Well here's some Twitter hot news: I don't have a beard, I'm not a vegan, I don't wear sandals (unless they're Birkenstocks, of course), and I have, I think, a sense of humour. I also know something about comedy. It's true there are no hard fast rules; it's often down to judgment calls. It's safe to say, though, that you can get away with saying unsayable things if it's done with some sense of culpability.
I've been fortunate enough to work with the likes of Peter Baynham, Armando Iannucci, Chris Morris, Simon Pegg, Julia Davis, Caroline Aherne, Ruth Jones, and the Mighty Boosh – some of the funniest and most innovative people in British comedy. And Rob Brydon too.
It's a diverse, eclectic group of people with one common denominator: they could all defend and justify their comedy from a moral standpoint. They are laughing at hypocrisy, human frailty, narrow-mindedness. They mock pomposity and arrogance.
If I say anything remotely racist or sexist as Alan Partridge, for example, the joke is abundantly clear. We are laughing at a lack of judgment and ignorance. With Top Gear it is three rich, middle-aged men laughing at poor Mexicans. Brave, groundbreaking stuff, eh?
There is a strong ethical dimension to the best comedy. Not only does it avoid reinforcing prejudices, it actively challenges them. Put simply, in comedy, as in life, we ought to think before we speak.
Let me translate this self-righteous excerpt: "I only do politically correct jokes about white rich people and everything else is off-limits" Comedy rips into everything and everyone if there is something to mind. Comedy tears apart stereotypes but also is not afraid to call out anyone who engages in behavior that should be called out nevermind race, culture or gender.
Great Comedians are not afraid to go into areas most people fear to trend especially white comedians who these days limit themselves for fear of being branded insensitive.
This is why I find modern British comedy to be such a bore. Most of them stick to the generic durr durr lines about rich people or picking on Christians or just random white people who preening around the stage like Coogan with a false sense of superiority and self worth not measuring up to reality.
Praise to Top Gear and Screw people like Coogan.