Is Comedy The New Rock ‘N’ Roll? By AFC Baggy

By AFC Baggy
Edited by Lewis Calvert

Listening to some of the younger comedians on the circuit – and a lot of wannabee comedians hanging around comedy bars – it seems that there is an opinion held out there that comedy could be considered “the new rock’n’roll”, with comedians set to be the next generation of rock stars.

Now with certain people I can see that (or could do a couple of years ago) with the likes of Russell Brand, Noel Fielding and Ross Noble leading the way as poster boys for the asexual (and sexual) generation – but apart from that? Frankie Boyle? Jason Manford? John Bishop? Adam Rowe?… Poster boys? I don’t think so.

I see rock stars as people whose posters you’d put up on your wall and who you wouldn’t say no to if they offered you a ‘nightcap’ back at the hotel after a gig.

Can you really see Peter Kay up on a wall alongside Kurt Cobain, Joe Strummer (ask your dad, kids!) Adam Ant (your mum), Pete Doherty and Harry Styles? For a start it would take a lot of Bluetack to hold the poster up.

But what about the other bits of the lifestyle and performances?

If you go and see a band, you want to hear some of their greatest hits like Wonderwall, Look Back in Anger, Back For Good, Patience, Relight My Fire, That’s What Makes You Beautiful etc…..THAT is rock’n’roll. You don’t go to see Frank Skinner and have people shouting out requests from the back: “Tell us the one about the polar bear and the garden gnome.” Comedians don’t do requests.

Bands release “Greatest Hits” albums (or record companies do) when they can’t be arsed writing anything new. When was the last time you heard a comedian say: “Ay. Here’s one I first told back in the Frog and Bucket back in ’02. It’s one of my favourites and hope it’s one of yours”?

At a music gig you want to hear someone do the odd cover here and there like the Kaiser Chiefs do and the Beautiful South used to. You don’t hear Jack Dee saying “Here’s a little joke made famous by Billy Connolly. I hope you like it.” (Mind you, you do hear comedians do jokes that they have ‘borrowed’ off another comedian ‘by accident’. That makes for a good conversation afterwards!)

And then there’s guest appearances; when someone famous who was just passing by decides to make an appearance on stage. How does that work with comedy? “Ladies and gentleman, on punchline, Chris Ramsey.”

So that’s your rock’n’roll stardom vs comedy stardom question dealt with.

Comedy- the new rock’n’roll? Bollocks. I rest my case. Goodnight…and may your God go with you.

So is comedy the new rock n roll?

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