Crazier than Christmas: Is Brexit killing comedy? - The Post

Crazier than Christmas: Is Brexit killing comedy?

Boris’s credentials are like unicorns: they don’t exist (photo: Ilovetheeu)
June 22nd, 2019 5:51 am| by Vivienne McKee

I wrote a show called ‘Killing the Danes’ in which I posed the question that if Danes are so damnably happy, why are there so many unsmiling faces around?

Nation at Land’s End
To many of my Danish friends, the country that offers the best humour is Britain. Think Monty Python, Eddie Izzard and, for that matter, any joker in the pub.

But it’s been a challenge lately. Trump comedy has eclipsed other targets – particularly Brexit. Even the jokes about the Conservative government’s uselessness have dried up. The idea of Brexit is simply too depressing and nobody seems to understand it anyway. Even the word is weird, and it didn’t help when Theresa May explained: “Brexit means Brexit.”

It is said that history often repeats itself – the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Britons feel they are living through both as the country navigates its way out of the European Union.

Who needs comedians?
Many of the mistakes have been tragi-farcical. For example, the government gave a post-Brexit contract to bring in supplies to a company that was discovered to have no ships. And it pledged to replace red European passports with British blue ones and then gave the contract to a Franco-Dutch company.

Most laughably of all perhaps, it promised to forge trade deals with 73 countries, but only ten are in place (including one with the Faroe Islands, so there will be lots of Sarah Lund sweaters to go around).

Meanwhile, Brits are making their table plans for dinner so that hard and soft Brexiteers do not sit together and ruin the evening. And, as ridiculous as it may sound, Boris Johnson may yet be made prime minister.

Taking on Brexit
Comedy professionals are uneasy with the subject of breakfast … I mean Brexit. I managed to squeeze one reference into last year’s Crazy Christmas Cabaret, ‘Fogg’s Off’, with a new text to Adele’s song ‘Hello’ (see box).

Recently the best comedy about Brexit has come from the public. At the anti-Brexit march in London, the slogans were hilarious, ranging from “Even IKEA makes better cabinets” and “I’m never gonna give EU up” to “The only single market I will give up is Tinder.”

British people are a real melting pot, so when one million of them are seen in one day with this kind of humour, it is uplifting.

No wonder the EU is sorry to see us go. Not just for the economic and political reasons, but because Britain offers other nations an example of how to laugh at themselves.

I have decided this year to take on the Brexit challenge. My Crazy Christmas Cabaret show is called ‘The Three Brexiteers’. I hope it will offer the chance for those ‘happy’ Danes to finally break into a smile because it will be “all for fun, and fun for all”.


Hello from the No-Brexit side.

Our lives have been a bumpy ride.

Just months to go, and there’s no end in sight.

Hard Deal or Soft, but a No Deal’s not right.

Hello, we should have foreseen this. 

We’ve lost all our Polish cleaners.

Let’s vote again, and we must be hasty.

I’m so afraid I won’t eat Danish pastry … anymore. 

Vivienne McKee

Vivienne McKee, Denmark’s best-known English entertainer, is this country’s most beloved foreign import. Over the last 36 years, hundreds of thousands of Copenhageners have enjoyed her annual Crazy Christmas Cabaret show at Tivoli, marvelling at her unique, wry Anglo wit and charm.