Jimmy Carr

List TV died about two years ago, having been saturated to the level of absurdity. Nevertheless it does have a place in the schedules as an undemanding extra person in the room prompting you to remember, argue and disagree with the foolish placements. The role of presenter of a list show therefore is minimal, a few gags in and out of the ads, a bit of voice-over. For some reason, Channel Four’s three big list extravaganzas over Christmas were all linked by Jimmy Carr, deadpan, funny headed comedian. So here is a list of his attributes, to fit the theme.

5: Insincerity: Carr manages to convince you that not only does he not care about the lists he is presenting, but that frankly the audience is wasting its time watching. He may well be right, but this might not actually be his role.

4: Cheeky:
The idea that he is a comedian who can offend and get away with it is schtick which can wear thin quickly. That said, his gags are nearly always throwaway so you can ignore them as a hint the ads are coming.

3: Offensive: The flipside to cheeky, Carr is in the vanguard of reclaiming certain areas of comedy from political correctness. Perhaps if his jokes were good, this would be more justifiable, but they tend to err on the side of people with Cerebal Palsy not being able to beat him up in a fight.

2: Funny looking: It is not his face so much as his head, and his bearing. In person, he tries to look almost saintly, as the barbs come from his tongue. In the relatively empty TV studios the Top 100 Christmas Moments and Top 100 TV Treats Of 2004he had nothing to bounce off of. He seemed more comfortable presenting The Comedian’s Comedian, the conceit being he was a comedian dying on stage.

1: Ubiquity: Perhaps these clip shows were the television equivalent of contractual obligation albums, and Channel Four can think of nothing else to do with Carr. Certainly his uncomfortable, barely funny style did nothing to resurrect a dying genre of television. Having him host The Comedian’s Comedian seemed almost a joke too far.

Presenterating score: 2 (3 if you could believe he actually worked on Christmas Day).