I used to enjoy Ben Elton – for The Young Ones, and two of his jokes I still can remember. I even bought his first book, ‘Stark’.
He’s making a comeback stand-up tour, I gather. He’s evidently doing the media rounds of plugging this; perhaps someone thinks he is the right person for these times.
I stumbled on his 17½ minutes with Matthew Wright on Talk Radio’s YT channel.
I’d been searching for the excoriating Lisa Nandy and Ed Vaizey interviews (on video) by Mike Graham. The click-bait that drew me in was
***Comedian Ben Elton talks Brexit and Boris Johnson***
So, in tribute to Roger Ackroyd, I’ve critiqued Elton’s comeback publicity puff for you, so you don’t have to watch it.
For the purposes of researching the title to this piece (a mini catch-phrase of his as I remember it), I played a 1986 Channel 4 performance, while I type.
Only one and a quarter minutes in – and I’m hearing about allegations of crude sexual practice involving POTUS and the Russians. Plus ça change, think I. (That’s 33 year-old lefty material. Let that sink in.
Coming back up-to-date, Ben Elton has aged – think John McEnroe, but without the charm or gentle caustic wit. However – he’s still a motormouth.
Matthew Wright is still odious, and creepily unctious. No change there.
So here is your viewing guide. (Be warned: it reads like a sociology student’s class notes)
- A gentle, earnest start as he describes being blamed for the invention of political correctness.
- Caring, SJW-credentials wheeled out with compassionate voice at 0:13: “Political Correctness is normally just good manners”. Yes, Ben. With a Marxist agenda to subvert and manipulate.
- Led by MW, discussion about PC claptrap for some minutes, then ‘new-book-what-you-just-wrote’, led by MW.
Triggers start to come thick and fast:
No British cultural homogeneity 2:26
‘The Wall’ 2:29
Scots Indy 2:31
Identity boundries 2:37 (apparently what most people are thinking about)
Cultural division of Britain into virtual communities 2:52 (Hi there, Puffins!)
Trump Lies 7:18
Climate change 7:21
Racism & sexism 7:57
Faatcha 12:30 (an oldie but goldy. Hear him say – direct quote – “I always had a lot of respect for Mrs Thatcher”)
Boris Johnson 13:04 (here comes the new material, me hearties)
Prorogation 16:17 (mendacity to call election before Brexit)
Crashing out 16:42
Given Ben’s had only 33 years to come up with new material, I think the man deserves a word of praise. And, to be fair, he’s entitled to his opinion.
If you might feel Ben’s message is hackneyed and jaded, remember – there’s a new generation yet to discover him (think Steptoe).
It’s just that the the older generation has yet to forget him – but I don’t have to forgive him for his still-remembered (two) classics of schoolboy humour:
Q: Why shouldn’t you answer the front door in your pyjamas?
A: Cos, Chernobyl fall-out
Q: What’s pink and hairy, and hangs out your pyjamas?
A: Your Mum
© Uri Spoonbender 2019
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file