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Chris Morris

Cook'd And Bomb'd

Chris Morris is an awesome British satirist with a reputation for being rather controversial. However, unlike other folk who are known for controversy, his stuff actually has the quality to back it up; it's not all shock. His career started doing local radio shows, where he'd get in trouble for various pranks, like filling the news room with helium, or asking folks what they'd do in the event of an MP's death (who hadn't actually died, and no where did Morris say that he'd died, but people leapt to that conclusion through Morris' particularly chosen wording). Other works include On The Hour, the earlier radio version of The Day Today, a TV News Show Parody (thought to be the basis for The Daily Show in the US, which also featured Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge among other characters (including Morris' own Ted Maul, who would later show up on Brass Eye); Brass Eye, a sequel-of-sorts to The Day Today – this time a parody of the TV newsmagazine format; Blue Jam, a darkly surreal and absurdist radio series, later made for TV as Jam and Jaaaaam and the short film My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117; and most recently, the straightforward sitcom Nathan Barley, created with Charlie Brooker based on the latter's TV Go Home site – in particular, the Cunt feature.

Morris' work is best seen by his willingness to take on dark themes (pedophilia; death; abuse) and hilarious use of the English Language (a quadroplegic on life support is referred to in Brass Eye as "Quadrospazzed on a Life-Glug"; a working title for Nathan Barley was "Box Of Slice"; the opening monologues to Blue Jam and Jam were stream-of-consciousness stories where the language-soup was so thick it was sometimes difficult to extract the whys-and-wherefores of what was going on).

Some folks have said Chris Morris' comedy is mean-spirited; I disagree – it's dark, but never mean-spirited. Unlike most mean-spirited (and less successful) comedy, when his characters are abusive to each other, the effects of the cruelty is felt, rather than shrugged off, giving his characters a sense of dignity and weight; likewise, actors in his work always act as if they're in a dramatic piece – never as a straight comedy series, because from the nature of the type of situations his characters find themselves in – they're never funny to the characters, only to the outside observer.