I Blogged Myself

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Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Muppet Question # 18 Answered

On Wednesday, 17th January, 2007 at 3:06:39 PM, Crystal said ...

Muppet Question to Stump The Judges:

which Muppet Show guest star
(of one of the best Muppet Shows)
was charged in 2006 with internetchild pron offences?



Too easy. (For someone like me.) That was hilarious British comedian Chris Langham. As a result of the charges, he was fired from the hit BBC sitcom The Thick Of It (of which he was the star - and which I've been hoping to see come out to Australia for some time now), and the second series will focus on new characters instead of his. If you're interested in reading about his criminal charges, you can find them here. Personally, I'd prefer to talk about his involvement with The Muppet Show:


Chris with some of The Muppets
"in happier times" (ie. during his
guest stint on the show in 1980)
.


Chris Langham is quite hilarious, which makes the recent allegations all the more tragic (although child pornography is tragic enough in anyone's language, don’t get me wrong). He was renown for being the sole British writer for The Muppet Show; he was hired by Jim Henson on the recommendation of another British Muppet Show guest star, John Cleese. Apparently Henson was trying to bring to the show an element of the wacky, off-the-wall sense of humour the English are so well known for, so Langham was the perfect choice.

Langham also appeared as the special guest star in the thirteenth episode of the final season (1980). The story goes that the actual scheduled guest star, Richard Pryor, was unable to make it to the recording at the last minute, so a script was written in a hurry, wherein "Chris the Delivery Boy" stood in for an unnamed absent celebrity.

As a writer on The Muppet Show, Langham received two awards from the American Writers' Guild.

Other works for which Langham is known include being a writer/performer on the first season of the infamous British sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News (although his appearances were pointedly cut from later video and DVD releases in favour of Griff Rhys Jones, who had replaced him from the second season on), and sketch series Alas Smith and Jones. It was in the latter that I first noticed his work, and found his minor role (as the dim-witted ‘host’ of the fictitious chat show parody that all but closed each episode) stand-out hilarious.

Langham's inclusion on The Muppet Show writing staff resulted in some inspired bits of silliness, typified by Lewis Kazagger's description of the bagpipe as "one of the deadliest creatures known to man." Another concept frequently attributed to Langham was the entire Muppet Theatre shoving off to sea in one episode.


Actor/writer/comedian Langham
has been embroiled in a rather
nasty affair recently. Trial pending.


But to go back to his guest star stint, this episode saw him perform several pieces of his own devising, including a card trick in which the cards were replaced by raw sausages ("Now I will ask you to memorise that sausage"), as well as singing a Hawaiian war chant while trapped inside his dressing room wardrobe.

He also performed the self-devised Time Machine sketch, a frantic short monologue which he performed in a white lab coat with remarkably Muppet-like enthusiasm:

[Langham leaps onstage.] "Hello! This is what I'm working on at the moment. It's a time travel apparatus! [Evil laughter] Excuse me. If all my calculations are correct, all I have to do is pull this little lever here, and I go travelling backwards through time! [Pulls lever] Time through backwards travelling go I, and here lever little this pull, is do to, have I all, correct are calculations my all if. Me excuse. [Evil laughter] Apparatus travel time a it's! Moment the at on working I'm, what is this, hello!" [Leaps offstage.]

It must be noted that – brilliant and severely underrated comic figure of our time or not - nothing, even celebrity eccentricity, excuses the kind of behaviour for which he has been accused. If the allegations turn out to be true, I hope the full force of the law is dealt out to him. However, if they are false, I hope that justice will prevail, his name will be cleared, and his reputation and career can find their way back on track. They’re terrible allegations to be burdened with if, in fact, they aren’t true, and it will take someone with a far better understanding of the facts than I have, to cast a fair judgement on the matter.

Perhaps you’d like to be the one to cast judgement, Crystal?


.

4 Comments:

At Saturday, January 20, 2007 8:45:00 pm, Blogger Brownie said...

Both parents
of any children
whose images are sold
on the internet
should be hanged slowly,
before any of the Purchasers are accused.

IMHO Johnny de Jong aka Young, should be charged for offences relating to the viewer demographic of the entire Young Talent Time broadcasts.

Langham has not been convicted yet, nor has a date been set for appearance in court.

We can only hope the charges are false. he has 5 children fer godsake and must be sick to death of child nudity.
Most happy normal godfearing Australians indulge in the repulsive habit of naked children on hot days and maybe they should be charged too.

Langham is most recently lauded for his brilliant satiric series
"People Like Us",
shown here on ABCTV.


(and it is not '1:44am')

 
At Sunday, January 21, 2007 11:51:00 am, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

i saw langham live in melbourne, years ago. the only thing i remember, apart from it being a generally funny show, was a bit he did with a stick of wood, pretending he was a trapeze artist. good visual comedy, as well as verbal. and of course i remember him from not the nine o' clock news, as well.

 
At Sunday, January 21, 2007 7:11:00 pm, Blogger Riss said...

You're certainly keeping up your Muppet content these days.

Well done.

I'm barely managing a post per month.

I'll have to make a more concerted effort to kick Logan off the computer, I think.

 
At Sunday, January 21, 2007 8:36:00 pm, Blogger gigglewick said...

Langham's "stunt pope" sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News remains one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

 

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