Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Liverpool: No longer funny

I spent some time on oxymorons recently. No sooner had the cyber-ink dried, as it were, than I came across another: "a comedy by Carla Lane". You will have to excuse me here. It is not that I don't like Liverpool (although the song "The Leaving of Liverpool" gets it about right). It is a very interesting city. Lots of history. People as good as you'd find anywhere in the UK, including Middlesbrough. But funny? I think not. Especially Carla Lane. "Liver Birds" and "Bread": gut-wrenchingly awful. "Butterflies": a little better but only because of Wendy Craig (born in Sacriston, County Durham; so not Liverpool then).
We went through years of Liverpool thinking it was the most comedic spot on the planet. Like every other city in northern England it has taken a battering through the years and that does breed a certain urban gallows humour but no more in Liverpool than anywhere else. In recent times its lack of a GSOH was revealed by Boris Johnson who was nearly lynched for suggesting that Liverpool had developed a "victim culture".
My worry is that, by writing this, the whole of Liverpool will revert to his stereotype and I'll have to "do a Boris" and go there to apologise.
That wouldn't be funny either.


fiona said...

As a Liverpudlian, I hereby do not call for you to be lynched. Though please do visit one day: Mother and Father M would be delighted to host you, I am quite sure. Jean Boht's sister lives round the corner, incidentally, speaking of "Bread". Perhaps Liverpool should now consider itself cultured rather than comedic, given the accolade of 2008? And is Carla Lane writing a new comedy? I was not aware.

fiona said...

Just as a follow-up, though, I have to say that "Blood Brothers", whilst obviously tragic in many ways, is also hysterically funny. Perhaps Willy Russell started off the comedy trend, and it went in a less amusing direction?