of phrase in this show can be described as “Iannuccian” (is that a word? I think so). vlcsnap-00518

2004 The Stupid Version was shown on New Year’s Eve and was a cleverly edited-together look back at all the big news events that didn’t happen throughout the year (over 15 years ago now). Several important cultural commentators (or publicity-seeking comedians if you prefer) gave their views, including half the cast of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (the comedy hit of the year), Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness (“stop moving me”). vlcsnap-00513

As the show was an hour long, a lot had to be packed in, and as ever, there were probably some viewers who presumed it wasn’t a satire and everyone was being totally serious. There was look a back at the contestant on Mastermind whose specialist subject was “Lady Penelope’s Cockney Chauffeur”, while contestants revealed behind-the-scenes secrets of In It To Win It, Passport To Paradise, and The Weakest Link. vlcsnap-00521

Also featuring were some B-list celebrities being locked in a box for ten hours, but none of them thought to ask why, a reflection on another England football failure, the Olympics in Athens, an exciting episode of EastEnders, coverage of 24 hour news channels, The Chip Pan Fire Awards, and there was even a spoof BBC1 ident! One of the highlights though was a parody of a home makeover show hosted by Andy Hodgson from the award-winning Bid TV, where he ended up being shot. Blimey Charlie. vlcsnap-00520

The show ended with Adam Buxton’s take on “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets, the chart-topping banger that soundtracked the summer. 2004 The Stupid Version was repeated about a month later on BBC2. Some thought it was good enough to feature at the end of every year, and although it didn’t, in 2006 there was a variation on the idea renamed Time Trumpet, but the twist this time was that people looked back at years that actually hadn’t happened yet. vlcsnap-00522

So we discovered the fate of various politicians and celebrities, along with many other bizarre ideas. This seemed to get a less positive response from critics and viewers though, and there was only one series, but it has been released on DVD, and Iannucci has gone on to be behind further successful satirical shows. Thank you for reading, if indeed you still are. vlcsnap-00515