Monkey Tennis

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Monkey Tennis‘ is a British pop culture phrase, first used in the late 1990s and popular throughout the 2000s. Originating as a joke in a television sitcom, it has come to be commonly used as an example of the hypothetical lowest common denominator television program that it is possible to make.

The term originates from the opening episode of the sitcom ‘I’m Alan Partridge,’ originally broadcast on BBC Two in 1997. In one scene the eponymous character of Partridge, a failed chat show host, desperately attempts to pitch program ideas to uninterested BBC executive who cancelled his first series. After failing to interest him in ideas plucked from thin air such as ‘Arm Wrestling With Chas & Dave,’ ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank,’ ‘Inner-City Sumo’ and ‘Cooking in Prison,’ Partridge comes up with a final spur-of-the-moment suggestion, ‘Monkey Tennis?,’ which is met with similar disdain.


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