When The Mash Report started I was really excited, hopeful for a razor sharp, banging new satire show. But I gave up after two programmes… partly because, as my wife said: ‘This isn’t nearly as funny as it thinks it is’. We’d stumble across it occasionally after that, and she would say: ‘This still isn’t as funny as it thinks it is.’ Before making me switch over.
Having said that, some of the Rachel Parris one-off pieces were very funny indeed and it was also at its most interesting and challenging with some of the Geoff Norcot exchanges. So I felt fine not enduring the whole thing live, just waiting for the occasional good bits (mainly Rachel Parris) to pop up as viral clips on FB or Twitter. But overall it had an alienating self-righteous smugness about it which had me reaching for the remote.
Satire at its best is surprising, exciting, dangerous and, most of all, challenging. Satire that assumes you agree with it – even if you do, especially if you do – is irksome and self satisfied. The Mash Report was, disappointingly, too often the latter.
Sooo…. is its axing a sign of right wing censorship at the BBC because Director General, Tim Davie, apparently, has his tongue glued to Boris’s backside and his aunt’s cousin’s poodle once shagged the Shitzu belonging to a Tory donor’s cleaner? The Daily Telegraph seemed to think so (but since when did I believe everything I read in The Daily Telegraph?) and so did lots of social media commentators running around like headless chickens waving their hands in the air and shouting THE NAZIS ARE COMING!!!
Fact is, I have no idea. If it was axed for political reasons then that is greatly concerning, but I haven’t seen any proof of that as yet beyond conjecture, supposition, paranoia etc. But if the Nazis are coming and it is a right wing putsch at the BBC, it’s even more concerning – because it should have been axed for not being good enough. (That’s satire, by the way).
A show doesn’t have a right to air time because I broadly agree with its political standpoint.
Either way, I’m struggling to mourn its passing because I’m hoping for something better. And as the late, great Peter Cook once observed, the comedy of Beyond the Fringe was heavily influenced by the German Cabaret of the 1930s that did so much to stop the rise of Hitler.