Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are celebrating thirty years of their comedy double-act by bringing back the show that first introduced them to the viewing public.
Vic Reeves Big Night Out started life as a stage show before transferring to TV in 1991, and presented a baffled Britain with a truly surreal experience; a variety show hosted by Reeves that was a collection of shit wigs, absurd catchphrases, nonsensical characters and ridiculous running jokes.
It was amazing. It’s quite a strange show to watch now, as it was so influential on a generation of comedians that it doesn’t necessarily feel as groundbreaking and ridiculous as it did at the time. The thing is, until Vic and Bob came along, nobody had done anything as silly, surreal and downright fucking weird as this on telly.
And now, on December 29th at 9pm, it’s coming back, this time under the more egalitarian name Vic And Bob’s Big Night Out, and on BBC2 rather than its original home of Channel 4.
According to the press release, “This is the show we wanted to perform back in the 1980s. Now the time is right. We will be increasing our respective heights in order to perform some of the more intricate and challenging moments.”
There is no word on whether Les, Reeves’ chive-fearing assistant who couldn’t help but smile every time he saw a spirit level, will return, or which sketches and characters will feature. The original Big Night Out series included such deeply strange greats as Novelty Island, The Man With The Stick, The Stotts and Action Image Exchange. Here’s The Man With The Stick (“What’s on the end of the stick, Vic?”):
Both original series of Big Night Out are on All 4. The duo have loads of other characters in their back catalogue from later shows, like the farting Petomanes, Mulligan & O’Hare, the Bra Men and more, and there’s no reason they wouldn’t be dipping into there. Two men farting a selection of bicycles over might be just what the world needs right now.
The press release also mentions surprise cameos, TV parodies, songs and sketches. Earlier this year Vic Reeves shared some images that could well be from the special.