Does anyone else share my dismay that comedian Eddie Izzard is thinking of standing, not just as an MP, but as a Labour MP?
In the days before Izzard, comedy was aggressively, tediously political: all you had to do in the Alternative [to] Comedy Eighties was say “Thatch” in a sneery Ben Elton voice to get a roar of smug, consensual, right-on approbation from the audience. Izzard – and his contemporaries – changed all that. They took the politics out and put the humour back in. They made it safe for even evil fascist bastards (as they would no doubt secretly term people like me) to laugh at comedy again.
So why must they all insist on ruining it by outing themselves as card-carrying libtards? Ricky Gervais is a genius, one of the funniest people ever to walk the earth. But how, exactly does it help his reputation for fearless irreverance towards the politically correct pieties of the day when he talks about animal rights – and supports the campaign for guardsmen’s bearskins not to be made of real bear fur?
Peep Show: again, pure comedy genius. As indeed were the first few series of Mitchell and Webb. But now David Mitchell appears on Question Time and has a Observer column in which he finds new ways each week of saying “I think Tories are a bunch of chumps” and suddenly it becomes that little bit harder as a right wing person to laugh at his funny sketches about Nazis because you’re thinking: “If he had his way, he’d have people like me up against the wall and shot.”
I felt similar disappointment a few years ago when I heard Bill Bailey – dear, lovely, warm Bill Bailey with his peace-and-love long hair and his Klingon impersonations and his genial brand of gentle, surreal comedy – talking about fox hunting with such snarling hatred you could have mistaken him for a member of the ALF. (Duh, Bill: fox hunting is the BEST!)
Whatever next? Russell Brand turning up to support a G20 protest rally? TVs “Mister Angry Geriatriac” Richard (”I don’t believe it”) Wilson revealing himself as a life-long Labour supporter? Baldrick from Blackadder turning out to be a member of Labour’s National Executive? US comedian Bill Maher turning out to a rabid libtard with not a scrap of humour in his entire DNA?
You may laugh, readers. But mark my words, stranger things have happened in the bizarre world of comedy.