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Lorna Rose

Originally not aired on 02/09/23

It’s the finale of this year’s “Comedians in Edinburgh Getting Chai Lattes” and, depending on what side of the woke divide you’re on, I’ve saved the best/worst ‘til last.


Winner of Dave’s Joke of the Fringe, Lorna Rose Treen is widely known for causing the death of comedy. The Sun newspaper has been leading this charge, recently publishing a picture of Lorna’s face next to a gravestone with the engraving “R.I.P. COMEDY” on it.


Lorna has also faced a backlash on social media, many of the attacks aimed at her ranging from misogynistic to autistic.


The joke that stirred this controversy, and caused the Sun to proclaim comedy’s cause of death as “wokery”, is the following:


 “I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah!"


From my point of view, it’s difficult to understand why this joke has caused such anger. Traditionally, a short pun like this always wins the award. I thought we all knew that these joke lists were a bit of fun.


“I’m really sorry you’ve faced so much venom over this, Lorna,” I said. “I thought maybe you could come on and defend yourself a bit?”


“What do you mean, defend myself?” She replied. 


“Sorry, obviously you shouldn’t have to. I just mean… the idea of the joke being political or woke in any way is kind of crazy. I wondered if you wanted to talk about that?”


This is the thing that’s surprised me the most. I watched Lorna’s show and it’s an excellent hour of daft character comedy. You’d be hard pressed to find anything remotely political in there, yet she seems to have been dragged into the culture wars.


“Who says it’s not political?” She said.


“Oh… erm… what do you mean?”

“Well for me, it’s a comment on consumer-capitalism and the system we find ourselves living under.”


“Right, okay,” I said.


She went on.


“The Zoo is a microcosm of the Patriarchy. The animals are objectified, valued for their aesthetic, outward qualities. What of the Giraffe’s inner psyche? Does a chimpanzee not have dreams? Within the joke we learn that everyone is trapped by this paradigm. Even the Zookeeper – archetypically a male figure and ostensibly the winner within this system – is shown to be no different to one of the animals.”


I was dumfounded. I couldn’t think of anything to say, then suddenly Lorna piped up again.


“This is oat milk in this Chai, right?”


“Erm.. sorry Lorna, I just need to pop to the toilet.”


I left and didn’t come back.


See you next year! X

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