When I did a recording for Heresy a couple of weeks ago, I did wonder if times had changed too much for this show to work as it once did. And episode 1 has proved controversial. Jo Brand suggested that milk shaking right wing politicians was a bit pathetic, before suggesting that battery acid would be better. She immediately clarified that she didn’t mean it and was just fantasising, but if you cut that bit off and decide to pretend that a woman who had dedicated her life to comedy and helping people and had no record of violence, might be serious. And then that’s pretty offensive.
I don’t think it’s a great joke, but nor do I think it was one she sat down and wrote it. She was appearing on a show where you’re meant to voice controversial and unpopular opinions and the whole thing is very free-flowing and ad hoc. Also she’s really criticising the milk shake throwers for being useless. Perhaps the producers might have sensed that this one might be a bit too controversial and cut it, but it’s clear from the reaction in the room that no one took her seriously. And Nigel Farage has talked about fomenting violent, gun-based revolt if he doesn’t get his way with Brexit, so he has a bit of a cheek. But then that’s his game.
Jo will weather this. And comedy will too. People will get bored of people being offended by everything soon enough. Well in ten years.
Now wracking my brain to try and remember what I said on my episode. It was mainly about the royal family and so it’s highly unlikely that anyone will get upset and I’ll never work again.
Though the good thing about having no job is that no one can sack you. What you going to do? Stop me clearing stones?
One day people will understand what genius these podcasts are. But not today.
Coincidentally it was 20 years to the day since Pliny died and the last time I ever appeared on television (I may have forgotten a few subsequent appearances). We sat out on the terrace at the Riverside theatre (now also destroyed, though it is about to rise like a phoenix) and drank vodka and Red Bull, fairly confident that that was the end of it. 2/5ths of a lifetime ago.