Friday, November 2, 2012

Shiitake mushrooms comedy sketch

Photo by frankenstoen, at Wikimedia
Shiitake (/ʃɪtɑ:kɪ/ or /ʃɪ:tɑ:kɪ/) are edible mushroom native to East Asia, which are cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. They are a feature of many Asian cuisines including Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In the East, the shiitake mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom. (Wikipedia)
They were also the subject of a short sketch in the popular British comedy series, The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Yorkshire couple 'Janice and Ray'.

Janice and Ray are a couple from Yorkshire, in the North of England, who express their disgust at the various signs of multi-culturalism in their very British circle. They often get annoyed with restaurants and bakeries, due to their perception of over-pricing or the exotic nature of the food such as grapes in a brie cheese sandwich or the use of French bread instead of good old-fashioned British white sliced (none of this fancy organic stuff for them!).
Ray likes to repeat things, but turning the word order around. He has has a couple of catchphrases - Listen to this! and the one he always finishes with - The dirty bastards! (adapted from Wikipedia)

Yorkshire dialect

This dialogue has several features of Yorkshire dialect
  • the letter u in words like pub is pronounced like "oo" in foot (ʊ rather than ʌ)
  • the word the is sometimes replaced with t' - t'first thing on the menu
  • members of the family are often refered to as "our" - Have you seen our Susan?
  • some non-standard verb forms are used:

Exercise 1 - write in the standard form of the verb in each sentence

1. We was on our way to see our Valda
2. So we gets in to the pub
3. Then he read what were in it
Before you watch the video, do this exercise:

Exercise 2 - Match the beginnings and endings

1. Listenawords!
2. Well, I don't know wherebis easily upset or shocked by things which they find unpleasant
3. Ray hadn't brought his drivingcsoup
4. A ring road is a road thatdspecialises in good food
5. To stop to ask foreserved with pineapple
6. A gastropub is a pub thatfglasses
7. On the menu was mushroomgto this!
8. Shiitakeha kind of seafood
9. Gammon (a type of ham) is oftenimushrooms
10. Famous lastjgoes round a town or city
11. Someone who is squeamishkto start.
12. Whitby crab isldirections
The humour of this sketch is not so much in the main joke (which you might see coming) as in the way it's done: the repetitions, the unimportant little details they think so important, and the idea that what happened was such a big deal.
Now watch the video on YouTube once without looking at the transcript (it will open in a new tab), and then come back here. Now look at the transcript, and then watch again.
Map showing Beverley, in Yorkshire. from


Related posts

Gastropub is a British expression beginning to be used in the US. You can do a quiz based on these Britishisms here.

Other posts with material related to comedy videos

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