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One of the oddest recurring characters in 'The Fast Show', the Nice Painter is usually found painting a landscape scene out in the countryside with his long-suffering wife. They chatter about the attractive scenery until, sooner rather than later, the conversation degenerates into a series of rants about misery and depression, triggered by the word 'black'.

The humour comes from the audience's anticipation of the eventual breakdown, followed by the range of inventive phrases the Nice Painter uses to describe his condition. The sketches are parodies of gentle, Sunday-afternoon television shows about painting.

Here is an example, from episode one of series two, written by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, starring Charlie Higson as the Nice Painter and Arabella Weir as his wife:

EXTERIOR, COUNTRYSIDE: The Nice Painter and his wife are painting a landscape.
Painter: That's a lovely green, isn't it?
Wife: That's lovely. So lush. Just bursting with life.
Painter: Yes, and the thing is - the funny thing with colour - is that I just need to mix in a little bit of purple to set the green off.
Wife: Mm. As a sort of visual echo to the purple in the heather, hm?
Painter: Yes, that's right. That's right. Now I must... not get too carried away with the green. Remember to leave some room... for that road and that little house, over there.
Wife: Mm. I love the, er, dark 'V' that hill's making on the horizon.
Painter: Yes, it's very dark, isn't it? It's, er, almost... black.
Wife: Johnny!
Painter: Yes, I shall... I shall need to get the black out.
Wife: Johnny!
Painter: Yes. Black. Black. Black! Like the clouds of death that follow me into the Forest of Doom! And hide in the wardrobe of darkness! Black!
The Nice Painter covers his painting with black.
Painter: Black! Black!
The Nice Painter covers his wife's painting with black.
Painter: Black! Black!
The Nice Painter kicks his paint box over.
Painter: Black! Listen! Listen! Do you hear? The moon is weeping in a secret room! They tap at my window, with tiny pools!
Wife: I-I think we'd better be going home now, Johnny.
Painter: Oh! Oh! The monks are troubled and full of woe! I'm a fly! Trapped in a jar of shadows!

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