Dirty Sexy Funny? Two out of three IS bad...

Currer Ball on Olivia Lee's Comedy Central show

I saw Olivia Lee's Dirty Sexy Funny on Comedy Central the other night. Congratulations if you’ve managed to dodge that bullet. I mean, the title sort of gives it away. It’s like the bloke who wears that stupid T-shirt with the Superman logo brazenly emblazoned across the front (just a trifle ironic considering how average this bloke always is). But really he’s doing us a favour. Because that big red and yellow ‘S’ isn’t really a symbol, it’s a warning. It’s only one letter but it says so much more, ie ‘let’s never hang out’. And it’s the same with Dirty Sexy Funny. The text: plain old ‘Dirty Sexy Funny’. The subtext: ‘Don’t watch this; sounds really shit’.

But this week, I caved in. Late night channel hopping’s my only defence. It was either Dirty Sexy Funny, pornography, or documentaries about pornography – at 1.30am, Dirty Sexy Funny was, quite breathtakingly, the moral choice.

Moral but appalling. I mean, even worse than I had expected. Even worse than that title had suggested.

Dirty Sexy Funny – let’s consider this for a minute. Dirty? Yeah, I’ll give you that. Excrement-themed skits aplenty with Olivia. So risqué.

Also, an enlightening social experiment-exposé about how lads in nightclubs sneak peeks at girls’ semi-exposed breasts – just because Olivia’s funny and profound. And then you’ve got the pre-series promotional poster that had Lee hovering over a urinal simulating bladder relief. It’s funny because women don’t use urinals, you see. The girl’s groundbreaking. Tearing down all the established norms of comedy (And decency – because decency’s such an embarrassing taboo that’s got to be blown apart even though nobody’s able to explain exactly why).

Sexy? Regrettably, yes. Lee’s a good-looking girl (and so it all becomes clear how she got her own show) and I’m only a man with unsophisticated instincts.

Finally, funny? Sorry, did you say funny? Whoa! About turn! Hold the phone! Screw back for the blue! Funny? What, as in an-average-bloke-in-a-Superman-T-shirt ironic way, right? No, Olivia’s being serious. She actually thinks that she’s funny. So much so, she feels that she has to declare it. Because that’s the hallmark of a funny person: the need to prove it, not by writing good material but by telling everyone how funny you are.

How about a name change? How about: Dirty Sexy Funnier Than Balls Of Steel, Lee’s previous television credit, equally impressive in its ability to encapsulate everything that’s horrible about our baselessly confident, narcissistically decadent, and lazily nasty youth culture. Oh, Olivia! Thank you! Thank you so much for your positive contribution to society!

If sadomasochism’s your bag, Dirty Sexy Funny’s necessary viewing... and you might want to check out Alex Zane’s Rude Tube while you're at it.

  • Read Currer Ball's blog here

Published: 26 May 2010

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