Monday, 27 August 2012

Frankie Boyle: Arsehole or Arsehole?


Only discovered Channels 4’s Funny Fortnight a few days ago, but better late than never. Caught the divine Dylan Moran, the hysterical Alan Carr and then there’s Frankie Boyle…

In case you’re not familiar, well, Frankie Boyle looks like Henry IIX in a suit, but hasn’t got the same good humour, sensitivity and respect for women. In fact, he’s a bit like that Scottish guy I’ve seen shouting in the street who’s got one shoe and sometimes pisses himself until someone moves him along. But no one’s moving our Frankie along. His gleeful repertoire delights in AIDS, cancer, rape and other human trifles and every twisted punch-line is met with a rapturous ovation from an audience who can’t all have been drugged and paid to be there.

I don’t get it, but I feel as if I should be on-board. I loved Brass Eye and enjoy a good shock, but it’s hard to laugh without a little safety net of irony or self-deprecation. If Frankie thrashed himself with holly branches as he delivered the lines I’d probably feel a bit more comfortable watching it. In fact, I knew I would go straight to hell if I laughed at it. I could feel the heat on my toes as I cracked a smile at a joke involving a vagina and a dead man’s handshake. Thankfully, my laughing gear wasn’t given too much work to do for most of the programme, so I think my soul is safe. The high point for me was watching the moral dilemma of the celebrities in the audience, wondering if applauding John Terry’s rape face would offend their fan-base and affect their sales, but that was it really.           

Strangely, I applaud Frankie Boyle’s balls. Not many people are able to get up and say exactly what they think, but is this what he thinks? Surely he can’t function in the world, haemorrhaging so much bile. He’s got a wife and kids and hasn’t been murdered, so he can’t be that bad in real life. All I can think is that it’s shock for the sake of shock, which is almost original if not a little brain-numbing. Or maybe it’s a case of ‘shit happens, so we may as well laugh at the people it happens to’. He’s obviously hugely talented and awesome with language; I just wish he would let a little sunshine in his life.




   
 
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