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Coffee and TV: Comic Strip

The satirical comedy is a flop

Written by . Published on October 17th 2011.

Coffee and TV: Comic Strip

AFTER a hard day’s grafting at the office, or a shift down the pub listening to drunken drivel from some of the stranger punters, I always scan the box for comedy. A day of holding your tongue and agreeing with ridiculous opinions on society is extremely tolerant of me, so I look for satire, in effect, to keep me sane. So I was excited to see the celebrated Comic Strip, which aired last Friday and their satirical look at the government. Finally a chance to laugh at the stupidity and insolence of the people ‘in charge’ of our society and not dwell on the fact I am in thousands of pounds of debt and how it will be years until I will be able to get a financially secure career. However, to the dismay of many, ‘The Hunt for Tony Blair’ was an utter let down; it was undoubtedly safe, which made it ultimately unfunny. The idea of a satire originates from anger; this could have been a great chance to release pent up antagonism towards our government today. Instead, we were given a demonstrative portrayal of an old Prime Minister who is no longer relevant.

Comic Strip used to be the pioneers of comedy, what has happened? Are we regressing?

Today the term ‘political correctness’ is stretched across almost everything we as a British society do or say; comedy is meant to be a breath of fresh air, which no-one takes too seriously (well almost no-one). Yet, with the input of political correctness on television, comedy is losing its originality, it seems to no longer be postmodern. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being politically correct, there has to be certain limits to keep a modern day society. But what happened to free will, what happened to pushing boundaries? Undeniably, laughing at society’s taboos only helps to break them. If you look back at old British comedy, they had no problem doing this. Comedy on television should tackle taboo subjects, especially about social aspects – not because the subject is funny but it is used for breaking down barriers and the fear of conversing on a subject. Surely there is more of a problem if we don’t talk about these subjects; comedy brings to light issues that otherwise become more inexpressible.   

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If we have so many limitations nowadays, certainly sitting down, relaxing and watching satire should be our only break from keeping us from ultimate uproar. Politicians today manage to just get out of bed and upset the public, yet we still have to restrict our comedy, so not as to upset them. The Comic Strip parody was created by the establishment and uses Tony Blair as the protagonist. How on earth is Blair an applicable figure in today’s society? I would have seen this coming from the BBC, renowned for its limp and conformist attitude towards comedy but not so much from Channel 4. Why haven’t they used Cameron? I believe laughing at our failing economy is undoubtedly better than brushing it under the carpet of unmentionable; I’m not exactly being radical. Comic Strip used to be the pioneers of comedy, what has happened? Are we regressing? I could think of many scenarios involving today’s leaders of the coalition and not all of them are that uncouth. With the younger generation taking a beating from new policies, they are forming an interest in politics; there would undoubtedly be a large audience. Or would everyone break into a deep sweat if Comic Strip used Cameron presenting a quivering Clegg with tripe and promising him that it tastes like wild truffles?

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