Monday, November 05, 2007

Was it something I read?

So Angus Deayton is in trouble for uttering a lame and tasteless gag about Jimmy Savile and his mother on one of those TV programmes where smug tits sit behind desks and snipe at everyone they're unlikely to run into at Soho House.
But what makes the oranges and lemons of the mind spin and spin and spin is the fact that the line was in the script! It's one thing to say something regrettable in the heat of the moment. It's another to have a line tapped out by a hack, passed by a producer and then passed on to another hack who reads it off autocue and then invoices for a few thousand quid.
It's a whole other other thing to then censure the person who was daft enough to believe that it wouldn't come back to haunt him.
Dear God, TV can't go on like this.
And in Hollywood the writers have gone on strike and so Jay Leno and David Letterman go off the air rather than reveal how dull they are unless somebody's making and loading the bullets for them.


  1. I'm no fan of Sir Saville but I can understand why this caused offence. For a start it wasn't in the remotest bit funny.

    There seems to be a lot of this on television lately; abuse masquerading itself as humour. I'm no prude but it shows a distinct lack of talent. You can be funny and cutting without the need for personal abuse like this.

  2. Anonymous11:58 pm

    During the last US writers' strike in 1998, Letterman eventually went back on the air before the strike was over and did shows ad-libbed without scripts.

    It'd be interesting to see that again.

  3. Good point - I'd always associated being unkind with thoughtlessness, but a lot of thought and deed went into this peculiarly nasty witticism. We all say things in the office that would be unsuitable for public consumption, and they're funny there. But on TV?

    And I agree that too much comedy is now based around a certain comedy elite slagging off everyone who isn't in their gang. Pathetic, really.

  4. It’s just more contrived controversy. I’m all for a bit of well placed offence or ‘effing and jeffing’ and Python, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan all knew the value of this. But when insulting/abusive/offensive behaviour becomes mandatory and scattergun it’s just slapstick sensationalism.

    As for scriptwriters not getting the credit,it’s even worse in the film industry William Goldman’s brilliantly written ‘Which Lie Did I Tell?’ is the definitive text on the subject.

  5. Anonymous2:02 pm

    I honestly can't think of one redeeming feature that Angus Deyton may possess. It's hard to imagine him having anything other than contempt for anyone below him on the celebrity food chain let alone a member of the "general public".

  6. Considering that we're always being told that TV is 'very hard to get into' and 'very competitive' most if not all of the people working in television (at least in the UK) seem to be pretty dim, don't they?