Lately, I’ve been having trouble sleeping… because I’ve been watching this hilarious British talk show, “The Graham Norton Show.” David Bianculli of National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” gave a positive review of the show and I’ve been hooked ever since. Apparently, Graham Norton, an Irish comedian, has been doing the show for 7 years now. The show plays on BBC America and BBC Two.
Unlike David Letterman or Jay Leno, Graham Norton invites all the guests at the start of the show to sit together. For example, recent Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were promoting “Edge of Tomorrow” and they both sat beside Charlize Theron and Seth MacFarlane who were promoting “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Everyone is provided proper, adult drinks — alcohol — so over the course of the show some guests get pretty verbose and “relaxed.” Mark Wahlberg seems pretty buzzed by the end of a 2013 episode that also featured Sarah Silverman and Michael Fassbender.
Because the show is originally broadcast in the UK, there are no commercial breaks and, for some reason, no one cares about profanity on television. I think the show is only broadcast once a week rather than four for its American counterparts so the quality of the guest line-ups are better.
Graham Norton makes sure to give the celebrities a chance to promote their films but he also asks irreverent and entertaining questions. Some of the anecdotes seem canned but the interactions among guests is the real treat. The show’s format makes it seem, as David Bianculli explains, “it’s like eavesdropping on an all-star cocktail party.” Instead of watching clips, I prefer watching the entire show because you watch the rapport and inside jokes grow. (Everything is available on YouTube.)
This episode with Seth Rogan, Zac Effron, and Matt LeBlanc had me laughing uncontrollably:
Another good episode featuring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Hugh Bonneville: