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Chris Morris

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Founded: b. 1962

Headquarters: London, UK

Website Link(s): Cook'd And Bomb'd

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Chris Morris is a British satirist with a reputation for being rather controversial. However, unlike other folk who are known for controversy, his stuff is not all shock. His career started doing local radio shows, where he'd get in trouble for various pranks, like filling the news room with helium, or asking folks what they'd do in the event of an MP's death (who hadn't actually died, and no where did Morris say that he'd died, but people leapt to that conclusion through Morris' particularly chosen wording). Other works include On The Hour, the earlier radio version of The Day Today, a TV News Show Parody (thought to be the basis for The Daily Show in the US, which also featured Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge among other characters (including Morris' own Ted Maul, who would later show up on Brass Eye); Brass Eye, a sequel-of-sorts to The Day Today – this time a parody of the TV newsmagazine format; Blue Jam, a darkly surreal and absurdist radio series, later made for TV asJam and Jaaaaam and the short film My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117; and most recently, the straightforward sitcom Nathan Barley, created with Charlie Brooker based on the latter's TV Go Home site – in particular, the "Cunt" feature.

Morris' work is best seen by his willingness to take on dark themes (pedophilia; death; abuse) and hilarious use of the English Language (a quadroplegic on life support is referred to in Brass Eye as "Quadrospazzed on a Life-Glug"; a working title for Nathan Barley was "Box Of Slice"; the opening monologues to Blue Jam and Jam were stream-of-consciousness stories where the language-soup was so thick it was sometimes difficult to extract the whys-and-wherefores of what was going on).

Some folks have said Chris Morris' comedy is mean-spirited; it's dark, but not mean-spirited. Unlike most mean-spirited (and less successful) comedy, when his characters are abusive to each other, the effects of the cruelty is felt, rather than shrugged off, giving his characters a sense of dignity and weight; likewise, actors in his work always act as if they're in a dramatic piece – never as a straight comedy series, because from the nature of the type of situations his characters find themselves in – they're never funny to the characters, only to the outside observer.

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Morris' own radio shows: (All information from here cribbed from the excellent guides available at Cook'd And Bomb'd, the premier Chris Morris site. Go there for LOADS more information on these shows, and often, places to download them to hear the full glory for yourself.)

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