I went to see Steve Coogan, who is touring the country with his tour Alan Partridge and less successful characters, at the Theatre Royal in Norwich last night. Before hand I heard that his tour had not met with universal applause when in Liverpool last week he was booed and some people walked out.
So I was slightly surprised to find out, as I watched the show, the element of the show they apparenty disliked. During the Paul Calf sketch, he sung a song where he makes a comment about scousers stealing things. Hold the back page, a comedian makes a stereotype comment when playing a character who is supposed to by a drunk benefit scrounging layabout and Liverpool people take offence ? Couldn't they see that the joke was on the character Paul Calf because everything he was saying about Scousers was true of himself ?
People go on about the Scouse sense of humour, but it appears to be that they don't get irony.
The strange thing is that in Norwich, with the Alan Partridge segment of the show, the show went down an absolute storm. Remember, there have been elected politicians in Norfolk moaning about Alan Partridge's portrayal of Norwich and Norfolk (I would ask you to note that they are Tory politicians who also seem to have had a sense of humour by-pass). Yet the people of Norfolk love the way that although slightly lampooned, it is Alan Partridge who comes of worse, not Norfolk. Again, like Paul Calf, read between the lines and irony of the humour always makes the character seem the fool.
So the next time someone mentions the famous Scouse sense of humour, perhaps they too are being ironic.