A huge debate has erupted on social media about what constitutes 'left-wing' or 'right-wing comedy' following reported comments from the new BBC chief, who wants to diversify the network's output.
The entire debate was kind of eye-opening as it highlighted that comedians who have made a name for themselves by mocking the government or Brexit have only managed to do so thanks to the politics of the UK, which has mostly remained the same for the past 10 years so there's really not much else to make jokes about.
However, Armando Iannucci, the writer of Alan Partridge and The Thick of It, had another story for this topic. It dates back to the late 90s when the satirist had a show called The Saturday Night Armistice which just happened to by on BBC.
Iannucci, who was pretty famous at this point, said that he and fellow comedians, David Schneider and Pater Baynham had taken part in a stunt around the time of the 1997 general election where they all did a stand-up routine which featured nothing but lines said by actual MPs from that period in time.
Iannucci clearly drew the short straw as he had to recite lines from Tory MPs, whereas Scheinder got Labour and Baynham had the Lib Dems. According to Iannucci, it was the most appalling three minutes of his life.
For a TV stunt, I once went on stage at a live London comedy club to ‘try out’ some of my new material. In fact the… https://t.co/FohD41vE9I
Here's the entire clip which features actual quotes from Tories such as John Major, David Mellor, Brain Mawhinney as well as Tony Blair, John Prescott and Paddy Ashdown. We'll tell you now, it's really not very funny. It starts around the 12-minute mark.
It would seem that others would agree with Iannucci's assessment of this skit.
@Aiannucci Ugh, I remember this so well. Painful viewing. Were the audiences told after you’d left the stage? I lik… https://t.co/gC0OW5o7gm
It should be noted that Tim Davie, the new director-general of the BBC has not specifically said that he wants to lessen left-wing comedy on the Beeb's television or radio but that he wants it to "represent every part of this country." He is due to deliver his first speech in the role on Thursday.