Laughs out of court
Friday 07 July 1995
The OJ Simpson trial is providing us with much opportunity to study this phenomenon: because of the drawn-out nature of the proceedings, media that we don't usually associate with reactivity are able to get in on the act, too. PCR Records, for instance, has released Harry Shearer's OJ on Trial: the Early Years in the States, and it's due to come here soon. Shearer, veteran of the seminal rock-doc spoof This is Spinal Tap, in which he played Lemmy lookalike, Derek Smalls (right), and more recently the voice of the (other) Simpsons, has studied the cupidity surrounding the case and come up with a series of takes on it. Some are pretty funny: ads for "OJ Line Tours" of the LA freeway, TJ Dershowitz's Sports Trial bar with satellite courtroom coverage and a fabulous spoof of cross-questioning procedures, "F Lee Bailey buys orange juice". Some of the gags, of course, are so steeped in American culture that they'll barely raise a chuckle over here, in the same way that Egyptians wouldn't laugh at lampoons of the South Bank Show. Still and all, a sophisticated satirical round-up of the worst of American society.
And then there's OJ Simpson's Legal Pad, which is supposed to be the doodles of the accused and has sold 300,000 copies Stateside. Page two contains this: "Johnnie: How Nicole abused ME!! Hair in sink. Lipstick smootches on nice towels. Wore annoying jangly bracelets..." Oh, right, so she had it coming to her, then. This sort of thing isn't funny. The law is funny. The dance of the vultures is funny. Judge Ito is completely laughable. But two people dying very slowly in extreme pain and fear? Where are the laughs in that?
'OJ on Trial: the Early Years', $15 from Century of Progress Productions, 15250 Vebtura Blvd, Suite 1215, Sherman Oaks, California 91043, USA (001 818 906 1779); 'OJ's Legal Pad', published 10 Jul by HarperCollins, pounds 5.99
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
Eurovision 2015: The best moments from Australia's random entry to Lithuania's gay kiss
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland