Originally not aired on ??/??/????
Leave or Remain?
Labour or Tory?
An election has been called, and it’s time to ask ourselves some difficult questions. What kind of society do we want to live in? How do we challenge power? Do we need to start questioning the fundamental systems that our society is built on? Who cares? Isn’t this all dead boring? Is there something else I could be doing instead? Maybe reading a boundary-pushing podcast?
The bad news is that the election stuff is boring, but the good news is that someone is here to deliver that boundary-pushing podcast.
(I’m talking about me.)
And just because I’m not a general election that doesn’t mean I’m afraid to ask difficult questions. One such question is this:
What’s a more important quality, henchness or funniness?
Well, today’s comedian has one of those qualities in abundance and unfortunately for his career it’s henchness.
Mirthful meathead Lovell Smith joins me for today’s edition of “Comedians Outside Edinburgh Getting Pumpkin Spice Lattes” and although he used to be a body-builder, the only thing he builds now are strong set-ups that are unfortunately followed by incredibly weak punchlines.
“I love your premises man,” I said to Lovell, his hench hands almost accidentally shattering his glass as we sat down inside Kings Heath’s Costa Coffee.
“Thank you, Eric,” he said, not smart enough to dig out an insult from that.
But even though Lovell isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, he’s still an all-star that gets his game on and plays to crowds of easily-pleased morons every week.
“You’ve been doing really well, Lovell,” I said to him. “Especially in towns isolated from proper culture, where the audience don’t know any better.”
“You’re far too kind, Eric.”
Having only started comedy around 6 months ago, Lovell has already established himself on the circuit and has had a lot of success in the new act competitions, including recently reaching the finals of the Beat The Frog World Series. And I can kinda see why. Even though I could be a mile away from the venue and still see where Lovell’s jokes are going, there’s something captivating about watching him. He always looks like he’s really enjoying himself up there, and it’s infectious. The masses love him.
“What is it that you enjoy about doing comedy, Lovell?” I asked him, a fairly basic question for a fairly basic man.
“I just love putting smiles on people’s faces,” he responded. “I think this country’s been through a lot in the last few years. Everyone’s at each other’s throats about Brexit and politics and it’s nice to have this space where none of that really matters and we can all have a laugh.”
“Huh… yeah… I guess you’re right.”
So far I’d been taken aforward by what Lovell had said to me, but this time I was taken well and truly aback. It made me realise that maybe I’ve been a bit of snob. It probably comes from a place of insecurity, wanting to see myself above Lovell and the audiences that like him. He’s actually really good. Sure, I serve up filet mignon while Lovell delivers pie and mash, but what’s wrong with pie and mash? People like pie and mash, and pie and mash can be funny. You can mould the mash into balls and pretend the sausage is a penis. Cocks and balls will always be hilarious.
I guess I’ve always assumed it’s people who are proper thick that are the problem in this country, but maybe it’s people like me – university-types with their Guardian memberships and their ground-breaking podcasts. We claim to care about equality, but we forget about people who are in genuine pain, people who live in places like Dudley and Coventry, who aren’t represented by the elite. This is how Brexit happened. We forgot that these are people with hopes and aspirations, people that fall in love, people that have kids that deserve a future. These people got sick of the way things were.
And you know what, they’re too busy working their arses off to stay alive to take the time to learn about and appreciate sophisticated comedy like mine. We should promote people like Lovell who can appeal directly to the people of Preston and start to heal the divisions.
Because when you’re laughing, the divisions don’t seem as important. Hate is replaced by joy, and that joy at a weekend comedy club can make a hard week of work seem worth it.
That’s why this election, my vote is for comedy. It may be the only thing that can bring us together.
Mainstream, predictable, hacky comedy.
“Thanks for your important work, Lovell,” I said. “It means a lot more than you realise.”
See you next time! X