Delingpole: When Comedians Stop Being Funny…

Robert Webb arrives at a Memorial Celebration For Geoffrey Perkins at Her Majesty's Theatre on February 06, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
Tim Whitby/Getty

Today I am launching an appeal on behalf of a former British comedian called Robert Webb.

Unless you live in the UK you probably won’t have heard of him. But in his day he was very funny – first as part of the double act Mitchell and Webb, later in the even funnier series Peep Show (which really was much better than the travesty of a U.S. remake, honest).

Anyway, sadly, those days of being funny are long behind him. Poor Webb has fallen victim to a disease which has ravaged the global comedic community so cruelly and on such a scale that it could probably provide Tony Kushner with enough material to write another Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

This disease comes in several ugly mutations.

There’s the basic form – Cleese’s Disease – where you started out funny but you haven’t been for years because you now take yourself far too seriously.

There’s Schumer-Degeneres Syndrome, where you probably weren’t that funny to start with but you’re definitely even less funny now that you’ve become obsessed with hating your own white privilege.

There’s Linehan Complex, where your youthful frivolity has mutated into hideous arrogance and bitterness and extreme self-righteousness which leads you to lash out viciously on social media at anyone who doesn’t share your impeccably woke SJW politics.

Robert Webb, poor chap, has managed to contract all three variants of the disease at once.

You can see it manifesting itself in the tweet below. Sadly the original is no longer available because Webb deleted it, but here it is captured in a screenshot.

It says:

“I didn’t go to Cambridge because I was clever. I went because I was a white male from a stable family who encouraged me to work hard at an excellent state school. That’s all privilege. All of it. You thick Oxford twat.”

That last insulting phrase – admittedly not as rude in English English as it is in American English, but still quite rude – was directed at TalkRadio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Her crime? Apparently, it was that she didn’t feel embarrassed enough about her white privilege. Instead of being eaten up with self-loathing for having got a place to study at Oxbridge, Hartley-Brewer thinks she deserved her place there because she is clever.

Hartley-Brewer, in other words, cleaves to the disgraceful and discredited orthodoxy that the job of Oxford and Cambridge is to educate the world’s brightest and best without fear or favor.

Webb, on the other hand, knows that their main function these days is social engineering. That’s why he can afford to be so rude to Hartley-Brewer: because he understands that people who believe in elitist, reactionary stuff like equality of opportunity, academic rigour and not discriminating against people for being say, white, or middle class, or clever are scum – and should be told they are scum in no uncertain terms.

As you can tell, Webb’s sense of burning social justice has filled him with powerful emotions. Emotions so powerful indeed that they have tragically overwhelmed every last vestige of the wit, likeability or self- awareness he may once have enjoyed.

This is why I am raising money for poor Robert. Please donate generously.

£35 will buy the box set of the complete Peep Show. In it Webb plays Jeremy – a puerile, lazy, selfish, devious, manipulative failed musician slacker character. Perhaps he could learn from him. Jeremy is infinitely more likable and funnier than the dreary, pontificating, SJW mangina Webb has now decided to be in real life.

£50 approx will buy Robert a foot spa and a very large box of chocolates, as traditionally used by womenfolk to soothe their nerves. As he explains in laborious detail in his book How Not To Be A Boy, Robert is ashamed of conventional male behavior. So the spa and chox therapy should help him get even more deeply in touch with his feminine side than he is already.

£100 will pay for a session at a spray-on tan salon. At least, when he looks in the mirror he might be able to forget for just a few fleeting moments his self-hatred at the tragedy of having been born white.

£600 will buy a flight to the U.S. to meet Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King. King can surely give Webb tips on how to become black even when you’ve been born with the handicap of white skin.

£27,000 will buy a course doing Gender Studies at London Met, Worcester, Plymouth Marjon or any of Britain’s less well-known universities. This will help Webb overcome his embarrassment at having once been allowed into Cambridge – which, we can now all agree, he totally did not deserve.

£0 – I’m throwing this one in for free – will buy Robert Webb a horsewhipping on the steps of his club. Not that he probably has a club, evidently not being a gentleman. We can all be rude occasionally on Twitter. I got into no end of trouble once when I referred disobligingly to some leathery hag from a left-wing newspaper using a somewhat ungallant sexual metaphor. But even at my worst moments, I don’t think I’ve ever addressed a comment directly to a woman calling her a “thick twat”. Isn’t this exactly the kind of boorish behavior that Webb spent a whole book telling us men shouldn’t engage in? Or does Webb think – and I fear the answer here is a bloody enormous YES – that anyone on the right side of the argument, as Julia Hartley-Brewer mostly is, should be exempt from common courtesy because all right wing people are evil?



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