Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe - Manuel Gate [Series 4 Episode 1]

Uploaded by blahblahblahblah on 17.08.2009

Yeah. Uh-huh.
OK. Yeah.
Right. OK. Yeah.
I f-BLEEP!-d your grand-daughter. All right?
Hello. I'm Charlie Brooker and you're watching Screenwipe, a programme all about television.
You know, a lot's happened since we were last on air.
Jesus Hussein Christ was elected leader of the free world,
the economy disappeared - more on that later -
and, perhaps most significantly of all, the Wispa bar was relaunched.
But none of these events really captured the public's imagination like one other thing,
one very stupid thing.
# I'd like to apologise for these terrible attacks
- # Andrew Sachs - Bom, bom, bom-bom-bom
# I'd like to show contrition to the max
- # Andrew Sachs - Bom, bom, bom-bom-bom... #
Yes, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made a deeply misjudged prank call to national treasure Manuel Sachs,
which was so hilarious, thousands of people were confused by its sheer brilliance and got angry instead.
The resulting row had everything - outrage, swearing, a Satanic Slut
and a long-haired Dickensian dicking-machine.
It also highlighted the yawning generation gap that threatened to tear the nation asunder.
Spunky Five News went to a place where they know what's funny to prove old people hated it.
'After all, this town was the setting for the TV show, Last Of The Summer Wine.'
- I would say it disgusts me, really. - I think they should be sacked.
Whereas irritating young people couldn't see any problem with it at all.
They've both apologised.
They've said that it's a paltry apology,
but they're comedians - they kind of don't apologise properly, anyway.
For several surreal days,
the story was draped all over the news like a silly tarpaulin.
Even when Manuel tried to calm things down, it continued to shunt lesser stories down the agenda.
He accepts the men's apologies and does not wish to take the matter any further.
I'm not going to take it anywhere.
I'm not out for revenge, or anything like that...
- 'Also tonight, tens of thousands of refugees on the move across eastern Congo.' - Yeah, whatever(!)
This was a perfect storm which largely rolled out of control
because the BBC was too slow to act.
Well, come on. It did happen in half-term week, after all!
It left a vacuum in which the papers had a field day, but why did they bother?
Well, apart from hating Jonathan Ross and the licence fee and young people like Russell Brand,
there's another reason. Newspapers are a dying format.
With the internet and 24-hour news channels, no-one really reads them for news any more.
That's why there's more emphasis on celebrity gossip and crucially campaigns,
and a campaign against TV is the gift that keeps on giving.
I work in both papers and TV, so I feel I can say with some authority
that the papers are full of it.
They fill their pages with shit and garbage on a daily basis,
padding out their sad, obsolete little platforms with scare-mongering bigotry
or life-wrecking scandal stories or fusty preaching
or intrusive photographs of some pop starlet lurching out of a nightclub at 2am, with her tit hanging out of her blouse,
taken by some fat-arsed paparazzi scumbag you wouldn't even want to shake hands with
in case his Peeping-Tom shittery was somehow catching.
They actually pay these massive arseholes,
and then they've got the temerity to turn round and have a pop at TV
the minute anything vaguely untoward appears onscreen. Well, f-BLEEP! 'em!
Having tasted blood, some corners of the press became hungry for more.
Suddenly everything of questionable taste was fair game as they cried foul over every youth-skewed TV comedy show on television.
Things reached a surreal nadir
when Director-General Mark Thompson had to go on Newsnight and listen to Emily Matliss recounting lines from Mock The Week.
"I'm now so old my pussy is haunted."
In days of yore, viewers who were offended by something
used to call the station and leave messages which were duly entered into the duty log
for producers to laugh about the next day.
Or they joined Mary Whitehouse's Clean Up TV campaign,
in which case, everyone laughed at them.
But viewers have grown accustomed to influencing TV directly,
thanks to exciting models of democracy like the X Factor
giving them the right to choose between a pauncy howling cabaret dad
and a peeled Jamie Oliver foetus.
As a result, thousands of joyless cry-babies have learned to treat the whole of TV as a reality show
in which they can vote off things they don't like by complaining to Ofcom, whether they saw the broadcast or not.
Before long, they'll want special complaint buttons on their remotes.
Wa-a-a-ah! Wa-a-a-ah! I saw something bad on the telly! Wa-a...
I didn't even actually see it, but I read about it and it looked bad, so wa-a-ah!
That's why even a harmless joke from Jeremy Clarkson
about the merciless slaughter of sex-workers
can provoke a media storm.
Change gear, check your mirrors, murder a prostitute, change gear, murder...
That's a lot of effort in a day.
The trouble with all this is that if we're not careful,
TV, and the BBC in particular, might over-react in a bid to placate the mooing mob
and one misjudged phone call could end up being used as a stick
to beat all TV comedy with.
The Beeb's promising to take a look at the way edgy shows are vetted
prior to transmission, and that might affect all comedy output, including this show.
But there's nothing new about tasteless shock humour,
as a trip to 1970 will verify.
Monty Python delighted in pushing the boundaries,
even mocking audience outrage at their own show
in this gloriously tasteless sketch in which John Cleese visits an undertaker to arrange his mother's funeral.
Well, there are three things we can do with your mother -
we can burn her, bury her or dump her.
Dump her?!
- Dump her in the Thames. - What?!
Where is she?
She's in this sack.
She looks quite young.
Yes. Yes, she was.
- Fred? - Yeah? - I think we've got an eater.
- AUDIENCE SHOUTS AND BOOS - What? - I'll get the oven on.
Are you suggesting eating my mother?
Yeah. Not raw - cooked!
I really don't think I should.
Look, tell you what.
We'll eat her. If you feel a bit guilty about it afterwards,
we can dig a grave and you can throw up in it.
See? Absolutely horrible, and that was 38 years ago.
If the broadcaster had been prissy, we'd never have seen Python, just like we'd never have seen any of the following.
The grimy humour of Steptoe And Son.
B-U-M - bum.
Just look at that board - it's disgusting!
The ground-breaking satire of Not The Nine O'Clock News...
Savage, why do you keep arresting this man?
He's a villain, sir.
- A villain? - And a jailbird, sir. - I know he's a jailbird, Savage!
He's down in the cells now.
We're holding him on a charge of possession of curly black hair and thick lips.
..the anarchic silliness of The Young Ones,
shot at a time when the mere sight of a tampon was shocking.
It's a telescope!
A telescope with a mouse in it! Brilliant!
..Near-the-knuckle sketches in The Day Today...
# Uzi like a metal dick in my hand
# Magazine like a big testicle gland. #
You've got to kill people... to have respect for people.
..Or the potty-mouthed political humour of The Thick Of It.
I will remove your iPod from its tiny nano-sheath
and push it up your cock
and then I'll plug some speakers up your arse
and put it onto shuffle wi' my fucking fist!
Start censoring, or even self censoring,
and you can wave goodbye to all of that.
Yes, there's a lot of lame shock humour around, but that's price you pay for freedom of speech,
and in my view, it's a price worth paying.
So next time a raging crowd starts complaining retrospectively to Ofcom,
how about establishing some kind of counter-complaint system
by which those who aren't offended can cancel out each complaint with a counter-complaint of their own.
Who knows? We might sail somewhere close to sanity together, as a people, in metaphorical boats...
That's the end of this bit.
Now there's another bit.