Saturday 19 November 2016

Frankie Boyle’s emollient autopsy

Did anyone hear Jonathan Dimbleby on Any Questions repeating that infamous Michael Flynn quote “Fear of Muslims is rational” with a tone of abject incredulity? 
These people cling on to their favourite soundbites for dear life and flog them to death.  Is Jonathan Dimbleby the last man standing who refuses to consider the possibility that saying “fear of Muslims is rational” has a smidgeon of credibility? Rhetorical question. We know he isn’t.


You know the feeling. Your kids (or someone else’s) are behaving appallingly, but doing it with such wit and creativity that you struggle to suppress a giggle, but you’re obliged not to laugh so as not to undermine your authority such as it is.

I watched Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy. I don’t know why; let’s say morbid curiosity and ordinary curiosity rolled into one. 

Well,  I’m not immune to the humour in Frankie Boyle’s imaginative phraseology, while simultaneously marvelling at how someone so sharp can be so dumb. 

Some of the btl comments on Youtube indicate that it didn’t go down terribly well, but we know what Youtube comments are like. I mention it mainly because people are wondering why the BBC has ‘let him back’.

Unconnected with this particular programme, someone on the BBC mentioned ‘gritty’ comedy, and I guess gritty is the new edgy.

Of course Frankie is a white dude and, I gather, a father. A bit jowly these days too, one disadvantage on top of another.

He started with a monologue about Trump’s appearance and general unsuitability for office and made a few derogatory comments about America. Then he threw in something disparaging about Hillary Clinton and brought on his guests.  

The predictable and unoriginal banter was par for the course, livened up a bit by a contribution from Richard Osman (2.01 m.)
I found Osman’s excessive height rather comforting, as it gave his (mildly) dissenting view extra heft.   
Speaking as someone with a 'nasty little voice  “Goin’ peep peep peep’” I can only say I need some huge people on my side.

Richard Osman 2.01m

Frankie Boyle and his friends have certainly noticed a hell of a lot of bad stuff about America. Bad stuff about Donald Trump, bad stuff about Hillary Clinton, bad stuff about politics and all kinds of bad stuff about racism, misogyny, fascism etc etc. But they haven’t noticed anything whatsoever  about Islam. 

That’s gritty only in the  sense of ‘irritating if it gets in your eye’. As humour, this was feeble and kind of emollient. Think of people oleaginously soothing each other’s preconceived prejudices.

I think I’d prefer edgy, if I could find any.


  1. In the heyday of MTW, I thought Frankie was the sharpest tool in the box. Now back in another, safer BBC box after a brief hiatus the BBC can impose when one their own goes a bit too far to try claiming getting it about right in face of so much wrong, he is no longer sharp, certainly.

    I was amazed on his return, not to MTW, to find his spontaneous wit was likely carefully scripted before, as he had become simply a bitter, gabbling, foul mouthed excuse for a 'comedian'. With a drearily predictable set of highly limited targets beloved of either a carefully selected studio audience or a laugh track that can go beyond eleven in the right sycophantic twisted hands. matched only by the braying of those placed to prop him up.

    That the BBC see him as a fit anchor to autopsy the death of yet another of their false idols as its credibility crashes and burns further is surprisingly fitting.

  2. Gosh, it's just delightful to see how united everyone is in agreeing that those Americans are just so CRUDE, MORONIC and altogether GHASTLY, my dear! No wonder their universities suck, they haven't any Nobel Laureates, and we managed to win two world wars without their pointless assistance.

    1. It's probably why they are the top migration destination on the planet and why everyone watches their movies and TV progs. Because they are so, so, so...deplorable.

  3. Surely they missed the misogyny, violence, criminality racism, anti-democratic authoritarianism in that "Abrahamic faith" because they're not there, like the man you meet on the stair...

  4. Seems he's the new warm up act for Hamilton, with Benedict Cumperbatch doing the encores.

    Alan Yentob is directing the BBC documentary, with Camilla as costume designer.

  5. I too watched this.
    Frankie can be funny , but has now made that mistake of deliving back into drugs, comics ans student stuff-as opposed to being REALLY edgy, like say-how come we voted out ,they voted Trump. But no-done the Mark Steel road to humour-free liberal tropes.
    Pity really-if not for Richard Osman(who like Alexander Armstrong is intelligent enough to dare to think for himself)it woulda have been an entire wast of 45 mins.


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