Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Interviewing the Mash...

Spiked Online has an interview with Neil Rafferty of the excellent Daily Mash.
The Mash is the brainchild of Scottish journalists, Neil Rafferty and Paul Stokes. After meeting on a failed Scottish business paper, Rafferty and Stokes searched for a project that allowed them to indulge their shared sense of humour. ‘We saw a gap in the market, that the UK didn’t have an equivalent to [the US satirical news site] The Onion’, says Rafferty. ‘It had satire—Private Eye is a satirical institution, but the Eye didn’t have a very strong online presence at all. And secondly, while the Eye still hits the mark, I guess it’s that upper-sixth common room sense of humour, which you either like or don’t like. There was the opportunity to do something very topical with a more modern sense of humour.’

The Mash mixes the topical edge of the Eye with the lewdly adult humour of student favourite Viz and a healthy dose of the absurd. But it also has an edge in being written by people who absolutely cannot stand the current government one little bit. As Rafferty puts it, the Mash is ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes, with swearing.’

The Mash is funny whereas I don't think that the Eye is, in general. Admittedly, their satire of Gordon Brown and the Age of Change has been spot on but, in general, the Daily Mash definitely has the edge.

The interview is worth reading also for the kickings doled out to Rory Bremner ("a talented mimic, but his take on the world is tediously predictable") and irritating Marcus Brigstocke ("the worst example of the lazy art of ‘topical’ comedy"). Apparently, the latter was recently described—by Antonia Quirke in the New Statesman—as...
... truly the unfunniest arse in the universe… [whose delivery] just assumes the audience will be complicit in the utterly bog-standard, unsurprising bit of wafty liberal observation that is coming out of his mouth. Funny people don’t do this.

One cannot really disagree with that assessment...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd never actually heard of Marcus Brigstocke before reading this post.

Now that I've finished reading it, I doubt I'll ever hear of him again.

Henry Crun said...

Agree on Brigstocke, he is an unfunny, preachy cunt.

Bishop Hill said...

Henry

He's not that good.

Rog said...

Thank God, I thought I was alone in hating the loathsome arse.

bob said...

Thanks for the link to the Mash.

That Brigstock is a right cunt so can't disagree there.

Dave said...

I love the Mash! It makes my day- every day.

Jim Callaghan said...

How come Brigstocke has got away with this for so long? To be honest I sussed him a long time ago and wrote an article for another online satirical rag about him then. Can't remember its name now tho.

Old Holborn - bitter and twisted said...

I subscribe to Private Eye. Have done for the past 25 years.

Apparently, MI5 receive a list of all subscribers as potential "subversives".

I'd pay twice as much just to be on that list.

Ro said...

A good friend pointed me recently in the direction of The Mash and I've yet to find a way to thank her adequately.

I love Private Eye too but they are completely different animals. The fact that The Mash is updated more regularly means it's more topical and I can get a laugh from The Mash with a quick glance.

Private Eye is a little more demanding and, of course, packs hard news amid the satire. In fact, if I'm honest, I read Private Eye as much for the serious journalism as the satire.

Barnsley Bill said...

The mash.. Brilliant, and my wife thanks you as well. Another weekend as a blog widow awaits her.

Little Black Sambo said...

And MARK STEELE, don't forget him. Loathsome through and through.