Comedy Spotlight: Limmy's Show


Photograph: BBC

Limmy’s Show is unique in that it comes from a context that I am less aware of. Other movies or shows can be contextualized from certain familiar comedy scenes (i.e. the world of Saturday Night Live, Upright Citizens Brigade, the Judd Apatow comedy universe). Limmy’s Show is a sketch show that comes out of the Scottish comedy world, and the creator’s alternative comedy world within that world, making it very unique to me. However, that makes the fact that I connect with it all the more satisfying.

Part of the uniqueness of this show comes from its European-ness – and more specifically, its Scottishness. Just as Monty Python connects me with a British sensibility and Flight of the Conchords connects me with a New Zealand sensibility, this show connects with a Scottish sensibility. The show is filmed in Scottish locations, has a lot of its sketches occurring in what look like authentic pubs, and a lot of the characters played on the show seem to be Scottish archetypes that one would come across. The show seems authentically of its place.

That is not to say that it represents a standard sensibility of Scotland in any sense. Before cultural representation, it is first and foremost a representation of its creator, Brian Limond or “Limmy”. His authentically strange and idiosyncratic sense of humor and performance is the throughline of the show, one that mixes relatable social grievance and conceptual thought with truly unhinged sidetracks and performances. The show, especially Season 1, is simply a representation of this point of view, and the fact that all of this comes from a singular perspective makes it all the more effective for me.

In showcasing this point of view, the show does a good job presenting all aspects while maintaining balance. Similar to Tim and Eric and Monty Python, there are segments/sketches of the show that are not necessarily funny, but provide a fuller picture and contribute towards the overall tone of the show, making the funny moments of the show that much funnier. Similarly to those other shows, these moments contribute in part to a sense of surreality and absurdity (although less off-putting than Tim and Eric and less overtly silly than Monty Python). These moments also contribute to a sense of authenticity, whether that be the authentic Scottish-ness or Limmy’s authentic absurdity.


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