Sunday, 12 December 2010

Probably shouldn't. Will though.

Here's the tweet:

'Piers Morgan: Breaking News- I'm now a twit! Official!'

Here's the joke we did about it, as broadcast:

'Just a 'twit', Piers? I think you're being a little gentle on yourself there'

Here's something I saw when I was daft enough to google the show:

'Cynical, useless, stupid, lazy dog-shit. Piers Morgan said he was "a twit", and you seriously think it's acceptable to make a joke out of how closely that word resembles "twat"? Write some material! '

Thing is, I don't think we did do the 'it sounds like twat' joke. Do you? I can see a joke about the mildness of the word 'twit'. I can see an implication that Morgan might use a more insulting word to describe himself. It's not a woofer- there have been better jokes in history- but I quite like the way it leaves the audience to join the dots. It's undoubtedly a 'fill in your own punchline' joke, an ellipsis.

What I can't see is a joke about how closely 'twit' resembles 'twat'. That's pure projection.

Of course, it could be said that I'm overreacting to one misinterpretation of one joke in one episode of one show. But it's actually a spot-on example of one of the ways this wonderful, horrific internet works. People who don't like the things you say, for whatever reason, will happily ascribe to you all kinds of motives and motivations which they may utterly believe, but will nonetheless be light years from the truth- so that, for example, a gag which scrupulously avoids a particular word ends up being accused of the precise opposite.

I didn't write the gag in question, in case you think I'm being personal and precious, but the horrid thing about doing stuff on the telly is that sometimes people will think your work is 'useless', and 'stupid', and 'dog-shit', and they'll be entitled to their opinion. As an adult you have to deal with that, even though it makes you want to wail like a kid.

I love the show I'm working on at the moment, I think it's really rather good- but I have to be grown-up enough to accept that some people will love it and some will hate it. Indeed, I *know* that some people love it and some hate it. And that's fine.

But it's not fine to be called lazy and cynical, because I'm not, and nor are any of the people I'm working with. So, you know, say it's not funny if you like. Say it's useless dogshit. But I think you have to stop there. You can't call us corrupt. And if you do, make sure that the gag you find so unacceptable is the gag that was actually being made.