Tag Archives: Top Gear

When does Comedy stop being funny?

I am surely no fan of Russell Brand’s humour and I long have been wary of Jonathan Ross’s attempts at stand-up  (although I admit that, occasionally, he allows a brain-blessed celebrity to go beyond its Hello-magazine image, which has become a rare sight). I surely agree in judgement that their pranklacked any justification and do not feel sorry for the humiliation they have experienced.

Even though I could not possibly disagree more with most of Jeremy Clarkson’s political opinions, I find his humour sometimes appealing. Given his style of straight forward and unambiguous attack, he cannot complain that people take offence at his sermons. I think he even relishes animated antagonism. I was watching that edition of Top Gear and I read his portrayal as deconstructing the stereotype of a lorry driver.

What really worries me is what is portrayed as a public outcry at “Comedy gone mad”. Thousands of letters asking for people to be sacked because they feel offended by .. by what? Comedy! There’s supposed to be a line drawn! And of course, we should all agree where that line exactly is and what it looks like: quantifiable humour. That’s for me when Comedy stops being funny.

The fact that a few thousand letters can cause such a storm is frightening, given the million people audience that these programmes reach. This is not a democratic opinion process, it’s rule by lowest common denominator. And what kind of Comedy can we expect that adheres to that?

I imagine that based on recent success certain groups are sharpening up the PC axe to see what else they can get hacked and slashed. What will survive their onslaught? I do not dare to imagine… and I’d be surprised if they’d care to see Free Speech amongst it.

But their time has not yet come. Tonight’s the next instalment of Top Gear. I am eager to see if Jeremy is allowed to comment in his own manner. And so far, they haven’t suspended my favourite BBC show either. Warning: it’s very silly and certainly not PC. But if you like the clip below, then I urge you to check out the rest. And now enjoy and relish, while Comedy is still allowed to be funny!

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