Can Jerry Seinfeld Fix the NHS? (BBC2, 2007)
Following the broadcast of Can Gerry Robinson fix the NHS? the Beeb decide to expand the franchise by inviting others to fix the ills of the NHS. On the basis that laughter is the best medicine languid US observational comic Jerry Seinfeld is invited in to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in order to make the system more efficient. Book-ended and interspersed with Seinfeld stand-up routines the programme shows Jerry joining consultants on their weekend breaks early on Friday afternoon; Jerry playing golf with hospital managers; Jerry fainting during the delivery of a baby; but has only one real success, where Jerry quizzes various members of staff as to “Who runs this place?” His constant repetition of the question, which met with differing answers from each member of staff, and intercut with reaction shots of incredulity from Jerry won the show a nomination for a British Comedy Award in 2007. He was pipped to the award by Gerry Robinson.
Other shows in the franchise include Can CHarles Allen fix the NHS? – where Allen’s answer is simply to have Ant and Dec appearing in every ward and operating theatre. Plans to complete the project with Can Gerry Anderson fix the NHS? were brought to a premature end when RAdio 4 listeners revolted and marched on Broadcasting House carrying effigies of Anderson and James Boyle. THe replacement programme Can Gerry Adams fix the NHS? is in pre-production.