FROM THE ARCHIVES: Richard Straker (27/1/09)

Welcome back to From The Archives, our weekly delve into my comedic efforts during my tenure at Warwick University. After a couple of longer instalments, this week's episode is short and sweet - or perhaps thort and thweet, considering the character.
Richard Straker is the third character that I honed over the Christmas break of 2008-09. Like many of the characters Tom and I created on The Yesterday Show, he was built from the voice upwards with all the other aspects both added in scripting. But while both the preceding characters were based on real people - Dylan Moran and Peter Sellers respectively - Straker was a simple experiment; I wondered what it would sound like to have both a lisp and a rhotacism, it sounded funny and the rest is history.
In hindsight, this is one of the stupider characters I created in this period. Giving the character multiple speech impediments and then playing them for laughs is really no more clever than what Adam Sandler did in The Waterboy (shudders). Fortunately there's just enough about Straker for us to look beyond this, and his various sexual... misunderstandings still hold up pretty well (no pun intended). The line about Polly Toynbee stemmed from my annoyance at an article she wrote on the first Narnia film, while the one about Lucy Pinder needs... very little imagination.
While the main section is one of the weakest in Series 2, I still like this episode because of Alex's contribution. It's almost becoming a running theme that his input redeems or overlooks anything sub-par in the main section, and here is no exception. One of the consequences of bringing him back was that the dynamic between him and Tom (as characters) shifted from utter contempt to grudging respect, or at least resignation. No matter how bad Alex's reports ended up, Tom is always secretly glad to have him, and so it made sense that he should really push his luck in this episode.

So without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy Series 2, Episode 3 of The Yesterday Show: