Sketches That Never Quite Made It
By James Walsh
A podcast dedicated to comedy sketches that never quite made it. @jamesofwalsh and pals look back at abandoned sketch ideas and weigh up whether they were mercy killings or if there is an inkling of an idea that can be salvaged. Hopefully in the process we’ll all learn something about how not to write sketches.
Season 2, Episode 1: Newsjack
A special Newsjack edition of STNQMI, as James is joined by fellow @nextlevelsketch humans Flex, Paul and Euan to discuss why the BBC didn’t put his sketches on the radio. Along the way you will hear recordings of three topical sketches written by James, followed by a lot of fun and rambling discussions that were lightly edited for libel reasons. If you’re very lucky you’ll be able to hear the ice in Flex’s G+T, a surprise appearance from Cher, and things are rounded off by This Can’t Go On Forever, a song from James’ debut solo album which definitely isn’t about the pandemic. We are @failedsketches on Twitter and the episode was produced by @jamesofwalsh. Thanks for listening!
March 19, 2021
James gets in the Sea
Is this a normal episode, where guests come on to discuss a comedy sketch that didn’t quite make it? No. Is this ten minutes of James standing in the sea, trying to figure out whether to continue the podcast or not before the tide comes in over his ankles? Why not listen and find out?
February 01, 2021
Cathode Ray Television
Merry Christmas! A change of pace for this festive episode in which James brings on his best pal Ash for a wide ranging chat on writing, self-sabotage, and whether my niche is being niche. We also discussed an unbelievably awful sketch someone else wrote, but I had to cut pretty much all of that for legal reasons.
December 25, 2020
Universal Translator For Fish
We’re back with a bang! Or more accurately a damp squi[d]b, as James reaches into Davey Jones’ Locker for a sketch as fishy as an old sailor’s halibut underpants. Joining James to pick through the sketch’s bones is Paul Creasy (@spanielapplause) and Muireann Kelly (@MisForMuireann), the latter so tired that she invents a new and brilliant synonym for guinea pig. With the exception of the sound of fish screaming, which I achieved through acting, the soggy sound effects in this episode came from zapsplat.com. Links: Nextlevelsketch.com is where you’ll find the sketches that did make it; Paul is in a wonderful improv group called Michelle (@michelleimpro), who will play shows in December, lockdown permitting; and you can find The Jazz Man on YouTube, unless he finds you first.
November 18, 2020
After a massive hiatus, STNQMI is back with a hard hitting expose into bestiality sketches, specifically bestiality sketches written by me, the author of this podcast. Paul Creasy returns as guest as we discuss whether, truly, the main issue with this sketch is its escalation. The episode is rounded off with a suitably heavy-breathing rendition of the 1998 Pulp classic Dishes.
August 24, 2020
Bingo Bingo Bingo
James is all by himself this week, so he presents a trio of parody gambling adverts that never quite made it. At least two of them he stands by, the third... well, hear for yourself. This episode also features of a cover of Jeffrey Lewis’ cheeriest song about heartbreak and misery. Enjoy!
June 25, 2020
I’m So So Sorry
Rachel Cader brings in a sketch that never quite made it onto the BBC’s Newsjack. James, Rachel and Rebecca chat topical sketches, how strange it is writing for someone else, satire, Doctors, the use of mobile phones in drama, Anna from This Life, the art of the non apology, and people pretending to be ants. The whole episode ends, as always, with a very special cover.
June 19, 2020
Your Son Has Been Cancelled
This week, the excellent Paul Creasy picks a sketch out of his own personal sketch bin, dusts off the potato peelings, and presents it to the class (James and Rachel Cader). Along the way, we discuss Twitter versus reality, Graham Linehan and his suitability as a punchline, cancel culture, Philip Schofield, and whether the best kind of live comedy audience member is the one who doesn’t laugh but comes up to you afterwards to say they kind of liked it.
June 10, 2020
The Posh Wedding
Next Level Sketch writer and performer Nadine Bailey turns up with one of her abandoned idea eggs in the form of a sketch that never quite made it - but she recorded it for us anyway. Will it survive or will it suffer the wrath of James’ second hand gunge tank? Joining James and Nadine is Mr Euan Brown, who knows a lot about comedy and is also very demanding about post production comedy sound effects.
June 02, 2020
The Dandy Hijackers
James wrote a sketch about danger, adventure and high-altitude horse riding. Next Level Sketch co-producers Paul and Muireann join him to discuss if it can be salvaged or if it deserves to be subjected to the gunge tank he bought off a 90s Irish kids tv show.
May 27, 2020
Harry Potter But It’s Hazza Pazza
Sketch comedy writer @jamesofwalsh has shingles. Despite or perhaps because of this, he has set up a new podcast in which he discusses why his ideas suck and should be buried at the bottom of the ocean. In this debut episode, he is joined by fellow Next Level Sketch producer @juanpenguino to discuss a very bad sketch that wisely never saw the light of day: Harry Potter but it’s Hazza Pazza. Join them as they try to put right what once went wrong.
May 18, 2020