Tina C's Election Night BBQ Special, Radio 4
US Election Special, Radio 5 Live
Up all night, and the laughs came thick and fast
Sunday 09 November 2008
Tina C, known in the real world as Christopher Green, is a faux country star with songs such as "If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Weren't You Dead When I Met You?" and "I'm the Prozac of the Great Depression".
Any self-respecting comedian is capable of coming up with a few reasonably amusing country-and-western parodies. But she sang a ballad on her Election Night BBQ Special that felt pretty dark to anyone who's entertained the thought that the ascendancy of Barack Obama could incite some sharp-shooting crazy to leave his mark on history.
"They're out there with a Luger/hey want a new Martin Luther/so watch your back, BO," she sings. (It's not a bad tune, sad and wistful.) "It's no fun being a martyr/be more lightweight like Jimmy Carter/watch your back, BO ... I promise to sing on your memorial TV show." Ouch.
The programme's conceit was her candidacy in the presidential race as a celebrity independent, "hugging babies and kissing dogs" and running with the slogan KAK – kick-ass kindness. "As Abraham Lincoln said, I believe I can fly," she tells a crowd in Pensacocacola.
A game Martha Kearney fetched up to interview her. "I think I've achieved so much in my life – sorry I'm choking up already," she told Kearney. "I've come all the way from Open Throat Hollow in Tennessee."
The satire was mostly gentle, but her take on global warming could almost have come from the mouth of the lipsticked pitbull herself. "[If] the end of the world comes, I'm gonna see Jesus quicker," she said. "That's why there's a song on my Tick My Box album called 'Driving around in my SUV's gonna bring Jesus back to me'."
Beyond parody were some of the Republicans on Radio 5 Live's US Election Special. Richard Bacon was in the Jimmy Figgs sports bar in Chicago. At one point he brought on an evangelical Christian hockey mom.
"What is a hockey mom?" he asked her. "We talked about this earlier," she chided. "It wasn't on the radio," he told her v-e-r-y slowly, to howls of laughter from the other guests. "Just pretend we didn't."
The general lack of gravitas provided the occasional welcome diversion from BBC1 and Radio 4. "I'm in bed listening," read one email from the UK. "Can you please shout out, 'Wake up, Melanie!' at regular intervals?" I bet David Dimbleby and Jim Naughtie weren't asked that.
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