Peter Rhodes on unfunny humour, reflections on revellers and the joy of animal-themed adverts

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Maureen Lipman – woke warning
Maureen Lipman – woke warning

The Bishop of Wolverhampton, Clive Gregory, says his favourite yuletide TV advert is “An Unlikely Friendship,” the Amazon Prime commercial in which a man and a hyena become pals.

My favourite ad is the Burberry Hero one in which the Star Wars actor Adam Driver races a horse down a beach and swims with it in the ocean (don't try this at home, kids).

So what is the appeal of animal-themed ads? Maybe we are seeing an extension of the Christmas spirit, bringing goodwill not only to all people, but to all creatures, too. With the obvious exception of turkeys.

PS: Not sure I agree with the bishop's assertion that the Nativity showed “that we were God's companion animal of choice.” Lovely sentiment but slightly at odds with Genesis.

Festive misuse of the R-word. It is an old and hallowed tradition of journalism that, until they start breaking the law, crowds are composed of “revellers.” It's only when they turn nasty that revellers become thugs or hooligans. Sky News, in a recent report on police being assaulted, uses an archive image from an illegal rave in Norfolk captioned: “Revellers clash with riot police.”

Wrong, wrong. The moment a reveller punches a cop he loses his reveller status and acquires a new title which in time leads on to yet another title. The prisoner.

If you needed proof of Maureen Lipman's assertion that comedy is being killed by today's cancel culture, look no further than the po-faced response by comedian Russell Kane who declares: “There’s been a massive, much needed shift in the conversation around gender, around men’s attitudes to women, around consent. Society has moved on.” Really? This is the same Russell Kane whose grotesquely offensive joke about the Queen's sexual organs on Don't Make Me Laugh (Radio 4) in 2016 led to a reprimand from the watchdog Ofcom and an apology from the BBC.

It's a strange thing but the more the woke brigade push their brand of politically-correct and unfunny humour at us, the more I miss Les Dawson complaining about his mother-in-law, which he managed to do hilariously, with not a hint of malice or offence and without once using foul language. A happier, and much funnier, age.

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