Saturday, 7 January 2017

Brexit, Trump, Brexit, Trump...

One of Scotland's funniest performers, alongside Susan Calman 

The Times (h/t Sue) published a piece today called Who are you laughing at? The funniest faces of 2017, featuring a selection of comedians telling us what they are going to be joking about this year. 

Nearly all of the featured comedians are BBC regulars and they intend to joke about Trump and Brexit. 

Susan Calman sums the comedic consensus up: 
I have approached 2017 with some alacrity, as it’s doubtful that the new year could suck the hope from my soul in the way that 2016 did. In saying that, it’s entirely plausible that, like a river of diarrhoea, the detritus of global politics will continue to flow downwards, polluting the joy I find in simple things such as Antiques Roadshow or biscuits. 
The hot topics will be Brexit, Trump, Brexit, Trump, the weather, Trump, Corbyn, Brexit, Sturgeon, the rise of right-wing politics, Trump, impending Third World War, Putin and Trump and Brexit, lady politicians’ shoes/trousers and Kanye West. Can’t wait.
Expect her - and all the others in this dismal article - to appear all over the BBC in 2017, telling the same jokes they told in 2016, at the licence fee payer's expense.

Of course, that last paragraph - to be true to Susan C's own act - should have read: 
The hot topics will be my wife, Brexit, Trump, Brexit, Trump, my wife, the weather, my wife, Trump, Corbyn, Brexit, Sturgeon, my wife (no, not Sturgeon. She's not my wife), the rise of right-wing politics, the rise of my wife,  Trump, impending Third World War, my impending wife, Putin and Trump and Brexit and my wife, lady politicians' shoes/trousers, my wife's shoes/trousers, and Kanye West. Can’t wait.

This morning's The Week in Westminster addressed similar themes.

The programme had a centre-left presenter (Steve Richards) and three left-of-centre comedians as guests (Rory Bremner, Jan Ravens and Matt Forde), discussing satire and politics and 2017. (Very BBC Radio 4!)

It's well worth a listen though, both in its own right (as it was entertaining) and because Matt Forde - a self-declared Blairite - showed that he ought to be on the BBC more.


Because he seems to understand better than most Radio 4 comedians and BBC commissioners that, despite his own centre-left views, comedians (especially ones on the licence-fee-funded BBC) should satirise politicians of all shades, not just UKIP and Conservative ones - and ('for balance') far-left politicians like Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn. They should mock Greens, Lib Dems, Blairites, Brownites, pro-EU Tories, etc, as well. 


  1. Matt Forde is right but still very annoying and unfunny (although he clearly thinks he's hilarious).

    Personally I prefer comedy that delights in word play for its own sake (Lee Mack/Tim Vine), or absurdity, but often with acute social observation(League of Gentlemen, Little Britain and IT Crowd). I think the PC comedy crowd have effectively set out to destroy our sense of humour and are making a good job of it. I very much doubt that programmes like League of Gentlemen and Little Britain could actually be made now.

  2. If I heard the discussion correctly, it was stated that most comedians are left of centre. I.e. this is just one of those mysterious laws of the universe that is just a fact. Nothing to do with the fact that the BBC pays for numerous left wing comedians.

  3. In the UK right wing comedians tend to be perceived as being of the Jim Davison/Bernard Manning variety. We don’t seem to have the equivalent of say, P. J. O’Roarke. I know he is a humorist and a satirist rather than a comedian, but the point still stands - many overtly left wing British “comedians” aren’t comedians either. Re: The Now Show. Until someone of that stature emerges (or is allowed to emerge) the innate snobbery of the metropolitan left who comprise much of the BBC audience would preclude any possibility of a right wing comedian. Even then it would be an uphill struggle.