Category Archives: Comedy

Flowing juices. Creative ones, obviously.

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To quote the much maligned and dearly beloved late 90’s nu-metal band, ‘Stain’d’ – “It’s been a while”.

Several moons have passed since I last put finger to keyboard and mined literary goldust in the much loved Ross report. I could tell you that it was due to a creative funk, or I could even tell you it was because I have been far too busy hacking away at a forest of publishers, magazines and other literary guff peddlers – each clamouring for a piece of the artist formerly known as Ross. But, of course this would be false, and I would therefore be a liar. And I am not a liar, just a little bit of a dick.

The true reason for my absence has been much more mundane. Essentially, hammering out five blogs a week was a big ask and one that I could not realistically maintain without imploding like a beautiful, but dying star. So, as swiftly as I crashed head first into the literary atmosphere (forever changing how human’s percieved blog writing), I left it.

Well, nation, I have returned. For how long I cannot say. Possibly, until this ferocious black coffee I just sucked down has worn off and I collapse into a caffiene-related fug of sleepiness. But, for now I throw myself at your feet, my creative love muscle spewing forth words – pump after pump of consonants, vowels and….erm, full stops I guess.

What’s new Ross? One of you quietly whispers. Well, in fact life is bubbling over nicely in 2013. I am a week and a half from Tough Mudder. I have trained relentlessly for this brute and as it slowly slides into focus on my horizon, I no longer fear this spitting, raging slut. I embrace her and feel confident I will beat her soundly. I should stop using the word “her” as this could also be construed as a carrying a domestic-y violence vibe. Never pleasant. No. Ahem.

I have run two 12 miler’s and have dropped 8lbs since New Years Eve. Granted, five of those pounds possibly were deposited in the toilets of White Hart Lane on New Years day, as I proudly watched my beloved Tottenham Hotspur scithe through Reading with a hangover akin to being nose-fucked by deranged donkey – whom was partial to coitus with a human nostril.

Domestic violence and beastiality. Yep, the ross report is definitely back.

What else? In two weeks time, a road trip to the sleepy German vista of Stuttgart begins.  Handily scheduled to coincide with the massive beer festival. A quick glance at google maps reveals that our hotel is 100 yards from a beer tent. However, my suggestion of growing out a blonde maine and wearing blue contact lenses to “fit in” was shouted down. Primarily because I struggle with hair growth as a rule and some other ‘political’ reasons.

Also, I have been asked to be the best man for my friend Thomas Bradbury Esq. If a man be judged on his appearances as a best man (best being the operative word) then this would be my second show-stopping gig. The first one, for my big brother garnered rave reviews from two seperate pissed and distant relatives in the lavvy, to quote, “Best speech I’ve ever heard lad”. High praise. Plus, there were at least three women crying when I switched the speech from witty to earnest. Suffice to say, Thomas, I will not let you down.

Now, at the risk of spouting on and on like a fucked up oil rig, I will call a halt to this five star return blog. I cannot promise there will be more but I will try.

Things are looking up nation, of that I am certain. Peace-out, A-town.

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Wednesday Watch: ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’.

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I had a cat once. I dropped a sofa on it. It was a write-off, so I stood on its head.” – Dean Learner

You would be forgiven for not having been aware of today’s recommendation. Criminally, this excellent and ground-breaking televisual feast was given a graveyard slot on channel four, subjected to a piss-poor marketing campaign and lost in amongst the dank fug of tripe being peddled out by mid 2000’s channel four.

Thankfully, in this case, quality lasts and inevitably shines through, and no other show that I can think of glistens with the comedic sheen that ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ does. Broadcasted in 2004 ‘Darkplace’ was and remains a cult show that truly defines the term, clasped lovingly to the collective breasts of its loyal fan base and revered by many as the funniest show to grace UK screens of the last decade. High praise indeed when we consider this a time of relative success in terms of UK comedy – think ‘The Office’ and ‘Peep Show’.

There will be some reading this who know of ‘Darkplace’, and it is likely that they are already fervent fans. However, as mentioned earlier, this slipped under the radar of many. Mostly due to a minimal advertising campaign that failed to translate exactly what the show was about and also a late night slot apparently designed promote to failure.

‘Darkplace’ is the twitching brainchild of creator Matthew Holness and is presented as a lost classic: a television series produced in the 1980s, though never broadcast at the time. The presentation features commentary from many of the “original” cast, where characters such as ‘Garth Marenghi’ and ‘Dean Learner’ reflect on making the show.

The beauty of the comedy is how the entire debacle is played completely straight, the talking head interviews are note perfect and exhibit the acting brilliance of Holness as well as ‘editor’ Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade) and Todd Rivers (Matt Berry). What makes things massively hilarious is how terrible the original show was. ‘Darkplace’ parodies numerous aspects of ’80s low-budget television, including fashion, special effects, production gaffs, and music. The dubbing, jump cuts, wooden acting all create a heady mix of pure comedic genius, allowing for very little respite to collect air from guffawing so much. It’s that good folks.

In the eyes of ‘Marenghi’ and ‘Learner’ this was cutting edge, era defining television. The joke lies within how it most certainly was not.

Unfortunately, ’Darkplace’ only lasted a meager six episodes. In some ways this is probably the perfect way for the show to remain as each episode is a comedy classic with stories ranging from a mutated eye-child called ‘Skipper’ to Sanchez falling in love with a woman who turns in to a stick of broccoli. To continue would potentially have led to a drop in quality albeit unlikely with the talent involved. Channel four in an admission of their almighty balls up, re-ran the series and cobbled together a fantastic DVD package a couple of years after the show aired – definitely worth picking up for a few quid.

Since its release, Ayoade has moved on to ‘The I.T Crowd’ and directing with the brilliant ‘Submarine’ and recently starring in a Hollywood comedy with A-list big dicks Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill. Similarly, Matt Berry also starred in ‘The I.T Crowd’ taking over the enormous shoes of legend Chris Morris.

I cannot recommend this show enough, it is utterly exceptional and sits amongst greats such as ‘Alan Partidge’ and ‘Brass Eye’ in my personal, awesome opinion.

I will leave it to Garth sum up…

“Greetings traveler. I’m Garth Marenghi, horror writer. Most of you will probably know me already from my extensive canon of chillers, including Afterbirth, in which a mutated placenta attacks Bristol. Back in the 1980s, I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, a television program so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy, that the so-called powers that be became too scared to show it, and gypped me. Much in the same way women have done ever since they sniffed out my money.” – Garth Marenghi

Enjoy pilgrims…

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Monday Movie Review: ‘Ruby Sparks’ (2012).

Whilst I attempt to keep up appearances as a chap of meaty, man-size proportions, I tragically have a dirty, sordid secret. One that if known would wipe all remnants of my masculinity away in one foul swoop. I am not speaking of a concealed vagina nor a third nipple (that has long since gone) but I do have a soft and tickly spot for something no man should really ever claim to have.

That vice is the romantic comedy.

Whoa there sport! I’m not talking gloopy sugar-fests like ‘Love Actually’ or ‘The Notebook’, so please lower those furrowed brows. My kind of romantic comedies, or I should say romantic dramas, have a twitching brain and an ability to spark genuine thought and post-film pondering. To give you a scent of what I dig, my ‘rom-com-dram’ favourites range from ‘Vanilla Sky’, ‘Knocked Up’, ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ to today’s reviewed movie-film, ‘Ruby Sparks’.

“Ruby what?!” You yell, and you may have a point, but please stop yelling, your voice is whiny and annoying.

Released this year, ‘Ruby Sparks’ stealthily slipped under the prying eyes of the masses and was subject to a very selected release in the UK which was reflected in meagre box office performance. But, don’t let that stop you from checking this one out because ‘Ruby Sparks’ is a stone cold fox of a release. I skipped in with fairly muted expectations on a wet Thursday afternoon but waltzed out a jaunty and exultant young man after witnessing a movie that jockeyed position to take number three on my top five flicks of 2012. (Skipped, waltzed and jockeyed – maybe I should be concerned).

‘Ruby Sparks’ is the tale of a young writer-type, Calvin (Paul Dano), who is struggling with chronic writers block. Crumpling under the weight of his early but now waning success after writing a bestseller at the precocious age of 19, Calvin has been unable to finish a novel since. His life is one of mundane routine and he deeply craves the love of another woman. Calvin, after a dream whereupon he meets a young girl, begins to write a story based on the female. To his amazement, the female then becomes real. Her every thought and move mirroring the words that Calvin types.

You would be excused to think it all sounds massively hokey and a bit like a 2012 re-imagining of ‘Mannequin’ but you would be bloody wrong as this a very smart and original film. Chiefly, this is testament to a script that is punchy, original and smacks of reality. To achieve this is impressive considering the premise of the story being so unbelievable. I sympathised with Calvin and wanted him to find a woman who satisfied his wants and aspirations but similarly I felt for Ruby who was essentially being manipulated and bent to his will.

Thankfully, Ruby’s character isn’t written as an irritating ‘Juno’ type pixie girl either, and this benefits the story. As Calvin is effectively creating his dream spouse it is hard to not empathise as their relationship inevitably descends in to chaos. She is blameless throughout yet punished when she does not abide to Calvin’s preconceived notions of what he wants the relationship to be. This could easily have been ham fisted in its approach and Ruby, in the wrong hands, would have been a massively annoying twerp.

The early sparks of love are translated perfectly as Calvin’s life immeasurably improves the more that Ruby (Zoe Kazan) bleeds into it. There are definite echoes of 500 Days of Summer in the light but tragic style in which the narrative is delivered.

Paul Dano is brilliant as the young writer and convincingly portrays a fragile but talented scribe, so much so that I intend to watch a few more of his canon. Zoe Kazan, as Ruby is not at all irritating and kooky and cute enough to make Calvin’s love for her seem plausible. There is notable support in the shape of Steve Coogan, Annette Benning and Antonio Banderas.

The film chugs along at decent pace shifting from a bright and breezy introduction before moving in to dark more thought provoking territory. After the credits rolled, I was left quite affected. Much in the same way I felt after watching ‘500 Days of Summer’. Rather than fluffily investigating love, jealousy and solitude, Kazan’s narrative attacks those subjects in a unique and original manner.

Essential viewing.

Furthermore, The Ross Report is changing formats to three days a week. Circumstances dictate that I must pull back a little, so please bear with me and keep on reading, its massively appreciated.

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Friday Filth: Kate Upton (trust me on this) and Channing Tatum.

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It’s grot-day, otherwise known on the Ross report as Filth Friday. Due to my 12 hour working day this will be the briefest of brief blogs.

A wise pervert once said that a picture tells a thousand words. Well, that’s dandy because I’ve got a stack of snaps to share.

My choice was difficult this week after being inundated with requests from work colleagues, but I’ve stuck to my massive guns and selected a lady I think you will all dig.

Today’s eye candy hails from the States, allow me to introduce the saintly Kate Upton as this weeks object of affection. From what I can muster, Miss Upton is known chiefly for her sizeable assets and a collection of trouser tearing viral videos.

Take a look at this ‘Cat Daddy’ vid. It makes no sense, but who really cares when making no sense is this foxy.

As for the females, I’m throwing you a morsel of man. It may seem an obvious choice but I also realise that including this chap in my blog will, without fail, drive traffic and views to the site.

No apologies for that.

Therefore, bean flick yourselves to Mr Channing Totum, I mean Tatum. Tee-hee.

Plus, ‘Magic Mike’ was very decent and his comedic chops were earned in ’21, Jump Street’ alongside the human version of a deflated skin balloon, Jonah Hill.

Enjoy and I’ll be coming back-atcha like Cleopatra on Monday.

 

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Tuesday Training: The tragic and cautionary tale of ‘Zyzz’.

Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian (1989 -2011)

Obsession.

Each of us, as humans, have the ability to become obsessed. It is both a brilliant and potentially dangerous facet of the human condition. Mostly, we are aware when passion morphs into obsession and we are able to curb it, identify and consequently mould it into the muse we want it to be.

A key example of unbridled obsession would be the former England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Infintitely talented on a rugby paddock and relentlessly devoted to success, a character driven by unbridled passion. As a personality, he was revered constantly, and unfairly, as a rugby droid, purely because he would not go out shagging vapid trollopes every weekend, or provide a cutting soundbite to the press.

Here was a man obsessed with two goals – to captain England and the second, you guessed it, to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and be a world champion. Everything else was subsidary.

The kick that changed history.

The reason I mention Wilko is two fold. On the surface was a consumate professional and a cast iron role model. His obsession and unflinching desire paid massive dividends. On November 22nd 2003, his world was replaced with a new alien existence. Jonny became a national hero and icon, prime press fodder.

Post World Cup final, his finely tuned body began to creak and misfire. Injury upon injury followed, form dissapeared. Wilkinson slowly slipped from the public conscious. All the seconds, minutes, days and hours spent carving his psyche and technique to becoming a world champion reared themselves in the years that preceded that glittering November evening at the Telstra stadium.In a cruel twist, the work he had done was now creeping up and tearing him apart.

Jonny entered a spiral of deep depression and suffocating anxiety. Silently, he became a recluse – angry at the sport that he once adored and the spotlight that shone so brightly on his career.

From hero to an ongoing joke of the sport, famed once for his consumate temperment, now for his broken body and failed comebacks. His obsession led to the heights he craved but similarly it also culminated in to the darkest, lonliest period of his life.

Fortunately, Jonny eventually recognised this and relaxed his obsessive regimen and learned to enjoy his rugby, moving to Toulon and rebooting his stuttering career and personal life. He identified his demons before they swallowed him entirely.

‘Zyzz’ however, did not.

Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian

I stumbled across ‘Zyzz’ a couple of months ago on youtube whilst I was searching for a couple of motivational videos prior to throwing stuff about at the gym. The picture heading this blog previewed the video and so my curiosity was tickled and I watched the four minute video that followed.

What a cock,” was my immediate thought.

A minute later, “Cripes, he is in great shape though”.

Three minutes in, “He’s rather funny is this Aussie chap”.

The video ends, “What the shit?!! He’s DEAD?”.

I have a healthy morbid curiosity, maybe it links to the job I do (I’m not a contract killer, despite my obvious resemblance to Agent 47 of the Hitman games). My research began and I started to learn more and more about this internet sensation and cult hero, who was simply known as ‘Zyzz’.

Here was a very young man, who whilst in his teens was trapped within the body of an ectomorph. He craved, like a vast bulk of us gents do, women and he believed that being shredded was the answer. Therefore he began to train….hard. Results came quickly and with his new found adonis-like physique, as did a new personality that would inspire and repulse in equal measures.

‘Zyzz’ was the phyical embodiment of an internet troll, he became a minor celebrity down under. This was reflected following his premature passing with the search term ‘Zyzz’ being more popular than that of the Australian Prime minister.

Watching his videos, ‘Zyzz’ fist pumps and flexes his enviable physique in all manner of inappropriate situations.Whether you approve or not, he coined a number of phrases, that no douby you will have heard farting out of the mouths of teenage plebs at your local gymnasium.

“You mirin’?!” – You admiring?

“Come at me bro!” – self explanatory.

“Sick C*nt” – again, self explanatory.

“FUUUUUUAAAAAARK” – see above.

All inspired, Shakespeare standard fayre I am sure you will agree.

Watching his videos, it is simple to dismiss ‘Zyzz’ as a bit of an Aussie prick – and he is, but this is also a slight disservice. Away from the camera, he openly confided in his fans that the entire ‘Zyzz’ character was just that, a fabricated figurehead for his obsession – to be the king of aesthetic bodybuilding.

His transformation from stick insect to aesthetic god has inspired many. He is also despised by those who consider him a fraud, and understandbly so, I am undecided, but once you click through a few of his videos and read his dry and sometimes hilarious quotes, it’s difficult to not feel an ounce of sadness for his untimely passing. There is certainly a presence about him, good or bad.

Aziz ‘Zyzz‘ Shavershian died in a sauna in Bangkok, aged 22. It is widely reported that he was on a very intensive steroid and fat burner cycle and this coupled with an unknown heart condition put paid to his legacy. Despite his continual protestations that he was a natural bodybuilder, the general consensus was that he indeed did abuse steroids.

I dont ask that you like or approve him, I just consider his story to be quite an intriguing one.

His obsession snuffed out his young life. Dont let obession rule yours.

RIP Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian March 24, 1989 – August 5, 2011

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Friday Filth w/ bonus funny: Jessica Nigri (HAWT) and Mr R. Gosling.

Click on her boobs for a gallery.

Friday morning has plopped out of Thursday night’s perky bottom and the weekend is now tantalising close. For all you ‘normies’, this means booze, rest, partying and hookers – you lucky bunch of blighters.

With my trade, weekends are strictly rationed out and snaffled up hungrily on the rarest of occasions that I have them off.

But, I won’t sit here and weep like a teased vagina.

Instead, to warm mine and your jealous and pervy cockles, Uncle Ross has conjured up a female of the foxiest form to lust over in those colder, lonelier moments over this windy, wet, winter weekend. Her name is Jessica Nigri and she dresses up as Pikachu and stuff.

Miss Nigri is a rare and bewitching creature – an unapologetically geeky specimen who spends her free time constructing outfits based on famed video game characters. Then squeezing into said outfiits and initiating cardiac arrest on swathes of chubby nerds at comic conventions. Well, it was going to be her or the industrial vat’s of Wotsits they shove down their gullets.

She also has massive…….opinions on global warming and world peace and… Oh sorry I was looking at her tits. Enjoy.

Click on the picture above to see a little more of Miss Nigri.

For the ladies then, just because I feel a prime turd if I purely hark on about stonking fun bags, as a token gesture, here is a gallery to the effortlessly suave Ryan Gosling. Even a dashing rogue like I can appreciate he is a handsome bastard.

Plus, he has been in a spate of stupendously cracking films over the last 18 months. Any human who watched ‘Drive’ and felt no rumbling in their loins, by my calculations is either a droid or rotting inside.

Click on his giant head for a gallery of Mr Gosling.

And as a final goodbye for the week I charitably mined a shining chunk of funny for you all.

On a recent trip to Barcelona, my two rampaging chums and I were holed up in our rented apartment nursing weapons grade hangovers. A good two hours was spent whoring the apartment Wi-Fi on YouTube and after much deliberation and Jaegermeister, this little gem was considered video of the night.

Butter flooring, if you haven’t heard of it yet; spend a valuable ten minutes of your working day versing yourself on this brutal pranking craze.

I shall see you mucky lot next week for my world famous movie chat. As always, follow me on twitter to recieve all this goodness and more.

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