Friday, December 17, 2010

We Need A Hart To Hart

Miranda HartThere is a long tradition in this country (in any country in fact that sports a Royal family) to take the p out of them, make snidey comments and satirize their many foibles. It is a healthy tradition and one that should be defended to the hilt regardless of whether you are a Royalist or an anti establishment Royalist hating Emo.

So it was with some dismay that I read that dear Miranda Hart – surely the world’s most likeable comedienne – has flown into some flak for a gag she made on Have I Got News For You last week. I actually watched the show but my recall of the offending joke is a little hazy because, to be honest, it was a pretty innocuous joke. Basically, whilst talking about the well-known and widely accepted racism of Prince Philip, Miranda made the gag that the world should move past making racist jokes and someone ought to tell that Greek twit and his Kraut wife about it.

Now, let’s be honest, it was a pretty obvious joke to make. It’s almost a given. Even me in my secret desire to be a stand-up comedian would have jumped on that kind of feed and responded with a similar line. It is a joke about the racist stereotyping used in racist jokes. I don’t think it was meant to be a racist joke about the Queen per se. Or am I the only one splitting that particular hair?

I should point out at this point that I am not a raving anti monarchist and am quite content with the Royal family’s continued existence in this country’s status quo.

Apparently 5 people complained to the BBC and a few more managed to fart themselves out of their armchairs and put finger to keyboard to offer their cholesterol marinated opinions on various internet forums.

They didn’t get the joke. They didn’t think it was funny. They thought it in poor taste, racist and that the Queen should be mollified with a strap-on wielded by Miranda Hart herself. Actually that last bit is a lie and a bit of a fantasy.

Personally I can’t see what the fuss is about. I don’t think Miranda Hart is racist and I don’t think the joke was racist. It was satirical. In truth the joke wasn’t even that funny – but only because it was so obvious. But it had to be made. It was the cymbal crash after the drum roll. The digestive after the cup of tea – ‘cos a drink is too wet without one.

Poor Miranda. There’s something quite harmless and inoffensive about her – the poor woman must be mystified by all the hoo-ha. I have to say I like Miranda Hart and my family is greatly enjoying her eponymously named sitcom, Miranda. It makes us all laugh including our 9 year old who nearly split an intercostal muscle at this week’s show despite being surely too young to get most of the jokes. She has somehow revived the sitcom ethos of the 70’s, made it cool again and exhumed the much missed ghosts of Frankie Howerd and Eric Morecambe with her asides and to-the-camera gurning.

She is a striking looking lady – easily over 6ft, and solid. A veritable shire horse of a woman. But you know what? Strangely attractive. And in an attempt to subvert a minor tradition of this blog, stick two fingers up at those poker-faced, Hitler-youth loving Royalists who can’t get their malformed senses of humour around a simple joke and strike a blow for big beautiful women everywhere I am going to make her my TV Totty Of The Week.

Miranda, you can dress up as a Nazi and pratt-fall into my lap anytime. I think you’re lovely.



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57 comments:

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Wow, I do wonder about the Great British public sometimes, is that really offensive to some people? I did see the show and remember laughing at the joke, does this mean that I am a racist? Of course it doesn't, no more than Miranda is, or more over the writer who wrote the gag in the first place.

As for your fantasy - Steve, I think you may need to consider some counselling in the near future...

Alex said...

Completely agree with you. I've only discovered Miranda at series two but have enjoyed it immensely.

Prince Philip is hardly a soft target for these jibs, I still remember his infamous "looks like its been wired by an Indian" comment.

I suppose with the Royal Wedding on the horizon, anything that pokes fun at Royalty is now verboten.

Sarah said...

As they say in France, heureusement que la connerie ne tue pas or many people would just drop dead.

(transl: fortunately being stupid doesn't kill you)

Come to think of it...

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: well as I am defending her and the joke... if it is racist then I guess I must be a fully paid up member of the KKK. As for counselling... they threw me out. My counsellor is now having counselling.

Steve said...

Alex: verboten? Achtung! Schweinehund! Gott im himmel! ;-)

Sarah: sadly, although being stupid might not kill you it does tend to be a life sentence...

London City Mum said...

I love Miranda Hart - she is a breath of fresh air.
And yes, I also saw the show and pissed myself laughing. She was brilliant.

I love that a TV show can be watched by millions but the fact that some five people complain becomes the main focus.
A bit like doing a search on a brilliant child-friendly resort you are considering for a holiday, and then only reading the one negative review to make your decision.

Bonkers.

Oh, and I'm over 6ft tall as well, so put that in your fantasies.

LCM x

Heather said...

pft, what a loud of nonsense over nothing. Some people have too much time on their hands me thinks if they are wasting their time making complaints about things like that. the part that tickles me is that they are all probably all Daily Mail readers who spend their time making racist remarks about immigrants 'taking over the country' yada yada.

Stupid buggers.

Anonymous said...

This gag was made on her previous hosting stint, actually, not last week's. All water under the bridge now I think.

Being Me said...

Congrats to Miranda for making your TOTW!

Steve said...

LCM: "Oh, and I'm over 6ft tall as well, so put that in your fantasies"... duly inserted. I may need some down time. Oo-er.

Heather: too much time on their hands indeed. It annoys me the most because there are so many other things that would be better and more useful to complain about - homelessness, child abuse, domestic violence... but no, let's expend our energy complaining about a mild gag on the BBC!

Anonymous: Nope. It was last week I'm sure. I watched it with the wife. Or were we watching Dave?

Being Me: it's a much sought after position, I can tell you!

joebloggs said...

Again we have to put up with a controversy that is no more than a fart in a tea cup. Yes comedy has to be careful not to deliberately offend and cause harm but we can not be so sanitised as to censor every word we read hear or speak we must stop getting all worked up about a quip or a jibe. Next step North Korea...be warned!
Re: Miranda/fantasy, I am sure you would have been well aware of the trailer where she catches her dress in the cab? Maybe YouTube will have it but its probably in there "specialist" section. I cant help thinking it would be like wrestling a St Bernard.

Steve said...

Joe: absolutely. "I can't help thinking it would be like wrestling a St Bernard..." - well tie a brandy cask around my neck and call me Schnorbitz...!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think people will find anything to complain about to be honest. It's a past time for some folk, because they have nowt else to do. They should get their fingers out of their arses and find a hobby. Or better still, a job.

I like the Royal family personally and probably wouldn't have laughed at that joke, but I wouldn't have made a complaint. Back in the olden days, Miranda probably would have had her head chopped off. After Henry had shagged her of course.

CJ xx

Steve said...

CJ: I suspect Miranda would choose to have her head chopped off first...!

Mark said...

Miranda is great. A fine and appropriate joke too, in my view.

People often don't get that there is a difference between what is funny / ironic/ witty and what is offensive - claiming that a comment is 'not funny' when it clearly is and what they really mean is that it offends them.

But to find this offensive is ridiculous.

That said, I'm absolute raving anti monarchist - can't see why we need bloody foreigners like them as the head of State! Ha ha ha.

Kelloggsville said...

I was more offended by a semi naked Christina than an obviously non racist racist comment. I would loved to see Prince Philips defense lawyer try and defend him as a non racist anyhoo. I wonder how many generations of the royal fam will need to be born here before we finally accept them as British. Orf with her head. Do you follow queen_uk on twitter? It's worth it.

Steve said...

Mark: the trouble is we're all bloody foreigners really... just ask Dr Alice Roberts!

Kelloggsville: semi naked Christina? Christina Aguilera? Christina Ricca? How did I miss this? Was I too busy laughing at the Kraut joke?!

Tenon_Saw said...

Surely she was just paid to read a script! I have a faint recognition that there was a reference to the upcoming royal wedding by way of a mention of some celebration to take place in 2018 and saying that William would have nobody to share it with (i.e. after 7 years said marriage would be over). Maybe that was in a different show.

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: yes I remember that... maybe Anonymous above was right and the kraut joke was from a previous appearance on the show? So sad that Anonymous cannot take public pleasure in his factual accuracy being as he/she is, anonymous. But the point I am making still stands.

English Rider said...

In the shadow of sensitivity training overload?

Steve said...

English Rider: is it ever possible to overload sensitivity training? I wouldn't know; I've never been on any.

EmmaK said...

It makes me so sad when people make fun of the royals. Even in the USA I drive around with two union jack flags on the front of my car* with pics of Katie and Wills plastered on the back window * and I am a very proud patriot* and I think the royals should be given some slack - they are inbred and working with very few braincells so let them make their racist comments etc. I am also a very good friend of Waity Kaity* who has a surprisingly dirty mouth over here: http://twitter.com/katieymiddleton

*this may be made up

Gorilla Bananas said...

As one who venerates the she-elephant, I will not hear a word against this Hart woman. Let her charge wherever she likes with udders flailing.

Steve said...

Emma: can I sit next to you at the wedding? I am not good with formal ettiquette and might need some help when the time comes to bugger Prince Edward with my fishfork.

Gorilla Bananas: nice to meet another Hartophile. May her udders flail away to the contentment of us all.

Alienne said...

There can't be anyone left who does not know what to expect from HIGNFY - and if you do not like that sort of thing you do not have to watch it. I agree entirely, it is not racist, it is satirical. They have been known as Phil the Greek and Betty Battenburg round here for many a long year.

Steve said...

Alienne: exactement! Couldn't have put it more succinctly myself.

Fran said...

I must catch up on this on iplayer - you reminded me. I think Miranda's show is outrageously funny and I WANT TO BE HER. Only I'm, like, five foot two, so ....

Steve said...

Fran: she's a lovely lady and I'm sure she'd be really chuffed to be your aspirational figurehead...!

libby said...

Shall I bring the word 'chillax' back for the 5 complainers? is it old enough to be vintage yet?
ps. not a royalist myself and Miranda has a very pretty face I always think....

Steve said...

Libby: chillax is way too street for me, I'm afraid, but do feel free to pop a cap in my ass for being a stiff.

Fran said...

I just watched the recent show on iplayer and she doesn't do the one about Philip but, yes, she does say about Wills and Kate being divorced by 2018! Some people might think that tasteless, but it's not exactly one of those jokes with no evidence behind it, is it .....? I didn't think she was half as funny on this as she is on her own show, though, except when she fell off her chair on purpose. Maybe that just tells you a lot about my puerile SOH.

the fly in the web said...

Opposed to the very idea of a royal family...and this particular lot have done nothing to alter my opinion.

As to the reaction of 'disgusted of grace and favour appartments'...you'd think blasphemy had been committed.

Owen said...

If you see a looming, curvaceous, dark shadow overtaking you in the street in the next few days, you will know what this post has inspired... I don't know what a "strap on" is, but guessing from your inference, you better hope she's not wearing it when she comes for you !
:-)

Steve said...

Fran: oh bum. Sounds like I watched the show with the offending joke on Dave then or else was sucked into a wormhole in time. And here's me thinking I was being topical.

The fly in the web: I think to these people it is blasphemy. I must admit I regularly take Camilla's name in vain but I doubt if even the Queen would blame me for that.

Owen: I imagine it would be like being charged down by a rhino...

Keith said...

What gets me is how the number of complaints a tv programme gets is now front page news. Since when did Kofi interrupt his morning coffee ( ? ) because someone has said/done something a bit off on the telly ?

But two thumbs up for Miranda. Love her.

Do you realise you have to set a sizable chunk of the day aside to read a Steve post and comments these days ! Any bigger and you will need to bring out a colour supplement to go with it.

Steve said...

Keith: I wonder if I can do a deal with Kindle...?

Fran said...

And, by the way, I wouldn't diss 'anonymous'. He/she wrote a hell of a lot of good poems.

Steve said...

Fran: ...not to mention graffiti.

dbs said...

"Fart themselves out of their armchairs" = hilarious.
And btw, you have a fantastic way with words. And, you're absolutely right. That's the good news.
Here's the bad news: Since I'm from Canada, now I'm probably going to waste the whole night researching Miranda Hart (and to be honest, I can't wait.)

Wanderlust said...

I was going to say something about your post but I'm laughing too hard over LCM and Fran's comments to remember what it is. Sorry.

And Emma really has antlers on her car.

Steve said...

dbs: YouTube is a wonderful thing... trust me! ;-)

Wanderlust: antlers? And a single red light at the front? Hmm...!

Shrinky said...

I never miss an episode of, "Have I Got News For You", but that joke seems to have passed under my radar. Sheesh, it's a sad old world when some uptight old farts out there, can't take a daft aside comment in the humourous spirit it was made in, isn't it?

Steve said...

Shrinky: sadly the daft old farts outnumber the bright young sparks...!

Löst Jimmy said...

Miranda Hart gets the thumbs up from me, ever since her stint on HMS Camden Lock...

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: I did watch quite a few episodes of Hyperdrive but I don't think she was quite on my radar at the time whereas Nick Frost was...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Aren't these people dead yet?

If Prince Philip were blameless, I could understand their offence, but since he is a well known racial blunderbuss, (and happens to be Greek), what's all the fuss about?

Next they'll be objecting to all the jokes that he had Princess Di bumped orf as she had become even more embarrassing to the Royal family than he.

Steve said...

Laura: off with your head!

;-)

The Sagittarian said...

Good ol' Betty Windsor, that old duck can still make the headlines eh and for something other than bad hats and choices of offspring....

Steve said...

Amanda: she's a proper celeb, she is, and no mistake.

Owen said...

Nice image, an amourous rhino...

Run, man, run !

Steve said...

Owen: to or from...?

Modern Military Mother said...

The outrage is good for her profile. She's ascending!!

Steve said...

MMM: let's hope she doesn't descend again too quickly. Though the thought of Miranda Hart ascending and then descending makes my legs feel all kind of funny.

marketingtomilk said...

What amazes me is that this made news. 5 people would complain about a presented calling a bee a wasp ffs!

M2M

Steve said...

marketingtomilk: but clearly calling a bee a wasp is like calling a dog a cat.

;-)

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Some people have nothing better to do than make idle complaints about TV shows. I wish I had that much time on my hands. No really.

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: I know what you mean: I wish I had not only the time but also the energy and the money...