Recently, there have been an abundance of episodes of Cats Does Countdown, and I figured it was finally time to talk about the show. Over the past couple of years, British television channels have been experimenting more and more with their range and formats of comedy shows, and this can only ever be a good thing. In January 2012, Channel Four celebrated its 30th birthday and broadcast a number of “mash up” shows, including 8 out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. The Countdown episode in particular was watched and loved by many, so has now been running for three series.
The greatest thing about this show is that there is space for three guests each week and this means there has been a decent amount of screen time available to some comedians who wouldn’t have got as much otherwise. As well as this, we also got to see lots of comedy legends who don’t appear on such shows regularly such as Bob Mortimer, Vic Reeves, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Buxton.
Statistics-wise, the only person besides Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson and Sean Lock (who obviously appear on every show) who has had more than two appearances on Cats Does Countdown is Rhod Gilbert, and I personally think that’s great for two reasons: firstly, it’s important to me that the cast of shows like these don’t get stale and are changed around regularly, and secondly: if anyone was to appear on the show five times, I’m glad it was someone as intelligent and hilarious as Rhod.
A downside would be that there has been a large number of people appearing twice on the show, so in that way it can still get reasonably repetitive, but the fact that so many new comics have been on the programme makes up for that. Wonderfully talented comedians like Matthew Crosby and Jake Yapp have made rare panel show appearances on Cats Does Countdown, and that is the main reason I think these shows are vital for British comedy.
Another two reasons for watching Cats Does Countdown are obvious: Jon Richardson and Sean Lock. I have been lucky enough to have seen both of them live, and this programme makes me want to see them again very soon. They are both equally silly and quick-witted and that makes for a brilliant combination.
The latest series of 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown has just finished on Channel Four and you can catch up on 4OD.