Trigger Happy TV



Trigger Happy TV is a British hidden camera television show, created, produced by and starring Dom Joly, originally aired on the British television channel Channel 4. Unlike most hidden camera programs, many of the scenes in Trigger Happy TV did not revolve around trapping normal people into embarrassing and impossible situations. Instead, Joly often made fun of himself rather than others, and many scenes made people stop and either laugh or simply wonder what was going on; the passers-by are never made aware of the fact that they are on television, presumably until they sign a release form allowing the use of the footage shot.

Such scenes include Joly answering a gigantic novelty mobile phone and shouting at the top of his voice into it (normally in quiet locations like golf courses, cinemas, libraries and parks), a chef chasing an actor in a large rat costume out of a restaurant, and two actors dressed as masked Mexican wrestlers getting into spontaneous fights in grocery stores. The programme's surreal sketches have been described as being influenced by Dada. Other scenes include people dressed as animals breaking into a fight and the progress of various costumed pedestrians (such as a snail and an old man) across a zebra crossing in London. Joly also often dressed as a Cub Scout, a foreign person with bad English, or a park attendant.

The show also didn't include a laugh track, instead playing instrumental and sometimes sad music during sketches. Bands such as Eels and The Crocketts have been used multiple times in Trigger Happy TV. Another Dom Joly-related show, World Shut Your Mouth, does not have a laugh track either.

Three series and a Christmas special of the show were produced in the UK, from 2000 to 2002. Three DVDs were released, containing the "best of" both series and the Christmas specials.

Despite the show's popularity over two continents, Joly says he will not make any more in Britain, as his face and voice are now too well known.

* A random customer about to enter a grocery store is told by Joly (with several women) that he is the millionth customer and gets anything he can get in his cart in one minute for free. The customer proceeds to speed through the store filling up his cart while Joly and the other actors remove the set and quickly leave.
* Joly is seen dressed in a Halloween burglar costume standing outside of a house. He asks passersby to borrow a ladder. On one instance he asks a man to hold the ladder for him while he climbs down, but once on the ground runs away screaming, "We burgled the house! Me and him just burgled the house!" — leaving the man holding the ladder.
* Joly, dressed in a porkpie hat and white jumpsuit, walks up to a couple sitting on a bench in a park. He proceeds to do a terrible Morris dance. He then stops and calmly places his hand out as if asking for change.
* Joly is seen in a laundrette with boxer shorts and an undershirt on, and wearing a hockey mask on his face, a la Jason Voorhees. He stuffs a bloody jumpsuit into the washer.
* Outside an incongruous location (such as a pornography shop or public toilet) a crowd has gathered, complete with horn players and a television crew. When a customer leaves the shop fanfare erupts and an interviewer tells the person they are the millionth customer.
* Joly stands in front of an enormous picture of himself plastered against a wall that says "Do not trust this man!", but still manages to get passersby to talk to him and do things for him. In one memorable sketch, somebody actually comes up to him and asks him for directions.
* People sit down to have Joly, dressed as a French artist, paint their portrait. Rather than actually painting the portrait, Joly paints a comical phrase or picture on the canvas and walks away, leaving the customer sitting in the pose with a funny message in front of them.
* Persons are stopped at random on the street and asked to take a blindfolded taste test of a new cola. Once the person is blindfolded and given a cola in each hand, the interviewer and crew silently walk away leaving the person standing there. Sometimes a noticeably different crew replaces the original one.
* Joly lands an interview with a British celebrity, but while talking to them is gradually distracted by an enemy, stomps off in anger, chases after an ardent fan who has just kissed him, is kidnapped right in front of the interviewee by a van of hoodlums, or has some other kind of mishap.
* Joly pretends to be a punk (complete with piercings and mohawk; see punk fashion) and asks people in the park directions to classical music concerts or upmarket restaurants. He tends to quote poetry, speak with a Received Pronunciation accent, and turn around, showing his jacket, which says "FUCK OFF"
* Joly, disguised in trench coat, dark glasses and hat plays the role of an undercover spy. In some situations he approaches someone on a park bench and attempts to hand them his suitcase using code words such as "grey squirrel" and "red fox" to the bewilderment of the member of the public. The most elaborate set up involved a unsuspecting phone-box user becoming the centerpiece of a bizarre money exchange laced with secret codes involving a "nun" and a "doctor".
* Joly, dressed as a Swiss tourist, holding a Phrasebook, asks a person a distorted request, such as "Where may I go to empty my bottom?" (go to the toilet). Some people laugh; others genuinely try and help him.
* Various sketches involving actors in animal costumes copulating, urinating, or violently assaulting others, in the presence of ordinary people. The actors in animal costumes are some of the more famous of the sketches. Other examples are the "___-a-gram" services, wherein Joly delivers an actor in costume to an inocuous business location (often a laundromat) and the actor proceeds to stand in the corner, looking completely forlorn and sighing often after Joly leaves.
* Assuming the role of a park-keeper, Joly attempts to vilify elderly park goers, accusing them of behaving like young hooligans. Each sketch starts with the park-keeper saying that he had been "tipped off" and that someone "matching your description" was acting improperly (setting off fireworks, doing graffiti, joyriding, etc) When the elderly victim pleads innocence, the park-keeper relentlessly continues his interrogation.
* Joly, dressed as a traffic warden, accuses motorists stopped in traffic or at traffic lights being illegally parked much to their amazement. This over-zealous jobsworth repeats his mantra, "not on my patch, never" even to a street cleaner and forces him to move his wheelbarrow of equipment away from the double-yellow lines. Joly also stops buses at bus stops, and presents them with parking tickets. Ironically, this happened in real life some years later.
* Joly or other actors wearing "fat suits" and trying to fit into tight places, such as a telephone booth or narrow alleyway. One memorable example included Joly and another actor in fat suits holding up an entire escalator full of people.

As well as being shown on UK's Channel 4, it also caught on in America. Subsequently, a series was produced in America in 2003. It starred additional American actors, presumably so the characters would be more believable to the American onlookers. Dom Joly predominantly made appearances as foreign characters. It was broadcast on the American television station Comedy Central, as well as free, standalone episodes available on Comcast Cable's ON Demand service.

The US series is due to air on Trouble in the UK on 14 March 2007.

In Austria a similar programme is shown(2000 -), it's called echt fett and it runs on ORF 1. Till 2004 on ATV, another similar show was shown, its name was Unkürrekt, but it was more vulgaire than Echt fett.

Belgian TV Channel Kanaal Twee also launched a set of "Trigger Happy" videos. Some include remakes of the British version, but also a number of unique situations have been caught on tape. After some copyright problems with a German production company called Trigger Happy Productions, the name of the show was changed into "Tragger Hippy" for the second season.

German TV Channel Pro Sieben adapted the format and called it "Comedy Street". Simon Gosejohann stars in all six episodes as the main character supported by numerous relatively unknown actors.

Dutch TV broadcaster BNN also adapted the format and called it "Tequila". The show started in November 2006.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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