Author Topic: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy  (Read 6603 times)

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #60 on: September 01, 2020, 06:36:17 PM »
Gosh, maybe Sam Hyde will get his second series after all...

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #61 on: September 01, 2020, 06:52:52 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/sep/01/rightwing-comedians-not-funny-enough-for-bbc-shows-says-insider
Syd Little joins Twitter. Posts 'All Lives Matter.' Waits for BBC to call.

The quota system proposed there is hilarious. Hard not to see it as the natural result of forcing certain people on TV regardless of talent.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #62 on: September 01, 2020, 06:53:01 PM »
The BBC becoming even more like the Boris Broadcasting Corporation. I don't think it will ever match the Telegraph though.
 

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #63 on: September 01, 2020, 06:57:03 PM »
They struggle to get anyone vaguely Tory on the News Quiz. Hugo Rifkind and Simon Evans is the best they can do. They had Peter Oborne on once and it was a car crash.

Peter Oborne on a panel show seems like an ill fit regardless of his politics.

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #64 on: September 01, 2020, 08:01:33 PM »
Without meaning to tacitly defend the "BBC comedy, like Nish Kumar, is too lefty, take for example hmm I don't know Nish Kumar" lobby, might this have been less of an "issue" if the BBC hadn't relied so heavily on panel shows and stand up showcases for comedy over the past 10ish years?

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #65 on: September 01, 2020, 08:01:58 PM »
Anyone hear that Lenny Henry show on r4 this evening? Every sketch was basically a weak role-reversal on racial prejudice. It was almost like a strawman for "left-wing comedy"

It was also total shit, obvs

Autopsy Turvey

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Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2020, 08:09:59 PM »
The quota system proposed there is hilarious. Hard not to see it as the natural result of forcing certain people on TV regardless of talent.

Quite so, they have enough problems finding people funny enough within the quota systems they've already got. There's also the problem Simon Evans has alluded to, that political differences on a panel can result in an awkward tension that silences and annoys audiences, plus many of the 'tropes' of 'right wing comedy' are now often judged to be 'hate speech', and the BBC are as culpable as any for the eggshell minefield situation.

SpiderChrist

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Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #67 on: September 01, 2020, 08:13:35 PM »
Anyone hear that Lenny Henry show on r4 this evening? Every sketch was basically a weak role-reversal on racial prejudice. It was almost like a strawman for "left-wing comedy"

It was also total shit, obvs

Had to turn it off, it was so painful to listen to.

Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2020, 08:25:05 PM »
Reminds me there's an On the Hour sketch about naff left wing BBC radio satire, "giving middle class people in the south east something to laugh about".

Charlie Hebdo has republished the Mohammed cartoons this week. Genuine question, if a BBC tv programme showed them, would that be classed as 'right-wing satire?'. Is that why it doesn't? (Obviously if the BBC ever did, they would only ever be broadcast on radio as a compromise).

chveik

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Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #69 on: September 01, 2020, 08:29:41 PM »
I hope so, but islamophobia always seems to get a free pass in the media.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
« Reply #70 on: September 01, 2020, 08:33:33 PM »
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/sep/01/rightwing-comedians-not-funny-enough-for-bbc-shows-says-insider
    Syd Little joins Twitter. Posts 'All Lives Matter.' Waits for BBC to call.

    Was  just coming here to post this - bit of a different spin in the Guardian.

    I suspect that they have a bit of problem here as right-wing comedy isn't just shit but comedy in itself brings about self critique.  Right wingers will be unfunny and will basically highlight how rubbish their worldview is.

    Sure it will be great for the shock jocks for a while, they'll try and spin it as lots of shrill lefties that can't take a joke, but quite quickly it will just be unfunny, mean spirited and unpopular.

    A lot of the rightwing schtick is all about knocking down the pompous uptight left (its the classic odd couple routine), which makes you wonder why some people are so keen to play into their hands a lot of time.  That being said without a left, or dominant right discourse in comedy it will have nothing to temper it with new comics trying to out "right" them.   It will become primative (psst because rightwing views are primative that is why they are so popular because you don't have to think about them or their consequences).

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #71 on: September 01, 2020, 08:49:12 PM »
    Had to turn it off, it was so painful to listen to.
    I mean Henry is a talented fella, a bit annoying, a few good characters, but also a few bizarre mis-shots (the nightmare gromit). but this was so underwritten and transparently conceived it was morbidly fascinating. for a bit.

    i was coming home on the motorway but listened critically for about 10 minutes to see how simplistic the writing was, by the time the MP came back again I decided I had enough and would complete the rest of my journey in silence.

    thenoise

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    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #72 on: September 01, 2020, 09:22:06 PM »
    Is this just leading up to them bringing back Clarkson?

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #73 on: September 01, 2020, 10:22:19 PM »
    i dont think they can afford him now

    Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

    • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #74 on: September 02, 2020, 01:15:50 AM »
    Why would any right-wing comedian go on the BBC when they can just make an hour and a half long standup routine about the Wokerati Thought Police and their 76 genders, then flog it to Netflix?

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #75 on: September 02, 2020, 01:31:45 AM »
    intriguing how many people are writing this Lenny Henry "woke" shit show

    Quote
    Written by Lenny Henry and Max Davis, with Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia, Tasha Dhanraj, Kim Fuller, Benjamin Partridge and Nathan Roberts.

    ah, Kim Fuller, the wizard behind *checks notes* Miami 7, Spiceworld and... The Castle



    slaughter the BBC

    Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

    • Living proof of everything wrong with the world
    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #76 on: September 02, 2020, 02:03:01 AM »
    No seriously, I keep thinking about this - what the fuck can right wingers even joke about on the BBC, aside from their wilful misunderstanding of transness and disdain for young people? Incredibly topical jokes about Jeremy Corbyn? Relevant and well-judged observations about benefit scroungers? None of them have the balls to go full-out racist or homophobic on national television. Greater acceptance of minority groups is the only place where the right is losing ground. They got Brexit, they got the print media, they got their posh pig in a suit. What's there to make fun of outside of 76 genders, if you're on the right?

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #77 on: September 02, 2020, 02:12:32 AM »
    Why does politically driven right wing humour not work but making jokes apolitically punching down at women, race, disability, ethnicity etc (which i'd consider more conservative/right wing behaviour) still work?

    Johnny Yesno

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    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #78 on: September 02, 2020, 07:55:25 AM »
    They struggle to get anyone vaguely Tory on the News Quiz. Hugo Rifkind and Simon Evans is the best they can do. They had Peter Oborne on once and it was a car crash.

    Gyles Brandreth
    Julian Critchley
    Edwina Currie
    Daniel Finkelstein
    Isabel Hardman
    Julia Hartley-Brewer
    Boris Johnson[1]
    Stanley Johnson[2]
    Camilla Long
    Bob Mills
    Geoff Norcott (who, under Davie's tenure, will be dropping the 'ing's from his strapline)
    Matthew Parris
    Katie Perrior
    Tim Shipman

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_News_Quiz#Guest_panellists
     1. No, I don't remember this either
     2. Or this

    pigamus

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    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #79 on: September 02, 2020, 08:08:16 AM »
    Well yeah. Edwina Currie and Stanley Johnson, ffs - you can't scrape the bottom of the barrel much harder.

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #80 on: September 02, 2020, 09:27:04 AM »
    No seriously, I keep thinking about this - what the fuck can right wingers even joke about on the BBC, aside from their wilful misunderstanding of transness and disdain for young people? Incredibly topical jokes about Jeremy Corbyn? Relevant and well-judged observations about benefit scroungers? None of them have the balls to go full-out racist or homophobic on national television. Greater acceptance of minority groups is the only place where the right is losing ground. They got Brexit, they got the print media, they got their posh pig in a suit. What's there to make fun of outside of 76 genders, if you're on the right?

    Yeah, when Corbyn was Labour Leader there was potential for unfunny jokes - he's vegetarian! he sometimes wears a hat! he hates jews! But the Guardian interview with the head of BBC said he wanted more pro-Brexit jokes. Which (aside from questions about topicality) means jokes about how funny foreigners are, and a bit of anti-immigrant sentiment. I guess you could try and do Clarkson-esque jokes about running over Extinction Rebellion protestors (particularly Emma Thompson), but again incitement to murder is a bit of a legal grey area.

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #81 on: September 02, 2020, 09:43:54 AM »
    Gyles Brandreth
    Julian Critchley
    Edwina Currie
    Daniel Finkelstein
    Isabel Hardman
    Julia Hartley-Brewer
    Boris Johnson[1]
    Stanley Johnson[2]
    Camilla Long
    Bob Mills
    Geoff Norcott (who, under Davie's tenure, will be dropping the 'ing's from his strapline)
    Matthew Parris
    Katie Perrior
    Tim Shipman

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_News_Quiz#Guest_panellists
     1. No, I don't remember this either
     2. Or this

    Bob Mills?

    Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
    « Reply #82 on: September 02, 2020, 09:49:47 AM »
      I suspect that they have a bit of problem here as right-wing comedy isn't just shit but comedy in itself brings about self critique.  Right wingers will be unfunny and will basically highlight how rubbish their worldview is.

      I think that can still work for a right-winger as Stanhope shows.  You could theoretically have a right-winger attacking the government from the right for wasting money on x, y & z. While also talking about their own alcoholism.

      The whole thing is a bit silly though.  The vast majority of comedy on TV has no overt political content, it is about as political as instrumental music.

      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #83 on: September 02, 2020, 10:41:40 AM »
      I mean Henry is a talented fella, a bit annoying, a few good characters, but also a few bizarre mis-shots (the nightmare gromit). but this was so underwritten and transparently conceived it was morbidly fascinating. for a bit.

      i was coming home on the motorway but listened critically for about 10 minutes to see how simplistic the writing was, by the time the MP came back again I decided I had enough and would complete the rest of my journey in silence.

      I thought Lenny Henry had recreated himself as a thesp luvvie. He seems more interested in theatre than comedy now.

      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #84 on: September 02, 2020, 11:21:43 AM »
      The whole thing is a bit silly though.  The vast majority of comedy on TV has no overt political content, it is about as political as instrumental music.

      Gyles Brandreth being an excellent example; I don't think I've ever heard him say anything political and he was a Tory MP for 5 years. The BBC should get him doing some kind of word game and go "there's your right wing comedy!" What could be more right-wing than the English language?

      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #85 on: September 02, 2020, 12:38:52 PM »
      Would it be a million miles out to posit that the reason that right wing comedy almost by definition doesn't work so well isn't so much the punching down aspect (which as seen can be very effective: bullying and laughing at the less fortunate being a primal human urge) but at the heart that the right wing comic inclines towards being humourless about themselves and their beliefs? That they have no humility or self reflection? it seems to run against a central rule of a comedic persona, what Duncan Thickett described as 'He's alright him: he doesn't mind having a laugh at himself'. And maybe I'm being hugely naive here, but until very recently it seemed taken for granted that a measure of that levelling attitude was integral to the character of all British humour no matter where it landed on the political map. It's part of why I despair when I see contemporary British right wingers embrace Trumpism with no qualification: that kind of 'Me Great' chauvinism seems so un-British: it's like they've thrown away their own character and history to become a mere backwater franchise of someone else's.

      I think Stewart Lee put it well in this article from way back in 2013, when discussion of such matters was more safely theoretical, although ironically his writing had a lot more bite.

      https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/04/where-are-all-right-wing-stand-ups

      the really pertinent bit:

      'Stand-up comedians are not the same as wits and columnists and humorists. Strip away the showbiz and a pure stand-up is still a turn, a music-hall act. It’s clowning, and clowns are always tragic figures. Clowns’ comedy came from the inevitability of their defeat, from the gulf between what they want – whether it’s sex with their bored partner or a socialist utopia – and what they are going to get, which is nothing, nothing and a kick in the goolies. Interestingly, in the early years of the Pub Landlord, Murray alluded to how the publican’s reactionary beliefs had been compounded by domestic troubles in his past, lending him a comically effective low status that was inevitably compromised by the character’s subsequent huge popularity. Josie Long is one of the most determin­edly left-wing stand-ups working today, hated by armies of internet trolls. For me, what has improved her act even further lately is her creeping acknowledgement that the character she inhabits is involved in a self-mythologising, romantic and perhaps doomed struggle against capitalism, compromised by her frailties. In her solo show last summer, Long maintained that she’d missed the heroic chance to live the leftist legend and be arrested at a sit-in on an anti-Vodafone demo, having been distracted in Soho by a Thai buffet. Character and failure inform the theorising. And, love him or loathe him, Jeremy Hardy does not sound like a happy or powerful man. His corduroy candy mountain crumbled in the 1980s. He is destined to whinge into the dying of the light. That is his tragedy. That is his clown.

      Ultimately, the left will lose. Big business will pollute the planet, capitalist culture will kill off the arts and humanities, schools will all be privatised, libraries will all close, social mobility will cease, the gulf between rich and poor will grow and everything beautiful will die. The left may note little human rights victories – gay marriage and the odd bit of better pay – but the machine is rolling inexorably forwards to crush it.

      The African-American stand-up Chris Rock maintained that stand-up comedy should always be punching upwards. It’s a heroic little struggle. You can’t be a right-wing clown without some character caveat, some vulnerability, some obvious flaw. You’re on the right. You’ve already won. You have no tragedy. You’re punching down. You can be a right-wing comedy columnist, away from the public eye, a disembodied, authoritarian presence that doesn’t need to show doubt. Who could be on a stage, crowing about their victory and ridiculing those less fortunate than them without any sense of irony, shame or self-knowledge? That’s not a stand-up comedian. That’s just a cunt.'




      « Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 12:57:34 PM by ajsmith2 »

      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #86 on: September 02, 2020, 12:42:09 PM »
      Gyles Brandreth being an excellent example; I don't think I've ever heard him say anything political and he was a Tory MP for 5 years. The BBC should get him doing some kind of word game and go "there's your right wing comedy!" What could be more right-wing than the English language?

      Latin? 

      Weirdly (if he's funny) Brandreth's actually another apolitical left-wing comic. The left-wing comics on the BBC appear to simply be anyone who doesn't do stuff about immigrants/etc.  I genuinely can think of a better definition than that. 

      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #87 on: September 02, 2020, 01:40:11 PM »
      Bob Mills?

      Yeah, I thought the same but I guess it's because he has a show on TalkRadio and hasn't been sacked.

      BlodwynPig

      • The Last Living Member of COVID-20
      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #88 on: September 02, 2020, 01:53:22 PM »
      Bob Mills? Right wing?


      Autopsy Turvey

      • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
      Re: New director general threatens to axe 'Left-wing' BBC comedy
      « Reply #89 on: September 02, 2020, 05:28:58 PM »
      the punching down aspect (which as seen can be very effective: bullying and laughing at the less fortunate being a primal human urge)

      Who are the 'less fortunate' in the comedy context? It's a telling obsession for the left, this 'punching down' business, but surely it makes little sense in the context of stand-up. As Stewart Lee points out, the stand-up is a lonely tragic clown, travelling hundreds of miles in the night to stand in a small dark room reciting a list of things they've noticed, seeking the approval of strangers for a meagre living. Unless they appear on TV and/or make good money from it like Stewart Lee, there is no position in society lower than the stand-up comic.

      There's also a difference in perception between the wings. Many on the right don't see jokes about 'protected characteristics' as 'punching' at all, but as a way of acknowledging differences, making light of them, teasing ultimately as a method of social assimilation. This may be why many of these 'less fortunate' minorities often aren't offended by jokes that a straight white zealous lefty might regard as unconscionable hate speech.

      Quote
      It's part of why I despair when I see contemporary British right wingers embrace Trumpism with no qualification: that kind of 'Me Great' chauvinism seems so un-British: it's like they've thrown away their own character and history to become a mere backwater franchise of someone else's.

      I dunno, our own head of state has always been on a bit of a pedestal. But I've rarely seen or heard any British person seriously "embrace Trumpism with no qualification"; there are comments on social media that might seem to, but that may just be an equal and opposite reaction to the way that a good deal more embraced the idea that Trump is an evil nazi bigot monster tyrant with no qualification. It's not like 'Trumpism' is much of an ideology, there aren't many tenets as such, Trumpism is Trump, it's petty tweets and making up shit on the spot.

      Quote from: Stewart Lee
      Jeremy Hardy does not sound like a happy or powerful man. His corduroy candy mountain crumbled in the 1980s. He is destined to whinge into the dying of the light. That is his tragedy. That is his clown.

      It would be odd to imagine that a socially conservative right wing comedian couldn't be a convincingly unhappy, powerless whingeing man whose hopes for the future died decades ago. Maybe Peter Hitchens should do a stand-up course.

      Quote from: Stewart Lee
      You’re on the right. You’ve already won. You have no tragedy.

      How does Stew think this compares with left wing comedians in the 70s, in the age of nationalised industry,  robust trade unionism, free universal healthcare, student grants, racial and sexual equality legislation, gay rights, the pill, abortion, the decline of Christianity? Was Lennie Bennett* looking at the early radical comics of the Callaghan-era alternative circuit and saying "You're not tragic clowns, you're on the left, you've already won"?

      *Lennie Bennett being booed off at the Comedy Store circa '79, leaving the stage while boasting about owning a Bentley, strikes me as a more tragic clownish figure than the lefty wunderkind of British comedy who were backstage getting ready to own the mainstream for the next three decades.

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