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★ Comedy (I)

Comedy (I): see Comedy (II) & (III) & Satire & Humour & Write & Fiction & Fantasy & Cartoon & Comic & England (Blackadder) & Office (The Office) & Family (Royle Family) & Science Fiction (Red Dwarf) & Trailers (Trailer Park Boys) & Father Ted (Priest) & The League of Gentlemen (Town) & Fun & Happiness & Wit & Joy & Ecstasy

Steve Allen - Voltaire - Margaret Rutherford - Horace Walpole - Ann Widdecombe TV - Bronson 2009 - Crimes & Misdemeanors 1989 - Blackadder TV - Rude Britannia TV - George Carlin - esias - William Shakespeare - William Congreve - Samuel Johnson - Charlie Chaplin - Angela Carter - Philip Sidney - William Hazlitt - Eric Idle - Will Durst - Denis Leary - Mark Twain - The Office UK TV - Richard Dawkins - Sigmund Freud - Steve Coogan - Woody Allen - 100 Greatest Stand Ups 2012 - Richard Belzer - Sean Hughes - Comedy Legends TV - History of Comedy TV - The Unforgettable … TV - Joan Rivers - Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work 2010 - Joan Rivers: Queen of Controversy TV - House of Commons - Bill Hicks - American: The Bill Hicks Story TV – Bill Hicks: Sane Man TV - Bill Hicks: It’s Just a Ride - Tommy Cooper - Ken Tyler - Ed Sullivan TV - Jim Tavare - Joe Pasquale - BBC report TV - The Art of Tommy Cooper TV - Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This TV - Tommy Cooper: In His Own Words TV - Joyce Grenfell - Clive James TV - James Roose-Evans - TV - Nigel Havers - Terry-Thomas - TV - Michael Grade - Frankie Howerd on Campus 1990 - Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me TV - Frankie Howerd TV - Reputations I: Frankie Howerd TV - Up the Chastity Belt 1972 - June Whitfield - Fawlty Towers TV -

 

 

 

See the comedian by the very nature of what he is is a troublemaker.  He is an iconoclast, he is a playful troublemaker, a good natured troublemaker, but a troublemaker.  And therefore he must recognise the existence of certain taboos.  Steve Allen, 1960, cited The History of Comedy s1e2: F****** Funny, Sky Arts 2020   

 

 

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.  Voltaire

 

 

You never have a comedian who hasnt got a very deep strain of sadness within him or her.  Every great clown has been very near to tragedy.  Margaret Rutherford

 

 

The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those that feel.  Horace Walpole, 1776

 

 

Humour about Christianity ranges from gentle mockery, though sharply critical, to the downright hurtful.  Ann Widdecombe, Are You Having a Laugh? Comedy & Christianity, BBC 2013

 

Comedy can be a window into the state of our society.  ibid.

 

Christianity is now being subject to a level of mockery that some find disturbing.  ibid.

 

The mocking of Jesus Christ is deeply hurtful.  ibid.

 

Upon the release of The Life of Brian thousands protested.  ibid.

 

The change isn’t accidental and it isn’t the product of ignorance, it is deliberate, and it sets out to vilify and to ridicule Christianity and Christian belief.  ibid.

 

At its best, comedy can be provocative, truthful and can offer a check and balance for all of us.  ibid.

 

 

I’ve always fancied myself as being a comedian.  Bronson 2009 starring Tom Hardy & Matt King & James Lance & Amanda Burton & Kelly Adams & Jonathan Phillips & Mark Powley & Joe Tuckeret al, director Nicolas Winding Refn 

 

 

I said, Comedy is Tragedy plus Time.  Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989 starring Woody Allen & Martin Landau & Anjelica Huston & Mia Farrow & Alan Alda & Jerry Orbach & Joanna Gleason & Claire Bloom & Sam Waterston & Caroline Aaron et al, director Woody Allen, Alda

 

 

2I find his [Charlie Chaplin] films about as funny as getting an arrow through the neck and then discovering there’s a gas bill tied to it.  Blackadder Goes Forth: Plan C – Major Star, BBC 1989

 

He certainly is a genius, George.  He invented a way of getting paid a million dollars a year for wearing a pair of stupid trousers.  ibid.

 

 

Travel back two hundred and fifty years and witness a Britain openly, gloriously and often shockingly rude.  Rude Britannia 1/3: A History Most Satirical, Bawdy, Lewd and Offensive, BBC 2010

 

We had a fierce belief in our right to be rude.  ibid.

 

The first chronicler of Georgian rude: William Hogarth.  ibid.

 

Hogarth made Southwark Fair a portrait of the city.  ibid.

 

The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay.  ibid.

 

Henry Fielding – these attacks on political sleaze were even more direct than Gay in The Beggar’s Opera.  ibid.

 

The Law allowed literary bitchin’ to flourish.  ibid.

 

A master of rude words ... Alexander Pope.  ibid.

 

Bawdy humour was at the heart of the success of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman.  ibid.  

 

This was the colourful world of satirical and humorous prints.  ibid.

 

A poet with the rudest reputation in Regency Britain – the devilish Lord Byron.  ibid.

 

 

There would always be a different, ruder country.  In Rude Britannia life was celebrated in music halls with bawdy humour and lewd songs.  Rude Britannia 2/3: Presents Bawdy Songs & Lewd Photographs

 

The shock of the rude nude photograph.  ibid.

 

The cheeky carnival of the seaside.  ibid.

 

The alliance of toffs and prolls and a racy night out was a serious threat to Victorian values.  ibid.

 

On the stage rude stars were created.  ibid.

 

Music hall had a tradition of bawdy humour and song that went back centuries.  ibid.

 

A new technology to further undermine Victorian values: photography.  ibid.

 

Rude photographs became affordable and available.  ibid.

 

Someone with a genius for the rude innuendo now needed was Victoria superstar Marie Lloyd.  ibid.

 

Victorian moral reformers argued that music halls linked to prostitution were part of an exploitation of women undermining the morals of the nation.  ibid.

 

By the Edwardian era there was a new kind of peep-show – the Mutoscope.  ibid.

 

Donald McGill: McGill took a most proper part of daily British life – the postcard – and turned it rude.  ibid.

 

[Frank] Randle pushed the course humour of the music hall to new levels of anarchic comedic invention.  Frank on stage was wild.  ibid.

 

During a nationwide ‘back to basics’ campaign by the government of Winston Churchill [cf. maiden Parliament speech] McGill was investigated for obscenity.  ibid.

 

The seventy-nine-year-old artist pleaded guilty to obscenity and was fined £50.  Thousands of his cards were then ordered to be destroyed.   ibid.

 

 

Enjoying rudeness became so much easier.  Rude was now in your font room.  Rude Britannia 3/3: You’ve Never Had It So Rude

 

We now lived in a mass-democracy of rude.  ibid.

 

Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe drew the prime minister naked ... Private Eye’s Romantic England: Macmillan Issue.  ibid.

 

A tradition of rude cartooning come back to life.  ibid.

 

Plays like Entertaining Mrs Sloane and Loot [Joe Orton] with their assault on taboos of sex, class and death were a challenge to theatre audiences.  ibid.

 

Orton’s last piece of notorious rude theatre was What the Butler Saw.  ibid.

 

Radio was at its rudest in Round the Horne.  ibid.

 

A counter-culture: house-journal of this underground movement was Oz which first surfaced in the Summer of Love 1967.  ibid.

 

Inside School Kid’s Issue: Oz was a comic strip featuring the head of the much loved children’s character Rupert Bear superimposed on an X-rated cartoon by American Robert Crumb.  Words and pictures were a rude provocation.  ibid.

 

The Oz Three... were found guilty and sent down with harsh sentences ... A successful appeal.  ibid.

 

Television ... a mass democracy of rude.  ibid.

 

It was comedy like Till Death Us Do Part that brought rude to peak-time television.  ibid.

 

Bernard Manning was a king of northern comedy.  Manning made his part of seventies Britain laugh.  ibid.

 

The Comedians made national stars of regional comics.  ibid.

 

Rudeness that was crude and offensive.  ibid.

 

Anger made Bell’s pen drip with vitriol.  ibid.

 

Television also satirised Margaret Thatcher in a comedy show that first appeared on ITV in 1984: Spitting Image.  ibid.

 

Spitting Image didn’t just attack politicians; the programme also went for the British establishment ... Now the Windsors were part of Rude Britannia.  ibid.

 

A generation intent on creating a new kind of comedy ... The Young Ones were getting laughs out of new sensitivities.  ibid.

 

What political correctness demanded was that comedians like Bernard Manning should have no place in television’s mass democracy of rude.  ibid.

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