The Now Show is a British satirical radio show on BBC Radio 4, starring Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt (previously of The Mary Whitehouse Experience) as well as Marcus Brigstocke, Mitch Benn, Laura Shavin, the very short Jon Holmes, and occasional special guests. Several years into the series, the "guest Marcus Brigstockes" began appearing more often than Marcus Brigstocke, who had other commitments. More recently Mitch benn, Laura Shavin, and Jon Holmes were all axed, with their spots being taken by a guest performers.
When Radio 2 had a Saturday comedy slot, Punt and Dennis (and often the same guests) had another show in that slot, It's Been A Bad Week, which was about weird news stories from around the world. Each week the stories' protagonists competed for who's had the worst week, thus winning "The Worst Week Of The Week Award, Awarded Weekly On A Week-By-Week Basis".
The Now Show provides examples of:
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Practically Once an Episode, towards The BBC, Radio 4 in particular, and Radio 4 listeners.
- Curse Cut Short
- Dan Browned: The original definition is mentioned in The Now Show Book of World Records, where Dennis talks about how he noticed loads of errors in the part of The Da Vinci Code set in the BBC and wonders how much of the rest must have been wrong.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Mentioned in the Book of World Records under "Most Incompetent Cartoon Villain".
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of the cast.
- Epunymous Title: The basis of the "Worst TV Sitcom Premise" section of the Book of World Records:Rhythm is a Dancer: Maggie Rhythm is a dancer. With hilarious consequences.
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hypocritical Humor
- Incredibly Lame Pun
- Lampshade Hanging
- Least Rhymable Word
- Live Episode: During the 2012 Olympics, they broadcast live three nights a week and ran out of time nearly every time.
- Long-Runners: On air for over a decade
- Medium Awareness
- No Fourth Wall
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Paul Sinha's "defence" of Jeremy Clarkson in 2011 over claims that the latter had called for public sector workers to be shot was 90% insulting Jeremy Clarkson, with the remainder split between insulting the show it appeared on, insulting the press for misreporting his joke, and explaining the joke. note
- Plug 'n' Play Technology: referenced with regard to Independence Day under "Coolest Spaceship of All Time" in The Book.
- Room Full of Crazy: Called "the nutter's den" in The Book's "Biggest TV Detective Cliche".
- Running Gag: Too many to list, to the point of being lampshaded: "Non-regular listeners are now baffled."
- Shout-Out: Not least to The Goon Show. At one point, when the England cricketer Andrew Flintoff had been in the news for falling off a pedalo:Little Jim: He's fallen in the wa-ter.Hugh Dennis: Yes, we'll steal anyone's catchphrases, we don't care.
- One episode had a whole skit reinventing the Iraq War as a Goons episode, under the title The Hoon Show.
- Spiritual Successor: The Mary Whitehouse Experience, as above.
- Spiritual Thing-That's-On-In-The-Off-Season: It's Been A Bad Week on Radio 2, a topical satire show hosted by Punt and Dennis, with Mitch doing the songs, but which was otherwise a completely different show with a different format.
- Take That!
- Take That, Audience!: Regular jibes at the live audience and listeners being the stereotypical idea of Radio 4 listeners."Where else would 'over 40' be classified as 'young'? [Beat] This is Radio 4."
- Wrong Insult Offence: Following an incident when a football supporter threw a banana at a black player, black comedian Nathan Caton did a monologue complaining about lazy racism. "I mean, if you threw a bottle of Reggae Reggae Sauce or a Nando's menu, I'd be offended, but I'd think you did some research!"
It's Been A Bad Week provides examples of:
- Awesome Mc Coolname: An item on amusing names in an 18th century Cornish county register ends with 'Abraham Thunderwolf'.
- Butt-Monkey: When William Hague was Conservative leader, he would often be cited as having had an even worse week than whoever had actually won "The Worst Week Of The Week Award, Awarded Weekly On A Week-By-Week Basis". This was largely just so Jon Culshaw could show off his Hague impression.
- The Cast Show Off: Mitch Benn coming up with musical numbers about bad week stories, and Jon Culshaw's impressions.
- Catchphrase: Sue Perkins' "Section [One, Two, etc.]" and "The Worst Week Of The Week Award, Awarded Weekly On A Week-By-Week Basis", both read out in a distinctive monotone after a beat.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "The Worst Week Of The Week Award, Awarded Weekly On A Week-By-Week Basis"
- The Ghost: "Van Man", the sound effects guy, who only communicates through sound effects and doesn't, strictly, exist.
- New Year Has Come: Every year in December an annual special looks at all the winning stories from the last year's series and then has those compete for the ultimate title—"The Worst Week Of The Year Award, Awarded Yearly On An Annual Basis".
- Only in America: Though not applied in a blanket way. Usually only invoked if the story involves something particularly associated with the US like a burglary involving the use of guns.
- Only in Florida: Invoked often, as well as its European equivalent, Only In Germany.
- Spin-Off: Though one which takes place in between series of its precursor with the same cast.