The John Dredge Nothing To Do With Anything Show is a comedy podcast by British comedian John Dredge. It gradually evolved out of a number of different approximately five-minutes-long programmes which were originally published on Comedy 365 and are now mostly archived on the 404 Funny podcast (archives here). Many of the show's regular characters first appeared in one of those predecessor programmes.
After a special half-hour-long Christmas Episode in 2011 - called appropriately The John Dredge Nothing to Do with Xmas Show - the first official episode of the Nothing To Do With Anything Show was published in May 2012. Since then, four series, each featuring six episodes, have been produced with the help of producer Richard Cray. A number of other comedians and actors have had recurring appearances in the show as well, including Anna Emerson, Greg Haiste, James Shakeshaft, Max Dowler, Will Franken, Anil Desai, Miles Eady, Katy Slater, Mark Davison and a lemon meringue pie.
The show is available for download on the British Comedy Guide and it has also been broadcast on radio on some independent radio stations in the London area. Some additional written material is available on John Dredge's blog.
The show can best be described as surreal Sketch Comedy with lots of audio phonic weirdness, similar to The Goon Show, Kenny Everett's work or The Burkiss Way. It also features a number of recurring characters and Shows Within a Show, the latter usually appearing once per series.
The Nothing To Do With Anything Show and its predecessors contain examples of:
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle:David Lynch: As usual, Keith Chegwin is with our outside broadcast, you nit. Sorry, that should read, with our outside broadcast unit.
- Acme Products: K-Tel
- Alien Invasion: Several:
- On The Daily Dredge, the Prunes from Omicron 3 want to invade earth, but have to phone in and ask for the way:Listener: [calling in] Yeah, they need to take the A14. That'll take them directly from Omicron 3 to Prestwood Town Centre.
- In a later episode, The Human League has to prevent a race of evil aliens from stealing all the synthesisers in the world:Phil Oakey: But don't they have / any synthesizers of their own?
Secret Service Head: Their synth pop technology is way behind ours. They've only just mastered the LinnDrum.
- And finally, on the Nothing To Do With Anything Show itself, there's the ongoing series of The Aliens That Came From A Completely Different Planet To Earth.
- On The Daily Dredge, the Prunes from Omicron 3 want to invade earth, but have to phone in and ask for the way:
- Arch-Enemy: Phil Oakey and Gary Numan in the Human League of Justice sketches. In the first episode, Numan wants to regain the top of the charts by using a Number-One-Alyser-Ray. In the next episode, he's taken Susan Ann Sulley and turned her into a "Numanoid" in order to defeat the Human League and steal their fan base from under their noses.
- Arson Murder And Jay Walking: The finish of the purported theme song for Are You Being Dragged Into The Circles Of Hell?:Lift girl: Eighth circle: Fraudsters, thieves and fundamentalists, hypocrites, astrologers and comedy impressionists. Going down... Ninth circle: Satan, treachery and pants.
- As Himself: Greg Haiste and Anna Emerson are both playing fictional versions of themselves.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Gasmobile:[sounds of Gasmobile being powered up]
Gasman: Atomic batteries to Power. Turbines to speed. Ready to move out. Let's go!
[Gasmobile breaks down]
Gasman: On second thoughts, we'll take the bus.
Robert: I'll get me Oyster card then.
- Bat Phone: The Human League of Justice can be reached via the Leagueophone, while in the Gasman & Robert sketch, Gas Commissioner Gordon uses the Gasphone for calling Gasman.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After meeting the Genie of the Magic Truncheon, PC Rhomboids wishes for there to be no more crime in the village for ever and ever. His wish is granted and everyone lives happily ever after - except for PC Rhomboids himself, who was consequently made redundant.
- Captain Ersatz: Two different sketches parodying Scooby-Doo: Doggie Doo, What Kind Of Dog Are You? and, even more thinly disguised, Scooby-Don't. Then there's Gasman & Robert.
- Catchphrase: David Lynch saying "Beware of the yellow eagles!"
- Caustic Critic: Peter Pilbeam, the show's resident hotel reviewer. Although some of his criticism is rather outlandish, it has to be said...Well the first thing I noticed when I got to the hotel, was the awful stench. This later turned out to be the result of a sandwich that had been left in my pocket for several weeks, but nevertheless it did not bode well.
When I entered the hotel, the owner greeted me with what I'm sure he thought was a smile. But to my mind, it was a grin and I find grins highly irritating. After I'd explained the difference to him in some detail, he still wasn't smiling, but he wasn't grinning either and that was an improvement.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Just like his real-life counterpart, David Lynch, the show's "partly acclaimed avant-garde film director and weather forecaster": Amongst other things, he made a ten-hour film about a talking lamp, followed by a sequel about a talking bell. Later, he transformed his kitchen into a room for storing gold bars.John: Why, it's amateur film director and avant-garde weather man, David Lynch. If you don't mind me saying so, David, you look like you've been dragged through a picket fence backwards.
David Lynch: That's one of my hobbies, John.
John: Well, apart from being dragged through a picket fence backwards, what have you been up to recently?
David Lynch: I've been nailing things to other things, John.
David Lynch: I don't know. I suppose I'm just naturally gifted at that sort of thing.
- Christmas Episode: The John Dredge Nothing to Do with Xmas Show
- Comically Missing the Point: One example is Peter Pilbeam, the resident hotel reviewer:To cap it all, I was very offended at the end of my stay, when I was expected to pay the bill. I found this both awkward and uncomfortable, especially as I had no money. I was then moved to a room that looked almost like a prison cell, which I'll be reviewing next week. And let me warn you: It's not going to be pretty! Thank you!
- Also this episode, after having dyed the carpet in his hotel room "a more relaxing, holistically therapeutic shade of pink":As I was putting on my bicycle clips and getting ready to leave later in the day, I was heartened to see that my overnight work on the carpet in my room had been discovered, as all of the staff had come to show their appreciation by throwing a generous amount of fruit my way, obviously trying to make up for the mistake they'd made at breakfast.
- Also this episode, after having dyed the carpet in his hotel room "a more relaxing, holistically therapeutic shade of pink":
- Credits Gag: Some of the earlier shows feature completely made-up credits at the end. Later shows do credit the people who have actually taken part, but often continue including some made-up credits as well. One episode goes as far as crediting everybody who has taken part, plus a number of invented people as well - everybody that is, except for Greg Haiste.
- Genie in a Bottle: The Genie of the Magic Truncheon appearing in episode five of The Continuing Adventures of Basil The Cylinder. He appears after PC Rhomboids hits somebody three times with his truncheon.
- Hypocritical Humour: In one sketch, Morrissey complains about being called racist simply because he's joined the Ku Klux Klan.
- "L" Is for "Dyslexia": Greg Haiste has some attacks of this: Once when asked to read the closing credits and another time when helping to present What's on in Leighton Buzzard. Also, when he gets angry, he sometimes starts to attempt spelling out words, with dubious results:Greg: You'd better write me into something soon, or there'll be trouble! T R U I B L S F - trouble!
- Mixed Metaphor: Greg Haiste's character is prone to this:Greg: I don't want to blow my own xylophone
- Name's the Same: A few characters are named after real-life celebrities but bear no further resemblance to their real-life namesakes - the most prominent example probably being Don Durbridge.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Usually averted, as most characters based on real-life celebrities appear under their real names.
- No Sense of Humour: Hans Keller:Hans Keller: Before we continue further, I must give a special mention to Radio 3's very own "Smiley Miley", who buried my car in ze sand yesterday as a so called "prank". Needless to say, I immediately contacted ze police und expect ze subsequent court proceedings to result in a custodial sentence. I bet he isn't smiling now.
- One Steve Limit: Averted in The Aliens That Came From A Completely Different Planet To Earth: It features both Jeff and Jim, who are constantly getting mixed up by the other characters - occasionally even they themselves can't get their names right.Jeff: A flying saucer, Jeff?
Jim: I'm Jim, you're Jeff.
Jeff: Sorry, that's the trouble with having two characters with similar names, Jeff.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Town crier Derek Dolak. Although John is getting a bit suspicious...John: I must say, you rather remind me of someone.
Derek: Well, I am well known locally.
John: Your telescopic manipulator arm in particular looks familiar.
Derek: What? This little thing? [boing]
Derek: It's just there for show, John! JUST! THERE!! FOR!! SHOW!!! [exterminates a tree]
- Parody Commercial: A regular feature, often for K-Tel products.
- Psmith Psyndrome: Herman Goatsheep, owner of a Burgon Dispensing plant in Frinton, whose full name is Herman "Baaah"note Goatsheep. Although the "Baaah" is supposed to be silent, he can still hear it if you forget to pronounce it.
- Radio Voice: During one interview, the interviewed character sounds as if he's on the telephone - until John reminds him that he's actually in the studio with him.
- Rattling Off Legal: Some of the spoof commercials have a spoof disclaimer tacked on as well.Maycausedrowsinessdizzinessdisturbancesintheforceanddeath.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud:Policeman: Right, I'll get down to the nick and we'll be in touch as soon as there are any developments. [sound of car door] Exits in police car.
- Recurring Character: Being a sketch show, loads of these.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Greg Haiste's character, who feels he's clearly one of the greatest actors around. Unfortunately for him, nobody else shares that view...John: [reading out a letter] Dear Dredge, I'm a big fan of the Nothing To Do With Anything Show, but feel that the main supporting actor, Greg Haiste, is somewhat underused. What do you propose to do about it? Yours hopefully, Greg Haiste. Well Greg, we've taken everything you've said on board - and completely dismissed it.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: As the The Adventures of Basil the Cylinder sketches are supposedly a children's series, Nigel the Parallelogram's swearing is treated thus.
- Strongly Worded Letter: The Magic Grumbling Hedge threatens to write one of those after Basil the Cylinder and his friends tried shutting him up through the judicious use of a hedge trimmer:Magic Grumbling Hedge: Well, that takes the biscuit, attacking me with that thing. I've had it up to the back teeth with people like you, I really have. I'm going to write to my MP and the Guardian about this and then you'll be sorry.
- The Unintelligible: The Head of Podcasts during his phone calls in the second series.
- Verbal Tic: Don Durbridge, the man who claims to have become slightly odd and who is now going around randomly shouting "Biscuits!".
- Written Sound Effect: During the Gasman & Robert sketch:[various fighting noises and the Batman TV theme tune]
Narrator: Hell! Blam! Thwack! Kvetch! Block! Ftwang! Twerge! Genug! Etcetera!
The Broker: Curse you, Gasman! You have overpowered me with your onomatopoeic fighting noises.