114. Nutters

Tapehead no 114 

“You know,” Dr Frasier Crane, says to his brother Niles on this week’s one-hour bonus of Frasier, “I’d forgotten what a weird little person you are.”

And, lets face it there are a lot of them around, particularly on television. Nutters everywhere.

Quite why, is as Frasier says in the same episode, “one of the questions that makes life so rich, And makes psychiatrists richer.”

Eddie Izzard may be “two lesbians trapped inside a man’s body”, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be as boring as the rest of us. (His resemblance to Fee from Brookside’s better-looking younger brother, or a benevolent mini-Honey Monster, is a different matter.)

Je Suis A Stand Up follows Eddie’s tour from Bexhill and Iceland to Paris and New York. Yeah ! 

Eddie is a soft and endearing type, not to mention hilarious on stage, but the rest of this programme merely confirms that comedians are best left on stage where they belong.

We see Eddie going back to the tearoom where he worked as a youth, hot air ballooning in Sweden, and having a ‘mare on stage in France (in French). None of it, though, is very funny or interesting.

The main problem is that we see far too much of “the real Eddie” being real (ie dull). Maybe it’s just a consequence of being interviewed by too many regional journalists.

Hours later, another cross-dressing champion, Tricky shows Eddie how madness is done on Later With Jools Holland.

While the other bands obligingly rock out the hideous blues-boogie intro theme tune, the camera pans round to find Tricky’s band, just sitting there glumly, admirably refusing to jam or grin at the camera like the rest of them.

When they finally perform the excellent Vent, Tricky jogs maniacally up and down on the spot, eyes closed; hydroponics kicking in or coming down, a thick (mad) headband pulled down almost over his eyes, before promptly rocking out. Like a mutha…

For the second number, Tricky, a man whose idea of chilling out is to walk the streets of New York on mushrooms, doesn’t even show up.

“Tricky, ladeez and gentlemen !” Jools Holland gestures at the end of the show, indicating the stage with a characteristic flourish, even though Tricky is still not there, leaving his female vocalist to do the business. What an absolute star. 

(Watch out for Sting, too, a man whose idea of cool – vest and leather trousers – proves he is still truly delusional.)

Detectives On The Verge Of a Nervous Breakdown in Homicide: Life On The Street.

Bayless is losing it and so is Pembleton – his cool, that is, which, given his role as the coolest detective on TV, is pretty grave. The war between them is now raging.

“I don’t work for you Frank. I work with you,” Bayliss complained last week. “You never say please and thank you.”
“Please don’t be an idiot,” responded Pembleton regaining his ultra-cool. “Thank you.”

This week’s show starts with the one thing guaranteed to drive Tapehead nuts – more Homicide bullshit about giving up smoking. Luckily, from then on, this week’s episode is a classic.

Bayliss and his new goatee (already thinking of quitting) are haunted by the bloody body of a child, stabbed and molested and left in an alley. 

“She looks just like her,” Bayliss moans gently. “Just like Adina Watson.”

The Adina Watson Case (four years ago now) was the best storyline Homicide (or any cop series on television) ever had. The show is so classy, they never solved/resolved it.

The case has been haunting Bayliss (and Tapehead) ever since.

Finally this week, we come to the question asked by the BBC: “are people who are not conventionally good looking discriminated against ?”

(Well let’s hope so.)

“Watch Esther to find out.”

Let’s face it, she should know.


Je Suis A Stand Up – Eddie Izzard Abroad: Sat, 9.30pm, BBC2

Later with Jools Holland: Sat, 10.50pm, BBC2

Homicide Life On The Street: Mon, 10pm, C4

Frasier: Fri, 9.30pm, C4