Now that the heat wave that has been sweeping the nation has reached Boston—the heat index was just about 100 degrees today, with more of the same expected tomorrow—I can think of nothing better to discuss than The Seven Deadly Sins.
Well, not exactly the sins themselves, but comedian Mark Watson’s take on them from a series on BBC radio in 2007 called “Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better.”
The 6 episodes of series 1 were made available recently on iTunes, and I discovered them there last weekend while looking up Tim Minchin. After downloading and busting a gut laughing over episode 1, I quickly bought the other 5—a total investment of less than $12 for 3 hours of mirth.
Watson, with his Welsh-inflected rapid-fire diction, takes on the subject of sin with the help of comic poet Tim Key and the satiric singer-songwriter Tim Minchin. Watson’s stated goal is to make the world better—substantially better—by exploring the sins through poetry, comedy, and song. Starting with Greed and Gluttony, episode 1 is a 2-sins-for-the-price-of-1 production. Subsequent episodes introduce Lust, Pride, Envy, Sloth, and Wrath with hilarious gusto and evolving dynamics among the comic trio.
Tim Key offers a poem on each sin, Watson provides a standup sermon complete with highly amusing exempla, and Minchin concludes each show, after providing incidental music and jingles throughout, with a song about the sin in his incomparable style. “Sloth,” for example, is sung in the voice of that adorable mammal from Minchin’s native Australia. Members of Minchin’s growing U.S. fan base will no doubt enjoy his contributions, as irreverent and clever as ever.
The show, though, ultimately belongs to Mark Watson, whose observations and “lessons” stand up (okay, pun intended) to repeated listening. Given the challenges inherent in making the world substantially better, I’m happy to settle for a few hours of making the world substantially funnier.
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Postscript: Mark Watson is also the author of a handful of books, none of which I have read or can vouch for, but I expect to land one on my Kindle before long. His Amazon page is here.
Here’s a snippet of Watson to enjoy. Plenty more can be found on YouTube.
Cross-posted from Tucker Seven Editorial Services.