Thursday 18 July 2013

Surely the period is over where it is funny to just say UKIP as part of a sentence on a panel show and it to be funny regardless of whatever the surrounding words are. I was catching up on episodes of The Infinite Monkey Cage when Marcus Brigstocke shoe-horned UKIP into what wasn’t – at that point – even a conversation.

Prof. Fay Dowker (top Manc) was asked to explain the nature of the expanding universe and she was saying how the rate of expansion is very quick so that the universe must have been a lot smaller in the past. At this point Brigstocke says:

Sorry, I have a question: Is the universe likely to keep on expanding and expanding or is it like UKIP and we hope that it’s just a blip [bit of talking over each other while she tries to carry on but he hasn’t finished making a trite point] …it gets bigger for a bit and then people just go ah that’s silly.

What a great point – and particularly relevant to a conversation in July about the cosmology of the universe. What a funny bastard.

Apart from anything else the joke is so poor that it actually made me like UKIP for a second. Given that UKIP’s opinion poll gains have now all reverted back to the Conservative Party – confirming that everyone who was mental enough to get behind UKIP was just a bored Tory not satisfied that the Tories were being mentally right-wing enough for a few months – it doesn’t even make much sense.

The tenor for his metaphor is UKIP whereas the vehicle is the universe for his comparison (three years at University for that linguistic gem  – and I still had to check it on Wikipedia); with  and the rise in popularity of UKIP the secondary tenor and the expansion the of the universe the secondary vehicle. See how uninteresting the linguistic analysis of his humour is? Well, that proves that it wasn’t funny – because linguistic analyses of jokes are generally hilarious.

It’s this kind of shit that puts me off panel shows, especially the ones that think they are funnier than they are (I mean every comedy news panel show apart from HIGNFY). There are some elements of an expanding universe which someone with a degree of imagination might go with a remark about UKIP . I don’t know just think of one yourself – something about how there is now further away for them to want immigrants to go…or something…it’s not as easy as Marcus Brigstocke makes it sound to be hilariously funny.

Bonus materials: Some ideas for when you can use Marcus Brigstocke’s Uni-UKIP-que brand of humour. NB: a lightly lubricated audience who think Michael McIntyre is hilarious will be a help if you’re looking for laughs.

  • someone asks you if you would like tea or coffee, reply: I bet UKIP would be popular and then not be popular because they’re idiots.
  • someone says hello to you, reply: I’d like to say hello to the departure of UKIP from mainstream British politics because they’re terrible.
  • someone asks you if you had a nice weekend, reply: it was mildly irritating on Friday and then was funny for a bit of Sunday, later on I got slightly worried about how well it was preparing before not giving a fuck about a minority of racists levitating between my weekend and the Tory party before ultimately going back to the Tory party – my weekend was a confused mix of a way of describing people who said they would vote UKIP and UKIP itself.
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