The news of the BBCs axing of Shooting Stars
is incredibly sad for long-time fans of the surreal panel show fronted by Vic and Bob. While its probably fair to say that recent episodes were becoming a little stale, they were still punctuated by moments funnier than anything else on TV. If this is indeed the definitive end of the show, it's a very sad day for fans of Vic and Bobs unique style of comedy. Id also have to ask the BBC why Shooting Stars is the first show to go and not all the guff they shove out onto BBC Three.. But thats another matter. We can only hope that with Shooting Stars being seen as redundant by the BBC, Vic and Bob will go onto bigger and better things and become inspired to do something a little different. Join us as we look back on 12 of the funniest moments in the history of Shooting Stars.
12 - Butterfield !
The appearance of Brian Butterfield
- Peter Serofinowitz' rotund businessman - provided the last series of the show with some of its funniest moments. Whether confusing a rubber mask of Tom Baker with the real person, falling off his chair
or even getting muddled up about the plotline of Avatar, Butterfield/Serofinowitz was one of the best guests on the show in recent years.
11 - Peter Kay On Masterchef
While Vic and Bob's earlier spoof
of Masterchef was perhaps more memorable for its nightmarish depiction of a floating cutlary-fingered Lloyd Grossman, the later sketch on Shooting Stars featured a spot-on parody of Bolton stand-up Peter Kay. Depicted with a bulging forehead and bright red face, Vic Reeves' impersonation
- which came complete with endless nostalgic observations (Clackers ! Do you remember Clackers !) - was fantastic. "We've all enjoyed the memories Peter !"
10 - Jack Dee's Face
One of the funniest long-running gags in the later years of the show was that of Vics surreal and nonsensical insults directed at Jack Dee and his melancholic expressions. Each week Jack's face would be compared to everything from a "crate full of rotten memories" to "a bankrupt Pug" or my personal favourite "a hard-boiled bollock
9 - Lesbians
One of George Dawes' (Matt Lucas) many brilliant songs performed on Shooting Stars, Lesbians
is easily one of the funniest - and catchiest - of his repertoire. With a funky calypso beat and thought provoking lyrics ("Some drink coffee, some drink tea.... A handy metaphor, for sexuality!") it's a stand-out George Dawes moment.
8 - Magic Perfomance
During one of the many series of Shooting Stars, Vic and Bob would often spice up things with an impromptu magic performance - done in the style of a cheesy variety show. One such magic trick had Vic having his tongue cut off to the disgusted cries of the audience, but the very best was this performance
in which Bob's leg is shoddily stretched through a mystery cardboard box.
7 - Vic's Bad Joke
Another of the great long-running gags in the earlier days of Shooting Stars was Vic's desire for telling bad pun-orientated gags during 'The Dove From Above' round. The sheer awfulness of the gags (example - "A Dove friend of mine loved Curry, his favourite is a Vindacoo') was further heightened by the resulting awkward silence and tumbleweed
blowing onto set.
6 - Lance Corporal Boiled Egg
The 'clips round' of the show was often where Shooting Stars would be at its most silliest and surreal. Highlights over the years have included a spoof of Iceland ads
, and a scarily accurate take on Carry On Camping
, but one of the best was a period drama named 'Jane Hairs' in which Lance Corporal Boiled Egg is known for his 'curious dance'
5 - Club Singer Christmas Special
The club singer round - where Vic Reeves impersonates a sloshed gentlemens club crooner - is one of the staples of Shooting Stars and remained an integral part of each and every series. It probably peaked with this moment during a Christmas special of the show, where Vic gave an astonishingly animated performance
of Ike and Tina Turner's 'River Deep, Mountain High' - backed by Bob on keyboard.
4 - Vic's Virtual Reality Helmet
In the 90's virtual reality oddly became a big thing and seeped into TV with programs like Craig Charles' Cyberzone and game show The Krypton Factor. When host Gordon Burns appeared on Shooting Stars he was treated to a surprise display of the joys of Virtual Reality thanks to Vic Reeves' advanced helmet
. If you catch the daytime repeat on Challenge, don't be surprised to find this moment mysteriously absent.
3 - Larry Hagman
One of the great things about Shooting Stars was the occasional episodes in which celebrities would appear on the show, clearly unaware of the format and its surreal nature. Best of these was Dallas star Larry Hagman who looked utterly bemused
when being asked questions like "True or False. When a cat meows, is it actually saying get me out, as it is actually a rabbit in a cat's body". Later on in the same show when asked if he'll be firing his agent, Hagman replies "I've been on some goofy shows, but nothing like this!"
2 - Peanuts !
Another one of George's songs, but a bit more experimental perhaps. He fronts the audience in a skin tight green tracksuit with a bizarre haircut and dodgy glasses, and simply repeatedly shouts out "Peanuts!
" on different vocal levels. What really makes this moment one of the funniest in the shows history is the fact that Matt Lucas can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all - not helped by Vic and Bob, who are themselves falling apart behind him.
1 - The Skank
They've often enjoyed a good song and dance number on Shooting Stars, but Vic and Bob's most memorable was that of the skank
which would often appear during the Will Self years of the show. The combination of Vic on keyboard - sporting a dapper flat cap, mustache and bow tie - and Bob's strange mechanical dance is hilarious, unnerving and unforgettable. _________ What are your favourite Shooting Stars moments ?