Brass Eye meets CERN

By Phil Plait | May 6, 2008 2:45 pm

When I was at CERN in April, one other visitor with our entourage was Chris Morris. He’s practically unknown in the US — which is a crime, I assure you — but is very well-known in the UK for his incredibly funny, clever, and risque satricial comedy shows like "Brass Eye" and "The Day Today".

He is also a science junkie, and while we were all at the Large Hadron Collider he chatted with Brian Cox about what the LHC will do. The CERN podcast of the interview is now online.

Chris is a very intelligent and funny guy, and the interview may come as a bit of a shock to some fans of his since he really is earnest about the science. But lemme tell ya, Gia showed me some of the "Brass Eye" episodes, and I have to get a copy. Wow. Let me just say, it will never ever ever ever be broadcast in the US. But I laughed until I cried. YouTube has some samples… but most are very much NSFW. Check ’em out, and see how smart people can love science and be really funny, too.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Science

Comments (25)

  1. The link in the Post “Cool Shuttle pix”

    Is not working

    Could you please possibly fix it?

    They were really astonishing pictures. It’s a pity we can’t see them any more.

    Sorry for not being on the subject.
    Thanks for all the posts.

  2. Iain T

    I couldn’t overstate how brilliant he is – my Day Today & Brass Eye DVDs are two of my favourites. There has never been a more subversive show than Brass Eye, and I fear there never will be.

    Let the Good Science continue…

  3. Martin Moran

    He also did, I think it was called Blue Jam, which was even more subversive and probably the most darkly funny thing I have seen. When the Day Today came out, with all the other rubbish that was on TV, it was the scented rose in the bum gut of Satan as Mr Morris himself might say.

  4. Funkopolis

    It’s about time more people were made aware of the dangers of sodomized electrons.

  5. Matthew J. Barlow

    Quite apart from being a damn good comedian, Chris Morris should be applauded for demonstrating how easy it is to get people to say the most ridiculous things when the camera is on them.
    I particularly enjoyed the DJ Neil Fox earnestly explaining that on a genetic level a paedophile has more in common with a crab than with a normal man.
    “That’s a scientific fact.
    There’s no evidence for it, but it is a scientific fact.”

  6. This man is a legend. I just covered this appearance too, AND Morris fans will be pleased to know an entire CD release of On The Hour is slated!

  7. Jonathan

    It should be noted that, sadly, Chris Morris’ comedy is not as well-known here in the UK as it ought to be. But a current of rational, evidence-based, science-informed thinking is runs deep throughout his work (to a lesser or greater degree). I am pleasantly surprised but by no means shocked to learn of his interest in the LHC. If it is so sadly the case that no Chris Morris series ever be broadcast in the US (this would be a sad and sickening statement on the state American freedom of speech if that is indeed the case) then I urge everyone on the other side of the pond to seek them out wherever possible – intelligent humour will always challenge!

  8. Ali

    Its not anywhere near as good as brasseye but “the IT crowd” features morris and is well worth checking out

  9. Tom

    After The Day Today and Brass Eye, try to get Jam. You’ll probably never be the same again after watching Jam. I guess you could reduce it down to “a study of the boundaries of accepted taste in comedy”. I think it’s awesome.

  10. Tom

    I’ve just noticed that Kevin Eldon (who features in some of Chris Morris’ work) was involved in a 2 part edition of the same podcast a few episodes ago, “Kevin and Simon’s Big Adventure”. Another hilarious man.

  11. Paedogeddon! was hilarious. Also the CAKE episode. A bunch of British celebrities got totally pwned. He was hilarious how stupid they were.

  12. Blizno

    “…but most are very much NSFW.”

    What is “NSFW”?

  13. overstroming

    NSFW = not safe for work, seems to apply to everything even slightly dubious on the internets for people in the US who surf on their work PC.

    Jam is the blackest comedy I’ve ever seen, really pushes the boundaries. None more black.

    Morris looks weird with the wild hair, he’s a riot.


  14. will pay $500.00 US to the best proposal that can reasonably prove 5% or less Risk of Planetary destruction from Micro Black Holes.

    The contest will conclude in a vote by site visitors on all reasonable proofs received, all proofs will be published and the contest will end not sooner than May 20th. (LHCConcerns will make the final call on best proposal that reasonably proves 5% or lower risk from micro black holes being created by the Large Hadron Collider).

    You may prove that ANY ONE of the following or provide any other reasonable Proof or method to prevent Micro Black Holes from being created by the Large Hadron Collider or prove that they are harmless!

    1. The Large Hadron Collider will not make micro black holes.
    2. Micro black holes created will be sent safely into space.
    3. Micro black holes will evaporate.
    4. Micro black holes will take more than 2 billion years to accrete the Earth. (If you can only prove a lesser time frame, then the prize will be reduced proportionately…)
    5. Any form of cosmic ray argument that proves 5% risk or lower.
    6. Find a way to make the Large Hadron Collider safe from creating micro black holes (we already requested different speed collissions or different mass collisions, LSAG told us it was not possible, they already thought of it).

    It is harder than it looks, the LHC Safety Assessment Group (LSAG) could not produce a safety report… (CERN and LSAG are still using the 1999 RHIC safety report that does not even address what might happen if micro black holes were created, because they did not know that it was possible at that time. We are also being generous on the 2 billion years, we want to be reasonable)


  15. I love ‘The Day Today’ – after watching it I could never take news reports seriously again. It really showed how much reporting is showmanship and acting. It did to TV news what the Onion did to print news for me!

  16. gia


    I hope when the LHC turns on and it’s proven that your concerns are the ravings of the ill-informed, you will spend as much freakin’ time and energy on APOLOGISING for being WRONG as you are on spreading irrational fear and misunderstanding now.


    And, of course, Chris is just the best guy in the world. Once called ‘God’ by Will Self and ‘The Most Evil Man in Britain’ by some redtop tabloid. Brilliant.

    Oh, and I’m sitting at the table at all the Sugar Ape meetings in Nathan Barley. :)

  17. Liam

    This is my favorite part

    “Micro black holes will take more than 2 billion years to accrete the Earth. (If you can only prove a lesser time frame, then the prize will be reduced proportionately…)”

    If you can only prove we’ve got 40million safe years with these micro black holes thing then you only win a tenner… sorry!

  18. Sir Eccles

    Chris Morris is a genius!

    His Pedogeddon program was so spot on that the British tabloid media completely missed the point and proved how correct Chris was. To really appreciate his work you have to read all the papers the next day.

  19. Ginger Yellow

    Why on earth would we want to change the LHC to prevent black hole creation. I desperately want there to be black holes (more dimensions!), but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  20. Ginger Yellow

    “His Pedogeddon program was so spot on that the British tabloid media completely missed the point and proved how correct Chris was. To really appreciate his work you have to read all the papers the next day.”

    Most notably the Daily Star, which ran on the opposite page to a “Ban this sick filth” story on the Brass Eye special a picture of then 15 year old Charlotte Church with a caption commending the beauty of her breasts.

  21. Ginger Yellow

    Damn, I screwed up the link. Here is the picture. Hopefully.

  22. gia

    Here is an unseen bit of Brass Eye with David Sull-i-van talking about ‘pr0n’. Needless to say it’s not safe for work. Very much not safe for work.

  23. Simon

    Here’s the video of Neil Fox mentioned by Matthew.


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