8 out of 10 tw*ts

Last night, I did what thousands of other exiting 22-year-olds do - I sat on the sofa feeling jovial, full of food and too confused as to which present I should play with. I decided to watch the 8 out of 10 Cats Christmas special, yet I'm sad to say that it left me feeling even more confused and slightly more nauseated. This program is really starting to annoy me. 
Only last year, I referred to the show several times in my dissertation, which was based on political satire. I know, hard to believe, but just a mere year ago the program was referred to as a 'satirical' quiz show. Tell me, what is satirical about drinking whisky and taking the piss out of a shiny, bright green Jedward?
The show has this year has been humouring guests such as Stacey Solomon, a couple of prats from the Only Way is Essex and the aforementioned Irish half-wits (at least there's two of them, so the maths works out there).
After studying political satire for the best part of a year - I know that it goes a lot deeper than the simple argument of satirical television shows dumbing down by having on guests that appeal to a wider audience. But what annoys me is the pretence that 8 out of 10 Cats isn't stooping as low as the initial shows that the shit-for-brains guests came from in the first place. 
The inane decision to have annoying celebrities for the other guests to mock, instead of filling the time with jokes and satire, is incomprehensible. On the Christmas special of 8 out of 10 Cats, the first few minutes of Jedward-bashing was just about corner-of-the-lip-raisingly amusing. After 15 minutes of them interrupting with childish, attention-seeking remarks just made my blood boil. If I wanted to feel that annoyed I would have  gone to the library and gotten out a book with pages full of folded corners. 
Political satire is inherently clever- how can 8 out of 10 Cats prick the pomposity of politicians when half the guests don't even know where they are?
There's no doubt that serious television is giving way to 'infotainment', but there's a difference between easy jokes of a fat John Prescott or a posh Cameron and filling a panel with oxygen-stealing guests. The comedy seems to now be wholly derived from laughing at these guests - why does that require three of the best comedians in Britain? Take away Jimmy Carr, Sean Lock and Jon Richardson and throw in a few more Brian Dowlings and you have yourself the political satire of the future.  


  1. Yes, I entirely agree with you. I think the problem with political satire - well satire of any kind probably, is that you need to be a little bit .... how can I put it graciously.... clever .... to appreciate it.
    We're all used to lazy entertainment these days, but to 'get' satire you have to think and there's the rub.
    Satire isn't comedy. It's making fun of serious things (or it should be) in order to highlight their seriousness.
    I once a did a satirical piece about sick and disabled people being made to take tests to see if they could work. It was a popular post. But a few people took offence. How can you joke about sick and disabled people, they said me? The interesting thing was that disability activists retweeted the link, reposted it and shared it. They 'got' that I wasn't joking about it - but was trying to highlight a problem which I was in fact deadly serious about.
    A good example of cutting satire which is very often misunderstood is this one:
    It's shocking, uncompromising, and for those who 'get' it it's priceless. But look at the comments and you'll see just how many people don't get it. I love it.
    An excellent post BTW.

  2. Thank you! I completely agree, in terms of television I think satire is definitely on it's way out. That website is the perfect example of how TV execs would be scared of people reacting to anything satirical!

  3. It probably is on its way out - at the moment. But just as reading was said to be on the way out for kids until Harry Potter came along - maybe all it needs is some new good stuff to make it popular again?