Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bill Bailey shows us the way

The Ross/Brand business rumbles on still.

One of the points that have been raised is that comedians need to be edgy, push the boundaries and take risks.
Some argue that if, as a result of R 'n' B's antics, laughter merchants feel they have to be more careful from now on, the result will be bland, sterilised 'safe' comedy.
(Others argue that being careful is no bad thing, but there you go ...)

Bill Bailey has the answer in this Times article, entitled I don't mock the weak.

In it he says, “You have to pick your targets. And I've realised that, consciously or unconsciously, I tend to target multinational companies! The world's richest banks, the world's richest retailers, people who aren't vulnerable. Because I think, of anyone, you can take this, me, some beardy bloke, shaking a fist at you. That was the thing about the whole Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross affair. It was just the wrong targets ... They mocked the weak. You have got to aim a bit higher than that.”

You've got my vote, Bill.
You're funny, compassionate, clever, politically astute - and very, very silly.

My kinda guy.

Thanks to Babs for the link.


Anonymous said...

In the spirit of "I don't mock the weak", I started a party of sorts on Minx's noo noo post. She will never nootice...

Sue Guiney said...

I love him. I've always loved him. I always will love him! :-)

pierre l said...

Indeed. I didn't hear the Ross, etc, piece; the bit that annoyed me was that they picked on someone who I would think of as "a relatively defenceless old man who hadn't done anyone any harm".

Sharon J said...

I love BB too, he's a genuinely funny guy. I also agree with what he says. Never been keen on JR, he seems too egocentric for my liking.

Debi said...

Leslie - I happen to know it won't work. The Minx gets comments emailed to her, so we won't slip under her radar. Still, a party's a party and I don't need too much encouragement.

Sue - out of the way. He's mine, all mine.

Pierre - I did hear it on YouTube and the thing that struck me is just how much of a thoughtless stupid schoolboy prank it was. There's silly and then there's SILLY.

Sharon - another rival for BB's affections?

Anonymous said...

I really like Bill Bailey too but I think that on this occasion he's missed the point. One of the "Have your Say" comments underneath BB's article said:
"I wonder how Sachs feels to know that he has gone from beloved actor to one of the 'weak' to be 'protected' The guy's a hardened performer, why does everybody seek to portray him as a helpless invalid?"
I wholeheartedly agree. I saw Sachs interviewed after the ghastly event and I thought he handled it with a dignity and grace which had nothing whatever to do with "weak" or "defenceless". And the grandaughter (who lacked the wisdom and experience of Sachs) could certainly not be described as 'w and d' but that didn't make it OK to attack her.
For me, it isn't about 'who' is being attacked but'what' the attack is about. I fall about at Bill Bailey's or Bremner, Bird and Fortune's attacks on the rich exploiters not because the exploiters are strong and invulnerable but because what they do is dreadful and should be exposed. But so many allegedly funny attacks are made simply for reason of age or looks or class or nationality or some other attribute that puts the victim outside some weird imposed standard of acceptability. Anne Widdecombe is neither weak nor defenceless. For example.
Having said all that, didn't the unlovely, non-dancing John Sergeant do well? He sent himself up rotten and we all fell at his sweet little twinkling (not) feet. Thay's the way to do it I guess.
Joan x

Debi said...

You are a wise woman, Joan. A thought-provoking comment as always.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I loved that article, and Joan's comment offers an interesting perspective, but I read the article differently from Joan. For me what Bill Bailey is saying is that some individuals can be badly hurt by comedy while corporations can't. Where I would disagree with BB is on his 'people who aren't vulnerable' comment, because I'm not sure there are any. Not even, and I realise this is an imaginative stretch, Ann Widdecombe.

Unknown said...

Don't know him but love the sentiment. Have never liked JR.

Debi said...

And I think my take is something slightly different again. I think he's saying that even if they are vulnerable on a personal level, they can still handle having him rant at them. Having clawed their way to their powerful position they are going to have some pretty high opinions of themselves.

OTOH, I'm now going to contradict myself, cos I look at Al Fayed, for example, and see a man who is wealthy and powerful but almost the epitome of vulnerability.

Bloody 'ell. It gets complicated, doesn't it?