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
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Monty Python-inspired Australian Sam Simmons wins comedy award with 'very silly' show
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Online toy marathon to launch new film
Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet: Technician quits after social media row with actor's fans
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'