The best way to sum up The Chris Ramsey Show is that is comes across as the sort of programme ITV2 might have shown, but even they thought it was beneath them.
The main problem is that I’ve seen Ramsey performing live, and I know he is a good comedian, but this feels just cheap, tasteless and unworthy of anyone’s attention.
The format sees the Geordie comic presenting a show from his “basement”; which is pretty big considering it has room for an entire studio audience, and the basement theme seems to serve no other purpose, so why set it there, I have no idea.
Each week consists of a range of bizarre challenges and games. For example, the first episode featuring Natasia Demetriou and “national legend” (which is stretching things a bit) Jimmy Carr had as its opening game trying to guess whether certain objects were either a pet toy or a sex toy.
There are recurring features which include the “Ramsey Challenge”, which is another challenge faced between the two guests. One in the forthcoming second episodes see Rhys James and I’m a Celeb… runner-up Joel Dommett putting on as many clothes as possible. There is “Game Wreckers” where the guests play a video game while trying to avoid being distracted, such as playing Let’s Dance while interrupted by a “hen night”.
Lastly, there is #OnATrain, where Ramsey and another celebrity guest try and do a challenge on a train between Newcastle and London. These include Vicky Pattison from Geordie Shore giving him a makeover, and playing football with Chris Kamara.
The whole programme just comes across as trashy. Other TV comedies do silly challenges much better than this. Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit has a way better take on video games, and the tasks on Taskmaster are far funnier.
It is not so much the rudeness that puts me off: rude, smutty comedy can be done well. Look at the early years of Graham Norton. However, it just feels wrong to watch it. Maybe it is because I know of what Chris Ramsey and his co-writer Jason Cook are capable of. Ramsey played the lead role in Cook’s Hebburn, an award-winning BBC Two sitcom. Now they are reduced to making a show where people play a cage fighting video game while being whipped by a dominatrix for Comedy Central UK.
Also, Comedy Central themselves have things to answer for as well. How come they thought it was a good idea to axe Stewart Lee’s The Alternative Comedy Experience and replace it with this? Comedy Central can easily improve on this. Mind you, that’s not saying much. While Comedy Central in the USA can boast hits such as The Daily Show, Comedy Central in the UK mainly consists of about 20 repeats of Friends a day. A little bit of decent variety wouldn’t go amiss.
No-one seems to come out well from this programme. Best to avoid it.
The Chris Ramsey Show is on Comedy Central on Wednesday nights at 22.00.