Back in the eighties, we had a TV show called Spitting Image. The show comprised of hideous caricatures of celebrities at the time. But the focal point was of the politicians of the era such as Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock and later John Major. Then there was “The Thick Of It” a comedy that poked fun at politics once more.
More recently we have seen Tom Walker with his hilarious turn as political broadcaster Jonathan Pie. The character has seen fantastic responses making him an online sensation and helping support tours of the UK that have been extremely well-received. Pie’s character is brilliantly passionate, British and inappropriate and it has drawn ire and praise in areas you wouldn’t expect.
What does he do?
The character is a newsreader who works for the BBC. In the midst of takes, when he assumes the camera isn’t rolling he talks to his cameraman, Tim. During these talks, he goes on monumental and topical political rants. Perhaps his most famous coming in the wake of the appointment of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. In this, he does not hold back on his criticism of the left of the political spectrum.
The left don’t all like him
Pie’s character is a liberal, or a “lefty”, but his rants quite often poke fun at people on the left. While Pie is supportive of the labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and quite obviously has his colours stuck to the mast with his outspoken views on the likes of David Cameron and Theresa May. He also spends a lot of time bemoaning the shaming culture of leftists. This has caused him to be quite divisive.
Paradoxically, quite often his views are praised by the opposite end of the spectrum. They tend to overlook the characters overarching view and instead focus on the attacks on fellow lefties. This is quite amusing. Of course, there are some on the left that just think that he is bloody brilliant.
Satire at its best
What is great about the character is that it can, and does take pot shots at both sides. It’s easy to see Jonathan Pie and just assume that it isn’t a character. He isn’t a caricature and you’d be forgiven for assuming that Johnathan Pie and Tom Walker were one and the same. Though this isn’t the case. Walker was a commentator on the general election, and given that lofty position, you’ll be relieved to know that his views and indeed his language were far more moderate than his characters.
Is there truth in what he says
I think this is why a subsection of lefties don’t like Pie. Because actually, he does speak a lot of sense. Sure some of his views are contentious but one of the underlying themes in the majority of his videos is the sanctioning of free speech. Morally his views are what you’d expect from an outstanding citizen but he argues that people, primarily those on the left, try and silence people who they disagree with.
Pie argues that even those with racist or sexist views should be allowed to espouse them. He bemoans the shaming of people based on their political ideals and promotes political discourse as a means to compromise. In one of his videos claiming “the art of debate is dead”.
Either way, Pie is definitely worth checking out. His many viral videos are viewable on YouTube and his amazing live show goes on tour again soon. If he is playing in a city near you I can well recommend it. Even if politics isn’t really your thing his rants about society and how it operates and his views on subjects such as white male privilege and cultural appropriation are thought-provoking and hilarious.