Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

How comics Ade Edmondson and Jim Davidson finally raised a laugh with pathetic slanging match

Sour grapes:   Jim Davidson
Sour grapes: Jim Davidson

It's a clash of the titans. No, the behemoths. No, the comedy legends. Er, no, actually, it's Jim Davidson mouthing off about Ade Edmondson, following the former Young One's victory on Celebrity Masterchef.

Wilde and Whistler it isn't.

Disgruntled Jim was still smarting about Edmondson's description of the genesis of alternative comedy: "Comedy on TV was mainly men in dickie bows telling racist and homophobic gags – they were all like Jim Davidson. It was kind of dull." (And no this doesn't include our own Frank Carson, whose material never carried the same sourness at its core. With Frank we always laughed with others, not at others).

Still, Jim wasn't going take that lying down and came roaring out of the traps: "Getting a slagging from the unfunniest man in the world is funny, eh? I've never liked that arrogant self-satisfied lefty, and I am so glad I get up his snooty nose. Imagine being a comedian and having a wife that is more talented, famous and funny?"

Disqualified. Too many low blows, Jim. Particularly the stuff about Edmondson's wife, Ab Fab writer Jennifer Saunders.

I'm no great fan of alternative comedy – I'll stick to Eric and Ernie, Brucie and The Good Life. And look at Edmondson's legacy: The Young Ones is now unbearable viewing. Ditto Filthy, Rich and Catflap (remember that one) and Bottom is, well, two sad men hitting each other. But while it is true Ade is no comedy genius (anybody remember Teenage Kicks?) neither is our Jim (Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, Home James and those 'adult pantos' Boobs in the Wood and SINderella).

And at least Edmondson has morphed – Griff Rhys-Jones-like – into a TV presenter, doling out little documentaries about Britain. In other words, the essence of inoffensiveness.

But Jim remains Jim – rising to the bait, chip on shoulder, angry about the "trendies" who virtually finished off his television career.

And you want to know the really funny thing about this dazzling exchange between a '70s has-been and an '80s has-been? They are both absolutely, positively right ...

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