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.”
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after Wembley Stadium rant
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Taylor Swift banned from Triple J Hottest 100: Fans react to epic #Tay4Hottest100 defeat
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally