Indolent Weighs In On Harry & Paul Skit

In case the shit storm hasn’t exploded yet, here’s a clip from BBC comedy Harry & Paul that is not so much racist as tasteless.

As I understand it, one British dude is trying to get some other British dude from the North to mate with a Filipina maid. It’s like getting a pug and a doberman to mate, I guess. The statement being, probably, that Northern Englishmen and Filipino maids are both strange species in the South of England. Or something like that.

The basic thing about comedy is presenting something familiar then shocking your audience by presenting something unexpected. Like this gem which is both tasteless and makes no sense when translated:

A: Bakit mas gusto ng mga lalaki ang mga babaeng galing Mindanao?

B: Bakit?

A: Kasi Mus-slim sila!

B: Acheche!

The set up leads your audience to think of some plausible reason for your assertion, girls from Mindanao are sweeter, say. And then you throw something unexpected like a bad pun. It’s like a rabbit punch, only funny.

Where the skit fails is not in that it is not shocking. Portraying a Filipina maid gyrating like a dog in heat on someone’s front yard is certainly shocking, as the wave of indignation that will come will certainly prove. It is not that it is not familiar. humping dogs, Englishmen and Filipina maids are not strange concepts. Putting them all together, though, is like smooshing together pizza and chocolate cake on the principle that since both are delicious individually, they’ll be doubly-delicious together.  This is a hypothesis that has been proven incorrect by intensive studies.

British comedian Rowan Atkinson has opined that one should be able to make fun of anything: religion, gays, people with disabilites, because the opposite would be the loss of free  speech. The Indolent Indio agrees on principle, but having a right does not guarantee that one will exercise it well.

Whether Harry & Paul is within the bounds of free  expression is debatable, and is probably a point of law. Whether the skit was funny is easier to answer: it was as funny as Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. But not in the parts that he was actually funny, but in the scenes where he was a violent mob hitman. It’s about as funny as Rex Navarette without the funny accents and anecdotes about Filipinos trying hard to fit into American society. Which would leave us with some husky Fil-Am guy. So, no, not really funny at all.

The next skit,though, the one where they make fun of Americans is pretty funny. “I’m American! Whoo!”

-OneTamad

4 Comments

  1. haven’t seen the clip, but from your description, it sounds like a pretty bad idea for a sketch. Not because of the race part, but simply because it makes no sense.

    I’ll have to see this myself.

    And yay for the Joe Pesci mention! The world needs more of Joe Pesci.

  2. I’m usually shallow, and yes midgets make me laugh. This sketch is unfunny, but certainly not racist as far as I’m concerned. Tasteless and tacky yes. Racist? Maybe not.

    On midgets — I’ve been dying to set up my own film company so I can go ahead and cash in on the gay midget porn market.

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