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Sunday 30th November 2008

The internet bank Smile organised a poll to find the UK's favourite and also least favourite comedian. 3000 people took part and the results are here. Or if you are lazy
1. Peter Kay
2. Lee Evans
3. Alan Carr
4. Catherine Tate
5. Dawn French
6. Rowan Atkinson
7. Al Murray
8. Jack Dee
9. Eddie Izzard
10. Frankie Boyle

And for least favourite act:

1. Jo Brand
2. Jonathan Ross
3. Victoria Wood
4. Ricky Gervais
5. Harry Hill
6. Jimmy Carr
7. Paul Merton
8. Russell Brand
9. Spike Milligan
10. Alan Bennett

Is it just me? Or did they get their lists exactly upside down?

Peter Kay came out top with 63% of the vote. Which is predictable, if slightly dispiriting. He wouldn't be my choice, but the majority has spoken. Were the majority right when they crucified Jesus? On that occasion they were. That wasn't a very good example. And for any Christians reading, then you have to accept that the crucifixion was completely necessary to absolve us of our sin etc, so we should be thanking the Romans or Jews or whoever you think was responsible. So another victory for democracy. Plus Jesus must have been itching to get away back up to Heaven. It was win/win.
But it isn't really the top ten list that annoys me (all right it does a bit), but the top ten least favourite comedians. Firstly, why was it necessary to even create such a top ten? Wasn't it enough for Smile to depress us all by showing us the paucity of imagination that leads to Kay being the best comedian in the public's opinion, without then adding this nasty poll to discover our least favourite comics as well?
Secondly, how was this decided? Were the people voting given a list of comedians to choose from and are the bottom ten the ones that got the least votes as favourite? Or were there two votes, one for favourite and one for least favourite? If so then it seems weird that no name appears on both lists?
Also if there was not a long list for people to choose from it seems very unlikely that that many people would have chosen Alan Bennett to be their 10th most objectionable comedian? I mean, does anyone really think of him as a comedian anyway? How could such a wonderful, witty and likeable man be considered the 10th worst at anything? And Spike Milligan, the greatest and most influential comic voice of the 20th Century comes in at 9th worst? How is this possible? Who was voting for this, chimpanzees? And how did Jo Brand come out as the worst comedian in the country? She's not even been doing that much stand up in the last decade and plus she's really good. And in any case, surely the least favourite comedian would be someone that no one had ever heard of.
The whole thing seems so random and whilst there are some names that "deserve" to be on the favourite list, there seem to be more great comedians on the least favourite list. Which I suppose shows how subjective comedy is. But what it really shows is that people who bank with Smile are twats. So don't join them.
Still garlic bread, hey? That does beat the goons into a cocked hat. Spike Milligan could never have thought of that. And Alan Bennett has been coasting for too long on so little talent. And Paul Merton - what's he ever done?
Ah well there's no accounting for taste. So make sure you're not accounting with Smile.

Do you think, as some people seem to suggest that people might have voted for Jo Brand, thinking they were voting for Russell Brand? Or for Alan Bennett thinking they were voting for Alan Davies? If so then that says even more about their stupidity, but I am not sure we can let them so easily off the hook.

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