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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 12 May 2004
Yes, well, I don't normally write about things with loads of reviews already like this but I was just reading through them and didn't understand half of the things they say. Never mind.
The Day Today is a brilliantly observed spoof news programme. Featuring Chris Morris, one revered by his fans and unheard of by most normal people, it also contains Alan Partridge's TV debut and a strong cast and writing team that almost all went on to become big names in "alternative" comedy.
It's main strength is it's accuracy. Ever since watching it, I can rarely watch the news without laughing at how like TDT these programmes are. Morris's arrogant anchorman is more like Jeremy Paxman than Jeremy Paxman, and his various reporters' voices are absolutely spot on, reading their reports with solemn self-important authority. The rest of the cast are brilliant too, most have been mentioned but I absolutely adore Rebecca Front as Babara Wintergeen and the way she pouts at the end of all of her reports!
They also manage to satarise the whole "fly on the wall" documentary brilliantly, as well as the soap opera and MTV. All in just six episodes!
Other than that, the humour is very surreal, with reports about the Bank of England losing the pound and making an emergency currency based on the Queen's eggs. Sounds strange? You should hear some of the headlines, "Bouncing Elephantitus destroys central Portsmouth" being one of my favourites.
The extras are very good, though it's a shame rumours of a cast commentary in character turned out to be false. Still, the extended versions of 'the pool' and 'the office' are nice, and the Pilot episode is very interesting.
I would recommend this whole-heartedly to anyone, I'm sure everyone would recognise all the characters in it from the news and find it funny. Fans of silly surreal humour would like it particularly, as would anyone who finds self-important news programmes annoying! Believe the hype, this is a satirical gem.
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on 20 April 2004
Superb. Just superb. This is comedy at its absolute best. The writing spawned a new generation of comedy that we've seen in shows such as Alan Partridge, Smack The Pony and Father Ted and Chris Morris is nothing short of a comedy genius. His parody of Kurt Cobain (singing an ad campaign for "Panty Smile" sanitary products) and his rendition of "Uzi Lover" make this box set worth the money alone.
Other gems include Alan Partridge reporting live from the rally driving championships, Barbara Wintergreen's report from Florida state penitentiary and the coverage on the outbreak of "War!". But there are really far too many classic moments to list. It's all one long laugh from beginning to end and is a must for anybody who enjoys top class comedy!
Peter, you're lying in a news grave!
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on 30 April 2005
One of the funniest TV comedy shows I've ever seen. The writing is extraordinary (Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews went on to make the equally brilliant "Father Ted", surely one of the greatest sitcoms ever) and Morris and his crowd of goons are spot-on. Did it change anything? No. TV news programmes, especially insofar as they resemble anything from the Murdoch stable, are still exactly this pompous, idiotic and self-important, although far less funny. The episode where Morris argues Britain and Australia into declaring war on each other is sublime. "Brasseye" was equally good, but Morris has become an increasingly frustrated-seeming figure; eager to change the world with his work, he's ended up tackling narrower and narrower milieux (did I just use that word?) so that the recent "Nathan Barley", co-written with Charlie Brooker (another gifted writer), was about twenty people in London satirising two hundred other people in London. All very oh-God-yeah if you write for the Guardian, I imagine, but lost on me.
Never mind. The glorious, crusading, vicious surrealism of "The Day Today" and "Brasseye" still rocks. Bishops pumped full of mayonnaise, Alan Partridge struck dumb with uneasiness by the sight of a female showjumper taking her top off...it's all here.
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on 1 May 2004
This is the funniest TV series ever! It's like Newsnight on acid. From Alan Partridge's pathetic sports slots to Eugene Fraxby's report on Bomb Dogs (my fave) make sure you have a spare face because you'll wear yours out laughing. I laughed so much I now have a six-pack arnie would be proud of. This DVD is pure comedy genius and it should be illegal not to own it. Even if the DVD only had Chris Morris's superb skit on 999 for 3 hours it would still be worth buying. There is also a few morsels of new material in the shape of conversations between Morris and Alan Partridge and Morris and Peter O'Hanaraha-Hanarahan if you leave the menu screen alone for a few minutes.
However, you may find this DVD produces a very powerful sensation in your brain and body because fact into doubt won't go.
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on 4 September 2004
I love this DVD! I honestly can't stop watching it and I love the names of people like Beverley Smax and Peter O Hanrahanrahan. The headlines, too, are just brilliant. If you have the DVD, here's something to look out for:
Insert Disc 1. When option to select episode comes up, press enter. Then press Top Menu and wait. You can hear a conversation between Chris Morris and Peter O Hanrahanrahan about 9/11. It's a bit sick but still deadly funny.
Fully deserves 5/5
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on 12 July 2004
Genius, absolute genius. This series parodies the 90's current affairs programmes and does so with a huge amount of sucess.
I urge you to buy this DVD if you have not already done so. Each episode guarantees laughter throughout and actually stays with you and after watching it, the mere thought of it can bring you to laughter.
Chris Morris and Steve Coogan are utterly hilarious. It's worth buying if only to see Coogan as Alan Partridge.
Sheer brilliance. They don't make em like they used to!
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This DVD has been released on the 10th anniversary of “The Day Today”, a programme that evolved from a Radio 4 show “On the Hour”. It was originally shown on BBC2 with so little fanfare that many people watched the first show convinced it was a rather surreal current affairs programme.
The wonderful thing about “The Day Today” as a parody is it is barely discernible from its source material which allied to its forensic attention to detail makes it such rewarding viewing, not to mention the fact it’s as funny as a well oiled wombat in a ball pool.
It,s blessed with a rich array of comic creations from Chris Morris’s Paxmanesque anchor person to it’s incompetent reporter Peter O,Hanraha-Harahan (“Peter….you’ve lost the news”) to the wincingly accurate financial jargon spewed out by the robotic Collaterly Sisters to of course blundering sports reporter Alan Partridge, whose TV debut this was. The programme like “Blackadder”before it uses language brilliantly. From the ridiculous headlines-”Simon Rattle lost in cress”- to its wonderful cast of supporting characters, Ted Maul, Beverly Smax, Remedy Malahide it twists the narrative of the news genre to spectacular new shapes.
Technically it’s fantastic too. The shows look perfectly mirrors that of a frontline news programme right through to its use of the eye-popping totalitarian graphics that spew from Chris Morris’s mouth or unfold like some Dadaist nightmare on the opening titles. American news footage has that queasy yellow tone that we are so familiar with while the music always has that air of portentous self importance so beloved of the news media.
The material is carefully balanced on the edge of the credible, but some of it is scarily prescient. It’s docu-soap “The Pool” seems eerily familiar in this age of reality TV while the fact its tacky soap “The Bureau “so resembles “Eastenders should be of concern to the producers of that particular show….”Eastenders” that is , not “The Bureau” Some of the segments are so good as to enter the realms of the dazzlingly fabulous. Morris’s exceptional parody of MTV is something else. With it’s wacky Euro presenter and its rapper “Far Q” (Whose song “Uzi Lover” is so accurate yet hilarious that I nearly choked on my supper the first time I saw it) who comes to the conclusion “You cant kill everyone..cos there’ll be no one left to respect” its satire so spot on you’d think MTV would shut down in shame. Partridge’s World Cup Special is…well..special. With his incomprehensible method of explaining the group system he ties himself in more knots of his own creation, while his commentary is priceless, “T***” he screams as one goal flies in. One game of football “Cannot be stopped”.
The DVD has some great extras with original trailers plus some new items. Morris interviewing a McDonalds employee in the belief he’s a crewman on a stricken submarine , and some new audio pieces one of which is the hapless O Hanraha Hanrahan covering events on 9/11 while being totally unaware that anything momentous has occurred.
What “the Day Today” most accurately captures is the po-faced solemnity and gravity with which the news is covered yet the almost rapacious glee it takes when events of major importance occur. This is best illustrated when Morris relentlessly harangues a guest until she is reduced to tears and when he cleverly plays two nations off against each other till they declare war in which event the studio instantly springs into war-mode with smart cameras on bombs and reporters that actually join in the fighting.
The news has recently been shunted sideways in the schedules as if it realised how ridiculous it had become and wanted to avoid further embarrassment. Can you take the weather seriously after Sebastian Stewart’s forecasts?” In summary then….Breezes” Every one of these six episodes is a gem “Top Gits” in my house..
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on 26 April 2004
At last, The Day Today hs been unleashed on DVD! For those unfamiliarwith this comic creation of genius, The Day Today is the news programmepenned by Chris Morris, Steve Coogan etc. Originally aired 10 years ago,it's hysterically funny satire of new programmes and reporters is stillhilarious today. Look out for Gay Desk, John Fashanu, and Where now forMan raised by puffins. Those are the headlines, God I wish they weren't. Why not join me in buying it. Join me!
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on 23 August 2000
Chris Morris is a genius - why oh why hasn't he done more TV work by now? Oh I know; he's managed to insult virtually anyone that calls themselves 'big' in television, which is reason in itself to get him on and making more stuff ASAP. In this video, look out for a shatteringly accurate take-off of MTV which is even more noteable when you realise that every part in it is played my Mr. Morris himself. Buy this video, wake up and SMELL THE NEWS!
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on 27 May 2004
At last the ground breaking news satire gets its two disc DVD release. When I first watched this on TV in 1993 I was under the impression (for the first 10 minutes) that it was an actual news programme! It goes to show how incredibly accurate the show is and that it was important to make it look this way.

The Day Today was unique in terms of being the first news spoof to be aired on TV. It successfully portrays the complacency of modern media - dramatic and extended intro music, over the top graphics, news presenters who are totally in love with their own voices, etc. I think it is fair to say that various programmes perceive ratings as a paramount issue and tackle this through presentation.

This Armando Iannucci production was the start of a revolution by a new comedy team including the likes of Rebecca Front, Doon MacKichan, David Schneider, Patrick Marber and above all Steve Coogan. Steve later became a comic heavyweight by starring in a spin-off to his Alan Partridge character - Knowing me knowing you. He was now a spoof TV Show host instead of a sports presenter and we had the pleasure of his company for the full half hour instead of the couple of minutes a show in The Day Today. Most of the team from The Day Today joined Coogan in playing his guests. Couple of years later Partridge returned with I'm Alan Partridge (now a radio host) which in my opinion is the greatest comedy DVD currently available. Chris Morris lends a helping hand by briefly appearing as an activist for farmers on one of the shows. This was followed by I'm Alan Partridge Series 2.

The Day Today was also the introduction of Chris Morris, an excellent comedian specialising in parody. Although his work is spare, Chris went on to work on shows like Jam, Blue Jam and Brass-eye. Regardless of the success of such shows he is chiefly remembered for The Day Today, not just because it's his early work, but because it's his best.

The show has plenty to offer - pick of the bunch are sitcom 'The Bureau' and dentists carrying out illegal surgery at night due to overlong NHS waiting lists. We are also accompanied by characters such as Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan, Ted Maul (also seen in brass-eye and played by Morris himself) and Alan Partridge. Who can forget Coogan on helium (as Jerry Adams!!), and as a security guard (no one died!).

Where later inventions like Brass-eye and Jam are frightfully funny and distasteful, The Day Today is more accessible and should appeal to everyone. The pick of the extras (disc 2) are the pilot series, mini news and documentary. Then again there still is one question on my mind, Friday Night Armistice? - Bring it on!!
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