Act Your Age
BBC Radio 4, 27 November 2008 to 27 April 2011 (18 episodes in 3 series)
It's as if Gag Tag never went away! Three pairs of comedians, three of whom are regular team captains, are given silly things to do by Simon Mayo to prove that their generation is the funniest - the Up-and-Comers, the Current Crop and the Old Guard.
The show opens with a joke from each panellist just for fun, and then Simon opens the floor for the first round proper - e.g. "What would you bring back from your generation?" Whichever pairing provides the funniest material is deemed to have got the points.
Three times during the programme, two comedians from different teams compete to get a big enough laugh on a common comedy topic (e.g. Friends, Technology, Families). When a laugh is scored, the first comedian's clock is stopped and the second comedian starts his joke. The performer who can keep their clock lower than their opponent's within 90 seconds wins the round.
Various other rounds are introduced along the way, ending with a buzzer round at the end where people buzz in on topics fired out by Mayo.
The show has some weaknesses. Giving the host the vote for the scoring is never a particularly strong idea (how hard would it have been to have 9 members of the studio audience hold up voting panels or something?), as if you disagree with the host's verdict you end up hating him. The scoring is not accurate enough to be fair, nor silly enough to be entertaining. And like any joke show, many patches are not as funny as the comedians would like to think.
However, some sections are genuinely impressive and hilarious, and how the regulars keep coming up with more and more material is awe-inspiring.
The producers, Ashley Blaker and Bill Matthews
A version of My Generation performed by kids