John Oliver is on the whole, a fucking genius. However he’s vastly more effective as a comedian tearing our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tiny wee shreds than most of our media and the official opposition. This is essential, and utterly terrifying, viewing.
A Stab in the Dark is a satirical show broadcast on Channel 4 in 1992. Basically a vehicle for David Baddiel but also featured Michael Gove in a ‘comedic’ role which strains the term ‘comedic’. For years it’s been a bit of an obscure joke in comedy fandom circles for featuring Gove, and an episode which featured Jimmy Savile which will never be repeated.
Gove, frankly, drains any life the show has from the air which is remarkable as there’s no life in the programme as it really is awful straddling the ‘serious’ Channel 4 and the radical Channel 4 of the early 90’s. There’s a handy YouTube compilation of Gove’s stuff and I warn you, it is appalling.
One clip came to light this week where he tears into Scots. Yes, Michael Gove is Scottish but he’s that strain of Scot who looks at his fellow countrypeople with contempt because they aren’t all like him, or ‘professional’ as he puts it.
Now 1992 was a tough year for a lot of people in Scotland. On my frequent trips to London you’d hear more and more Scottish accents as tent cities grew and grew on London’s Embankment. Things were bad but instead of seeing people in distress looking for help as they hit bottom, Gove’s instinctive reaction is to sneer and mock.
And this isn’t the only thing that comes out of this programme. There’s an extraordinary clip where he discusses talks with the IRA in a way that had we listened to Gove, we’d never had peace in Ireland.but Gove has made it clear the Good Friday Agreement should never have happened. See Gove is a hardline Unionist who would drag us into hell with nothing but contempt for people who don’t fit his standards and this man could well be Prime Minister by the end of July.
I mentioned a few weeks ago about the #BoycottCaptainMarvel campaign being run by the same people which brought you the #BoycottBlackPanther campaign last year, as well as the ongoing sad fuckwittery of Comicsgate. The weekend gone was the opening weekend of Captain Marvel, so I’d assume these protesters managed to reach out and convince people not to encourage whatever it is they’re pissed off about.
So I’m sure this weekend was a fucking disaster! Let’s look at what happened,
Oh, well done Comicsgaters. Another success.
The comedian Jeremy Hardy has sadly died far too young thanks to fucking cancer. This is a tragedy all round because there’s a lack of actual left wing comics (as opposed to people who’ll sell out at the first sniff of megastardom) and there’s a real lack of leftish comics who aren’t just painfully woke, or are just treating comedy as a stepping stone to something else like presenting or the panel show circuit before the DVD, the tour and the BBC One special.
Hardy dabbled with the mainstream in things like this great Top of the Pops he presented with Jack Dee.
Or being on the very first episode of Mock the Week.
For me it was his stand up that set him aside from others with his performances at Glastonbury being special highlights but a special talent is gone, and he can’t be replaced. Hardy’s socialism was never the elitist kind or the type that ignores opinion from others who may not agree with him hence why people of all persuasions are mourning him today.
At a time when we needed his particular left voice we no longer have it. He’ll be missed a lot.
Billy Connolly is a Scottish institution and has been since those early days in the 70s when he was making a name for himself playing the clubs of Scotland, and in particular, Glasgow. His recent BBC documentary was a thing of glory and painful too as he’s clearly ill, hence why he’s preparing himself for the end which has to come for us all.
But this is a man who made us all laugh. He broke the mould for comedians in the UK in the 70s by not telling racist gags or tired old mother in law jokes but instead making his humour centred round Glasgow in tightly observed routines and sprawling gags that would lead off into many glorious diversions. For me growing up the one Billy Connolly routine which would make me hurt because I would laugh so much was the Crucifixion. If you’re unfamiliar with Glasgow, or the ins and outs of a city then don’t worry, you’ll pick up the main jist of it, and Connolly’s telling of the story is glorious.
At some point I fear I’ll be writing an obituary for this man,but for me this one routine shaped how I’d always think of Connolly, and it never, ever fails to make me laugh.
I’ve mentioned before that the web-series Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, is a work of genius from Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling. In fact I’d say it was the best piece of satire produced in the UK this decade and just miles ahead of most things produced on traditional television. Six short episodes and it’s done leaving behind hours and hours and hours of videos on YouTube trying hard to explain the series with varying levels of success.
Well, last week a trailer for a new series landed on YouTube and it is a thing of wonder.
There’s little to nothing known about the new episodes beyond a pretty sparse statement, however a trailer suggests new episodes are coming sooner than later. In the meantime go check out the existing six episodes and lap up the twisted glory of the series.
Peter Serafinowicz doesn’t get anything like the acclaim he deserves for his series of Sassy Trump videos which are wonderful pisstakes of Donald Trump speeches using his own words, and well, you can guess the rest.
At this time when it should be perfectly clear that Trump is heading up a movement of hard/far right authoritarianism that is empowering similar movements across the West, we face a time when liberal post-WW2 values and concepts like universal human rights are under threat it is only right we take the piss out the bastard.
This is the latest one. Enjoy and resist…