As the new host of Late Night Mash, it’s Rachel Parris’s job to find humour in the day-to-day political maelstrom. Here, she explains how the team do it.
“What are you gonna make jokes about now Trump and Johnson have gone?” This is a question that I’ve been asked a lot in the last few weeks; and I have taken to giving the reply “your mum” while I think about the real answer.
The answer is of course – everything and everyone else. There is still plenty to mock among the folks in Westminster, from Thatcher cosplayer Liz Truss, to plucky millionaire underdog Rishi Sunak, to ex-Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, a woman who would consider Magic Mike XXL a show for the metropolitan elite (it is amazing tbf – take a grab bag of Minstrels and a hand-held fan).
For years, people had suggested that all of us who are in the satirical comedy game should be grateful to the likes of Trump and Johnson for providing us with such a wealth of material. I must admit I forgot to post my thank-you card to Johnson before he left, but at least I can blame it on the postal strikes.
The sad truth is there’s plenty of corruption, cronyism and car-crash viewing left in politics – in the US and over here – to lament in satire, even with Trump and Johnson gone. And even sadder: neither of those two are quite “gone” enough for my liking. I won’t feel happy until they’ve been jetted into space with a one-way ticket on Elon Musk’s giant penis rocket.
In the US, with the reversal of Roe vs Wade, the rise of conspiracy theory networks like QAnon and an increasing mistrust in science or the media, it seems clear that the shockwaves from Trump’s time in office continue to have a massive effect on the people and the policies of the US. Or perhaps more that the reasons that someone like Trump could ever have got elected are still there in society – remember that guy dressed as a caveman in horns who stormed the Capitol? He has cousins.