Shooting Stars is without doubt the greatest panel show ever made, with it lasting for a healthy six series and spanning from 1993 to 2011. It remains a source of frustration for me that the programme was cancelled in 2011 as it definitely hadn’t exhausted itself in anyway. The best justification for this may very well be that the comedic style of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer was a tad too strange for a new and evolving audience, though there is still a gap in my life ever since its cancellation. I have very fond memories of being only nine or ten years old and absolutely crying with laughter at the madness that is Shooting Stars, from its Dove From Above round to Vic’s pub singing.
5) Jack Dee Finally Laughs
Every single week, Jack Dee was forced to listen to Vic talk disparagingly of his miserable face. Every single week, Jack Dee remained calm, if a little irritable throughout, until, finally on one fateful episode towards the end of the reign of Vic and Bob’s Shooting Stars, he snapped. The man with “a face like a neglected radish” actually cracked a smile.
4) The Arrival of Angelos Epithemiou
We were all pretty gutted to hear that Matt Lucas would not be returning as Man With The Scores: George Dawes in series 7, but the pain was dulled by the news that he was to be replaced by regular panellist and burger van owner Angelos Epithemiou (played by Dan Skinner). Angelos is a very complex character; an easily aggravated, no-nonsense loner, if you will, with his infamous carrier bag that contains a wild array of goods…
3) Larry Hagman
Poor Dallas star Larry Hagman was in for a big shock when he was booked to appear on the show when he clearly didn’t really understand what it was all about. In fairness, he was a good sport throughout the episode but it was an effort to hide the confusion he inevitably would feel when in the presence of the two madmen. A slightly bewildered Hagman responded to a question from Bob towards the end of the episode, “Are you beginning to think you may sack your agent?” with, “I’ve done some loony shows in my time but this is certainly the one”.
2) Baked Potato
Out of George Dawes’ wonderful back catalogue of ingenious songs, Baked Potato is the one that made me laugh the most. All of the giant baby’s tunes have proved to be very catchy and, of course, hysterically funny over the years but something about the addition of a talking potato really made this song special. This particular number taught its audience many moral lessons such as “do be happy, don’t be sad” and “do be early, don’t be late”. Once you’ve heard it a few times you will find yourself singing it all day everyday so “Thank you Baked Potato!”
1) Tiny Eyes
Not only is the song in this clip absolutely absurd, the visuals also aim to shock: with the eyes of all involved literally being of minute proportions. It is honestly quite difficult to find Tiny Eyes unfunny, especially for a person who ‘understands’ the comedy of Reeves and Mortimer, which appeals to both old and young. The sequel to Tiny Eyes is another must watch due to the faultless insanity and that is entitled Tiny Hands, I’ll leave you to guess the rest.
It is important that we celebrate Shooting Stars for the treasure that it was and appreciate the sheer amount of comedic skill hidden beneath the surface, underneath the apparent madness. What is your favourite Shooting Stars moment of all time? Let me know in the comments, or by tweeting me at @moodycomedy.