Saturday 12 October 2019

Have They Any Non-Boris-Related Jokes For Us?

Ian, laughing as much as I did last night

Have I Got News For You? is back on our screens for its 204th series, threatening our chuckle muscles with acute pain. 

Ian was back, of course, and, as ever, making speeches. (I kept getting distracted though by his ever-expanding neck, which is coming to ever more closely resemble a pelican's throat pouch.)

Paul, however, who in recent series had looked as if he was about to sink into a coma, has now been replaced by a waxwork. The waxwork was, however, pre-progammed to play a recording of the real Paul saying 'Moron!' every time Donald Trump's name came up. (What will they think of next?). 

The first half of the programme was devoted to some pretty vicious Boris-bashing with a round called 'Boris's Brexit Balls-ups'. (Fear not! There was still time for some Trump-thwacking later). 

During it, HIGNFY broadcast a montage 'showing' how much the British public loathes Boris Johnson (Boris being booed, Boris being told to go away, Boris being called named), all to the delight of the panel and the whoopy audience. 

Meanwhile, in another galaxy:
Britain ElectsPreference for Prime Minister: B. Johnson: 41% (+1). J. Corbyn: 21% (-1) via @YouGov, 08 - 09 Oct.
That poll provoked this Twitter exchange last night:
Allison PearsonYou wouldn’t know this from the media would you? Huge disconnect between Boris bashing pundits and swelling public support.  
Phillip Hodson: Had the identical thought when watching tonight’s exceptionally dull episode of “Have I Got News For You”. The entire panel & the presenter were drawn from the bien pensant, London-centric Left. They all appeared to loathe Boris whereas the country clearly does not. 
Allison Pearson: I also think the BBC may be Brexit’s biggest casualty. All pretence of impartiality gone. I give the licence fee a decade. 
Steven Richards: It's a substantial point. The BBC's flagship comedy prog, with all the talent available, and also it's flagship political prog, QT, aim at a minority. I think a decade will be pushing it unless there's a hung parliament or narrow majority.
We'll see.


  1. I feel I have to justify watching it (the remote was out of reach and I was too tired to move) but I too sat in front of HIGNFY last night. It was excruciating. Dull, unfunny and relentlessly anti-Trump/ anti-Boris in their superficial and unoriginal way.

    They have a particular HIGNFY way of speaking, a supercilious sneering in a dialect I’ll call cynical-ese. Hislop’s team-mate, Leyla Moran MP settled in and parroted it as if she’d been doing it all her life, and exchanging knowing looks with Ian. Her status as an MP and a Palestinian has rocketed her to premature minor celebrity-dom.
    You already described Paul. A waxwork so stale that it has developed hyphae; it occasionally comes to life with a bout of faux ‘startled’ blinking.

    Believe me when I say that I almost felt sorry for Sara Pascoe. Not my favourite comedian, but on that occasion she seemed to have given up trying to be funny and looked quite cheesed off. She tentatively ventured some serious (non-comedic) observations before succumbing to the default cynical-ese.

    1. I like that - Cynicalese...

      Another thing about the BBC I really dislike is that sometimes they allow "right wing" comedians on to their programmes like the Mash Report, so they can claim "balance". But these RW comedians are just stooges, not really challenging any assumptions, but just being a bit "edgy" within the limits set by PC ideology. They are about as funny as a bout of the flu - which serves the BBC's purpose very well..


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