Monkey Dust is a British satirical cartoon. Known for its dark humour and handling of taboo subjects such as rape, paedophilia, murder, suicide. Each episode is made of sketches created by different companies such as Slinky Pictures, Nexus Productions, Sherbet Animation etc. Each sketch is often linked with recurring themes and jokes.
Including such characters as the Paedofinder General, Ivan Dobsky, Clive Pringle.
The show was created by Harry Thompson and Shaun Pye, although a significant portion of the work was a collaboration or sometimes fully formed sketches contributed by partners
Music is often used in sketches or transitions between scenes. Often quite melancholy or depressing tracks
Some of the background music in sketches is from the time period it was made and it’s stuff that the creators hated but wanted to include it in their horrible world.
The show was broadcast on BBC Three between 2003 and 2005. No further series were made after the co-creator, Harry Thompson died of cancer.
The many weird and wonderful characters of Monkey Dust
This series has left a huge impact on me. Ever since I was first shown it from a friend who had the episodes on an old CD. The dark humour is great and I still recall it and look to it for inspiration.
I’m inspired by this show for a number of reasons.
First of all, I like how it isn’t afraid to make sketches about subjects that might offend some people. It was made before everything started getting to sensitive towards people and when BBC was more willing to put something like that on air.
Second, I like how it often draws people in quite an unflattering but often quite true reflection. Often with quite exaggerated features but you can still recognise specific looks that you’re accustomed to seeing on the streets of the UK.
Third, there’s the odd sketch that looks more realistic looking. Like they’ve maybe googled images of the public or drawn people they know so some of the characters can look like someone you might see day to day. I like the way it uses shadows casting on characters too.
And one more point is I love how it uses music everyone will know in the background of certain sketches to really ground the audience in its warped British world.
The first series can be bought on DVD but series 2 and 3 were never released physically and only exist online. I still think it deserves a lot more recognition than it received and I will continue to enjoy these sketches and somewhat try to emulate the uniquely British humour that was established with the series.
I encourage anyone to check the series out wherever it is available
The Paedofinder General character covers The Crazy World of Arthur Brown