Socialist standup comedy that isn't always funny but is always eye-opening
Mark Thomas's show is a mix of standup, satire and political expose. Each week his team focuses on a different `cause' or case of injustice, or big business covering up etc. Examples include political transparency, data protection, nuclear waste treatment, adverts in school books etc. He presents his findings during a standup routine.
This type of humour has a natural audience of students and anti-globalization protesters however there's plenty here for anyone who's politically aware to some degree. Each week a subject is picked and the `truths' behind it exposed the show relies on people coming to them most of the time. Some of the subjects may be dull or not going anywhere but most are very interesting. Occasionally some of the episodes are nothing more than silly stunts that don't expose anything (but are funny) for example dressing as Hitler to praise a politician for his policies doesn't actually achieve anything, despite being a cheap laugh. But most of the time interesting facts come out of his shows.
Most times you're left feeling that you should do something, and, depending on the subject, it's not always clear what that should be. But most of the time it is empowering to have someone doing the legwork for you to bring you some facts. Another strength of the show is that most of the time (not all the time) MT leaves it to us to decide what we think and doesn't force us to do anything.
He can be a bit of the `angry-red' at times, but then that's who he is! As I said his standup isn't always funny in fact it can be quite lazy but the documentary film that backs him up is often eye-opening and informative.
Overall this programme is consistently good and has been since it started in 96 right up to it's present incarnation (`The Mark Thomas Product' 2002). It definitely deserves a wider audience than it's 11pm slot and cult following allows it to have. It's easy to see him the politician's Jeremy Beadle pulling wacky stunts etc, but really he's a very intelligent man who has a real nose for an issue.
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