May
10th 2011
Exam week fun: University Challenge

Posted under: art, bad language, childhood, European history, fluff, students

See if you can spot the stars of today in this clip from yesteryear:

Well, it was funny in the 1980s if you were 16 or 17. . .

13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Exam week fun: University Challenge”

  1. Susan on 10 May 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Maybe my final papers will be that interesting.

  2. Western Dave on 10 May 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Stephen Fry for sure. For a moment, I thought it was Hugh Laurie but I decided I was wrong (it turns out I wasn’t) Emma Thompson (tragically underused here). Not sure who the MC is but he sure is familiar.

  3. Horace on 10 May 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh, that must be Alan Cumming…

  4. JJO on 10 May 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Point one: abolish property!
    Point two: abolish capitalism!
    Point three: Dexy’s Midnight Runners playing free, daily, in the university library!

  5. Historiann on 10 May 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Can we still do that, JJO? Now that would perk up my exam week!

  6. Feminist Avatar on 10 May 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Well, I can name them all, but I won’t if it will spoil the game. But for the record, Alan Cummings isn’t in this sketch. The MC is Griff Rhys-Jones – a Welsh comedian, who used to be in a comedy duo with Mel Brookes(who in some episodes played the University Challenge security guard).

  7. Indyanna on 10 May 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    I think that was Darla, from the Little Rascals, who was doing the linguistics major at Footlights… ???

  8. evan on 10 May 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    I would say it wasn’t just funny if you’re a teenager in the 1980s, the Young Ones is a classic. I use an excerpt from the episode ‘Cash’ in my lectures on Thatcherism and currently devising a paper on using the show as a simulacra of 1980s Britain.

  9. Anonymous on 11 May 2011 at 3:25 am #

    That’s the gopher from Caddyshack.

    Vegetable rights and peace!

  10. Western Dave on 11 May 2011 at 5:49 am #

    We sow the seeds, Nature grows the seeds, we eat the seeds.

  11. Historiann on 11 May 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Evan–that’s really clever, although a bit depressing to me to know that a period of my life is now taught as history. But it makes perfect sense–Rik and Viv are very much characters from university in the 1980s. (The other two relied on their retro-poses and attitudes for their humor even back in the 1980s). Still, when I made the comment about the humor, I was just noting that it’s quite broad, shall we say, and not overly sophisticated.

    I had no idea there might be so many readers who remembered this series fondly. I guess a lot of you were also staying up late on Sunday nights watching MTV, back when it was still mostly music and only occasionally a place for re-runs.

  12. cgeye on 11 May 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Dear lord, I loved THE YOUNG ONES, and that whole comedy combine that also produced French & Saunders.

  13. evan on 11 May 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Historiann – am a long time reader, and while not a great commenter, the combination of history and 1980s bbc comedy inspired me. The excerpt you’ve selected may not be that sophisticated, but there are other bits that I think are very clever.

    The bit I show in my lectures on Thatcherism from the episode ‘Cash’ has Rik yelling:

    we haven’t got any money. Vyvyan’s baby will be a pauper. Oliver Twist, Geoffrey Dickens. Back to Victorian values. I hope you’re satisfied, Thatcher!

    I love the mixing up of Charles Dickens with Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens and the piss-take of Thatcher’s promotion of ‘Victorian values’.

    Here in Australia, the show gets shown on occassion on ABC, so quite a few first-year students are down with the show when I show it in class.

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