Stephen Fry investigates the phenomenon of gibberish - what it is, why we write and speak and sing it, and why we enjoy it so much. Words like 'awaopbopbaloobop awop bam bam' and Bill and Ben's contemporary sounding catchphrase 'blogalog'.
Stephen sets out to unravel some of these threads in the company of Stanley Unwin, George Melly, Gryff Rhys-Jones, Eric and Ernie, Max Bygraves, The Goons, Bill and Ben The Flowerpot Men, and Frank Sinatra, along with experts in language development, in the first ever Radio 4 programme intentionally devoted to the totally unintelligible.
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A bonus episode on the end, but actually the best of the bunch as it is a typical Stephen Fry/ QI topic. Gibberish is explored as a concept & Fry shows off his knowledge of comedians who have dabbled in speaking nonsense as a profession. Curiously this includes an eclectic mix of the Irish (James Joyce), A Dadaist 30 minute nonsense poem (Die Sonata in Urlauten), Baby-talk, music & Stanley Unwin (a famous nonsense comedian from the 50's/60's).
I was tempted to give this product only 4 stars, but this last episode really does deliver the goods. Possibly because its from 2006 (as opposed to 2009 for the others), but no matter - it still makes the series live up to Fry's high standards.
Oh, and it has one of those delicious QI bits of trivia. 'Dagwood Bumstead' is a phrase that (when repeated enough times) is said to either bring true enlightenment or drive you completely insane. Haven't tried it myself, but interesting to know...
P.S. See 'Fry's English Delight Complete Series 2' if you want to see the review of the full product.
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