Making a bad impression

McGowan berates today's comedy

Alistair McGowan has laid into modern comedy, saying it's either too silly or too aggressive.

The 37-year-old says his impressions are not motivated by malice, and that he loves the fact that he is producing a family show.

He singled out Reeves and Mortimer for special criticism, suggesting their humour only appealed to drunks.

McGowan told the Radio Times: "There's an undercurrent of nastiness in a lot of comedy today. It's the same with life. You sense a surliness and wonder 'Why did that happen to this country?'

"I don't like phrases about comedy - 'cutting edge'. Harry Potter made me laugh more than something that's edgy. If my programme isn't cutting edge, I don't care.

"On Spitting Image we made viewers more apathetic by criticising everything. It's easy to do, but what were we offering instead?"

McGowan slated surreal comics Vic and Bob, branding them "silly".

He added: "It's the drinking culture - the fact that after a couple of pints viewers will find anything funny. I hope my show works when you are sober, and I love the fact that kids, parents and grandparents can watch."

The comic also gave an insight into why he went into performing, telling interviewer Andrew Duncan: "I've never told anyone this, but I was described as 'run of the mill' at school and I'm paranoid people will think I'm boring."

He added: "But I don't know how long I can continue. After every series I say I won't do another because I can't think of more jokes.

"The sadness of this job is that it takes over your brain and you lose touch. I hope I;m not tortured, but I find it hard to think about anything else."

Published: 17 Apr 2002

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