Jack Whitehall, King of Comedy? Someone’s got to be joking

The British comedy awards wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Stuff the country’s best comedians into the same room and what do you get? 

Erm. Well, to be honest, a night that’s about as funny as Bruce Forsyth’s autocue.

Yep. It really was that bad.

There’s nothing worse than watching a comedian whose job it is to make people laugh trying to make people laugh. And failing. And this took it to new levels.

Gags that weren’t funny, sketches that weren’t funny, video messages that weren’t funny. Getting the theme?

Even Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy couldn’t raise a genuine smile.

His collection of crazy madcap movies can lighten any a dark mood. Think Elf, Zoolander, Blades of Glory?  And Anchorman is genius. Fact.

But this was bad. No, it was worse than that. It was embarrassing.

When James Corden announced that Ferrell couldn’t make it on the night but . . . “surprise, surprise, Ron Burgundy is here” . . . the signs of a decent sketch were all there.

The crowd cheered and the mood warmed. But the joke had worn off before he’d even got to the mic.

He cracked gags, slagged off himself and then launched into a bizarre Oscar-winning speech. But it was just cringeworthy.

The cameras tried desperately to pan to those in hysterics at his ramblings (presumably the laughing scenes were filmed in advance?) but they couldn’t help but pick up the confused faces of the majority quite clearly thinking: “What’s going on here?”

Jonathan Ross did his best to keep the night running smoothly.

He did the tried-and-tested controversy thing – poking fun at the Jimmy Savile scandal. “They’ve demolished Television Centre. It is now a building site and ironically it is now a far less dangerous place for children to play than ever before,” he said.

He made light of apartheid and David Cameron leaning in for a ‘selfie’ at the Nelson Mandela memorial service. 

Yawn. Tough target Jonathan.

He laughed in all the right places as if he was having a genuinely good time.

But he can’t have been, can he?

Miranda’s video message tried too hard, with all that “this is about me, nobody else” line, Nina Conti isn’t funny and Alan Carr was drunk. Although that did make me chuckle.

Credit to Lee Mack, who wrapped Wossy in a mouth mask and voiced an apology to Andrew Sachs (Yea, they’re still talking about it).

Thank the lord for Johnny Vegas, who at least raised some laughs with his  rant ahead of handing the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award to Paul Whitehouse.

There was an elephant in the room. And bless him, he hunted it down and shot it.

“Tonight is about what he has achieved and not me getting angry while I’m up here,” he ranted.

“It is not about the state of TV and the fact you won’t commission anything fresh.

“There are people in this room we don’t admire. There are people we don’t think should have won.  

“There is is stuff which has been pushed through because of finance and Channel 4 feeling like the little brother compared to the BBC.”

Hallelujah Mr Vegas. Thanks for saying what we’d all been thinking.

But then, in an era when Jack Whitehall is crowned the King of Comedy . . . what did we really expect?

Awards on the night: 

  • Best Comedy Panel Show – Would I Lie To You, 
  • Best Comedy Entertainment Programme – The Graham Norton Show, BBC
  • Best Sketch Show – Harry & Paul, BBC
  • Best Sitcom – Getting On, BBC
  • Best New Comedy Programme – Plebs, ITV2
  • Best Male TV Comic – Lee Mack, Would I Lie To You, BBC
  • Best Female TV Comic – Nina Conti  BBC
  • Best Comedy Entertainment Personality – Alan Carr, Alan Carr: Chatty Man, C4
  • Best Comedy Breakthrough – Adam Hills, The Last Leg, C4
  • Best TV Comedy Actor – Jack Whitehall, Fresh Meat ,C4
  • Best TV Comedy Actress – Miranda Hart 
  • International Achievement – Will Ferrell
  • Outstanding Achievement – Steve Coogan
  • The Writer’s GuildAward – Paul Whitehouse 
  • 2013 King of Comedy – Jack Whitehall

By Victoria Nash

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