Author Topic: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.  (Read 33914 times)

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #270 on: May 31, 2021, 11:23:15 PM »
Oh fuck off is this thread over three years old. I typed my Seinfeld message only a few months ago, surely? Time, ey.

Erm, I think all heavy hitters have been mentioned already... how about Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow? Several notable transphobic moments, referring to them as ''it'' and giving disgusted looks.

 https://youtu.be/l2Z5fXGDg5E?t=2675 - Dick's look of utter fury when he thinks the camera isn't picking it up is still funny, but uch.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #271 on: June 02, 2021, 09:09:33 PM »
The Young Ones S1 E3 - "Boring"

The Kellogs Competition guy turning up to the house, and the copper coming up to him "Sorry John, thought you was a ni**er." "That's white man's electricty you're burning" etc.

Also, alcopops of nothing, I struggle to watch Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark knowing Indy is trying to bang the 15-year-old Marion.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #272 on: June 02, 2021, 09:36:02 PM »
Fair whack of incidental little dated unpleasantries in Black Books.

Might have been mentioned already in this three year old thread but I don’t give a fuck, just how I roll, I speak my mind, if you don’t like it call the PC brigade. Rant over.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #273 on: June 02, 2021, 09:39:22 PM »
The Young Ones S1 E3 - "Boring"

The Kellogs Competition guy turning up to the house, and the copper coming up to him "Sorry John, thought you was a ni**er." "That's white man's electricty you're burning" etc.

Hasn't that bit become even more apposite?

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #274 on: June 02, 2021, 09:54:52 PM »
Yeah, the angry anti-racist point they were making, particularly with regards to the police, is still relevant. A white character using the N word is jarring and unpleasant, it wouldn't happen today, but the actual joke itself is perfectly valid and comes from a good place.

EDIT: I appreciate that it's not quite as simple as that, though, hence my thinking-out-loud post below!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 10:25:46 PM by Ballad of Ballard Berkley »

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #275 on: June 02, 2021, 09:58:58 PM »
It ended up being a concern to YO producer Paul Jackson a while after it had gone out. A teacher wrote to him to tell him that bit - which was meant as an anti-racist satire - was straight-facedly taken by some of the children in his class as a source of useful abuse, and were tormenting a black student with the lines that the policeman said. Jackson apparently had repeats of that episode edited with various lines from that scene dropped, though video releases remained uncut (I think - and nowadays maybe streaming as well?). Basically it's a good idea for a sketch that totally messes it up in the execution.

We shouldn't forget that the 80s were just as unsettled and grim when it came to racial matters as it is now, and at moments you did have a kind of proto-culture-war thing going on - sub out "woke" for "loony left", etc. At times it feels like history has been repeating itself as of late.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #276 on: June 02, 2021, 10:02:54 PM »
I've never liked it, but my wife is watching How I Met Your Mother again, and some of that is diabolical. Pretty much every other Barney joke is about him raping or emotionally abusing drunk/vulnerable women (whom he regularly calls dumb sluts) but the worst Barney "gag", one that even made Mrs Six turn off the episode, was this line:

Quote
I've spent the last two days trying to remember every girl that I've slept with and all of the horrible things that I have done to them- and I have done some horrible things. I mean, at one point I'm pretty sure I sold a woman. I didn't speak the language, but I shook a guy's hand, he gave me the keys to a Mercedes, and I left her there.

HAHA HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #277 on: June 02, 2021, 10:11:07 PM »
It ended up being a concern to YO producer Paul Jackson a while after it had gone out. A teacher wrote to him to tell him that bit - which was meant as an anti-racist satire - was straight-facedly taken by some of the children in his class as a source of useful abuse, and were tormenting a black student with the lines that the policeman said. Jackson apparently had repeats of that episode edited with various lines from that scene dropped, though video releases remained uncut (I think - and nowadays maybe streaming as well?). Basically it's a good idea for a sketch that totally messes it up in the execution.

We shouldn't forget that the 80s were just as unsettled and grim when it came to racial matters as it is now, and at moments you did have a kind of proto-culture-war thing going on - sub out "woke" for "loony left", etc. At times it feels like history has been repeating itself as of late.

Jackson is wrong.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #278 on: June 02, 2021, 10:21:15 PM »
It ended up being a concern to YO producer Paul Jackson a while after it had gone out. A teacher wrote to him to tell him that bit - which was meant as an anti-racist satire - was straight-facedly taken by some of the children in his class as a source of useful abuse, and were tormenting a black student with the lines that the policeman said. Jackson apparently had repeats of that episode edited with various lines from that scene dropped, though video releases remained uncut (I think - and nowadays maybe streaming as well?). Basically it's a good idea for a sketch that totally messes it up in the execution.

Thick arseholes are always going to miss the point of things like that, but at the same time white writers should always err on the side of caution when it comes to using offensive racist language. I daresay that in retrospect, despite their good intentions, Elton, Mayall and Mayer shared Jackson's view that they shouldn't have written that scene.

As I say, it's a wilfully provocative yet patently sincere comment on systemic racism within the police force, but it was written by some well-meaning white people in their twenties who had never experienced racism. Does that mean they can't broach that subject? No, but it needs to be considered carefully. Mark it down as a bunch of angry young lefty satirists not quite thinking things through.

Jackson is wrong.

Not necessarily. He must've been mortified when he heard that the scene in question was being quoted out of context. It's a tricky one.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #279 on: June 02, 2021, 10:30:18 PM »
You can't make a show that lacks nuance because you're concerned about stupid people misunderstanding it.
That scene works perfectly.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #280 on: June 02, 2021, 10:34:05 PM »
I agree, but I also understand why Jackson was troubled by it.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #281 on: June 02, 2021, 10:49:36 PM »
I still like Absolutely Fabulous, but I can't really recommend it to younger people because Eddie's treatment of Saffy is... I mean, Saffy is pretty much parentified at a young age, especially after Serge runs away to live with Marshall. Insert "That's The Joke" meme here. I know they address the impact on Saffy in later series and the movie ends with Eddie and Saffy reconciling but still.

Alberon

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #282 on: June 02, 2021, 11:00:39 PM »
It’s interesting how they twist the characters in the second chunk of episodes (there was a gap between the first couple or so of series and the later ones) and have Saffy be less the sensible parent but more than a little strange herself while Whitfield’s character goes much further off into a loopy world of her own.

But I see your point. Pretty much all the relationships in the show are abusive to some degree.

As to The Young Ones sketch as I seem to recall the early eighties (admittedly as a white guy) the N word was less prevalent over here. I seem to remember the racial insult used the most was the W word. The sketch would work better with out the N word punchline especially here in the 21st century where it is a far worse word than cunt.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #283 on: June 03, 2021, 08:25:18 AM »
Thick arseholes are always going to miss the point of things like that, but at the same time white writers should always err on the side of caution when it comes to using offensive racist language. I daresay that in retrospect, despite their good intentions, Elton, Mayall and Mayer shared Jackson's view that they shouldn't have written that scene.

As I say, it's a wilfully provocative yet patently sincere comment on systemic racism within the police force, but it was written by some well-meaning white people in their twenties who had never experienced racism. Does that mean they can't broach that subject? No, but it needs to be considered carefully. Mark it down as a bunch of angry young lefty satirists not quite thinking things through.


I saw a televised interview with Ben Elton in 1992 in which he said he now regarded having Rik use the word 'spasmo' as a mistake.

Jockice

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #284 on: June 03, 2021, 08:56:07 AM »
I saw a televised interview with Ben Elton in 1992 in which he said he now regarded having Rik use the word 'spasmo' as a mistake.

The word 's*****c' and its varying derivatives is one I've always had a big problem with, basically cos it was the go-to insult to me as a child/teenager. Well one of them. There were others. And I did have certain nobheads come up to me in the schoolyard when The Young Ones was on and call me it using a Rik voice. I mean, I wasn't a big fan of TYO anyway and thought that those who used impressions of the characters as a substitute for being able to think of anything funny themselves were just utter wankers.

Anyway in the late 80s I did a telephone interview with Elton and was going to ask him about it but didn't because (and this is really pathetic looking back) the bloke who sat next to me knew who I was talking to and was really obviously listening to the conversation, and I didn't want to be associated with that word in any way by people at work. Not long afterwards I was at the Edinburgh Festival and saw Jerry Sadowitz hanging around in a pub courtyard and was momentarily tempted to go up and question him about the use of the word. I have no doubt he'd have told me to fuck off. And rightly so.

I still don't like it but have come to terms with it, especially since my latest diagnosis in a long and confusing medical history is a rare condition that actually has the word 's*****c' in the title. I can't win here. I am one.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 10:30:52 AM by Jockice »

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #285 on: June 03, 2021, 11:01:43 AM »
I saw a televised interview with Ben Elton in 1992 in which he said he now regarded having Rik use the word 'spasmo' as a mistake.

Is this the reason he had a character with cerebral palsy in his 1991 novel Gridlock aggressively reclaim the term, with 'Spazmo' proudly emblazoned across the back of his wheelchair? The thing about Rick's use of the word is, it was always abundantly clear even to an 8 year old that Rick is a complete prick. No one else in TYO uses the word, it's only the most unconscionably pathetic and infantile arsehole that nobody would want to be anything like. Although his use of 'Fascist' as a meaningless and hypocritical catch-all insult certainly caught on in the last few years.

The most brutal use of the word in comedy surely comes from Rowan Atkinson's Live In Belfast LP, when he's doing the father of the bride's speech: "Gerald is the sort of person we used to describe at school as an utter s*****c". It sort of has to be that monstrously out-of-order though, the character is so fervid with scorn for his daughter's choice of partner he devolves into the spite and cruelty of the schoolyard, choosing the worst place and time to do so.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #286 on: June 03, 2021, 11:45:34 AM »
Is this the reason he had a character with cerebral palsy in his 1991 novel Gridlock aggressively reclaim the term, with 'Spazmo' proudly emblazoned across the back of his wheelchair?

From what I recall of that, Elton's ironic depiction of "Geoffrey Spasmo" wasn't exactly subtle, or as sympathetic in tone as he probably intended.
More to do with his broad writing style than any lack of empathy in him I think. He does do a lot of work for Scope.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #287 on: June 03, 2021, 01:10:31 PM »
Does anyone find this problematic? I don't, I think it's hilarious

And He will come and give strength to hands that tremble with weakness and to legs that are lame. The crippled will cast away their crutches, leap and dance, jump up and down in praise of the Lord and receive all the blessings of Heaven! But it doesn’t say they have to have six parking bays at Safeways, does it? They’re always empty. I left the car for five minutes – I only nipped in for a bottle of Taboo.

When I came out the bugger was clamped! I said to the feller: “Would it be different if,I had a stick and a limp?”. Ramps outside libraries…and their toilets are massive! Hymn number 168 – “Glad That I Live Am I”

I don't see anything wrong with that, although I'm not disabled. Like a lot of other examples in the thread, the character is supposed to be awful, with the extra irony that she's a vicar, and also that she remorselessly parks in disabled spaces while buying booze then moans about accessibility features. I've always loved the delivery of "ramps outside libraries" like the very existence of this completely innocuous thing that causes no detriment to anyone and is there to help people just really pisses her off.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #288 on: June 03, 2021, 01:27:39 PM »
I like Two Doors Down and having seen all the series saw that there was a pilot from 2013, I watched it and was surprised at the storyline of Daniela Nardini's character basically getting the Scandinavian married neighbour black out drunk and then attempting to rape him in the bathroom whilst he was unconscious, the comedy payoff was her having to escape through the window and jumping onto and collapsing the gazebo in the garden.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #289 on: June 03, 2021, 01:37:58 PM »
From what I recall of that, Elton's ironic depiction of "Geoffrey Spasmo" wasn't exactly subtle, or as sympathetic in tone as he probably intended.
More to do with his broad writing style than any lack of empathy in him I think. He does do a lot of work for Scope.

I've not read Gridlock as a whole but I leafed through it in a shop and recall a passage in which the main character is a teenager at a residential school for the disabled and he or one of his friends phone some sex advert and a sex worker comes and gives them all a handjob.  It wasn't the subtlest of ways of putting across that the disabled have normal needs as I'm sure that scene was trying to.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #290 on: June 03, 2021, 03:35:51 PM »
Does anyone find this problematic? I don't, I think it's hilarious

And He will come and give strength to hands that tremble with weakness and to legs that are lame. The crippled will cast away their crutches, leap and dance, jump up and down in praise of the Lord and receive all the blessings of Heaven! But it doesn’t say they have to have six parking bays at Safeways, does it? They’re always empty. I left the car for five minutes – I only nipped in for a bottle of Taboo.

When I came out the bugger was clamped! I said to the feller: “Would it be different if,I had a stick and a limp?”. Ramps outside libraries…and their toilets are massive! Hymn number 168 – “Glad That I Live Am I”

The one that got to me was when she introduces Legz Akimbo!

Quote
Oh they've arrived. Did you know that some of you are going to be watching a play this afternoon instead of doing proper lessons? It's going to be performed by "Legz Akimbo" theatre company and it is a play about homosexuality aimed at children aged 9 to 12. Some call this "theatre in education". I call it AIDS in a van.

So succinct yet unnecessarily horrible, it's perfect for Bernice.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #291 on: June 04, 2021, 09:42:40 AM »
My other half (who's much more principled and sensitive to injustice than I) really enjoyed the recent Inside No. 9s, but I've tried to gently steer her away from discovering the League because it would definitely tarnish her impression of Shearsmith and Pemberton. Indeed, when rewatching the last series in preparation for the specials, I was struck by how much humour comes at the expense of characters who show signs of learning disabilities - Mickey, Barry Baggs the debt collector, Neds, Dean Tavalouris. And then there's all the Barbara and Herr Lipp stuff which feels a little bit beyond the pale now.

Appreciate this is an old post, but was just me who thought the Herr Lipp stuff was crude and unfunny even at the time, let alone now?

I'll admit to not being quite so attuned to why Barbara was a bit dodgy

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #292 on: June 05, 2021, 04:26:38 PM »
The more I hear about Hitler and what he got up to the less I like him.

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Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #293 on: June 05, 2021, 05:37:02 PM »
Quote
I'll admit to not being quite so attuned to why Barbara was a bit dodgy

Presumably because she was a comedy pre-op transsexual. Never mind that she was also friendly, sympathetic, and helpful. Put that sort of character in a comedy and you must be automatically somewhat suspect for doing so. Maybe not the full Glinner, but regarded with wariness.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #294 on: June 05, 2021, 06:01:35 PM »
Presumably because she was a comedy pre-op transsexual. Never mind that she was also friendly, sympathetic, and helpful. Put that sort of character in a comedy and you must be automatically somewhat suspect for doing so. Maybe not the full Glinner, but regarded with wariness.

Yes, Benjamin went from initially being freaked out to seeing Barbara as a confidante.
It may have been played for laughs to start with, but there was character/relationship development there.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #295 on: June 05, 2021, 06:23:00 PM »
One of my favourite things ever was being a teenager into music that was cool at the turn of the century (eg dub) was my mate picking up that CD in MVC and going "Idi Amin, I've heard he's supposed to be wicked!" and that enthusiasm immediately deflating seconds after he hit "play" on the multidisc changer.

Amazing Man did have a good beat, as I believe the younger people say.

https://youtu.be/Rru0XHU1WSE?t=46

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #296 on: June 05, 2021, 07:00:40 PM »
Yes, Benjamin went from initially being freaked out to seeing Barbara as a confidante.
It may have been played for laughs to start with, but there was character/relationship development there.

I'll admit I was never an avid watcher so wasn't aware of any character development.

It's an interesting point though whether creating a crude stereotypical character is ok if you later tack on some character development. I mean, they gave her a ridiculous gruff voice to play the trans angle for laughs at the beginning.

It will be a sign of progress if we can have a pre-op transsexual in a comedy show who has a normal male voice (cue examples)

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #297 on: June 05, 2021, 07:06:33 PM »
That whole thing with Barbara in the reunion specials is so bad, Feels so cringey like they are saying yes we were wrong to make fun of her now you can not laugh at her.

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #298 on: June 05, 2021, 08:34:55 PM »
What would you prefer they did?

Re: Comedy you liked but now think is problematical.
« Reply #299 on: June 05, 2021, 10:27:51 PM »
Louis C.K. should just fuck off forever, for the fact that he is who he is.

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