• HOLOGRAMS? SHINE A LIGHT!

    'Shine a light', if it ain't little old me, Kensington Gore. Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated of late and here I am in the flesh actually writing a blog dear viewer. I know, I'm stunned too!

    Speaking of the flesh, let's talk about something light or generated by light.

    'I saw six men beating up my mother-in-law," runs an old Les Dawson gag. "My neighbour said, 'Aren't you going to help?' I said, 'No, six should be enough'." They don't tell 'em like that anymore. Or at least, they didn't until ITV brought Les Dawson back from the grave.

    Don't worry dear viewer they didn't actually dig him up. It was in hologram form, for one last evening of good, old-fashioned word play and mother-in-law jokes. The channel commemorated the fact it was 20 years since Dawson died at 62, two weeks before he was due to film An Audience With …in front of a crowd of adoring celebs. Now, the celebs have reassembled to watch light-hearted Les deliver the set which the grim reaper denied us the chance to see in the flesh.

    I was in the audience and to be honest the look of fear and death from the Z list celebs in the audience that night, was a spooky sight to behold. I thought Lionel Blair's hair was going to turn white or whiter than it actually should be.

    This resurrection of a dead comic great was a first. ITV is reportedly deploying "staggeringly realistic" 3D holographic projection technology, in cahoots with industry leaders Musion, to spirit the dead comedian on to the stage. This act of ghoulish reincarnation had the blessing of Dawson's wife and daughter, who was only eight months old when she lost her funny man dad. Whereas comedians "die" on stage all the time, we've never yet been entertained, from a comic beyond the grave.

    It was a strange TV recording to be at and made even stranger night of viewing as it was kind of like R2D2 or Max Headroom doing Mother-in -law jokes.

    I kind of felt it was all a bit macabre, and my good wife Marge, as I am sure you know is not scared of 'ghoulies'. The hologram was flat, and if you pardon the pun, lifeless. Marge said that they should let comics die in peace.

    Is it a sign of things to come? Where Les leads, in the afterlife, will the other comedy legends like Eric and Ernie, Frankie Howard and Tommy Cooper follow?

    I'm told it's happening already in the world of hip-hop. Last year, the murdered rapper Tupac Shakur rose from a stage, courtesy of San Diego firm AV Concepts, to wild cheers from the crowd at California's Coachella festival. (Virtual Tupac now even has its own Twitter page, with even more bloody followers than I've got.) Now fellow deceased rappers Ol' Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E are slated for the same jaw-dropping treatment at the Rock the Bells festival this autumn. Bring back dear departed Freddie Mercury I say!! He could raise the dead.

    Can the living compete? Listen to the techno-prophets and they'll tell you the quick are now threatened by the dead. Even the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and One Direction could not compete with a resurrected Janis Joplin, Elvis and the Beatles. Even if Macca still tries to sing live, his voice might have one foot in the grave.

    And what about the movie industry? Some say I have come back from the dead, I'm not a zombie by the way, they can walk much faster.

    I can see a time when we will have an army of virtual actors – movies are heading that way just like digital computer games. So why not have John Wayne fighting it out with Humphrey Bogart over who gets to sleep with Marilyn Monroe or Mae West.

    I was at a movie shin-dig once and the idea of back-from-the-dead stars taking over Hollywood was bandied about – "Within the next 10 years, she will be (fully) brought back to life," Marlene Dietrich's grandson said at the time, rather madly wide-eyed.

    "The roles you'll initially be seeing [revived stars] in are cameos where they'll play themselves," the chief of LA firm Virtual Celebrity Productions foretold at the time. "But we're already seeing tons of feature-length scripts."

    Classic ensembles like the Carry On's could be back but not even with the original great dead cast of the likes of Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Babs Windsor but with movie greats such as: Gielgud, Oliver and Liz Taylor.

    Will standups be able to stand up to resurrection? I'd be delighted to see other comedy greats hologrammed back to life: Frankie Howard, Max Millar, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Pete & Dud. Maybe not Bernard Manning, but he did know how to tell and time a gag. He was always "off colour" in more ways than one for my liking.

    Here's a thing, does an audience need the live interaction of the comic to feel the best of the joke? My grandson who has done a bit of standup in his time thinks that holograms would be a fad, almost like a video jukebox playing on stage. Comedy is a conversation, it's not just about standing there telling jokes, it's about eye contact, backchat, gauging what's working and what isn't, the best comedians are constantly aware of everything going on around them.

    I encountered hologram televisions when I made a guest appearance as one in my recent short story Kensington Gore's Twisted Tales #4 Robot Love. Read it here http://amzn.to/16ptlGs

    One day I hope to have Robot Love made into a movie and I just hope I live long enough to play the hologram and actually be a hologram. That would be a little too ironic, don't you think? Like death imitating art.

    TTFN The Real Kensington Gore (do not except pale imitations)

    PS - a big Gorey thank you to my new PA Lindy Gore. (she can do 200 words an hour)

    1 Comment

    • 1. Jun 7 2013 8:23PM by Payten Autumn

      Great to see you are very much alive Uncle Kenny.I saw the audience with Les Dawson show and although i laughed out loud at how brilliant he was,it still felt strange to see him.As for virtual actors,that could work but only if it's done in the right way,it would still take some getting used to though.

      Loving the blog by the way!

      Payten

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