Dom Joly made his name on the similar series Trigger Happy TV on Channel 4, and it is from its great success that he was hired by the BBC to produce new programming. His first effort was an unsuccessful spoof chat show named This Is Dom Joly. The lack of success in conventional comedy prompted Joly to go back to his hidden camera roots and started to create a new series which was very similar to Trigger Happy TV, with short stunts overlayed with a soundtrack. Joly was the main participant in these stunts. As with his previous work, the programme had an emphasis on surrealism, with sketches such as a spying gnome and nerds taunting skaters and Joly dressing up in aluminum foil like a superhero, being a partner of a traffic warden who is technically ignoring him.
The main difference between Trigger Happy TV and World Shut Your Mouth was the scope of the show. Where Trigger Happy TV took place in various places around the United Kingdom, the larger budget of World Shut Your Mouth allowed for international travel and filming, and many of the stunts took place at, or near, major international landmarks.
There were subtle changes in directorial style too, with zooms and close-up shots of the public's reaction to the various pranks. The team working on World Shut Your Mouth was also larger. Trigger Happy TV was mainly the work of Dom Joly and Sam Cadman, Dom doing the stunts and Sam filming.
In World Shut Your Mouth, Dom Joly did the stunts, and produced the show with Richard Webb. Janet Knipe directed and Al Campbell filmed. The show also starred Danny Wallace in minor supporting roles for some of the stunts, and he also helped develop some ideas for the show.
Perhaps as an Easter egg for serious Trigger Happy TV fans, at the end of each show when the credits had finished rolling, a credit is given to "The Gund Corporation". The name Gund is a pseudonym used by Dom "whenever [he] is lying" according to his audio commentary on the Best of Trigger Happy TV DVD. The name Gund is often used by Joly when a character requires an identity.
In January, 2005 World Shut Your Mouth began to be shown at 10.35 Friday night on BBC One. Despite its critical success it only ran for one series, which was released on BBC DVD. The DVD featured an entire extra episode that never aired, plus audio commentary on all episodes.