Operation Yewtree and popular comedy

July 2, 2014 at 7:29 pm (comedy)

Guest post by Robin Carmody

One of the most important aspects of the Yewtree reckoning is this:- during the 2000s decade, a whole style of humour which peaked during the 1970s and had been deprecated as sexist was rehabilitated and sold to a new generation by a questionable set of “refreshingly politically incorrect” (their words, not mine) comedians and comedy writers/performers. A certain set of people could barely control their relief and joy at it. Yewtree denialists on anorak forums almost always revered Lucas & Walliams, Jimmy Carr et al for “bringing back proper comedy and pissing off those Leftie do-gooders”.

It is the main reason for the recent upsurge of blatant, casual, unthinking sexism in universities and colleges. For most of its audience, its supposed inverted commas no more existed than they would have done for most of the Benny Hill or ‘On the Buses’ audience the first time round. But even beyond that, Yewtree must surely mark the end of it, because it makes the original 1970s stuff seem nastier and creepier than ever and thoroughly justifies everything that was felt about it on the broad Left of British humour during the 1980s. It’s as if several key figures of 1960s/70s rock music had been found out just after Britpop, only a lot worse.


  1. Operation Yewtree and popular comedy | OzHouse said,

    […] Jul 02 2014 by admin […]

  2. Mike Killingworth said,

    Is the last sentence an attempt at “politically incorrect” humour?

  3. Howard Fuller said,

    I remain an unrepentant fan of Carry On films, Benny Hill, On the Buses, Around the Horne and more that I grew up with in the sixties and seventies.

    Ooer missus.

    • Jim Denham said,

      The ‘Carry On’ films are tedious, laboured and generally desperately unfunny. Benny Hill was a talented comedian who allowed himself to be typecast and locked into a an increasingly tiresome and formulaic persona. On the Buses? You are pulling our collective plonker, aren’t you, Howard? It’s simply painful to watch now, and – franky – was even at the time.

      But Round The Horne: now you’re talking!

  4. Rosie said,

    I listen to Round the Horne on Radio4 Extra and laugh my head off. I didn’t catch it the first time round. On the Buses – I’ve seen 5 minutes of it, and it’s garbage. Carry On films – agree with Jim. Ditto Benny Hill, though my mother loved his naughtiness in a slightly shame-faced way.

    • Howard Fuller said,

      Well I like the Carry on Team! Don’t forget to try the Navy Lark on BBC4 Extra, thats one of my faves to.

      • Mike Killingworth said,

        My God – you’re all as old as I am… has there been anything amusing since, say, 1960?

  5. Rosie said,

    @ Mike Killingworth – the Goodies (I still crack up when I think of Kitten Kong); Monty Python; Goodness Gracious Me; Black Books.

    • Mike Killingworth said,

      Rosie, do you like “Friday Night Dinner”? If you haven’t given it a try…

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