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Monday, 13 April 2015

Tam Cowan Column Facts and Figures

   I am not working today so I thought I would take the time to go through some historic Tam Cowan columns in the Scottish Sun to try and work out a formula for how he works.

   If you don't know Tam he is a Scottish comedian who had a long association with Trinity Mirror before switching to The Sun a year or two ago. His column follows the general columnist format of one long section surrounded by a number of little gags. Let's see if I can spot any trends.

Friday July 25th

Word Count of Main Section:

Approx 1000 words

Subject of Main Section:

The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Typical joke:

After the fireworks display (the most spectacular one at Parkhead since Rangers went into administration).....

Tone:

Cynical, harmless fun.

Sideline jokes:

12 (mostly all related to things in the News that week, rear of the year etc + a lot of TV).

Friday July 4th

Word Count of Main Section:

Approx 500

Subject of Main Section:

Music

Typical Joke:

It's like a bug - I'm HMV Positive (on music buying)

Tone:

Cynical

Sideline Jokes:

20, once again usually puns or short jokes related to news items that week. Example: The cast of Towie has been voted the UK's biggest waste of space. Runner-up was the Hibs trophy cabinet.

Friday June 27th

Word Count of Main Section:

500 words (from what I can gather the main section tends to be around 500 words unless there is a rich vein of material that week).

Subject of Main Section:

Food

 Typical Joke:

My wife wanted to come along as well - right from the moment she heard Toni had a 27-incher (re a Chef who makes a 27-inch Pizza)

Sideline Jokes:

12, once again usually regarding the news or TV. Quick and snappy for example: My daft wee pal from Airdrie was looking for a refund on his trampoline. "It's not very bouncy" he said. "And the legs are on the wrong side".

Summary

   So even after looking at just 3 columns we can see trends forming:

* Main section of c 500 words.
* One joke per paragraph.
* A cynical look at the News
* 12 sideline jokes. Usually just a few sentences regarding that weeks' news or TV.
* Lots of Scottish references: Sydney Devine, Hibs, Craig Hill. The jokes might not mean anything to an English audience.

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