The answer is a man named Alber, from New York, who does the same thing. He has a knack for making people think they’re actually talking to him, but only after he’s talked to them.
The show, called You Talk and I Read has three regular players – James, a young man with an odd mannerism, and Alber, a man who seems to work out of a shop in a town called Gort (a place that looks like West Africa). Their job is to play a game and make the public think they are actually talking to them. They make themselves the target of mockingly funny situations, from an Indian restaurant to an American football ground, and then are called back out to play a different person.
Alber is always a little suspicious of James – he thinks he knows everything but there is always the chance they’ve made one up and it’s up to him to get it right with him. The funny thing about playing himself, though, is that it isn’t really a game at all. For one thing, there is no rule of thumb, and you rarely win. Another thing is that you can say just about anything and it is true. James says he wants to be killed on sight, even going so far as to send him to prison and then killing him there.
There’s a great scene in which James is on his own at a party. His friends are laughing at other people, making fun of people’s bodies. After a couple of seconds, James stops laughing and sees his reflection in a mirror. The rest of the scene is pure comedy: James is trying to make friends with these guys, but it just keeps going from one party to another.
Alber has to try the same thing, only this time he has people who aren’t laughing at the same party to try. He has a couple of friends to play with – he is going to try to be friends with them, but it’s just not working out. “You think you’re a big deal, I think you’re just a little,” he tells James after three tries.
It turns out that James isn’t really a very good ventriloquist, and he actually turns out to be the best person he’s ever met, so we can stop laughing.
You Talk and I Read, which has had a couple of successful series, is on BBC1, Monday to Friday from 9pm-10pm
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