Jasper Carrott – Driven to Distraction – Introduction


The purpose of this project is to study and compare written and live sketches by comedian Jasper Carrott to find the relationship between the two and how, grammatically, the delivery develops over time. Specifically to find what effect, if any, constant repetition of an act has on the structure of its sentences.

There is nearly six years space between the two recorded shows I am studying and during this time he gained immense popularity and thus more experience and confidence playing in front of live audiences. It is the effect of this aplomb, coupled with almost verbatim knowledge of his act that I will be examining in-depth.

This analysis will look at eight main topics. These are:-


Are they deliberately used? If so, how?
If not intentional, what is their significance, if any?


What forms do they take?
Are there features common to the written and spoken versions? If so, what are they?

Audience Address

How does he relate to his audience?
Is there one style for written and another for live?
Is it formal or informal?

Audience Prompts

What are they?
How are they achieved – and what happens if they fail?


What are they?
How are they used in the different mediums?
How important are they?


How frequent are they?
Are they relevant? If so, what part do they play?

Contextual information

Is there any information you can get from one and not the other? If so, how is this achieved and what if the importance of it?


Are they simple or complex?
Of these, which is the more complex – written or spoken?
Is there a distinctive pattern? If so, are they any departures from it?
How are the clauses strung together?

For brevity, the following style of notation is used: (C,12-13). This one would refer you to look in appendix C, lines 12 to 13 for this example.

Unless relevant, notation on the transcript has been left out. Also, for ease of ready, the excerpts from the transcript have been put into the written form.

The key for the notation used in the analysis and transcripts can be found in appendix A.

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