This month’s Comedian of the Month is by no means a new face on the comedy scene, but it is only in recent times that I have become aware of his work due to recommendations from family members whose opinions regarding what is funny are ones I greatly respect. Played by Graham Fellows, John Shuttleworth’s first television appearances were back in 1993, where he was a frequent guest on Jonathan Ross’ Saturday Zoo, and since then the comic musician has produced numerous television shows and radio programmes himself, such as his five-series radio comedy: The Shuttleworths.
John Shuttleworth is just a nice guy from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, with his soothing northern tones and shocking ability to compose the most catchy music riffs that will infect your thoughts for days after hearing (“can’t go back to savoury now” is a line that shadows much of my daily life). His performances often border on shambolic, but the character of John is docile enough to ensure the atmosphere isn’t pressured or stressful, leaving the show to become almost childlike, timeless and utterly carefree.
Shuttleworth has a skill for focusing in on the most mundane subject matter and stretching the ideas beyond their natural realms to create incredibly contextualised and detailed narratives within songs. For example, one of my favourite songs of his is entitled Mingling with Mourners, and another (a particular favourite of my family): the tragic story of a man desperate to eat some more shepherds pie despite having already started his dessert, a clear recipe for disaster.