Mock The Weak

Tsk, that Frankie Boyle eh? He’s a card innee? Ha ha! LOL! ROFL! Oh, he’s so controversial. Oh, he’s so shocking.

You probably heard about the routine that got him into hot water a couple of weeks ago, where he fearlessly joked about the disabled son of Katie Price. Such bravery. At last a comedian unafraid to take on the really big subjects that matter. Did you hear the joke itself?

Jordan and Peter Andre are still fighting each other over custody of Harvey – eventually one of them will lose and have to keep him… I have a theory about the reason Jordan married a cage fighter – she needed a man strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her…

Wow. Incest jokes about a child with physical disabilities and extreme learning difficulties. He’s just…. so out there. LOL!

Just to be clear, I have absolutely no interest in, or affection for, Katie Price. As far as I’m concerned she is a vapid tit-stick lacking any discernible talent. I despise the deification of third rate celebrities and the publishing industry that continues to suck blood from these non-entities, and she is the fairy at the top of their rotting Christmas tree. We shouldn’t even know who she is, let alone her son. But Boyle’s ‘joke’ was still repulsive.

I’m not going all Daily Mail, I don’t think he should be banned. He’s perfectly entitled to say whatever he likes on his shit television show (seriously – have you seen it?) and I’m perfectly entitled not to watch it. This is a right I continue to exercise. Not on the grounds of being ‘outraged’ – really, comedians who can only shock their audience into laughter without actually making them think are extremely tedious – but purely on the basis that it isn’t funny. The man is a twat and if you think he’s funny then you’re most likely a twat too.

There’s more, of course. Here he is on the conflict in Afghanistan:

During the programme, and referring to the war in Afghanistan, Boyle said: “Basically, we are murdering a load of shepherds. What gets me is our callousness as a society when we read out our dead on the news first, because our lives are more important. Other people’s aren’t worth as much.”

He then adopted a newsreader’s tone, saying: “A bomb went off in Kandahar today, killing two British servicemen, three UN relief workers and a whole bunch of Pakis.”

The comic said later: “The Ministry of Defence? At least in the old days we were honest, it was the Ministry of War. ‘Hello Ministry of War, department of nigger bombing, how can I help?'”

I’m not going to get drawn into the whole “is he racist?” debate that these comments have triggered. It’s very unlikely that he is; his choice of words is contextual to his material. Unfortunately – crucial point, this – his material is shit. He’s trying to make a serious point, but it doesn’t work because there is very little truth in his original observation. Therefore the joke fails.

Channel 4 have come out fighting in defence of their man. Let’s face it, someone has to.

The Channel 4 head of comedy commissioning, Shane Allen, this morning said that he “strongly refutes” claims that the broadcaster is “endorsing or condoning racist language”. He said Boyle’s “cutting edge” comedy highlighted the “unacceptable nature” of this language.

(Somebody should explain to Mr Allen that if you ‘refute’ something you prove that the allegation is false. You cannot refute something without the demonstration of evidence for your case. I believe the word he is struggling for is ‘denies’. But I digress.)

Boyle’s material isn’t ‘cutting edge’, it’s just angry, hate-filled ranting of the lowest common denominator variety. Other subjects in his repertoire include: people with Down’s Syndrome, rape, paedophilia, Elisabeth Fritzl and Madeline McCann. He’s the belligerent drunk in the pub, shouting at the world. That’s not comedy. He’s not funny. Oh, and while we’re on the subject: Mock The Week – the show where he came to prominence before being forced to leave – wasn’t (and isn’t) funny either. It’s just a witless poor relation to Have I Got News For You.

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Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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4 comments on “Mock The Weak
  1. A. Twat says:

    Comedy is different from culture to culture and even within our own cultures, find what you like and enjoy it, rather than ranting on about what you don't like? Seriously.I can understand how people get offended, but that's just the nature of his comedy. Ever heard of sickipedia.org? It's far worse than anything Frankie Boyle has ever said, yet thousands flood to it each month, and it hasn't been closed yet regardless of what racist crap gets posted on there.Sincerely,A. Twat

  2. Hobbalina says:

    I agree on everything you say, Sane. As well as being hideously offensive it was in no way funny. Whilst I agree with the argument that stand up comedy should be shocking and should seek to challenge the audience in terms of taste and decency and that the audience will undoubtedly feel slightly uncomfortable as a result, there is still always a line to be drawn and this man clearly crossed it. There was nothing clever whatsoever about the comments he made, I’d be interested to know how what he said has been viewed on the comedy ‘circuit’ by fellow comedians (not well I imagine). I remember reading a review once of a Johnny Vegas stand up show (never been a fan) whereby he got a volunteer from the audience, a woman, and the story went something like this I think: he proceeded to lay her down on the floor, straddle her whilst making a joke about rape. It was again designed to shock but the reviewer clearly felt that this had overstepped the mark and the audience did indeed feel uncomfortable, but not in a good way, if that makes sense. There is always a line to be drawn with such things.

  3. Citizen Sane says:

    Dear A.Twat (is that Mr or Ms?),Thanks for commenting. I'm sure you are not a twat at all. It's a fair question: why bother spending time writing about something I don't like but others do? Well, comedy matters enormously to me and has always been a huge part of my life so when I see a practitiioner of the craft delivering such dreadful material and being hailed as some sort of comedy saviour, it annoys me. I'm sure Boyle sees himself in the tradition of people who have pushed the boundaries of comedy: Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Sam Kiniston, Chris Morris. But in reality he is closer to Roy Chubby Brown, Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson: he has the power to shock but none of the subtlety of argument to actually make you think. He's just a hate-filled ranter showering everyone with pus, illuminating nothing.In my opinion.So yeah, I don't want him banned or censored or anything like that. I just want him to be funny.

  4. Citizen Sane says:

    Hobbalina – glad you agree… A rarity!

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