Andy Shaw asks Andrew Doyle, the co-writer of Jonathan Pie, some searching questions on satire and comedy.
Andy: Marcus Brigstocke was shocked that people walked out of his shows when he lampooned Brexit voters. He isn’t the only comedian who has felt out of touch with people when touring outside the London comedy circuit. What do you think is going on?
Andrew: There’s a clear consensus among comedians regarding Brexit. Very few have had the guts to admit to voting Leave. I’ve seen for myself on social media the hostility of some comics against Leave voters. On this particular issue, many comics apparently lost their sense of humour. I think it’s partly because most comedians are from London, tend to be middle-class, and surround themselves with like-minded people. So when a majority of voters take a view that doesn’t chime with their own worldview it causes distress. I’ve heard innumerable jokes about Leave voters, and they all tend to be based on the lazy (and inaccurate) assumption that they are all racists. Very few are, which means that the jokes don’t really work. So when a comic performs outside of London, should he or she really be all that surprised that calling his audience a bunch of racists isn’t going to go down particularly well?..