Though some of its jokes mocking Christian beliefs were so near the knuckle (and maybe even beyond the knuckle) that had they, say, been about Islam then Miss Philomena Cunk might very well be in hiding tonight with police protection and only Salman Rushdie for company, Cunk on Christmas (written by Charlie Brooker & Co.) contained a lot of funny jokes. Such as:
- Not all religious songs are quite so religious. In the 1970s groups like Slade reinvented the carol, appearing on our TV screens showcasing a new form of singing called 'shouting'. This music was loud, probably to keep Jimmy Savile away.
- It's hard to imagine now but when Christmas first began Christ wasn't even in it, just as Danny Dyer hasn't always been in 'Eastenders', even though he feels like part of the furniture - especially when he's trying to act.
- The pagans worshipped nature, just like Chris Packham, and their calendar revolved around two big annual events, also like Chris Packham.
- Just when our ancestors were getting well into Christmas indulgence history shat out someone who was allergic to Christmas fun: Oliver Cromwell, king of the puritans. Cromwell was a member of parliament who wouldn't wear smart clothed and never smiled - a bit like Jeremy Corbyn. And just like Corbyn he wanted to change the country but instead of sitting down on a train he got off his arse and did something about it, by starting a civil war.
- Santa has a list of good and bad children. The good children will get lots of presents. And so it turns out will be bad children. In fact, the only ones who won't get very much are the poor children. That's because Santa judges a child's goodness based largely on parental income.
- Thanks to all this food-based indulgence scientists now believe that 80% of all burps occur at Christmas, threatening to put a whole in the Osman Layer at precisely the moment the sky is full of vulnerable reindeer.
- Perhaps the most reassuring Christmas programme is 'Eastenders', which for years has provided an important public service by depicting worse families having an even shitter time than yours.
- Today the true meaning of Christmas is a mystery wrapped up in sherry and Monopoly and monkey nuts. But at least at this time of togetherness and warmth we can all agree what the true spirit of Christmas is: Baileys.