Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Frankie Boyle: Beardie obsessed with cock and queers?

Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights debuted on Channel 4 yesterday drawing an OK-ish 1.3m viewers, the comic's first solo show. It left me wondering why he's a Sun columnist given the obvious markets disconnect between his and its. Most of the smart people I know have never heard of the Tramadol drug, so God knows what most Sun readers imagine it is. Then again, most Sun readers would probably not be watching a Channel 4 show at 10pm, just after I'm A Celebrity... on ITV1.

Like one or two other Sun columnists - such as Ally Ross - he writes far over the heads of his audience but, much more importantly, pleases the educated, middle class editor-ironists on the paper who currently applaud the coalition's tally-ho war against the poor and sick. Why, even its lanky political editor is an Old Etonian.

Is Boyle funny? His downbeat stand-up shtick has its moments - when he's not ridiculing people with Down's or sentimentalising Palestine. But his show sketches get lost in his thick depressive's beard. In one, a jailed Christ-like black man with a miracle healing cock sodomises a white prison guard and thereby cures him of a hand rash. He then returns a bedridden white woman to full glowing health after bringing her to orgasm in front of her husband. He's nonetheless executed for his failure to fuck others - such as a white small boy - and cure them of various maladies. Talk about comic bludgeoning. Cupcakes a steamroller cannot make. Even the studio audience could only manage a forced titter.

If the black cock Christ sketch is about mythology and racism, I would say its satirical point is at least 25 years late. Even lumpenprole bigotry moves on a bit, dearies. What then to make of the George Michael cartoon in which our hero ejaculates over a picnicking couple (on Hampstead Heath?) Or the cowboy homophobic rant against Brokeback Mountain?

If Boyle were that funny I might bother to examine the contents of his peculiar mindset or of his Hijab-like monstrous beard. But he is not.

18 comments:

Five-Centres said...

Can't you see the despair behind the eyes? He's clearly in the throes of a deep identity crisis. Who'd want to be there when the laughter stops?

The Return of Lavinia said...

Beards should be banned!

Madame Arcati said...

Oh I know Five-Centres, but alas the laughter never starts. So we'll never know.

Joe MacFarlane. said...

I half agree with you - I switched over twice, once with his comment on giraffes necks (they have the same number vertebrae as humans just longer). Racy humour = swearing a lot.

Madame Arcati said...

Is that really you Lavinia? How's Val? Beards are definitely a sign of hostility.

Madame Arcati said...

Joe, I nearly smiled when he asked whether others thought a giraffe's neck was a horse's neck with a periscope. But then I try to be generous.

Lavinia said...

You are sweet to remember Val - he's left the EU office in Luxemburg - he couldn't stomach the new leather décor among other things - who could? - I always say NO LEATHER ON THE WALLS PLEASE - and he's opened an ashram in Colombia. I hear bookings are quite good. Wouldn't dream of going there myself of course. Can't take the heat any more. When I think of how hot Reggie and I would get in Malaya, I can hardly believe I'm the same person.

Madame Arcati said...

I went to Colombia once and an astrologer predicted I'd end up a guru. So true!

The late Vince Cable said...

I'm addicted to tramadol and chuck 'em down with the vodka. Leaves me all whoozy.

Lavinia said...

I've told Val to 'log on' to you, as they say. For years I thought getting 'logged on' and 'logging in' were you-know-what in the men's department!

Anonymous said...

The "christ-like black man" is pretty much a scene-for-scene piss take of Green Mile (the Tom Hanks film/Stephen King book), which you seem to have missed.
In honesty though I didn't think any of the sketches were particularly funny although the concept of the Muslim "Loose Women" was pretty good. The stand-up was pretty much up to his usual standard I think, although not stellar.

Madame Arcati said...

Lavinia, it depends on the shape. So you could say 'zeppelin out' in certain circs.

Madame Arcati said...

Funnily enough I've not seen Green Mile.

Joe MacFarlane. said...

Green Mile is now used in RE classes. It is a long film and can be stretched over many lessons. Usually it is for thickies. They have to write a few lines on suffering/redemption/good/evil. That is what RE teaching is in the UK now. Watch Green Mile/My Beautiful launderette/Stigmata/Shawshank and do a report. Worth a terms credit that is.

Madame Arcati said...

Really? Stigmata as well? Joe, you make me feel soooo out of it. This explains the hideous phenomenon of Michael Gove I suppose.

Famous reviewer said...

Good piece MA. To my mind Frankie Boyle is extremely angry. It's his alpha and omega as a person and a performer and he's not great at being either. The problem is we're far too impressed by the bouts of savagery and impressive verbal acrobats anger produces. In fact it's usually hollow and disfiguring.

Madame Arcati said...

Famous Reviewer, you're right. I wonder if Ben Elton ever got angry pre-his AL-W phase. Loadsamoney was an angry response but thingy was never angry himself. Benny Hill seemed v clement as he engaged in pre-rape chases.

Anonymous said...

I know someone with a large leather carpet. Is that allowed?