Hi! Back. Blogger let me in without throwing a strop, so I'm still here. Pissed off as ever, of course.
The other night, I watched a new episode of Mock the Week, which is the hugely smug cousin of Have I Got News For You, but without the politics. I watch it mainly because of Dara O Briain, who manages to be side-splittingly funny without lapsing into "politically incorrect" and "edgy", which from what I've seen translates as "lazy". I used to watch it for both him and Andy Parsons, but I've gone right off him this series. For a start, he made a "John Prescott is wasting food" joke, which is unacceptable, and actually prompted Frankie fucking Boyle to point out that there is a difference between bulimia and eating so much you throw up.
I also counted several jokes about Josef Fritzl. Because that was HILARIOUS, wasn't it?? He locked his daughter up in a dungeon for 24 years and raped her over and again! Are you laughing yet? Locked up! Raped! Forced to give birth to her father's children! HA HA HA. Ooh, you're so clever. When asked for "Statements that would change the atmosphere at a dinner party", Parsons responded with, "Ignore the banging, she's been in there for 24 years!" I am furious that I paid twelve quid to see this guy. I was mildly pissed off at the time anyway because his entire act was comprised of jokes he'd previously done on the show. Grrr. But anyway, he made the Fritzl joke and people laughed. Because they're like, cool, and get references and stuff.
Here's what really threw me. Frankie Boyle, in the most recent episode, said: "Gordon Brown's wife's autobiography is going to be less eventful than Anne Frank's." And the audience HISSED. Every last one of them. No laughs, just a long, collective hiss. Compared to a lot of Boyle's jokes, this is pretty damn mild, but the audience hissed. I suppose I just don't understand why this - which happened more than sixty years ago - is beyond the pale, but a woman being imprisoned, repeatedly raped, having to give birth to her father's children in a dungeon and only getting out when one of them nearly died is HILARIOUS. Sure, the Anne Frank thing isn't in the best of taste, but Boyle is hardly the first person to make that kind of joke.
I went to see O Briain perform not so long ago, and an audience member attempted a Fritzl joke. We, of course, hissed at him, and O Briain, in his that's-not-nice-but-I'm-still-funny way, said, "Do you not think maybe it's a little bit soon for that?" Apparently, not anymore.
The Fritzl case is not like Anne Frank. It's not going to be high up in the public imagination for years to come. It's as though these comedians are desperate to seize on this particular bit of comedy gold while it's still hot. And the case broke a few months ago now - there are no more revelations, only little bits tucked away at the back, saying the children won't testify and he's looking at ten years max instead of ten years min - but apparently the story is SO DAMN FUNNY that these comedians have sat on these jokes for weeks, waiting for the show to come back on. "Oh, I know it's kind of old news now, but come on! Ignore the banging! I can't deprive the British public of that gem!"
Guys, not cool. Really not cool. I expect some high-quality Cameron gags next week or none of you are getting any of my money again, ever, even the ones that didn't make the jokes. Those that did - never again. I don't care how funny you are.
Dara? I still love you. I can't help it.