Part of a golden era of comedy for many of us! The armistice, Brasseye, The Day Today, Alan Partridge....
There's something depressing about the two 'pranks' - the theatre usherette one is obviously faked, so that you know it to be fake but only faintly. What this leads to is the kind of comedy nadir seen in a show like Balls of Steel - so what the Armistice represents is the invention of The Day Today etc trading on only its own harsh, deliberately unpleasant side, emptying out its real content to allow for a new tone to be given to the vacuous and endlessly repeatable. If it was all on DVD you'd probably see all this more clearly, I suspect.
Fake? If they are, then I was taken in. I'm not sure they're unpleasant either - there's none of the Balls of Steel trick of turning a member of the public's good will back on on them.Iannucci's Monkhouse thing is parodying the TV comedy prank before it had even taken off, possibly making it more funnier today than it was at the time. "That took four weeks to set up!"
It's when we have the hidden camera in a bag - that whole thing seems staged, badly acted and implausible, just like a 'get chased by a security guard' fake sequence in Balls of Steel. The first two theatres are funny though. Maybe unpleasant is wrong, you're right.
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