Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

20th December 2014

End of two eras
Posted by at 2.59pm | Television | No responses

‘Folks, if this is your first time tuning into the Colbert Report, I have some terrible news’

The world of US late night TV continues to be a mystery to most Britons. In the UK, after the late news, there’s a dearth of original programming. No-one is going to spend money on programmes which will go out when most people are getting ready for bed.

Over in the US, however, many networks stay up into the small hours with a multitude of late night shows. Most of them follow the format established decades ago by Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show: a topical monologue from the host, a comedy sketch, then some celebrity guests and a performance from a musician or stand-up comedian before the closing credits roll.

Shaking up the landscape in 2005, however, was The Colbert Report. Dispensing with the tried-and-true format, Colbert went with political and media satire. It’s often cutting, occasionally brutal, but always uproariously funny.

Read the rest of this post »

31st December 2009

2009? More like Woo! Thousand and Nine!

Was this year an exciting way to say goodbye to the decade? Here’s a reminder of what happened on planet Hampo this year (part 2, hopefully, follows tomorrow):-

January started out with one of my favourite shows being revived. Despite being up against EastEnders and being hosted by Ben Shepherd, the Krypton Factor did well enough to be recommissioned for a second series. We found out Who would replace David Tennant, and a year later we still haven’t actually seen him in the role. ITV’s latest attempt to ape the success of Doctor Who was Demons which failed spectacularly; the only creative thing about it being the number of different excuses the writers found for Christian Cooke to remove clothing.

In the wider world, various eras were drawing to a close, as Woolworths closed its doors, Tony Hart kicked the bucket and Dubya left office. Meanwhile, yours truly had an enjoyable night in London Theatreland.

Read the rest of this post »

2nd May 2009

Gone-bert Report
Posted by at 5.29pm | Television | 1 response

In a move that will possibly ruin my entire life forever, FX UK have dropped The Colbert Report — apparently surprised that showing a programme after midnight with zero promotion has attracted lacklustre ratings.

Irritatingly the videos on the official site are still blocked to UK viewers, meaning Viacom are passing up a potential revenue stream (it would not be difficult to display UK-targeted adverts) and forcing people to use the torrent sites. Sometimes I have to wonder if anyone in the TV industry actually understands the Internet at all.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sign up for 500 e-mail accounts to bombard Comedy Central UK with messages.

17th September 2008

I own a vintage phone shop!
Posted by at 9.50pm | Television | No responses

It’s “embed a video clip in lieu of original content” time, as Stephen Colbert’s deadpan demeanour deserts him for just a moment:-

30th May 2008

Ground Control to Major Yum!
Posted by at 6.32pm | Television | No responses

With all the excitement(?) recently, I haven’t even had time to expound on the excellence The Colbert Report, which has been running on FX UK since the beginning of May.

I could explain about the incredibly clever humour, the smart satire or Colbert himself — who has taken what could have been a gimmicky concept and created a complex, three-dimensional character. But I’m lazy, so here’s some clips:-

You could check out this clip, one of the first episodes that FX broadcast here, and containing a joke about Donkey Kong which won me over instantly.

Or this one, where Colbert manages to successfully spoof something which is already completely ridiculous.

Weekdays at 11pm, FX. Watch it!