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Left Wing / Imperialist/ Reactionary Comics

Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Any favourites ?

John Cleese and Michael Palin are funny , more Lib Dems than Left Wing.

I never really understood how Ben Elton became famous as a comic. He did co-write The Young Ones and some series of BlackAdder but IMO he isn't funny in front of the TV camera.
Alexei Sayle - yes, funny (Marxist Leninist comedien) .
Rory Bremner of Bremner Bird and Fortune YES. I would rate this as top of my list. It helps that Rory does very good impressions especially of Blair and Bush.

I guess all good comediens are reactionary otherwise they wouldn't be comic.
[ November 30, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
not really. It's quite possible to be a comedian without resorting to political commentary.
In fact the best comedians never resort to it at all.

Sadly most of them are dead or retired.


42
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
My last comment meant reactionary in another sense - getting a laugh.

Is Montreal the capital of stand up comedy? Like The Edinburgh Festival is this side of the pond.Some good shows filmed live in Montreal.
as did Frasier, Mark Thomas ? And others who made it into TV and Hollywood like, I think, Robin Williams.

The latter are not poltical in any way. Don't know of any political comediens from across the pond - though we did have some very good ones on the Clive Anderson show Whose Line Is It Anyway of which there is a US version and Greg Proops has been on both. And a very fat man whose name I cannot remember.
[ November 30, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
peter wooster
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Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
My last comment meant reactionary in another sense - getting a laugh.

Is Montreal the capital of stand up comedy? Like The Edinburgh Festival is this side of the pond.Some good shows filmed live in Montreal.
as did Frasier, Mark Thomas ? And others who made it into TV and Hollywood like, I think, Robin Williams.

The latter are not poltical in any way. Don't know of any political comediens from across the pond - though we did have some very good ones on the Clive Anderson show Whose Line Is It Anyway of which there is a US version and Greg Proops has been on both. And a very fat man whose name I cannot remember.

[ November 30, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


Canada has produced numerous good political comedians (on both sides of the house), some are actually in Parliament. The funniest one recently was Rick Mercer and the show "This Hour has 22 Minutes". They had a great section called "Talking to Americans" which asked Dubya a question about the support he was getting from Prime Minister Poutine, Dubya thanked him for his support. (Poutine is a disgusting looking, but very tasty French Canadian snack). And if someone thinks 22 minutes is one sided lefty, note that their favorite target was the Liberal PM Jean Cretien.

The States has also produced lots of good politcal comics, we saw several of them at a show last year during the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.

There was a show called "That's my Bush" on US television that was unfortunately canceled after 911.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
not really. It's quite possible to be a comedian without resorting to political commentary.

In fact the best comedians never resort to it at all.

Who is it you have in mind?


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
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Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
(Re: "Best commedians not political")
Who is it you have in mind?


Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen (mostly), Jackie Gleason, Alan King, Curly (Howard) Horwitz, Lou Costello, Gracie Allen, ...
[ November 30, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I never really understood how Ben Elton became famous as a comic. He did co-write The Young Ones and some series of BlackAdder but IMO he isn't funny in front of the TV camera.


I saw Ben Elton live in Hammersmith back in 1988(I think?)... The entire show was hilarious and my guts hurt for days afterwards from the 3 hours of hard laughter..

Some time later the same material was recycled, cleaned and gutted and presented by Ben Elton on TV and didnt have anywhere near the same impact. The restraints placed on him by the broadcasting standards people, together with the enforced lack of spontaneity that from the recorded environment completely strangled the humour out of the material.

Billy Connolly is another comedian who is able to reduce an audience to a blubbering mess on the floor - but he seems to manage to do this without too much political criticism...

From the other side of the pond, I dont think there are many who were funnier than the late Bill Hicks, and he certainly had a few choice anti-establishment words to say...
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
The restraints placed on him by the broadcasting standards people, together with the enforced lack of spontaneity that from the recorded environment completely strangled the humour out of the material.


Another part of it is being a part of the audience. Laughter is infectious, and being in a room full of laughing people will make the material seem funnier. When watching it on telly a viewer misses out on the atmosphere that would be present in a live audience.

For me the best comedy is the spontaneous comedy - the spur of the moment interaction with the audience, it seems all the more funny for not being a rehearsed line. Apparently when the great Tommy Cooper did his first ever act it was awful - all his hopefully funny magic tricks were appalling and the audience didn't laugh at all. Then he made a mistake and they laughed, thinking that the un-funny bit beforehand was a build up to the mistake... so he made another mistake and they laughed a bit more... and his entire career changed.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:


Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen (mostly), Jackie Gleason, Alan King, Curly (Howard) Horwitz, Lou Costello, Gracie Allen, ...

[ November 30, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]


plus a spade of non-Anglic ones. Toon Hermans , Herman Finkers, Paul van Vliet, to name 3 Dutch ones.
Sadly all 3 of them are dead or retired.
 
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