Reading this sketch (ho, and indeed, hum) on the BBC website by Susan Hulme, I was struck by this thought: “why do so many bad sketch writers think that the way to do it is to impersonate Simon Hoggart’s personal writing style?”
It’s all there: the short sentences, the lame gags about individual’s physical characteristics, the “dear reader” asides. Is this what passes for a genre?
If I’m honest, I don’t even know if it stems from Hoggart himself originally – it’s just that I read his sketches more than anyone else’s. Certainly Simon Carrs are different. But then, Simon Carrs’ are rarely funny. Or about anything other than Simon Carr.
We should be asking this question: does the smug, self-satisfied political sketch still have a place in modern political discourse, or should it go the same way as those rude poems you read in old issues of punch?
What do you think dear reader?