Thursday, October 25, 2007
A new series of The Armstrong and Miller Show begins tomorrow on BBC1 (a television channel, for those of you who have lost touch). It's sketch comedy - surprisingly funny, much of it - and the recurrent sketch that everyone's going to be talking about features a pair of stereotypical World War II fighter pilots talking over the day's action. The joke is that they do this entirely in present-day pseudo-black teenage street talk - and the result is quite alarmingly funny. This is, of course, comedy with a point - the point being the immense gulf in attitudes, language and world view between those young men, many of whom died in action in their teens, and today's teenagers. The steepness of our national decline could hardly be more eloquently embodied. But is it the point that makes it funny? Picking up from comments after yesterday's Alan Coren post, I think we should always be cautious about finding a point, or a message, in comedy. Real comedy cuts so much deeper than that - which is what Wilde meant when he said that 'Life is too important to be taken seriously'. Serious consideration tends to throw the obvious back at us - comedy, at its best, is an act of oblique reimagination that yields something altogether new, a second creation.
Posted by Nige at 11:46 am