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November 16th, 2003


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03:43 am - Phone Post:
VoicePost
111K 0:35
“[fx: Nokia ring tone]

[shouted] HELLO!

[pause]

[shouted] WHAT?

[pause]

[shouted] NO, I CAN'T HEAR YER.

[pause]

[shouted] I'M ON LIVEJOURNAL PHONEPOST.

[pause]

[shouted] I'M ON... LIIIIIVEJOUOUOUOUOURNAL.

[pause]

[shouted] WHAT?

[pause]

[shouted] NO, IT'S RUBBISH.

[pause]

[shouted] I CAN'T HEAR YER.

[pause]

[shouted] YOU'RE BREAKING UP...

[pause]

[shouted] YOU'RE BREA[cuts off]”

Transcribed by: multiple users


There is a British comedian, Dom Joly, who made a career out of a short-lived TV show in which he performed hidden camera stunts on the public and on minor celebrities, very much in the Candid Camera style. Trouble is, he only really had about four gags. One of them was a regular character who invaded quiet places like libraries, museums and trains with an oversized mobile phone about three feet tall. He would proceed to yell into said phone in exactly this way, disturbing the peace of all and sundry about.

The show lasted for two series of six episodes. Said comedian then said he had done everything he wanted to do and pulled the plug on his own show. This remarkable display of restraint also indicated considerable commercial awareness, for the BBC promptly signed him up for some reasonably absurd sum of money. Trouble is, he isn't doing hidden camera stunts any more, and without the hidden camera stunts, he doesn't actually have an act any more.

I think there's got to be a new LiveJournal sport: getting celebrities to leave an audio autograph on your LiveJournal. What I anticipate is that you have a cellphone which is set to dial the PhonePost number; when you encounter a celebrity - as you do - you dial up and then get the celebrity to say "Hi, I'm (eg) Neil Gaiman and you're listening to me on jiggery_pokery's LiveJournal". You should ideally also capture video and audio of the celebrity doing this as proof that it really is the celebrity rather than some impersonator.

Of course, we can award points according to the size of the celebrity. I'll start the bidding: 10 points for Tim Berners-Lee, 15 points for Dan Radcliffe, 20 points for Neil Gaiman, 25 points for Tom Cruise, 30 points for Jo Rowling. (I suppose The Leaky Cauldron can claim the JKR 30 already, but it's not a personal LJ so it doesn't count.) Of course, you only get the full score for being the first person to hit a particular celebrity - so when someone takes credit for Neil Gaiman, which will probably be in the next week and a half, the second person to get an audio autograph from him only earns one-quarter credit, the third person gets one-ninth credit and so on.

It's also fun to assign points to even more minor celebrities - to work out who might be worth fewer points than ten. As a guideline, if the celebrity has a LJ themselves, then they aren't a celebrity. (People with weblogs which can be followed on LJ, potential celebrity; people with LJs, not a celebrity. Sorry.) Nominations for one-point celebrities are most welcome; I suggest Ben The Boffin. And, indeed, Dom Joly.
Current Mood: trigger-happy
Current Music: DI-ddydum dum, DI-ddydum dum, DI-ddydum da dum

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:missingdonut
Date:November 15th, 2003 11:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That is a classic... us American folk were subjected to Mr. Joly on Comedy Central. It was funny the first twelve or thirteen times he did the bit.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
If I'd known that, I needn't've bothered with the explanation. :-)

Actually, I'm curious to know how far THTV spread around the world now. Jay, did you ever get it in Canada? Ian in New Zealand? Less plausibly, Serena in Norway?
From:themightyuser
Date:November 15th, 2003 11:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Trigger Happy TV.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Did they keep the too-cool-for-the-room proto-Britpop soundtrack when they showed it on Comedy Central, I wonder? The show would've been about 15% less fun without.

How did people take to it in the US?
From:themightyuser
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's got to be (tied for) the funniest comedy show I've seen. Us USAers took to it greatly... Mom and I watched it every time it came on...

(MXC is the only thing that could give THTV some competition...)

I *think* they kept the soundtrack... not too sure... can't remember that specific of a detail...
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
To be fair I can't remember much of the soundtrack myself, except that it was mostly British pop music and far funkier than most of the stuff I normally listen to. Then I heard the full-length song which was used most frequently in the "I paint you in one minute - no beards" sketches somewhere else along the line - apparently quite a recent hit over here.

At some point I can remember looking up what the theme tune to THTV was. I could look it up again, I suppose: Connections by Elastica. I'd believe that. Ooh, cheesy MIDI!
From:shista
Date:November 16th, 2003 08:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The only things that springs to mind is Mercury Rev (Now The Dark Is Rising), but I get the feeeling I'm losing it and merging memories again.

I'm fairly sure it wsa played a lot with the two dogs.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Someone had to do it. :-)

One year I'll think of something original, just you wait...
[User Picture]
From:dancingrain
Date:November 16th, 2003 09:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
Ah, OK, now I get it! I like the idea of phone-post autographs; I'd never thought of it but it is indeed a natural extension.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm sure there are many extremely original things to do with PhonePost that the world hasn't thought of yet. I was kicking around ideas last night, but none of them made such an imapct on me that I can remember it today.
[User Picture]
From:chrisvenus
Date:November 16th, 2003 11:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
I don't want to try it in case I break something but can I put any transcription that I want down for your audio thing? Can I just put "Chris said that you all smell of poo and wee"? Just wondering since that is the first thought that occured to me when I heard about the whole transcription thing...
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:23 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You could, but as well you know, there would be some eventual getwattenrevengen were you to do so. :-)

It's quite a clever system. Anyone can submit anything as a transcription but the person who made the call (or, rather, the person whose LJ it is - presumably the same person, but not necessarily so) has the final edition rights. See exampleuser, the first public PhonePosts that most of us ever heard, for an example of how people can play around with the transcription system. Hee!
[User Picture]
From:chrisvenus
Date:November 16th, 2003 04:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Dammit, having now got proper audio I find its funny enough that I don't *want* to make stuff up. Had me giggling. :)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 05:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What can I say? I only rip off the very best.

And Dom Joly, obviously.
[User Picture]
From:debellatrix
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
PhonePost

OK, I have utterly failed to figure out what software I need to download in order to hear these. Wah!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 12:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Have you seen and tried the official advice yet? Presumably you have - and, if you have, I can't think of anything to help off-hand. Sorry!
[User Picture]
From:addedentry
Date:November 16th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'd just like to say that your gag was worth the several minutes of installation confusion that preceded it.
[User Picture]
From:debellatrix
Date:November 16th, 2003 03:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Wheee!
Thanks for the link, I figured it out and heard your lovely voice.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 16th, 2003 06:47 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's lovelier when I'm not shouting. :-)

If I can think of something else interesting to do with PhonePost then I will - and it'll be at a normal volume next time. One quick thought is that when there's a big gathering of people together, it might be a lot of fun to post a mass shout-out plus a serial name-check of all the people together in the same place at the same time.

Either that, or it could be time for a round of LiveJournal Tongue Twisters. Who's up for it?
[User Picture]
From:debellatrix
Date:November 16th, 2003 09:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Both ideas could be very fun.
Pesky pixies...
From:philonightmare
Date:November 16th, 2003 08:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This seems like quite an intriguing idea Chris! Points system is cool, howabout Peg Kerr though. She's published, yet she's got an lj?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 17th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
Not Famous, by virtue of them being able to put a PhonePost on their own LiveJournal if they wanted to. Likewise, blackholly: not famous. Even cassieclaire: not famous. (Notorious? Perhaps...) :-)
[User Picture]
From:imc
Date:November 17th, 2003 08:19 am (UTC)
(Link)
As a guideline, if the celebrity has a LJ themselves, then they aren't a celebrity. (People with weblogs which can be followed on LJ, potential celebrity; people with LJs, not a celebrity. Sorry.)

Well officialgaiman has a syndicated blog, for a start.

Are you saying that if JKR miraculously happened to open an LJ account she'd no longer be a celebrity?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:November 17th, 2003 08:22 am (UTC)
(Link)
Well officialgaiman has a syndicated blog, for a start.

Exactly so; potential celebrity. Wil Wheaton; potential celebrity. By contrast, jwz; relatively famous, but not a celebirty.

Are you saying that if JKR miraculously happened to open an LJ account she'd no longer be a celebrity?

Evidently I am. Whether I ought to be saying this or not is another matter entirely, but one we can reasonably assume to be strongly rooted in the bounds of theory, I suspect. :-)

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