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Top 10 Best Charlie Brooker Moments


Written by Aaron Cameron Unwavering optimism, and always seeing the best in humanity. These are traits we will look at another day. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Best Charlie Brooker Moments. For this list, we'll be looking at panel show gold, telly greatness, and career highlights from the bleak genius that is Charlie Brooker. Best known to American audiences as the “Black Mirror” guy, Charlie Brooker has long made a name for himself in Britain as an often black-hearted, angsty comedian known for his thorough, analytical tear-downs of the world around us. Special thanks to our users Pushon Bhattacharya and Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Best Charlie Brooker Moments


Unwavering optimism, and always seeing the best in humanity. These are traits we will look at another day. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Best Charlie Brooker Moments.

For this list, we'll be looking at panel show gold, telly greatness, and career highlights from the bleak genius that is Charlie Brooker. Best known to American audiences as the “Black Mirror” guy, Charlie Brooker has long made a name for himself in Britain as an often black-hearted, angsty comedian known for his thorough, analytical tear-downs of the world around us.

#10: Editing Creates Reality...
“Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe” (2006-08)

Charlie Brooker has never exactly been one to accept pop culture, society or any form of media at face value. Regularly breaking down the behind the scenes officiousness, back-stabbery, and dullness of insider showbiz on “Screenwipe”, Charlie eventually turned his sights to editing. It's not the most exciting of entertainment jobs, and among the most thankless, but through Brooker's cynical look at the trade, we learn just how much power the editor really holds. After discussing how video and computerized editing allowed for the birth of reality TV, Charlie produces a fake reality show, demonstrating that heroes and villains are really whims of the editor.

#9: A Plea to Assassinate the President
The Guardian Columns (2004)

Long before his famed “Black Mirror” antics, Brooker was an up-and-coming writer and cartoonist. Which eventually lead to him writing the “Screen Burn” and “Supposing” columns for The Guardian. “Supposing” saw Brooker's cynical mind drift into “what if” territory – and sometimes rather heated waters. In one column, Brooker critiqued then president George W. Bush and effectively suggested he be assassinated, calling for the return of people like Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes-Booth. Of course, this joke didn't go down well, and the Guardian ended up publicly apologising about it.

#8: Creating “Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe” (2009)

Given Charlie's past as a game reviewer, and with the often negative image gaming gets in the media, it was natural that at some point he'd tackle video games the way he'd analyzed TV. Limited to just one instalment, Gameswipe did just that, using the “Wipe” format to praise games he loved – like “Wolfenstein 3D”, or “The Beatles: Rock Band” – and dump on lesser fare, like “50 Cent: Blood on the Sand”. In typical Wipe fashion, Charlie also gives us an often caustic nutshell on '90s gaming TV, and past video game controversies that aged worse than 8-bit sex and violence.

#7: Creating “A Touch of Cloth” (2012-14)

In a better world, this is the series that would have established Charlie Brooker on the global stage. Dreamed up as a parody of Inspector Morse, “A Touch of Cloth” instead became a send up of the modern police procedural, and effectively the British “Naked Gun”. Created by Charlie with Daniel Maier, Brooker and company “researched” the series by watching out of context highlights from reams of random cop shows, reeling in all the format and genre cliches in one go. In fact, the series rode the parody/satire borderline so hard that many viewers actually missed that it was a comedy...

#6: Mr. Fuggles
“You Have Been Watching” (2009-10)

A panel show about TV was a perfect fit for Charlie Brooker. A chance to work with and bounce off other comics, it also gave Charlie a platform to rip into what he felt were sub-rate telly offerings. However, the series highlight for many was the appearance of Mr. Fuggles – a four year old furry puppet with the mental capacity of a one year old... furry puppet. In the midst of a discussion about programs like “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and “Sesame Street”, Fuggles arrived to hear comics Chris Addison, Holly Walsh, and Mark Watson explain big adult topics to him, in the most child-friendly way almost possible.

#5: Lying About Being Deaf
“Would I Lie To You” (2007-)

If you're quick witted, and good on camera, sooner or later you're bound to wind up on a panel show or two. While Brooker is more likely to present a show than guest on one, 2009 saw him paired up with musical theatre singer Michael Ball on Lee Mack's team on “Would I Lie to You”, and announced that he pretended to be half deaf during the duration of a six year relationship. This could have gone either way – Charlie's sense of humour is dark enough that he could weave all sorts of lies, but on the other hand, his personality can morph so easily that they'd all seem believable.

#4: Ignorance & Want
“The Big Fat Quiz of the Year” (2004-)

As of 2017, Charlie Brooker has only Big Fat Quiz'd once, but in doing so he retired a champion. Teamed up with David Mitchell as “Ignorance & Want”, the show served as a natural platform for Charlie to rip into the pop-cultural misfires of the year – from Christian Bale's infamous on-set meltdown to Lady Gaga's arrival on the scene. And true to form, he was a fan of neither. When the topic of “Michael Jackson: The Live Seance” comes up, Brooker sums it up as “an hour long televised lie”, proving all those hours sat on his sofa making quips to camera were hours well spent.

#3: Charlie on “Benefits Street”
“Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe”(2013-)

Leaning slightly closer to “Newswipe” than “Screenwipe”, “Weekly Wipe” joined the Wipe-franchise in 2013, and while it stuck to the established format for the most part, its broader scope allowed Charlie to tackle everything from current events, to games, movies, and – of course – television. Sometimes those worlds merged, such as when our angsty familiar dove into the phenomenon that was “Benefits Street”. Charlie not only offered his sympathetic take on the poverty-stricken real-life people featured on the program, but also cut through the heated public backlash, and ridiculed the hypocrisy of well paid, state-funded presenters ripping into the economically less-fortunate. Oh the irony.

#2: “How to Report the News”
“Newswipe with Charlie Brooker” (2009-10)

From fake reality shows and talent shows, to tracking the unglamorous life-cycle of a television program and the careers attached to it, “Screenwipe” regularly saw Charlie Brooker dismantle TV completely only to rebuild it and ridicule it from within. Naturally, when “Newswipe” came along in 2009, Charlie made good use of the ample bounty of new subject matter. Taking on the way news programs addressed recent events, rather than the events themselves, Charlie delivered a note perfect report on how to deliver a note perfect report. Vague, yet on point and alarmingly meta, the step by step send up was eerily actuate and cunningly hilarious.

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honourable mentions.

The Justin Bieber Rant
“Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe” (2013-)

His Fear of Spiders
“Would I Lie To You?” (2007-)

How To Get Your Ideas on Telly
“Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe” (2006-08)

#1: Creating “Black Mirror”
“Black Mirror” (2011-)

From creating fake TV listings, to writing for faux news-magazine series “Brass Eye”, to “Screenwipe”, “Newswipe”, or “You Have Been Watching”, there is one recurring theme in Charlie's work: a brutal but deeply intellectual analysis of mass-media. No Brooker project better accomplishes that task than “Black Mirror”. Named in allusion to the omnipresent screens society relies on more and more, the series looks at the way modern and near modern technologies affect and completely redirect our lives. The series exploded its way into the mainstream when Netflix ordered new episodes in 2015, bringing it to the world at large and making Charlie Brooker a long overdue household name.
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