Game show

Jimmy Carr on his New Channel 4 Game Show and Comedy and the So-called ‘Cancellation Culture’

Jimmy Carr hosts Channel 4's new game show, I Literally Just Told You.  (Photo: PA).
Jimmy Carr hosts Channel 4’s new game show, I Literally Just Told You. (Photo: PA).

Called I Literally Just Told You, the format was created by former Blue presenter Peter Richard Bacon and begins on Channel 4 next week.

And comedian Carr, 49 – who is known for his stand-ups and roles on shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats – remembers that “that was the most ridiculous pitch I have ever heard for a movie. TV show “.

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Why? Well, the questions he asks as the host are written down while filming – and they’re about something that just happened during the making of the show. Thus, candidates must be constantly attentive to get the correct answers.

It’s a show that viewers can take part in from the couch, but the contestants have a chance to make a lot of money. If they remember correctly the things they saw and heard a few minutes ago, they can add more money to their fundraiser.

Then there’s the chaotic finale of each episode, where we see the two remaining contestants questioning each other.

Carr believes his appeal lies in his home play factor. “Most game shows are binary, either you know the answer or you don’t know it – all you need to know about this show is what just happened. And we had a blast with the fact that anything can happen. You can have 15 second cameos, you can have fake commercials, you can mess with people’s minds, “he says.

“We took advantage of the fact that when you come to do a TV show, you don’t know what’s normal.

“So we did some very abnormal things. Like, someone from Girls Aloud is walking across the room for no reason. It’s crazy, but it sort of works, because people just say, “Well, I guess it’s TV – who knows? “

The opening is: “Everything can be a question and the time begins now”. So if I was chatting with the autocue, or the warm-up man, or the guy on the platform that takes care of the lighting, this could all be a question.

Carr believes that being a stand-up would make him a decent candidate on the show.

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“I’m used to being on stage and having to remember someone’s name 50 minutes ago so I can call this guy back on stage while I do the next track. So my memory is not bad.

“If you’re a one-line guy – and I’m a one-line guy – you’ve got to be able to remember 300 jokes in a row every night, then you’re working that muscle a lot.”

Carr is hopeful the show will be a success after what has been a difficult time for many in the entertainment industry.

“I guess every actor got an ultimatum from the management; either you do a podcast or you write a book. I think I took the choice of sir; I wrote a book [called Before & Laughter].

“And I was a full-time dad during the lockdown. I had a little baby two years ago. I would never have spent so much time with my child, and I really enjoyed it.

The last few years have also seen the rise of the so-called “cancellation culture”, so has this affected his approach to comedy?

“Canceling culture has always been one thing. I think I have a duty to my audience, that people have booked tickets to see a pissed off comic book tell pissed off jokes, so I’m going to do it.

“I’m playing in front of an audience that paid to be there, and we’re having a lot of fun. And it’s – a little ironically, I guess – a very safe space, a comedic spectacle. Seems like this is where transgressive comedy should live.

Carr will be 50 next year and says he enjoys and enjoys life. “They say you can’t avoid death and taxes – I’m doing my best to do both,” he jokes.

“I think it’s the stage of life, not the age, and I have a young child and I run with him. I have never felt better.

I Literally Just Told You premieres on Channel 4 on December 16.