Monday, 18 March 2013

Blessed Relief.

Just one more thing to say about Comic Relief: It's great. I haven't seen a live Red Nose Day, Funny for Money TV marathon since, I think, the 80's but last Friday I decided to stay in and give it my attention. I'd already donated to The Gentlemans Review Megapoddy and I'd raised some money myself with Red Blog Day so I felt I could watch the whole thing guilt-free. I'm glad I did. It's well worth being reminded how much aid is needed in the world, where your money is going and how the world's governments aren't very nice (don't blame me, you're the one that thinks voting them in is you having your voice heard). There were so many moving films highlighting the struggles of lives that we're lucky enough to not be able to fathom. Domestic abuse in the UK, parasite infested drinking water in Africa. There's no way that you couldn't be deeply moved. The baby who died of malnutrition and, due to lack of facilities, his body was wrapped in a sheet and left in a laundry room was too much for me. The very thought that it's happening right now while we're obsessed with Cheryl Cole's tattoos or Pippa Middleton's anus is just shameful. And, of course, it's those Comic Relief films of hope that really leave us in tears. Medication getting to those that desperately need it, people surviving, lives beginning again. All because we don't want that to happen to anyone. If you donated, how can you not feel pleased with yourself? And how can you not feel extremely proud of Comic Relief? It's brilliant and it was a fantastic way to spend a Friday night in, slightly ruined by only one thing: Comedians.

Hello, Lenny.

I don't even necessarily mean the comedians on TV that night, I was much more disturbed by the horrible opinions of comedians on Twitter watching the show. They were utterly offensive. Not just one or two comedians, LOADS of them. All with their backward view of Funny for Money. I'd say every 10 minutes there was at least one spiteful tweet from a comedian saying "It's horrible the amount of abuse Comic Relief is getting. These comedians have given up their free time to do these and should be supported fully".

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? Firstly, I didn't see anyone abusing Comic Relief. I saw all the "comedy" in Funny for Money getting slagged to bits but never once did I see a negative word about Comic Relief. Secondly, ARE YOU SERIOUSLY DEFENDING THESE TOOLS? Comic Relief is a charity to us but it's the biggest bit of high profile TV you can get for these lazy arseholes. You're insane if you think that this is just about the caring side of some of our most beloved entertainers. Some of them have books to push, tours to plug and careers to be reminded of. If you don't question that then you're not a comedian.

I was lucky enough to see Frankie Boyle's warm-up for his 5 minute Comic Relief set due to be filmed at Wembley. It was superb. Really funny jokes at the expense of the BBC and, of course, it was never aired on Funny for Money. Why would it be? It was FUNNY and that is against everything that comedy is about. I'm not a fan of comedians on Twitter at the best of times but Friday night was just the lowest. Comedians turned into bland, opinionless TV presenters but, hey, that's the kind of thing they like on Funny for Money. Maybe Twitter will just joylessly host the event next year? 

Hello, Lenny.

That Simon Cowell sketch was the comedy equivilent of being told that your parents are dead, Peter Kay just empties his bowels in front of us while ruining an indie song that was perfectly capable of ruining itself and David Tennant rapes John Bishop. No matter what you think, that bit was still technically rape. 

Hello, Lenny.

Then there was Mrs Brown. As always, far from the worst. As a man from the Greater Ireland area I just hate seeing self-loathing Irish people dragging their hatred of themselves to a massive audience but I really think there was so much worse than Mrs Brown that night. That's how bad it was. And you couldn't really slag off Mrs Brown because OF COURSE it's going to be shit. That's what it does. And it was funny when the sketch clearly fucked up several times. Weirdly, they had nothing to cover the fuck-ups, which is odd because there are so many in the regular TV show that they improvise around for laughs. Unless they're staged fuck-ups? Nah, that's silly. But still there was so much goodwill from comedians on Twitter. "They're doing comedy for a good cause". They're not doing comedy and their hellish career is not a good cause.

There was one moment when it could have been good. One moment when comedy looked like it had given itself a shake and decided to be funny and make a point. Michael McIntyre (hear me out) walked around the studio audience and asked the ordinary people of Britain what they had done for Comic Relief. An ordinary person had raised £500 while dressed as an Arabian Knight, another ordinary person had raised £200 by sitting in their shed listening to Radio 1 for a fortnight and one ordinary person...questioned everything. How much had McIntyre given? Why are we seeing these celebrities everywhere months before Red Nose Day? Why aren't these wealthy celebrities giving money like we do? They're getting publicity, what do we get? Happiness. And that's OK because Comic Relief isn't about those career obsessed vultures. It's about us. The people. Giving to show we care, giving to make the world for other ordinary people like us a little better. Fuck the celebrities, WE ARE COMIC RELIEF.

Brilliant. Except that that ordinary person was millionaire James Corden. Sigh...

Hello, Lenny.

Then there was Walliams. How can anyone defend him being on Funny for Money? To him, just being there is enough for all of us. To be honest, it's too much. He presented an hour or a month (it became hard to tell) with Alan Carr who constantly asked us to give ourselves a round of applause in that voice that sounds like a drowning cat. How have we tolerated David Walliams? How have gay people tolerated David Walliams? All he has is "LOOK! I'M PRETENDING TO BE GAY!" That's it. I mean, he also sometimes blacks up, Asians up and puts on a dress. I'm convinced that he thinks there is no one other than straight middle class men. Everyone else is fictional so it's fine to laugh at them. God, he's a cunt. I was lucky enough to be in the room when the brilliant Sean Lock called Walliams a pink minstrel. That's perfect. And he get's supported by the comedians on Twitter for giving up his time to do fuck all in front of the biggest audience a comedy show is likely to ever get. An opportunity that thousands of comedians would love and he brought NOTHING to it except himself and the word "Whoopsie". Turning up with nothing to an important TV slot GIVEN to him by Comic Relief makes him a thief. The fucking charity sucking vampire.

And it's not like you have to break your back for Comic Relief. Vic & Bob drinking 75 pints of beer while singing Without You is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. So utterly stupid and totally in the spirit of Comic Relief. Equally Peter Serafinowicz's Blankety Blank sketch and Ricky Gervais in Kenya (starring Johnny Candon as The Edge) are brilliant. And Friday's show had some great stuff too. Gervais's Equality Street was fun, the Call the Midwife/Doctor Who sketch was fact all the stuff with people from Gutted: A Revenger's Musical was terrific. And Rob Brydon was my favourite. He's got charm, that guy.

Of course, Comic Relief is brilliant and there's no real excuse to not give if you can afford to. Do you love someone? Would you spend £10 to help that loved one? Well, other people have loved ones but no £10's so text "YES" to 70010 and £10 goes to Comic Relief. It's a good thing so just forget about the comedians. Can we do it properly next time? Maybe start writing Funny for Money now instead of on the day? If not, I'm happy to get drunk and fall asleep on camera again.

Goobye, Lenny.

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