18 November 2009


...shoot me when I start sounding like an old fogey like Dominic Lawson

Here's a summary of what he says: 'comedy I like: good, comedy I don't like: evil'

I did post a comment, but knowing the Indie's hideous posting system I thought I'd leave something for posterity here

It's the same old routine - 'everyone is out to shock these days', 'nothing is pleasant like Morecambe and Wise, or Dad's Army, or intelligent like Monty Python' etc etc

Save for Michael McIntyre - who talks about everyday life, without swearing, and he's openly posh! I must admit I like McIntyre, not many men can do a 15 minute skit on how great their hair is, but that doesn't mean I disparage everything else - Lawson admits he doesn't actually watch comedy (and so is presumably informed by the Mail and the ridiculous 'Sachsgate') he knows of Little Britain and that's about it - he even foolishly describes Mock the Week as a show unsuitable for him (his kids clearly know he's a bore), apparently not realising that's the very show that launched McIntyre (on television at least)

It may feature the controversial-because-we-say-he-is Frankie Boyle, who does like to swear, but most of the comedians are quite moderate such as Russell Howard, McIntyre, Dara O'Briain and Andy Parsons - Boyle was very funny though

That's MY OPINION, of course - the difference is I don't complain about the stuff I don't like, I just don't watch it, I don't claim that 'mainstream' non-sweary comedy should be taken off the air for not being edgy enough and that all should be provided with what Lawson comically refers to as 'alternative comedy' (setting up a false dichotomy as well, eh?)

So it's hypocrisy - railing against people forcing certain types of comedy on us....by wanting to force certain types of comedy on us, but it's also based on complete myth

This is called 'fogeyism', Dominic - when you grow old new generations come in with new ideas and values that you can't get your head around, exactly like I'm sure your daddy did in the 1980s - it is at this point, when I'm old, and young people start changing society and I want to restrict their ideas with some silly ideas about my ways 'being better', that you should shoot me

Who knows, I may not become such a person, not being as privileged or true-blooded conservative as Dominic, but I will grow old, I hope

It is also based on ignorance - the idea that someone who is deliberately shielded from such 'alternative comedy' should bemoan it is rather ridiculous, Daily Mail ridiculous, he doesn't even know what he's criticising - as I've said, Mock the Week is hardly edgy and is generally quite mild

All Lawson can think of is Little Britain, Jonathan Ross (not even a comedian), and presumably Jimmy Carr

Completely ignoring the long-running Have I got news for you (which I'm sure he's been on), or a decent sketch show like Armstrong and Miller, or even the recent Harry Enfield show (though I didn't find it that great), there's also family sitcoms like Gavin and Stacey, Outnumbered or even the rubbish My Family

So what if Little Britain is in it for shock value? Some people like it...some people like Big Brother - i's called 'taste' (or lack of) - as much as I'd love to ban stupid people from voting, I know it's wrong

Then of course Lawson completely misses other comedians in his assumption that all comedians are vulgar for the sake of it, having not seen them, this isn't surprising...

Such as Peter Kay - he may not be posh and southern, but he's just as soft and family-friendly as McIntyre, and he's been around since, what - 2000?

There's also Jack Dee, who's given people like McIntyre a national audience on his Live at the Apollo show, as well as the family-friendly, somewhat intelligent Lead Balloon sitcom

Go back to the nineties and the Vicar of Dibley was the most successful of the more recent things  Dawn French has done, most of which is now family-friendly, unlike her older stuff (yes that's right, Dom - the older French and Saunders stuff was more vulgar)

Other shows that Dominic might have missed in his younger days might be the popular the Young Ones? That was really offensive to some, and yet on at the same time as the delightfully witty Yes, Minister and Blackadder

Or what about Benny Hill? Love thy Neighbour (1972)? Til Death Us Do Part (1965)? (Both satirical, and a point missed in both by millions) - or Jim Davidson jokes? Dave Allen was supposedly offensive...need I go on?

Even the much hailed Monty Python had its critics - surprisingly enough from the older generations, I know we may think that all people loved Python, because now it's hard to find an older person who doesn't like it, but back then it's strange surrealism had its critics (remember it had frontal nudity...in its opening sequence...), it was like all good comedies, for the young - surely anybody who loves Python while badmouthing modern comedy as offensive sees the rather delicious irony? The Life of Brian was completely uncontroversial of course - does Dominic want that blasphemous filth removed from existence?

He has become the very thing that shows like Python existed to mock - I admit the intellectualism of Python is hard to find nowadays, but let's face it, it's always been comedy for the more educated classes, but the best comedy always is - the Thick Of It is genius, but not as popular as Little Britain once was, and it never will be

I do miss Mary Whitehouse....

*As a side-note, it must be great being Lawson's kids, whenever they get annoyed with his 'dad' views they can just go to his column to see the flak he gets

1 comment:

  1. Morecambe and Wise were like the Curates Egg, good in parts.

    Dave Allens "funeral sketches" were always very good. I looked forward to those.

    Alternative comedy is now mainstream, so not really alternative. It never was alternative really, just foul.

    The biggest genuine laugh I've seen on screen over the last decade or so was when the "My dog has got no nose" gag, was scripted into "The Thin Blue Line": watch out for it when it is replayed...

    As for "comedy" shows that I watch on TV at the moment, there aren't any really.

    Which probably explains why I am a grumpy old man and the UK is such is miserable place to live.

    Laughter really is good medicine and brings us sunshine. If we are splitting our sides laughing, we don't care about being unemployed and broke...