RTE – That’s All We’ve Got Time For – Here’s Hoping

Posted: January 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

Oh dear.

RTE’s latest effort at a topical quiz show ‘That’s All We’ve Got Time For’ will undoubtedly be compared to ‘Have I Got News For You?’ and that’s a shame, because it won’t hold up well to that kind of comparison.

Have I got News for you has been running for 20 years, it has lost it’s long term presenter and kept going, and you will get more laughs and bigger laughs in 30 seconds of ‘Have I Got News For You’ than in an entire episode of ‘That’s All We’ve Got Time For’.

It would be wrong to say I had high hopes for the new show. I didn’t. A lifetime of seeing RTE suck the funny out of comedy has left me with low expectations, but I do always hope to be surprised. ‘Paths To Freedom’ from a decade ago is a lonely high point, but what a high point.

‘That’s All We’ve Got Time For’ was painful to watch. Here’s hoping that somebody takes all concerned aside and explains that this is supposed to be a news comedy show, not a farce of a news show.

There were so few laughs in the show that at one point towards the end a genuinely funny line prompted a cheer from the audience.

The panelists quite often gave the straight literal correct answer rather than engaging in the few minutes of surreal humor that would provide the editors with enough material to make the show entertaining. At least I hope that’s what happened. I can’t quite shake the notion that having seen the attempts at funny, the editors decided the straight literal answers were the more entertaining options.

None of the panelists seemed to be enjoying themselves. None of them seemed to find much of any of it very funny. The very short bursts of laughter from the audience suggested that they were reflex laughs, the result of years of training on where and when to laugh. It appears one or perhaps two seconds is how long it takes the average Irish audience to realise “oh, that wasn’t actually all that funny”.

Please, Please, Please RTE. Rethink this show before it’s too late.

Kevin Myers just doesn’t get his role. He’s supposed to be the straight guy, bemused at the ways of the modern world, and with enough of a grasp of comedy to play the part for laughs. There are lots of guys and girls who have the chops to do the job. On paper Myers might appear to be up to it but he just isn’t as is painfully clear from even one episode.

Mario Rosenstock is a funny guy, but he just didn’t do it for me. On the whole the entire show was restained to the point of being boring. Myres should be dropped immediately, Rosenstock might work out but only if he and the whole show lets it self go and really pushes the limits of taste, decency and even libel.

If Rosenstock doesn’t improve RTE could kill two birds with one stone by cancelling the awful Val Falvey and roping Ardal O’Hanlon into a team captain job.

Finally, in getting Barry Murphy, a comedian to play the host, RTE completely screwed up the formula. Murphy seemed unsure whether his job was to follow the BBC model where the host sits in the crossfire of jokes coming from the teams, or whether he is supposed to supply some of the jokes.

It’s telling that a show like a ‘Question Of Sport’ is consistently funny despite the fact that none of the team captains, guests or the host are comedians.

That’s the difference. The BBC can take anybody and make a funny show. RTE can’t make a funny show regardless of who they have at their disposal.

  1. daltonr says:

    I haven’t been watching for the last few weeks, but I checked it out tonight just to see if anything has improved.

    It’s gotten worse. The first two episodes (the only ones I’ve seen) were bad but just about watchable.

    Tonight, I had to turn off after about 5 minutes.

    That’s all I’ve got time for. If this show was a hare, I’d put aside my dislike of blood sports, bring it to a coursing meet and ask them to remove the muzzles.

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