Saturday, November 15, 2008

TV Transylvania #1

I'm still exhausted, so here are some suggestions for television programmes that they could show over here, if somebody had an ounce of imagination, that might perk me up a bit.


Everybody – everybody here, at least - agrees that there’s nothing funnier than a kitten on a skateboard, a dog chasing its own tail or a hamster trying to escape from a pan of frying chips. (Why they use canned laughter on these programmes I do not know – it’s always drowned out by hysterical real laughter in every household I’ve been in.) But the potential entertainment value of the donkey has not been explored to its full potential. There are many of these lovely animals here but they’re made to perform manual tasks like pulling carts of hay. I’m convinced they have a more artistic temperament and are just dieing to get on the stage, maybe simply to waggle their ears in time to The Birdy Song or to do a Graham Norton impersonation. Or they could be asked questions: stamp a hoof so many times for the number of sides on a pentagon, wonders of the ancient world, horsemen of the apocalypse, etc. It’s TV Gold.


Until the presenter got pregnant the most popular programme in Romania was Surpriză, Surpriză!. Yes, the same one we used to have in UK with the lovely Cilla Black. It used to go on for about 7 hours every Saturday evening, and in a country where people get by with so very few dreams it made most of those dreams come true. But more realistic – and more modern, considering the “reality television” phenomenon - would be a programme with absolutely no surprises at all. Bloke wakes up, goes and milks the cows, bids his neighbour good-day, calls him a twat under his breath, goes home for breakfast, grunts at his wife, feeds the chickens, has a dump, goes home for lunch, grunts at his wife again, feeds the pig, talks to the dog, digs the vegetable plot, goes home for dinner, grunts at his wife, shuts himself in the bog for 20 minutes with his memories of Laura Lavric, goes to sleep. Every day.


Back in the Good Old Days there was only one channel, only 4 hours of broadcasting per day, and half of those were dedicated to the doings of Comrade Ceauşescu and his Charming Wife Elena. Some people actually miss those times: they were starving but at least everybody else was too, and they were ruled by a megalomaniac arse but at least he was their megalomaniac arse. I’d like to bring back a bit of that for the sake of nostalgia. The only Romanian man alive with comparable standing to “The Genius of the Carpathians” is Ilie Năstase. Ilie played good tennis but is now mainly known for being 6th on Maxim magazine’s list of lotharios, having slept with 2500 women despite looking like my friend Steve*. I think many people would like to spend 2 hours an evening watching and learning his technique.

* Steve is sadly no longer with us, but he was also astonishingly successful in this arena of human endeavour.


Gorilla Bananas said...

What a man Nastase was! Even his on-court tantrums had style. I remember one stuck up English umpire saying "Nastase, please replay the point!" Ille replied: "Say 'Mr Nastase' you prick". I hope he is still a hero in his (and your) native land.

scarlet-blue said...

Is the telly not good there then?
Shall I send some DVDs?
'Surprise, Surprise' for 7hrs... goodness me....
I thought your pic was of Gerald Depardieu at first... but then again he's a big hit with the ladies as well.

Can Bass 1 said...

What's wrong with putting on a gramophone record, man? You'd be no better off over here, I can telly you. It's celebrity this, strictly come that, dragon's the other and apprentice wanker. Really!

Kevin Musgrove said...

I'm with can bass1 on this: tonight's offerings seems to include "When Celebrity Donkeys Go Bad," "Police! Action! Ashtray!" and "I'm a footnight in Spotlight, get me out of here!"

No Good Boyo said...

Mrs Lavric is the way I like 'em. Any chance of a UK tour? She'd haul in the dyslexic Len Lovich fanbase for sure.

No Good Boyo said...

Not to mention Lena Lovich.

Gyppo Byard said...

...which you didn't.

Gadjo Dilo said...

GB: Nastase was ahead of his time regarding his tantrums, but his face is now appearing on adverts for banks so I think the world has finally caught up with him.

Scarly: Good point. Eyes-too-close-together, Obelix lookalike Gerard Depardieu is from the same shagnasty mould.

CB1: Nothing wrong with that, my man. We actually did put on some cassettes tapes that I had made (don't tell K. Musgrove) of records from the fine record library in London's Barbican.

Kevin: (Ooops) I know not of which you speak. And if you have a heart you will not enlighten me!

Boyo & Gyppo: I was just (I kid you not) putting "Len Lovich" into Wikipedia and Google when I saw your erratum! There's a whole channel here - the Romanian porn channel, effectively - showing nothing but such ladies singing in national costume, but La Laura always looks to me like she's up for giving a little extra. She's Moldovan.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Gadjo, I wouldn't be so cruel. Besides, it might require my having to watch one of the damned things.

It's probably unnecessary anayway: I notice from the picture that Simon Cowell's already handling La Lavric.

scarlet-blue said...

I thought you meant Lena Lovich.

Gyppo Byard said...

It could be worse. It could be a Channel 4 3-hour countdown of "100 Best Ever Donkeys", followed by a repeat of "Only Fools and Donkeys" for the umpteenth time.

scarlet-blue said...

See, the problem I'm having with this post Gadj, is that I think the picture of the donkey is really, really cute... and I keep coming back to look at it... I'm easily entertained...

Gadjo Dilo said...

Kevin: Yes, don't watch them for my sake. I think that bloke's friendlier than Simon Cowell - he probably detests the part of Romania where she comes from (easily deduced from her costume) but he'd keep quiet about it.

Scarlet: It's an easy mistake to make - Lena Lovich is the project of Laura Lavric into the dimension of the time-space continuum we call "civilisation". He's a eally cute donkey, isn't he, and I appreciate you keep coming back to look at it!

Gyppo: Now that's programme making. You could also make I'm a Donkey Get Me Out Here ("here" being a house with a bunch of loathsome celebrities in it).

Mrs Pouncer said...

Can you imagine the sheer hell, the sheer exhaustion of BEING Nastase? All that prankery to keep up, all that relentless tomfoolery, often in the very face of disapproval and boredom? No wonder he turned his life into a shagathon. It was probably welcome respite from flinging himself to the ground, pretending to trip over, entangling himself in the net, faking coughing fits etc. Only N. Wisdom did better; and he was a big hit with the Albanians. I think we can all learn something from this. Lots of love to you Gadj.

Can Bass 1 said...

I think there should be a programme investigating the truth behind Mr Gadjit Dililo. Allow me to explain. Being at something of a loose end the other day, I 'clicked' (as we say) on your inter-web page and was regaled with the history of someone from my own part of Hertfordshire. Indeed, the said person and myself share an aquiantance: one Mrs Helen Chant, of Langlebury School. This dear lady doesn't recall teaching anyone of either of your names, but then she did teach Girls' PE so I don't suppose your paths would have crossed. Unless...

Gadjo Dilo said...

I dunno, Mrs P., maybe he's just the sort of guy who follows his nose - or dick, in later life - and throwing his racket around, insulting the umpire and falling over is no more noteworthy to him than having breakfast. It's a shame the Albanians couldn't have made Norman Wisdom as their role model, instead of Golem out of The Hobbit. Love to you too, and if you leave us please come back one day in one form or another!

Strewth, Mr Can Bass - I know you guys only work on Sundays, but you must really have been at a loose end today! Langleybury school, yes; Mrs Helen Chant, no sorry. What part of Herts are you from, my dear chap? Can you tell me what's been going on since I left? Can one still heart the thwack of leather upon willow and are there still scones for tea? My life is an open book - please ask me anything.

scarlet-blue said...

I think Mrs P is on a rally Gadj... You tie her up and we'll keep her here...
I was going to mutter something about my life being like a pair of open legs. But I decided not to. I've littered innuendo all over the place today, and frankly, it's just cheap...

Kevin Musgrove said...

Am I the only one who thinks that the donkey's got a look of Harry Hill about him? I think it's the eyes.

Anonymous said...

The donkey is well too intelligent to lend itself to the stupidities of the man !!

An Anier, his Scepter to the hand,
Took, in Roman Emperor,
Two Messengers to long ears.
The one, of loaded sponges, walked as a Mail;
And the other, doing itself to pray,
Carried, as one says, the bottles:
His load was salt. Our strapping pilgrims,
By mounts, by valleys, and by ways,
To The ford of a river to the end arrived,
And strong prevented were located.
The Anier, that everyday crossed that ford,
On the Ane to the sponge climbed,
Hunting in front of him the stupid other,
That wanting to do some to his head,
In a hole precipitated itself,
Went back over water, then escaped;
For at the end of some swimmings,
All sound salt melted itself
so well that the Donkey feels nothing
On its relieved shoulders.
Friend Epongier took example on him,
As a Sheep that goes over the faith of others.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oh, Scarlet Scarlet Scarlet, I do love positive people, and you're one of them! I reckon if we get Mrs P. telling her theatrical anecdotes again she'll forget everything else and be as right as rain in no time (and in spite of herself). Following your inspiration I'm now itching to do a jukebox, but I'm afraid it'll be mainly be East European gypsy/folk music.

You're right, Kevin, he has. Is Harry Hill still popular in UK? I miss Bill Bailey most of all. And in a previous period abroad it was Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.

Woah, Monsieur Crabtree, that's fine stuff! What is it - La Chanson de Roland or some other noble epic? Ah, and now I get it - it took a while, but it's a canny little story :-)

Gadjo Dilo said...

p.s. Scarly, how does one upload a video from YouTube? Or is that not posible? Is there another source that one can upload from? x

scarlet-blue said...

Hi there Gadj,

At youtube:
To the right of the video that you want to copy is embedding code. Copy this code and the paste it into the html part of your blog post.
The code is in the top grey box, by the bit where is says'embed'.

I look forward to the music!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Thanks Scarly!