Tag Archives: Comedy

BBC1…Should I be worried? I think I like Citizen Khan

8 Nov

When Citizen Khan first came on air I thought “Here we go another misguided attempt at multi-culturally diverse programming on BBC1″. Don’t get me wrong there have been great successes like the “The Real McCoy”, “Goodness Gracious Me” and “The Kumars At Number 42“, but there have also been abysmal flops like “The Crouches“.

Which way was Citizen Khan going to go? The first few episodes were not encouraging. With its heavy reliance on stereotypes the programme plunged depths that would have embarrassed even the late Bernard Manning. It was like someone had unearthed a scripts from “Till Death Do Us Part” swapped Alf Garnett and his family with a Pakistani family and voila! we got citizen Khan.

Despite my reservations I think the programme has improved, largely because it has moved away from relying too heavily on stereotypes and racially-tinged jokes (largely with Indians as the butt of the jokes). The humour has become broadly based, drawing on experiences that even if you are not of Pakistani origin you could still find amusing.

Is it great comedy? No I would not say so, but it does still raises the odd chuckle as I watch it. It is also a brave attempt to portray Muslims and Islamic life in a way I can’t recall being done on British TV before.

Live At The Apollo…How ethnic do you have to be to tell ethnic jokes?

3 Apr

I am a big fan of comedy shows especially live stand up and love comedy in all its guises, with the odd exception. Yesterday I caught an episode of Live at The Apollo. It was fronted by Simon Brodkin better kno’wn as Lee Nelson who gave a pretty good performance as host and link man. He is quite funny but you do wonder how many jokes you can milk out of the “chavvy lad about town” persona.

Anyway it was not Lee I wanted to talk about. It was an aspect of  Paul Chowdhry‘s performance. Now despite Paul being an incredible Doppelganger of pop rocker Prince I think it would safe to say Paul is of a heritage that has roots in the Indian sub continent. If the name was not a give away the jokes were. Last night we got a lot of Indian jokes all quite funny and entertaining.

Now having done the Indian jokes his humour sat nav moved further to the east as he regaled us with jokes about a perpetually exasperated Chinese takeaway Restuaranter - “Wha you wan? One rye’ or 2 rye’?  Make up your mine!”.

Now I have often thought there is an unspoken, but widely accepted rule  in comedy, if you are of a given ethnic origin or racial background you can do jokes about your background, but if you are not then you are threading on dangerous ground. So we have black comedians engaging us with jokes about the Black British, African or Caribbean experiences. Same with Iranian comedians with Iraninan jokes, Jewish comedians, Irish Comedians and so on.

I don’t know if this really the case or just my perception, but if it is true how wide is the “remit” of a comedian with extra-heritages as it were. Paul reached out into the Chinese community, but if he told jokes about Somalian  could that be deemed offensive?  Anglo-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili for instance does Nigerian jokes, albeit fairly poorly, and don’t recall him getting any grief for that.

Or is this rule something I have just dreamt up and comedy is really universal with no boundaries.

Micky Flanagan…Best Cockney Comedian Out There..Out as in just ‘Out’ not ‘Out Out’

13 Dec

It was a night of Comedy on Channel 4 last night. It kicked with the British Comedy Awards hosted by Jonathan Ross who was in a fairly irreverent mood, but that was just a taster. The main course was what followed a screening of Micky Flanagan’s Out Out Tour.

I love Micky Flanagan I find him hilarious on ’8 out of Ten Cats’, ‘Mock The Week’ and ‘Live At The Apollo’. So I was really looking forward to this show on Channel 4 and it did not disappoint .

The cockney swagger and patter was all there. The observations on what it is like being a true cockney, or at least what the rest of the world likes to think being a cockney would be like, were spot on.

There were new jokes I hadn’t heard before and the old favourites like popping out, going out and going ‘out out’ as well as the legendary mix up between a Cockney’s House and a New Yorker’s arse.

It is not on 4OD but is on repeat on several of the Channel 4′s sister channels

Saturday 15 December 1.55am 4seven
Sunday 16 December 12.05am 4seven
Tuesday 18 December 12.05am 4seven
Wednesday 19 December 1.05am 4seven

And if you can’t wait. Here is a taster of the subtle difference between popping out, going out and going  ’out out’ cockney style.

Am I Scouse-ist?…I can’t stand John Bishop

5 Oct

or his TV programme on BBC1….It is dire. I was going to tag this post with a comedy tag but I am not sure  that’s the right thing to do.