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12Sep/100

The Ridiculous Case of Alan, Steve, and furry animals

I wear many hats. Sometimes I am a poet, other times a philosopher, and sometimes I even wear an autographed George Wendt hat. One I rarely wear is my investigative hat. Usually I am far too busy hogging the glory to worry myself with researching all those little details that support my theatrical expositions (I’m looking at you Matlock… and Perry Mason). Every now and then I feel the urge to don a trench coat and squint out some Columbo. Today was one of those days where the world was just begging me to drop some facts on it. Sure, all of this information is either publicly known or entirely speculation but that’s what makes it so real and so pure. And without pure fact we are just a bunch of non-opposable thumbed anthropoids. (Editor’s Note: Steve has no idea what an anthropoid is.)

So what could possibly distract me from such important work as solving world hunger and saving children from bears? Two words: Steve Coogan.

steve-coogan The man in question.

I recently saw him in the hilariously funny movie, The Other Guys. Yes, it really is funny enough to have two adjectives. I then saw him in the bizarrely funny Hamlet 2. Naturally, I was curious to find out what other movies he has done because obviously they have to be funny as well. I found something browsing through his filmography that turned on that little compact fluorescent bulb in my head. Steve Coogan has a famous character named Alan Partridge. Well, famous if you know British comedy. Since my British comedy knowledge is limited to Monty Python, the Shaun of the Dead crew, and BBC talking animals, this was news to me. What’s that you say about BBC talking animals? I’m talking about the show where British comedians do voiceovers for random nature footage.

The animals are talking and none of us are Doctor Dolittle!!

Did you catch that? I’m guessing no. Basically, the first segment is some animal trying to get Alan’s attention before realizing that the guy he is trying to talk to is Steve. Alan. Steve. British comedy. Put one and one and one together and you get three/seven/one (depending on how nerdy you are). This animal is clearly using the names Alan and Steve precisely because the two together make sense in the context of British humour. It could have easily been Robert and Pete or Thomas and Jake but they choose Alan and Steve. That is why British humour is so much smarter than American humour; they put in the effort to add depth. The poor American viewing audience gets stuck with Bob Saget spouting gibberish to cat videos.

Hey, if I have to watch it, you have to watch it too.

Consider yourself learned.

Your pal,

Steve

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