Friday, September 04, 2009

My response to Decca Aitkenhead

For those of you who haven't read this lovely piece of work, you should before reading what's below...

Twatt Lucas, More Like...

by Aitka Dickenhead

The jowls opposite me wobble like two toads full of custard taped to a thin man's cheeks. I fear for a moment that the jowls are going to slide liquidly off the head of bald, Jewish comedian Matt Lucas, taking the rest of the skin with them, and leaving just two eyeballs staring out of an insecure skull.

When I replay the tape of my interview with the overweight, Jewish comedian, one thing really stands out: I am excellent at interviews. He is rubbish at them.

To be fair, it doesn't start well.

“Good morning,” he said, a thin line of sweat glistening on his bald brow. Yes, he's polite, but does sheer, biting misery force him to be polite? Fortunately, I have no such qualms.

I'm not meant to. I'm a hardbitten, no-nonsense, take-no-shit reporter for a tough paymistress. Yeah, fuck you. I'm an arts correspondent for The Guardian. To show the bald, overweight comedian quite how unimpressed by him I am I fart loudly. Unexpectedly. Brilliantly.

Does he say something funny in return? No, he coughs and changes the subject like he's embarrassed about having a middle-aged woman farting at him in a restaurant. He has no self-confidence. I think he might be gay,

If you're one of his millions of fans, I can only assume you haven't been exposed to good comedy, like the scintillating prose I craft for this very paper. Many people have said that my articles, on occasion, were 'quite funny'. And yet I don't have a series on BBC1. I don't have a career in films. Because I'm not bald or overweight.

Now he's staring at me like an accountant peering through a flesh-coloured life-preserver. Maybe it's not the 'done thing' to be typing this at the table, but you'd hope a so-called comedian would have a healthy disrespect for authority. I stand on the table and urinate into his soup. He says nothing, but I notice he doesn't eat any more of it. I think bald, Jewish comedian Matt Lucas is quite rude.

The moment he mentions thin, fully-haired non-Jewish comedian David Walliams, he suddenly is full of praise. Words tumble out of his head as if he meant them, and he seems genuinely and warmly affectionate. He is so insecure he even feels the need to pretend to like his friends. Or, what is even sadder, he might actually think he likes them.

It can't have been easy, growing up bald, overweight, and Jewish. In the maternity ward, the bald Matt Lucas must have waved looked at all the other babies – lithe, with full sets of teeth, and hair down to their shoulders – and begun to wave his tubby arms and wail. An act he would perfect for Shooting Stars, a programme he continues to want to work on.. I find myself pitying a grown man with the massive insecurities that could lead him to still admire someone and wish to work with them whilst in his mid-30s.

His adenoidal drone reminds me of everything that is wrong with comedy nowadays: it is written and performed by people who don't feel the need to constantly amuse me. Thoughtful, shy, and embittered people all now think they have the right to write comedy. Long gone are the fun-loving clowns, always ready with a quip or light-hearted anecdote. I'm thinking of the Spike Milligans, the Tony Hancockses, the Lenny Bruces. Song and dance men, who made your rotten heart soar.

“I think you are very boring, and this interview is making me want to puke my gall bladder into your lap in the hopes that you will do something entertaining.” I say, flicking his ears, spitting on a photograph of his mum. He seems shocked.

“I suppose you think I'm rude!” I bellow through a megaphone I have brought along for just such an eventuality, “You idiot!”

He smiles, with what would appear to be good grace, but is probably a murderous hatred born of many years being a sub-standard hack. It is the oleaginous smile of the rich, bald and overweight. And Jewish.

“No, it's probably just me,” He's right. It is him. “I'm a little tired at the moment from rehearsals-”

I cut him off by ramming my right elbow into his mouth, stifling anything more he has to say.

But I hope he's right. I hope he's tired from rehearsals. I do, truly, from the bottom of the calcified olive pit with which they replaced my heart, hope that he's not that insecure. I hope he's not a grasping, dusty nun's-quim of a human, whose only joy is belittling others. I do hope he's not that.

But I can't be sure.