Can you have a right laugh? There's a shortage of Tory comedians
That's strange, says Luke Blackall, as the politicians are funny
Responding to claims of left-wing bias in entertainment shows, Caroline Raphael, Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor, Comedy, said that funny right-wingers were harder to come by than those on the left.
“It is very difficult to find comedians from the right. I am not saying they aren’t out there,” she said. “Producers… spend a lot of time in the comedy clubs looking for people with a range of views... But we are not seeing them come through, there isn’t a tradition in terms of stand-up, possibly the right feels more comfortable with a pen and paper and the left standing up on a soap box, or in a comedy club.”
But are those on the right really not as funny as the left wing? Try to find an outwardly right-wing comic today and you’ll struggle, let alone one who is popular. To even an impartial eye, the likes of Roy “Chubby” Brown and Jim Davidson come across as lazy, offensive and unfunny. In the US, Dennis Miller and Jackie Mason are the exceptions. Just like the question of gay actors in Hollywood, one could one assume that there are more right-wing comedians, they are simply not comfortable showing their allegiance in public.
One of the common arguments for the lack of Conservative comedy, is that most good humour comes from aiming upwards at targets, rather than punching downwards, which is easier when sitting on the left. So too is simple satire, believes Alison Dagnes, author of A Conservative Walks into a Bar: the Politics of Political Humor. “I think that the form of satire is such that it is anti-establishment. And that’s firmly in the liberal wheelhouse,” she said last year. “What political comedy does is try to reinforce the existing idea of who you are out there.” Indeed the funniest people on the right often seem to be the politicians, Boris Johnson, William Hague or Neil and Christine Hamilton have been given comic credence on the likes of Have I Got News for You.
Matt Forde, an ex-Labour party employee, hosts The Political Party, a monthly comedy and politics show at the St James’ theatre in London. “I’m on the left, but I’m on the centre left and that gets me enough stick,” he says. “I was very much pro-Blair, agreed with the war in Iraq and some people would say that I was on the right as a result.”
But Forde believes that there is a gap in the market for a true Tory maverick or “punk”.
“I would love to see a good Tory stand-up comedian... because when everyone’s left wing, it’s not that exciting,” he says, adding: “Because the consensus is now a left wing consensus... to be a punk comic now you’d be a Tory, purely if you wanted to be provocative.”
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News after accusing Kay Burley of Islamaphobia
Michael Keaton putting his acceptance speech away was the saddest Oscars 2015 moment
Madonna falls off stage at Brit Awards – and then nails her performance
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Wolf Hall finale, review: Simply brilliant TV
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit