Watching a cheap and cheerful TV programme over Christmas, and as an expat, I was appalled to learn what is now considered to be politically incorrect, in modern day viewing circles. The term ‘politically correct,’ will always draw my attention to politicians – and we have had more than enough of these comedians on TV in 2016 – but it seems to apply more so, to what we are supposed to consider as funny and acceptable, both in the media, and in our daily lives.
Sir Ken Dodd – 2017 New Years Honours List
Funny? I agree that much of historical comedy was fraught with bad taste and sexual innuendo, but it made me laugh, and the majority of people of both genders, and even those who are not too sure. So lets forget the truculent feminists, or the homogenized males amongst us, and take a close look at British Humour.
Monty Pythons Flying Circus
It seems that America, historically decides what is best in British humour, whereupon the brighter US citizens generally admit to enjoying Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and those less endowed with the little grey cells, tend to like Benny Hill. But we in the UK have had, in the past, a huge choice in comedy, because we also had The Two Ronnies, Hilda Baker, Dick Emery, Betty Marsden, Harry Worth, Charlie Drake– Mick and Montmorency – Sir Ken Dodd, Les Dawson, Morecambe & Wise, or on the other side of the street, Danny La Rue and Larry Grayson – shut that door!
Before them came Max Wall, Max Miller, Will Hay, and the Crazy Gang, and a plethora of music hall comedians, and stand up comedians, together with situation comedy actors like Kenneth Williams, Wilfred Bramble, Beryl Reid, Hattie Jacques, Harry H Corbett, and finally Sir Norman Wisdom – Mr. Drysdale, Mr. Drysdale! But, what did they all have in common?
Sir Norman Wisdom & Mr Drysdale
Well, it was smut, sexual innuendo, near the knuckle skits, all well written sketches, and a great deal of laughter ensued. While these funny people were keeping us glued to our screens, going back in history to the 19th and early 20th centuries, we must not forget naughty seaside post cards, ‘What the Butler Saw’ machines on Brighton and Blackpool seaside piers, all of which was accessible, and enjoyed by ordinary people, simply out for a good time.
These newly minted critics, arbiters of British good taste, and political correctness seem to have found their place in a world, where present day comedians are not actually very funny – in my book anyway – and given a choice between the droll Michael McIntyre and Jim Davidson – at his most evil – there is no contest.
I think people want to laugh, and stuck in a huge arena like the O2, and surrounded by a merry audience, we very often confuse amusement, with group hysteria. Back in the confines of home, I have played most of the comedy CD’s – which are a perfect Christmas gift, and easily sent by post to an expat relative – and most of them are just not funny. But, is this because present day comedians are politically correct?
But, back to politics. This year, 2017 will probably be more of the same, and we will be regaled by the usual stuttering and bewildered politico’s, their fiscal ambiguities, much of which has littered the media during 2016. There will be changes, of course, Nigel Farage will finally dump UKIP from the national agenda, and he will have a nice little earner waiting for him in the US; his new master being the loutish Donald Trump. They will of course have much in common, including an addiction to mendacity, and a complete contempt for the voting public. But Farage is history in Europe, where even the most avid Brexiteers would now like to see the back of him, and his vulgar antics, for good.
The Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson MP & comedy performer
Boris will tell a one liner or one lie too many, and will once again be forced to earn his living scribbling fiction in the Daily Telegraph, and Prime Minister Theresa May will finally have to admit defeat, and go back to the drawing board. A cosmetic solution to Brexit will be found sometime after March of this year, a great deal of allaballa will ensue, and everyone will have to accept the consequences. And me? Well, my ‘New Years Resolution,’ is to have a good laugh at people who claim they are politically correct – and aren’t – to continue baiting frauds like Boris Johnson et all, and maybe write a new murder mystery. Now, who could the victim be?
Happy New Year – Patrick Brigham