Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Of Their Time

Brian Logan in the Guardian has been asking young comedians what they think of the late Bill Hicks- and it turns out they aren't hugely impressed. For one thing they're inclined to go "Who?" For another, his rock and roll stylings- the cowboy hat, the chain-smoking- are no longer remotely cool- and neither is the angry man persona. "If someone came on stage with that energy," says Chloe Petts, " You'd think, Oh my God! You're an arsehole." His act, she continues, " Is like mansplaining from start to finish. And we're a bit bored nowadays of that." 

Around the time I read the article I also came across a photograph of another famous controversialist of the Hicks era- a writer not a comedian- well, Christopher Hitchens if you must know- and he was gazily moodily into the lens with a cigarette in his fist and the collar of his raincoat turned up- as if against the raw winds of Chandler's mean streets- even though he was indoors- and I thought, "Oh , dear, oh dear, oh dear..."

These guys belong to our very recent yesterdays (well, they seem very recent to me) and in their time were hailed as brave and cutting edge- and now we're inclined to laugh at them- but not in any way they wanted us to.  

You can say, "Well, they were of their time"- and that would be very kind and understanding- but it doesn't get the dry bones up and dancing. 
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