Lest We Forget Those Who Make Us Laugh

I’m sad to say, but Top Gear isn’t quite as good as it used to be. Infact, I must say that when I watched this weeks episode (Series 17, Episode 2), I actually got a bit bored. This was the one where they bought European hot hatches and did the traditional various challenges. The bottom line is that if I so wanted to load my car with a branch off a cider tree, ice cubes, a photo of as many people as I can getting in to my car, a cd from a service station, a bicycle, a vine and a dog, I could do that my self, in my own car, which is better than all of theirs anyway. These days, the humour feels repeated and unoriginal, as though they’ve got everything that’s worth having out of it, and they’re just trying to scoop out the last bits. For me now, in order to get this Clarksonesque humour, I’ve chosen to buy some of his books. While much of the content is hilariously funny, there’s also quite a lot that just isn’t.

Jeremy Clarkson Presenting Top Gear, Photo: BBC

And it’s a pattern I go through myself too, as a pretty new blog writer. Sometimes the creative juices just flow, the inspiration comes, and I write an article that I’m genuinely proud of. Other times, I sit, and it feels like nothing comes. I write something, and then look back at it and think ‘Ive just written a right load of rubbish’. I find that when I am writing because I have to, or, in other words, if I am attempting to industrialise the process, the creative juices just dry up. I firmly believe you cannot force humour and witt.

The best ideas that I have had haven’t come while I’ve been sat at a desk, thinking of what to write. They come when I’m out and about, at work, or sitting on the toilet. Such is the nature of these ideas, that you have to seize them while they’re there, scribble as much as possible down on a bit of paper, for compilation later. And I think this is what is happerning to Top Gear.

So what’s the solution? Why am I telling you this? Well it casts understanding on the life of a writer, somneone whos job and career is to use a pen and paper to create material to entertain. We see that those we follow are human too, they’ve not suddenly gone down the pan, but they’ve squeezed the creative orange there and got what it had to give. It also applies in a social context too, we all have ‘off days’, it doesn’t mean that those bubbly amusing personalities are gone for good.

We know that it’s a dog eat dog world out there, and if the quality goes, then so will the ratings, but those writers, those journalists, those authors, deserve their place in history as fine gentlemen who could grab our interest and make us laugh.

Top Gear has been a superb TV show for me, for the last 10 years. I still enjoy it, as do countless others. Right now I may well be speaking against the general audience of BBC 2, (at least at 8pm on a Sunday evening), but I do believe it is no longer on the same plane it once was. Is it because the producers and presenters have lost their touch? Not at all, it’s just that there’s only so many times Hammond can argue with Jeremy and it still be funny.

And you may be looking at me, thinking “that’s all rich coming from you, you with your little WordPress blog of 14 posts”, well, maybe so, but that’s for you to decide.

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16 thoughts on “Lest We Forget Those Who Make Us Laugh

  1. Disagree, it was a brilliant episode. The bit on the Monaco circuit was incredible. The rest is just light hearted entertainment. which really, is all you want on a Sunday evening! Don’t read too much into it, just enjoy it for what it is.

    Ps, you need to see my new phone, It’s brilliant!

    • Well I figured you’d definitely have loved seeing the Clio Cup edition. Granted the actual car content is generally still good. I liked them in the racing circuit, and I loved the Aston too. But I do think the dry humerous side is not what it once was. It strikes me as being a little ‘forced’.

      P.s. Im free today, Ill come over later on.

      • watching sum normal british bloke doing over 200 mph is funnny and exciting they do the the stuff we dream of and worth every penny dont change stay outspoken if you can name 1 more british show that the whole of the world watches let me no thankyou and carry on. yours truly steve. true brit

  2. humour is what you make of it, sometimes you laugh because things generally are funny and other times you laugh because you have nothing better to do.
    personally I find anything ‘English’ people say funny because of the accent, lip and mouth movements, or just because its dry. to some extent i agree with you but NOBODY HAS COME OUT OF THE TV ON A SUNDAY THRASHING A GUN TO YOUR TEMPLE TELLING YOU TO LAUGH

    “OR ELSE” lighten up or come to South Africa and live with my family dear

    • How anyone can find humour in this pointless programme is beyond belief. These morons telling each other what they believe to be ‘jokes’ is surely the limit of any ones intelligence.
      Do wise up and see this drivel for what it is.

  3. Try James May’s books instead, much funnier. Did a test on my latest trip – took May on Motors and Clarkson’s How Hard can it be. Clarkson didnt even produce a smile, May’s book had me laughing and quietly smiling to self all the way through the airport and on the plane. So no Mr Clarkson, definately NOT ‘always funnier than May’.

  4. One of the good episodes, you just didn’t know what was going to happen next and when it di happen you could not have predicted it. Some times I despair, some times I laugh out loud and some times I cringe with embarrassment for them (as they have none them selves). The only part Top Gear fails for me is when they get in a decent car and slag it off just to fit a script and love everything dull and German.

  5. What really gets to is i watch this show, the drive $250,000 lamborgini’s and one off porsche 911 gt3 rs that cost unbelievable amounts in the states. But when they bring american cars on the show they seem to choose the basic styling. Example they drove the chevrolet camaro ss instead of the 600 horsepower zr1. I want them to bring the 2012 chevrolet corvette zr1 on the show soon. Bar none, this car competes and in most cases, beats supercars from all over the world. Price $100,000. Enzo ferrari $1,000,000. Topgear drives these powered straight line monsters when they go the best to offer cars from other countries. i want to see a corvette zr1 take a veyron down on the track. Make the zr1 happen topgear

  6. I have to regrettably agree. I have watched every episode of Top Gear and I use to have a genuine laugh several times each episode. But over the last season the luaghs have disappeared as the humour is now so contrived. Face it guys, you can’t act, so when the incidents use to be largely made up on the spot, they were funny. Now with you so busy on other projects, it appears that you are just learning scripts. You can certainly see that the stunts were planned, were in the past you might have at least believed that they happened for real.

    I actually turned off my first Top Gear episode EVER tonight. I just found the India special so irritating.

    At least there is now Top Gear USA here in Oz and they are where you guys use to be. I can still at least get a laugh still from their show.

    Please bring back the old style Top Gear.

  7. C’mon guys lighten up ! The motoring world just wouldn’t be the same without TOP GEAR. Yes i know it comes across a bit Last of the Summer Wine and more of a comedy show than serious motoring programme but that’s the very thing that makes it great.,try watching AUTO MUNDIAL etc. with their monotone voices and boring technical details and you will see what i mean,no one can do technical detail on a motor better or more entertaining than CLARKSON, HAMMOND & MAY that’s why it blows all other motoring programmes out of the water.Think about it , when these guys finally bow out who will replace them? Yes thought so ! Wouldn’t be quite the same would it ? So make the most of it guys they won’t be there forever. (TOP GEAR FOREVER)

  8. remember the days of Noel Edmonds now that was wot you call BORING Top Gear is without a shadow of a doubt one of the funniest shows on telly maybe you might think i’m an idiot but long live Jezza,Hamster n Captain Slow I dont care if any of it is contrived just as long as it amuses n entertains me keep doing it boys n more Power to yer elbows (n feet) fantastic .

  9. Just recently discovered the show on Netflix, and I have enjoyed watching the entire sets of series, all that they offer. As being what you folks would describe as a disabled pensioner (I can no longer drive) living in Southern California, I appreciate the information and just good entertainment Top Gear supplies. You guys have a super fan over here!

  10. J o k E

    J Mae went into king’ss hosptial for a bladder infestion check,but found out that he has possiable twins on the way.Mr.r clarkson is the supposed father of mAe’SS CHILDEREN.We should have total clarifaction of said info as the duo is to appear on the Pokeie man’s show,AKA G,norrton show. Mae to my understanding is still at the Kinng’s hosptial, but iam shure on the Pokeie Pokieie man’s show the truth shall prevail. jUST ONE MORE NOT that Americans are very easlie ammused as they attend to watch the top Gear show, and have to watch the pokeie mans show as soon as it airs. Not shure how the Mr. Hammon will react to the news, maby he will be granted the God Parents rights??? Hammond i thank that you would make a Great American citizen, also whats up with the tax’s to drive your car in London, Usage tax. Now that is truly Freedom, and what s the deal with the tires there in the United Kingdom ?// not lasting over six months?? What a crock .Cant wait to see Mr.r Clarkosn explain J mae’s conditon on the twins which them the best.

    J O K E

    Sin
    Rich

    P.S. Plz dont blame this one on the Stig!!!!! LOL

  11. Would like to see lets say some 1987 producton cars on the show,example The fastes made i know that The big F Car made one but would like to see 1987 Grand National, then maby a 1987 Grand National GNX on the show, would really enjoy seeing the Stig run them around the track. I thank that the GNX was one of the fastes made Fesides the Ferr. also like to see clarson and mae and hammond in them also.

    Thanks
    Rich

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