And now for something completely diverse

Monty Python’s Flying Circus launched the stellar careers of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, leading ultimately to spinoffs such as The Goodies (Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor), Fawlty Towers (Andrew Sachs and Connie Booth) and also Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie who were associates of the group. That is an awful lot of comedic talent, and further spinoffs of a similar comedic nature came later, launching the careers of Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson and Griff Rhys-Jones.

Can you imagine life without Mr Bean or Blackadder? Or Manuel?

Well, if there are any similar aspiring comedians in the halls of Cambridge or Oxford, they can forget it. This from TheSunUK: Quote:

COMEDY classic Monty Python would be shunned by the BBC today because it’s “too white” and “too Oxbridge”, a former chief has admitted.

Stars John Cleese and Eric Idle began their successful TV careers while studying at Cambridge in the university’s theatre group Footlights.

But Shane Allen, former head of comedy at the BBC, claims shows like Monty Python wouldn’t be commissioned today as viewers crave sitcoms with a “sense of place”, The Times reports.

He said: “If we’re going to assemble a team now it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes, it’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world and have got something to say that’s different and we haven’t seen before.”

The ex-chief flagged up recent BBC Three sketch show Famalam, which has an all-black cast as an example of the corporation changing. End quote.

Since when has an all-black cast been more diverse than an all-white one? Quote:

But he insisted there is no ban on “posh people” appearing on TV. End quote.

Just white people then.  Quote:

He said: “It’s about telling stories that haven’t been told. When you look at the ones [recent comedies] that have done well they’ve got a really specific sense of place. End quote.

A sense of place? What exactly does that mean? Quote:

“If a sitcom comes in about three guys who move to London in a flatshare, the jokes feel quite familiar and it feels like you’re not breaking any new ground or telling or a new story, then that’s not interesting.” End quote.

 

That depends entirely on how it is written. Think about The Young Ones for a second. Another cast of white males. Most of that took place inside a very grotty shared flat. What sort of a “sense of place” was that? Are you seriously telling me it wasn’t funny? I’ll never forget the socks that were so bad they made their way to the laundry by themselves. Quote:

“It’s about how original the voice you have, rather than what school you went to.” End quote.

Monty Python was never about the school (or university) that they went to. If you remember, Eric Idle had quite a Cockney accent. It was about brilliant ideas, good writing and amazing comedic talent. That is what all great comedy is about.

There are some fantastic black comedians: think Chris Rock, Lenny Henry, Eddie Murphy. These guys made it in comedy because they were good, and not because someone decided they had to have a black comedian rather than a white one. Quote:

It comes as the BBC unveiled a string of new comedy programmes fronted by female and ethic minority comedians. End quote.

You knew it was coming, didn’t you? “Female and ethnic minority comedians.” Talent is not important; it is diversity that counts.

Well, how is this for diversity?

The photo below is from The Huffington Post, sharing a back-room view of the editors’ meeting, meant to demonstrate how diverse they are at the Huff Post.

Well, tell me what you think of their idea of diversity?

One of those women right at the back of the room might be Asian. Might. I’m not absolutely sure.

 

Give me Monty Python and Blackadder any day.

 

 

I mean, every episode was exactly the same, wasn’t it?


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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